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CHS principal to become superintendent

Campbellsville Independent Schools will soon have a new leader.


Campbellsville High School Principal Kirby Smith will succeed Mike Deaton as the school district’s top leader.


Mike Deaton     Kirby Smith

Mike Deaton                                   Kirby Smith


At the Campbellsville Board of Education’s special meeting on Monday, May 8, Board members decided to hire Smith as superintendent at a vote of 3-2.


Board Chair Pat Hall and Board member Barkley Taylor voted “no.”


Board Vice Chair Mitch Overstreet and Board members Suzanne Wilson and Angie Johnson voted “yes.”


Deaton announced in December that he won’t renew his contract after this current school year. His last day as superintendent will be June 30.


Deaton became superintendent in 2009. Before that, he served as Campbellsville High School principal for two years.


The process to search for the next superintendent began shortly after Deaton’s announcement.


During Monday night’s meeting, Board Vice Chair Mitch Overstreet made a motion to hire Smith as superintendent, which Board member Angie Johnson seconded. Board members then voted.


Hall said she wants to congratulate Smith.


“Don’t celebrate yet,” she said. “As much as you’re going to enjoy this, it doesn’t happen till July 1.”


On behalf of the Board, Hall said, she wants to say that Board members are delighted that Smith will be taking the reigns as superintendent.


“We have the utmost faith in him, all Board members,” she said. “We have pledged our support to him and all his efforts.”


However, Hall said, Deaton will remain as superintendent until June 30.


“He doesn’t know how much this Board appreciates him,” he said.


Hall said Deaton brought eight years of continuity to the District.


“The place that he has taken us to,” she said, “is appreciated by each and every one of these Board members. And I know that he’s got a lot of wonderful things to look forward to in his future.”


After the meeting, Hall said the Board members would have like to have hired both of the final candidates for the superintendent position.


“But that’s not the case,” she said. “Somebody has to be chosen.”


Hall said Board members believe Smith will excel as superintendent.


“We are very pleased with that decision, and this Board is going to move forward with Mr. Smith at the helm on July 1.”


Hall said CHS will soon begin its search for a new principal. CHS Site-Based Decision Making Council members will be in charge of that process, she said.


She said Smith’s contract hasn’t been negotiated yet, so his salary hasn’t yet been set. It will be announced at the Board’s next meeting on Monday, June 12, at 6 p.m. at the Board office. It is open to the public.


Hall said she will work with the Board’s attorney to negotiate Smith’s contract.


She said Deaton is being paid about $122,000 a year. He was hired at $98,000, she said.


Smith said he is honored to have been chosen as the new CIS top leader.


“I’m very humbled and thankful to have this opportunity,” he said. “To be trusted to lead this District. But you only lead with the help of so many others.


“And this District is moving in the right direction. And I just look forward to continue moving that direction, to continue to do great things here.”


But first, he said, his priority is finishing the school year as CHS principal.


He said CHS offers a quality education with down to earth and caring staff members.


“I can’t think of a better place to be,” he said.


The process of applying for the job, Smith said, has been long and tough.


“But my focus really is still, tomorrow, to walk into the high school and complete my job as principal.”


He said he expects to be meeting with Deaton in coming weeks to make sure the transition between superintendents is smooth.


Smith, who is originally from Taylorsville, graduated from Campbellsville University in 1993.


He completed master’s degrees at Asbury College and Eastern Kentucky University, and later superintendent certification.


Smith worked for Spencer County Schools from 1994 to 2004.


He began working for Campbellsville Independent Schools in 2004 as a special education teacher at CHS.


In 2008, he became assistant principal, under then CHS Principal Mike Deaton.


A year later, Smith became CHS principal.


In addition to being principal, Smith is the head CHS baseball coach.


Smith is married to Andrea Deaton-Smith, and they have three children, Kameron, an eighth-grader at Campbellsville Middle School; Kaylyn, a seventh-grader at CMS; and Karsyn Smith, who is a first-grader at Green County Primary School.

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