Freedom provides perfect fit for Minogue as new principal

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By Stephen Thomas

HEBRON ESTATES - Sometimes a new job just feels like a perfect fit.

Marcella Minogue feels that way about her new role as Freedom Elementary principal.

The former Freedom instructor took over this week as the school’s first female principal.

“Having taught here I saw the wonderful part of Freedom,” she said. “I knew what it had to offer.”

Minogue returns after two years of instruction at Old Mill Elementary and her most recent position as counselor at Maryville Elementary. During her time at Maryville, Minogue credited principal Sam Cowan with offering many leadership roles.

“(Cowan) shared many responsibilities with me that he didn’t have to,” said Minogue. “It helped develop my interest in leadership. It seemed to fit my personality.”

“I think (Minogue) will do beautifully,” Cowan said. “At Maryville we gave her a lot of principal duties. She came through it all well. You give her a project and she just gets it done.”

Superintendent Keith Davis credited Cowan’s assistance in preparing Minogue for her new job.

“Mr. Cowan knew of her interest in school administration and assisted her by allowing her, as counselor, to take on many leadership roles,” Davis said.

“It’s great coming from within the district,” said Minogue. “I know the goals. I know about Bullitt County.”

The Maryville experience helped prepare Minogue for her first principal role along with previous teaching duties and parental experience. She and husband, Scott, have three children in different educational levels: Tyler, 15, attends Bullitt East; Travis, 12, goes to Mount Washington Middle; daughter Kaitlyn, 10, is at Old Mill.

“Being a parent I know what parents need and I value those things first-hand,” Minogue said. “It also helps when students are having a bad day to understand them.”

Minogue estimated that a good majority of Freedom’s current staff has remained since her first stint as teacher.

“Everyone has been kind and excited and welcoming me with open arms,” she said. “I have a great respect for them. The level of instruction in this school is amazing. They know how to do it.”

Minogue credited Freedom’s first principal, Terry Price, for establishing a quality school atmosphere and subsequent principals, including assistant and former interim principal Michelle Sharp, for maintaining it.

“Michelle did a phenomenal job of keeping things running here,” Minogue said.

“I really believe (Minogue) will keep the school on the right path of remaining community-oriented and academically successful,” Price said.

Now the Bullitt County Public Schools Director of Elementary Education, Price said Minogue was a great teacher and made sound decisions while observed in administrative positions.

“Once she became a counselor, that’s when the administrative aspect really came out,” he said. “She served during Cowan’s brief absence as interim principal at Maryville and acted appropriately. I feel she’s going to continue that course.”

New again to the school, Minogue admitted her beginning role was watching and learning, offering support whenever necessary.

“Support, encouragement and motivation,” she added. “This school is in fine shape. It’s easy to start with a hard-working school. There’s not too much to add. I’ll learn policies, personalities, what they’ll need. My job right now as I see it is to support and motivate teachers and students.”

Familiarity with both the school and the district was an important aspect of Minogue’s hiring, according to Davis.

“I am extremely pleased with both the selection of Mrs. Minogue and the collaborative and thorough process employed by the parents and teachers on the Freedom council,” said Davis. “Marcella brings intelligence, incredible enthusiasm for students and familiarity with district initiatives to her new position.”

Minogue earned her Bachelor and Master of Education at the University of Louisville, where she is currently working toward an Educational Specialist certification. She earned her Rank 1 certification at Western Kentucky University.

A Louisville native, Minogue’s resume also includes 12 years of teaching experience in Jefferson County at all elementary grade levels.

Minogue admitted she wasn’t necessarily seeking the position as Freedom’s principal. She believed that all the pieces came together at once, feeling like a perfect fit.

Now that she has arrived, she can see herself at Freedom for quite a while.

“I’m happy right where I am,” she said.