SHEPHERDSVILLE - After nearly a decade at the helm of Lebanon Junction Elementary School, Staci Goedde will now take the wheel as Bullitt County Public Schools’ director of pupil transportation.
Goedde, who was officially named to replace Ida Prather as the head of the BCPS Transportation Department early last week, said she is ready and able to oversee one of the district’s most vital services.
“I’m excited,” she said.
As transportation director Goedde’s primary responsibility will be making sure BCPS students get to and from school safely.
In addition to ensuring the safety of BCPS students, Goedde said her priorities are improving customer service and efficiency.
Though she’s only just settling into her new job, Goedde said she fully understands her obligation to serving the community and making sure tax payers’ dollars are spent wisely.
And while Goedde said minor changes may be implemented within the department in the coming months, she said there would be no major changes until the next school year.
One such change will be implementing the Transfinder bus routing software system, which she said would map bus routes more efficiently with the use of GPS technology.
“That will be a huge project for next year,” she said.
Being a principal, a parent and a former classroom teacher, Goedde feels she brings a unique perspective to the table and she’s prepared for her new role, though she admitted she has a lot to learn.
Though she’s anxious to assume her new role full-time, she said transitioning from Lebanon Junction Elementary to the transportation department was a bit overwhelming, but exciting nevertheless.
“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to make an impact at the district level,” she said, adding that she could hardly contain her elation when superintendent Keith Davis and assistant superintendent for support services Becky Sexton called to tell her she got the job on Jan. 15.
As soon as everyone could be notified, Goedde sent a mass e-mail message to the LJES community.
“I would like to start by saying how fortunate I am to have served as the principal at LJES for the past nine years. LJES is a wonderful place for kids and has a caring and supportive staff,” she wrote.
“I am working hard to ensure the transition between principals will be smooth. If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Again, thank you for helping to make LJES such a wonderful place!”
Until Goedde’s permanent replacement is named, veteran BCPS educator Nita Neal will serve as interim principal beginning Feb. 4 when Goedde will assume her role as director of transportation full-time.
In the meantime, Goedde said she will be doing both jobs, running back and forth between LJES and the transportation department.
Goedde said her permanent replacement should be selected before the end of the school year.
While she’s eager to take on her new role, Goedde said it will be difficult to leave Lebanon Junction, adding that she will especially miss the students.
“The hardest thing is going to be leaving the kids,” she said. “It’s definitely bittersweet.”
Goedde said she didn’t want anyone to think she wanted to get away from LJES or that she was unhappy there, because she didn’t and she wasn’t, she simply needed a change.
“I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for Lebanon Junction...After nine years I just wanted to do something different,” she said. “The school has improved so much over the years. I feel like I’m leaving Lebanon Junction in good shape...I thought if I was going to leave it was a good time to do it.”
As Goedde embarks on her new journey she brings with her nearly a quarter-century of experience in education with her.
From her earliest recollection Goedde said she wanted to make a difference in the lives of children, which is what motivated her to become a teacher.
A native of southwest Indiana, Goedde earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Ind.
Upon graduating she moved to Hardin County where she began her career as a primary teacher at Meadowview Elementary in Radcliffe.
After nine years in the classroom she decided to pursue a career in administration and was soon after named assistant principal at Meadowview.
In the early 2000s Goedde left Hardin County for BCPS to serve as principal of Mount Washington Elementary School, where she remained for two years until she became principal of Lebanon Junction Elementary.
“I look forward to working with Ms. Goedde in a different role. As LJ’s principal, she has demonstrated a high level of determination, consistency, intelligence and a tremendous work ethic,” said Superintendent Davis.
“She exhibits superior judgment and does what is right for students and is a strong, clear communicator. She will be a great asset to our district leadership team.”
District officials declined to comment on the reason for the departure of the previous director, citing employment confidentiality.