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SHEPHERDSVILLE - When they arrived on the scene, Sammy Allen and Gary Wooldridge wanted to see local student do better.
As they both prepared to leave their public service on the Bullitt County School Board, each felt like they accomplished their goal.
“The rewards are showing today,” Allen said of tough decisions made by the school board to raise the academic standards. “Nobody’s laughing at us now.”
Wooldridge said the district had made tremendous strides and he doesn’t want that to change.
Superintendent Keith Davis, who was hired while both were on the school board, said each brought a different perspective and a different set of skills to the group.
When they joined the board in 2004, Davis said there was a big emphasis on construction, which was needed as the school population was booming.
But as those issues were addressed, Davis said the entire school board switched its attention to the academic side.
‘They set the board for the rest of the board,” Davis said of the departing members.
Davis, who was the district’s finance director, remembers Allen asking him to serve as interim following the retirement of Dr. Michael Eberbaugh.
While having some reservations, Davis filled that role and was eventually hired as the permanent superintendent.
He understood that each came on the board with different concerns. Wooldridge was worried whether the district was doing enough for the gifted students. Allen had suffered a bad experience with administrators in the district and he wanted to see some changes.
Board chairman Lorraine McLaughlin said when she was elected, her mind was changed on some issues after listening to Wooldridge and Allen.
Davis said that through the pushing of both men, the district continues to move forward.
“They should be commended,” said Davis.
Wooldridge laughed that he was a thorn in the superintendent’s side but he was sure that Davis was the right choice.
Roger Hayes, a retired educator who has served in the classroom, as a high school assistant principal, an elementary principal and a bus driver, will replace Wooldridge.
Darrell Coleman, a retired educator, will replace Allen.
The next meeting of the Bullitt County Public School Board will be on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the central office. The public is invited to attend.