Harrison Named New Graves Schools Superintendent
By Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools
MAYFIELD, KY - Graves County Assistant Superintendent/elementary instructional supervisor Kim Harrison has been promoted to Superintendent of the Graves County Schools, effective July 1. She replaces Pete Galloway, who retires after five years as superintendent and a total of four decades of service as an educator in the district.
“The Graves County Schools have been known for years now for the district’s academic success,” she told reporters after the board voted her into office beginning July 1. Attending the Thursday afternoon, April 25, meeting was a crowd of approximately 50 colleagues, community leaders, and family members. “That academic success is a result of a lot interest, commitment, and hard work on the part of a lot of people, ranging from teachers to principals to the students themselves, their families, and even the entire community. We’re blessed here with such caring people.”
Harrison continued, “I want to contribute as much as I can as a part of that strong team to implement even greater progress. I want us to work together to take Graves County to the Distinguished level. I love that phrase, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ It really does. Today, that means graduating students who are college and career-ready so they can contribute in significant ways to our society.”
She concluded, “I can’t think of a better calling to have for my career. I’m honored, humbled, and grateful to be a part of this profession and most definitely, honored, humbled, and grateful by the school board’s confidence in me. In the Graves County Schools, it really is all about the kids. While we might change our approach to doing our job, our focus on students learning for their future will never change.”
“I first want to say that we had a wide range of excellent candidates apply,” said Graves County Board of Education chairman Ronnie Holmes. “We spent a great deal of time interviewing. And, the quality of those candidates made our selection process difficult.”
Holmes explained, “After careful consideration, the board believes that Kim Harrison is very experienced in her role as an administrator. She has served in a variety of roles in her career at Graves County and we think that with all that experience, knowledge, and skills, she deserves the opportunity to lead the district. As a district, I think our goal is to make all of our kids college and career-ready and I think that under Kim’s leadership in instruction, we are well on our way to not only reaching that goal but getting better and better at it.”
Now in the 25th year of her education career, she served as assistant superintendent for the past four years and as elementary instructional supervisor for the past eight years. For four years before that, she served as principal of Wingo Elementary School in southwestern Graves County. She also has been a member of the District Instructional Leadership Team since its inception in 2002. She began her education career in the district teaching between grades 2 and 7 over the course of 13 years at Sedalia, Symsonia, Wingo, and Graves County Middle School.
She earned all of her academic degrees at Murray State University. They include a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in guidance and counseling, Rank I Certification in school administration, and an Education Specialist degree in school superintendency.
In recent years, she has served as an adjunct professor in school administration for Murray State University.
Harrison is the mother of three daughters, all with career aspirations in health care. He eldest daughter, Andrea Bazzell is an emergency room nurse at Jackson Purchase Medical Center in Mayfield. She is entering the nurse practitioner program of Union University in Jackson, Tenn., taking most of her courses through an on-line cohort. Andrea’s husband, Nathan Bazzell, teaches at Marshall County High School. Middle daughter, Elizabeth Dunn, is completing a degree to become a physician’s assistant through Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn., with plans to graduate in the spring of 2014. Elizabeth’s husband, Jay Dunn, is an officer with the Mayfield Police Department. Youngest daughter, Kelsey Beach, is a freshman majoring in nursing at Murray State University.
The Graves County School District consistently ranked in the top 7.5 percent in Kentucky academics on the Commonwealth Accountability Testing Systems assessment from 2004 through its conclusion in 2011.
Last year, the district ranked as “Proficient” under the new Unbridled Learning accountability data announced in early November 2012. That means it ranks among the top 30 percent of districts statewide, along with four of its ten schools: Symsonia, Central, and Sedalia elementary schools, and Graves County High School. Lowes Elementary earned the status of “Distinguished,” ranking among the top ten percent of elementary schools.