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School district finds interim leader

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Fentress has experience as superintendent in seven different districts

By Molly Haines

A week after Owen County Superintendent David Raleigh’s resignation, the Owen County Board of Education has chosen an interim superintendent.
The board met for a special-called meeting Monday and Sonny Fentress, a retired superintendent from Anderson County, was chosen to lead the district until June 30, 2013, unless a permanent superintendent is hired before the June date.
Fentress told the board during the meeting that he had worked in education for 42 years before retiring in 2005.
Since 2005, Fentress has been interim superintendent in seven different districts around Kentucky, including Laurel and Pendleton counties.
Owen County Board of Education Chairman Stuart Bowling said the board of education attorney from Pendleton County had contacted him after reading about Raleigh’s resignation and suggested that the board look into Fentress as an option.
Bowling said Fentress comes highly recommended.
During the meeting, Fentress said he would become involved with the community during his time in Owen County.
“I like to go to ball games and activities,” Fentress said. “I like to move in and be a part of the community. I think that’s important.”
Fentress also said he will work closely with the board to make the best decisions for the district.
“It’s important for the board and superintendent to work closely together,” Fentress said during the meeting. “I liken it to a marriage. You don’t always agree with one another, but it’s important to work together.”
Fentress will begin work in Owen County on Oct. 15, but will be in the district prior to that to consult with Raleigh.
The board also discussed whether or not to use the Kentucky School Board Association’s Superintendent Search program, but opted to wait until a representative from KSBA could attend a board meeting.
Raleigh’s resignation came only weeks after an investigative report from the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability was released.
Raleigh said last week the timing of the investigation and his resignation were coincidental.
Raleigh will take a position with the Kentucky Department of Education as an education recovery leader and will be working with the principal and leadership team at Robert Frost Middle School in Louisville.