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Terrell takes new job in school system

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Accepts position as director of transportation

By Jeff Moreland

 

 

Paul Terrell has stepped down as principal of Washington County High School.
The decision came on Wednesday, June 11, when Terrell learned he was being offered the position of transportation director for the school district. He interviewed for the new position on Monday.
“Mrs. (Superintendent Robin) Cochran called me yesterday afternoon about 4:30 and offered me the position, and I readily accepted,” Terrell said. “I’ve enjoyed the high school experience, being principal, but I’m really going to miss the students first and foremost. That was my first thing when I made the decision, to try and think what will be best for the students.”
Terrell’s desire to take a new position within the district comes from home. He said he has two grandchildren, ages 10 months and 7 months, and he’s looking forward to spending time with his family.
“I just feel like at this point in my life I need to look somewhere that’s not as time consuming, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. It was wonderful,” he said.
Terrell will remain on the job as principal until July 1, at which time he will take over as transportation director. In the meantime, he will be busy with duties such as finding a new chemistry teacher for the high school. As for his new duties, they may be less stressful and time consuming, but he’s sure to have some early mornings, especially if the coming winter is anything like last winter. “A lot of people have been asking me about that, and of course, in December, January and February, you do get those calls on early days,” Terrell said. “Some winters are pretty non-eventful, and others, like last year, seems like it was all the time.”
His new position will also see him helping coordinate the move to the new high school, which opens this fall, as well as the move to make the current high school a K-8 building for students currently in the Washington County Elementary School building in the 2015-16 school year, provided that the move is approved by the Kentucky Department of Education later this fall. “It’s a lot more than transportation, it’s trying to work on the transitions to new schools, which is an exciting time.” Terrell said he is proud of what the staff and students have accomplished together.
“I feel like with us going into a new (high) school, there will be several applicants who can bring a fresh drive and ambition to what we’ve built on. I’m proud of what we’ve done since I’ve started here, and I think we’ve been successful. We’re a proficient high school, and we were last year. We’ve had some kids that have been merit scholars, honors scholars and McConnell Scholars, but most important to me is that I’ve not had any kids drop out. I took over, I believe in September (2009) when Mr. Smith left, and there had been two at that point. I just felt it incumbent on me to see that these kids have the opportunity to get through.”
Terrell’s career began in the Washington County School District 24 years ago. He worked as a special education teacher for 13 years before becoming athletics director. He then served as assistant principal for five years before becoming principal and serving in that role for the past five years. “I’ve worn several hats,” he said.
Looking back, Terrell said one person stood out to him as having a positive influence when he himself was a student, and that was a bus driver.
“I think it’s kind of neat to culminate my career with transportation. I remember I had a bus driver who was a wonderful man. I rode with him for about 11 and a half years … he was such a gentleman, and he had an impact on my life.  “Today, kids are coming from so many different backgrounds, and I just think it’s important that bus drivers know, and they do know, but I want to reiterate to them how important it is to how they treat these kids, because they’re all not going to act the same because they don’t come from the same backgrounds. We have a great bunch of drivers, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Terrell said the position of WCHS principal was officially posted on Wednesday, June 11.
Superintendent of Washington County Schools Robin Cochran said the district is excited to have Terrell serving as director of transportation, operations and student services.
“This position is not “per se” a new position financially in that it combines the current director of transportation position that is vacant due to the retirement of Pogo Mann in February, and adds the responsibility of a liason with the new high school opening and district-wide maintenance building check needs (which is partially done by the resident observer,” Cochran said. She also said Terrell will work with the punch list needs of the new high school, as well as the new traffic patterns and assist with the transition with the new facilities plan that will move the county’s elementary school into the old high school building, if approved by the Kentucky Department of Education.
“Mr. Terrell will work with parents and address transportation concerns regarding behavior and improve communication with principals, drivers and parents. This position was needs driven by the current changes we are seeing in Washington County, and Mr. Terrell’s strengths include knowing the community and working to provide customer service to others,” Cochran said. She said the Washington County High School Site-Based Decision-Making Council members will be trained for the hiring process, and will then begin interviews the first week of July.
“We are hoping to select someone by the middle of July,” Cochran added.