Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 26, 2013

Boyd names superintendent

Brock Walter hired for four years

Mike James
The Independent

CANNONSBURG — Glowing recommendations from former bosses and associates pushed Brock Walter’s application to the top of the pile in the Boyd County School District, where he was hired Thursday as the new superintendent.

The school board hired Walter for four years and will pay him $101,000 per year. He was one of 29 who applied and six who were interviewed for the position.

“The screening committee talked to people in other districts where he had worked and they were so enthusiastic about how hard a worker he is,” board chairman Bob Green said. “And we know his work ethic here with us too ... we’re ready for him to hit the ground running.”

That is exactly what Walter will have to do, because the deadline is looming for the district to submit a budget to state education officials in Frankfort, and Walter will face some tough decisions.

However, the path will be smoothed somewhat because he has been interim superintendent since April 1, following the retirement of former Superintendent Howard K. Osborne, and previous to that was assistant superintendent.

Walter said he’d already conferred with the board and district leaders to pin down budget priorities. “We want a budget with the least negative effect on teaching and learning in the classroom,” he said.

Walter praised the district’s academic standing, but said he wants to see improvement. “ We want to be the top district in the area and in the top 10 percent in the state,” he said.

Green said the board expects Walter to show results in college and career readiness, the top new priorities in the state’s new accountability system.

Walter, 48, started his career teaching science, first at the former Catlettsburg Junior High and then Boyd County Middle School. He moved to the Ashland district for several years and was assistant principal at Paul Blazer High for two of them, and then returned to Boyd County as coordinator of student services and finally assistant superintendent.

He graduated from Boyd County in 1982.

“I’m really humbled by the decision tonight. I’ve been blessed and I’m thankful for the opportunity,” he said. “My focus is going to be growth and improvement from the top down.”

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.