Mike James/The Independent
Westwood — Bill Musick likes to be the first one at Fairview High School in the morning so he can greet the students on their way to class.
The tiny Fairview district is like his second family, and in fact he is fond of pointing out the close familial relationships of Fairview faculty, staff and students.
When the Kentucky Educational Development Corp. named him the year�s outstanding superintendent this week, Musick was quick to spread the credit to the other members of his second family.
�Everybody�s on board, from the cooks to the bus drivers to the maintenance people to the teachers. Students first above everything,� he said.
The award goes each year to one or more superintendents judged by their peers as tops in their field. Musick was the only superintendent so honored this year by KEDC, which is a consortium of 69 school districts across the state.
�I�ve known Bill Musick over 20 years and have always admired his dedication to the job,� said Howard K. Osborne, who is superintendent in the Boyd County School District and a former recipient of the award.
Since Musick took the job, Fairview�s test scores have gone up and it now has one of the best graduation rates in the state, Osborne said.
A 1977 Fairview graduate, Musick returned to his alma mater nine years ago, first as high school principal and then five years ago taking the superintendent�s position with the retirement of Carl Thompson.
Since then, the district has opened a middle school and bought and remodeled a new central office. Enrollment has increased from fewer than 600 students to more than 800.
�Mr. Musick represents the meaning of the term �leader,�� said social studies teacher Jeff Fletcher in materials prepared for the award nomination. �He tirelessly dedicates all of his energies to ensuring the students of Fairview Independent Schools are well equipped with the resources, services and staff that will enable them to become productive citizens.�
High school Principal Garry McPeek compared Musick to TV character Sheriff Andy Taylor, likening him to the mayor and chief of police in the unincorporated community of Westwood. �He solves the problems of our great little school district along with the needs of all of our community stakeholders,� McPeek wrote.
Not content to sit in his office, Musick can be seen helping administer state tests at the high school and painting in the summer alongside maintenance workers, said Pupil Personnel Director Brant Creech.
�Mr. Musick is the backbone of this strong family,� according to senior Tyler Brown. �It isn�t every day that you will see your superintendent walking the halls, addressing every student by first and last names.�
The KEDC will present the award April 21 at its annual board meeting in Lexington.
MIKE JAMES can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2652.