Local Government Revealed: Superintendent Sheila Mitchell

Getting children ready for the future is the goal of Sheila Mitchell, the Superintendent of Anderson County Schools.  Whether the child hopes to go to college or looks forward to a career in another field, she wants them to be ready.  Her passion is to work with the students, teachers, parents, administrators and the school board to bring the highest quality education to the children of Anderson County.

Ms Mitchell is originally from Willisburg, in Washington County.  She received her teaching credentials at Eastern Kentucky University, her Masters degree at Georgetown University and back to Eastern for her superintendent credentials.  She began her career in Anderson County, at Western Elementary in 1995, becoming the last principal there in the 2001-2002 school year.  In 2002, she was the first principal at Turner Elementary, then in 2005 became the instructional supervisor.  In 2010, Ms Mitchell became the Superintendent of Anderson County Schools.

One of her primary responsibilities is to work closely with the school board and make sure their policies are implemented.  They also work closely together on the annual budget.  This includes incorporating and following guidelines established by the Kentucky Department of Education and the United States Department of Education.  Adhering to these guidelines ensures that the school district gets the state and federal funds that are available.  For example, if there is money available from either governmental entity, say for construction, it must be used for construction.  There is also grant money that can be requested and hopefully received.

Planning ahead is an important part of the job as well as realizing that academics, the arts and sports are all part of a good education.  Anderson County has achieved success in all three areas.  She knows not all children plan on going to college, so there are classes for those that have different dreams.  For example, some students were interested in the culinary arts, and cooking classes were started.  Some of the students have won statewide awards for their efforts.

Another important part of her job is hiring teachers.  Her goal is to hire the best teachers she can to help your children.  This is true whether for an algebra class or the band.

In today’s world, safety is just as important as academics.  She wants parents to know that their children are protected while at school.  For example, they have a soft lockdown policy, which is used when there is a potential problem in the area, and all students must stay inside.  There is also a “one call” system that lets parents know that a situation has been handled and everything is alright.

Her work also involves close working relationships with other city and county departments, like the sheriff, the police and the health department as well as helping with different fundraising drives to help children in need, the DARE program and others.  Social services and the county attorney also work closely with the schools to provide support.

Many may not know of the help that Tim Wright and the health department give.  There is a program with five school health nurses that are on site at the schools.  Also, they have partnered with Cumberland Family Medical, which has offices in the health department building, to provide services.  These services have been asked to include dental going forward.

Ms Mitchell is grateful for the support of the community.  She recognizes it takes the support of not just great teachers and administrators, but parents and community members that want a great school district that cares about the future of the students.  “Education and teaching are one of the most important things we provide for our children,” said Ms Mitchell.

This is true whether academics, arts or sports.  There are lots of opportunities available in the Anderson County School District.  They will continue to provide these opportunities, always looking to improve.

-Written by Don West

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Posted in Business & Government, School & Education.

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