Campbellsville Independent Schools hosted a reception for its new superintendent and principals on Monday, July 3, with about 150 teachers, staff members, parents and students attending.
Kirby Smith, on his first business day as superintendent for Campbellsville Independent Schools, thanked everyone for attending to support the new CIS leaders.
He said he also wants to thank the principals’ families.
“Thank you to the families of these three individuals, because, being in that role, it’s a job that requires a lot, not just of these three, but their families,” he said.
Smith introduced the three new principals for the 2017-2018 school year, who have been hired as part of several District administrative changes.
Mike Deaton, former superintendent, retired on June 30.
Campbellsville Board of Education members chose Kirby Smith, who was principal at CHS, to fill Deaton’s position.
David Petett, transportation director and director of districtwide programs, has been hired as the new CHS principal.
Elisha Rhodes, who was principal at CMS, was given the opportunity to transfer to CES when Ricky Hunt, who was principal, became director of federal programs.
And Zach Lewis, who was assistant principal at CES, was hired as the new principal at CMS.
At the reception, Smith introduced the new principals, who then spoke with teachers, staff members, parents, students and Board of Education members in attendance.
Smith said it’s interesting to realize that Rhodes, Lewis and Petett have spent their entire educational careers working at Campbellsville Independent Schools.
Campbellsville Elementary School
Elisha Rhodes is beginning her 14th year working in education.
She taught fifth-grade social studies for four years, was guidance counselor at CHS for five years and just completed her fourth year as principal at CMS.
Rhodes said she is excited for the new school year.
“I’m excited. Thank you,” she said. “My boys don’t know if they’re excited yet or not.
“I appreciate the opportunity,” Rhodes said to her co-workers and friends. “I’m glad you all came out to support us.”
Rhodes is married to Nathan Rhodes, and they have two children, Tye, a third-grader at CES, and Braxton, a first-grader at CES.
Campbellsville Middle School
Zach Lewis will soon begin his 11th year working in education.
Lewis began teaching at CES in 2007, and taught second grade for eight years.
He became assistant principal at CES in 2015.
“Thank you, site-based [members], for choosing me and I look forward to working with you guys and continuing the good things Mr. Rhodes had started,” he said. “She’s going to make it easy, I think, to just kind of step in and keep rolling.”
Lewis is married to Savannah Lewis and is the son of Sid and Judy Lewis of Hodgenville.
Campbellsville High School
Petett becomes one of few who will have served as principal at CES, CMS and CHS.
He will soon begin his 16th year working in education.
He served as an eighth-grade social studies teacher at CMS for six years, and then two years as principal at Campbellsville Elementary School.
Petett then served as principal at CMS for three years.
Four years ago, he became director of district programs at CIS, and two years ago also began serving as transportation director.
He said he is appreciative of the opportunity to become CHS principal.
“This District has afforded my family and I so many opportunities,” he said. “And we wouldn’t be where we are without this District. This is our opportunity to give back.
“I’m excited for our team. We’ve been texting back and forth. We’re ready to go. We feel like we’ve got a great team that’s ready to take the next step.”
Petett said he, along with Rhodes and Lewis, are excited to work with Smith in his new leadership role.
“We’ve got a great group and I just look forward to the next decade of what we’ve got going on in this District.
“It’s a great day to be an Eagle, as I always say. And I believe it today more than ever.”
Petett is married to Ashlee Petett, who is a teacher at CES. They have three children, Rylee, who is an eighth-grader at CMS; Rowan, who is a fifth-grader at CES; and Remi, who will begin kindergarten at CES in August.
Petett is the son of J.E. and Martha Petett of Tompkinsville.
Campbellsville Independent Schools
Pat Hall, chair of the Campbellsville Board of Education, recognized Smith as the new superintendent at Campbellsville Independent Schools.
“We’ve known Mr. Smith’s face,” she said. “He was my supporter in special education. We taught together, we met together. We did the best we could for our students, every day.”
Hall said she worked with Smith before her retirement, and is excited to see him serve in his new role with the District.
“On behalf of the Board, we are deeply, sincerely thrilled with Mr. Smith and the leadership he’s willing to take on.”
Hall said she and her fellow Board members are supportive of all the District’s employees as they move forward with Smith as the top leader.
“We want to welcome him to this new role and tell you, Mr. Smith, that we deeply appreciate you willing to step up to bat and take the leadership role for our District.”
Smith said he is appreciative of the opportunity and looks forward to working with everyone at CIS, including the new principals.
“They won’t be working under me,” he said. “We will be working together.”
The 2017-2018 school year begins on Wednesday, Aug. 9.
CHS Principal David Petett receives a hug from Judy Cox at the principal reception, as she congratulates him and CES Principal Elisha Rhodes, at right.
CES kindergartener Remi Petett hugs her new principal, Elisha Rhodes, as her dad, David, at left, watches. He is now the principal at CHS.
From left, CMS Principal Zach Lewis, CHS Principal David Petett and CES Principal Elisha Rhodes, hidden, greet teachers, staff members and parents.
CIS Superintendent Kirby Smith, at right, introduces, from left, CMS Principal Zach Lewis, CHS Principal David Petett and CES Principal Elisha Rhodes.
CHS Principal David Petett greets staff members.
CHS Principal David Petett gets a hug from Herb Wiseman, who is a virtual learning teacher at CHS. At right, CHS teacher Susan Dabney congratulates CES Principal Elisha Rhodes.
CHS freshmen John Orberson, center, and Tristin Faulkner talk with their former baseball coach, Kirby Smith, who is now superintendent. Orberson gave Smith a photo taken of the two of them during a game.
From left, CMS Principal Zach Lewis, CHS Principal David Petett and CES Principal Elisha Rhodes share a laugh.
Superintendent Kirby Smith talks with CHS exceptional child educator Steve Doss.
Superintendent Kirby Smith shares a laugh with Ricky Hunt, at left, director of federal programs, and Rowan Petett, a fifth-grader at CES.
From left, CMS Principal Zach Lewis, CES Principal Elisha Rhodes and CHS Principal David Petett receive congratulations from Phil Allan Bertram.
CES Principal Elisha Rhodes talks with bus driver Preston Forrest and his grandson, Aiden, who is a second-grader at CES.
CES second-grader Aiden Forrest shakes hands with his new principal, Elisha Rhodes.
Superintendent Kirby Smith talks with Lindsay and David Williams and their son, Gavin, who will be a first-grader at CES. Lindsay Williams teaches English and David Williams is a virtual instructor at CHS.
CES Principal Elisha Rhodes receives a congratulatory hug from her mother-in-law, Sherri. At right is Rhodes’s father-in-law, Dean.