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When Superintendent Lisa James, Ed.D., says ‘goodbye’ to Carroll County Schools and ‘hello’ to retirement June 30, a familiar face will be taking the reins. Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Bill Hogan has been promoted to superintendent, effective July 1.
“Thanks to the board members for your vote of confidence and trusting that I can lead this district for the next steps,” Hogan said after the announcement at the Board of Education meeting June 19. “I appreciate that and I promise to you that I will do my very best every day to do what’s best for our kids and to be a Champion for Kids in Carroll County.”
Board Chairman Mona Kindoll said 20 people applied for the position. She thanked Mike Oder with the Kentucky School Board Association and Chief Financial Officer Jon Conrad for their assistance with the screening committee, as well as committee members Beth Sapp, Bill Varble, Dana Oak, Ed Humble, Dave Huesman, Carolyn Jones and Magali McCarty for their service. The screening committee performed preliminary background and reference checks and recommended three candidates to the Board of Education.
“The screening committee felt any of the three would be a good candidate for our district,” Kindoll said. “After interviewing, doing additional background checks and reference checks on the three recommended applicants, the board ranked by secret ballot all three candidates by their first, second and third choice. I then reviewed the rankings and I’m pleased to announce it was an unanimous decision that we extend an offer to Mr. Bill Hogan.”
The board voted 4-0 to hire Hogan and sign him to a four-year contract. Board member Rob Spenneberg was not present at the meeting.
Hogan has worked for Carroll County Schools 11 years – five as Carroll County Middle School principal and the last six in his current position. “He is very visible and well-respected in our community,” Kindoll said. “We know he will focus on what is best for the students of Carroll County. We have the greatest confidence in him and are excited for him to lead our district.”
“I feel blessed and very lucky the board trusted me with this position,” Hogan said in a Monday interview.
Hogan said his vision is to provide “personalized learning for students and helping them be ready to exit our school system and be successful.”
He wants to make sure the schooldistrict is graduating students for the future, meaning they have the skills they need to make them successful in college or in their career. He also wants to improve test scores. The district has made some recent gains, but the scores need to be more consistent and show improvement across the board, he said.
Hogan graduated from Pendleton County High School in 1988 and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served until 1992 and was honorably discharged as an Operations Specialist Second Class.
Heading into Northern Kentucky University, Hogan said he thought he would go into ministry. He began studying business, but soon discovered that he did not like the classes. Since preachers are teachers, he switched to education. After three years and a lot of thinking, he realized he needed to be in the classroom. He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1997 and began his teaching career at Williamstown Independent Schools as a seventh and eighth grade history teacher. He spent one year there and really grew in both curriculum instruction and assessment, he said.
From there, he taught one year at Campbell County Middle School, one of the largest middle schools in the state at the time. Then, he taught seventh and eighth grade social studies at Walton-Verona Independent Schools for four years.
During this time, he also earned his masters degree in instructional leadership at NKU and his Superintendent Certification from the University of Kentucky. He also attended the Kentucky Leadership Academy with two other teachers.
Hogan joined the Carroll County School District in 2003 as the principal at Carroll County Middle School. During his tenure, the school raised its test scores and he believes it moved into the middle of the pack of middle schools.
He became assistant superintendent and chief academic officer in 2008. Some key initiatives of Hogan’s tenure as assistant superintendent include the high school MacBook program, Denver Thinking Strategies, the new Professional Growth and Evaluation System (PGES) and implementation of the Race to the Top Kid-FRIENDLY grant in the district, according to information released by the district.
After six years of working alongside James, Hogan said he admires her people skills. “She was just fabulous in handling situations that arose with care and compassion and always going back to what is best for kids,” noting that she was relentless in that focus.
He also learned from James how to balance his job with his family. “She was an exceptional leader.”
Like James, Hogan said he thinks it is very important for the superintendent to be visible in the community. He has already started conversations about having incentives for Carroll County High School graduates to come back home and work here. Hogan, who lives in Carroll County, said he thinks it is important for people to live where they work and wants that to be something the district works toward.
He and his wife, Dawn, have been married 21 years and have two children: Quincy, who graduated from Carroll County High School in 2012, is a junior at Cumberlands University, and Isaiah is a junior at CCHS.
James honored as a ‘Champion for Kids’
In addition to accepting his new role as superintendent, Hogan also recognized James, who was attending her last board meeting. He noted that James created the “Champion for Kids” award, but had never received one.
“I want to award you a Champion for Kids for Carroll County because you were probably the most dedicated, compassionate person I know for our kids and for our school district,” Hogan said to James. “Thank you for all that you have done for our district. She is a mentor, and I love her as a friend … She allows us to take time for our family and do what we need to do as a family first and that’s what the atmosphere is but this is our family and I appreciate all that you’ve done for me…
“All she’s had to deal with over the past six years, she’s been an angel. She’s handled it with grace, handled it with professionalism. You’re the role model for all of us as we go forward in our careers and I hope I do as good a job as you did. We’re going to carry forward with what you have started and fine tuning it.”
Kindoll also thanked James for her 27 years of service to the school district. “You have been invaluable in your commitment,” she said. “You have left your mark on Carroll County and we all appreciate everything you have done for this district and wish you the best of luck in your retirement.”
James thanked everyone for their kind words. “As you well know, it takes a team, and I have a great team and I work side by side in central office and with the principals … As you well know, I do have love for all of you and will miss you greatly.”