A family tradition in Erlanger-Elsmere

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Picture of Chad Molley
New Erlanger-Elsmere Independent Superintendent Chad Molley is the son of a former superintendent, James Molley. The new superintendent, a graduate of Lloyd Memorial High School, has worked in the district for 18 years.
Submitted photo

Editor’s Note: This is the 11th of a series of stories Kentucky Teacher is running about new superintendents for the 2020-2021 school year.

By Jacob Perkins
jacob.perkins@education.ky.gov

As a child, Chad Molley would tag along with his father to school events and activities.

James Molley, Chad’s father, served in several roles throughout his career – including as a high school science teacher, athletic director and superintendent of Erlanger-Elsmere Independent from 1994 to 2002.

“Like many other children, I was interested in what my father did at work,” said Molley. “I knew when I graduated from high school that I wanted to be an educator.”

Upon graduating from Lloyd Memorial High School (Erlanger-Elsmere), Molley went on to pursue that dream. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in social studies, his master’s degree in secondary education in instructional leadership and his Rank 1 certification all from Northern Kentucky University.

Like his father, Molley has served in several roles throughout his career – ranging from a high school teacher to an athletic director and now, superintendent of Erlanger-Elsmere Independent.

“It is incredibly meaningful to both of us,” Molley said of following in his father’s footsteps. “This school district has been the center of our family’s world for two generations now and we are proud and humbled to have had the opportunity to serve it in this capacity.”

While he credits his father for being a major professional inspiration in his life, Molley also credits the district’s retiring superintendent, Kathy Burkhardt, “for her mentorship and friendship over the years.”

“She saw potential in me and she encouraged and fostered my growth as a leader,” he said.

Molley replaced Burkhardt on Aug. 1, who announced her retirement after serving the district for the past 11 years.

During this time of uncertainty, Molley’s main priority is providing a safe return to school for the students and staff in his district.

As for his legacy as superintendent, he doesn’t concern himself with that.

“I am concerned with delivering quality leadership for the students, families and staff that I serve each and every day that provides for a safe learning environment, tiered levels of academic, behavioral and social emotional support, and the growth of students and staff so they may reach their full potential,” he said.

Molley spent 13 years as a student in Erlanger-Elsmere Independent schools and 18 years and counting as a district employee. He has a child who is currently a student in the district. Molley has spent his entire life in the community. Now, he is looking forward to returning the generosity that has been given to him.

“This school district and community has provided so much to me and my family over the years. This is my opportunity to pay it forward and provide for others what was so generously shared with me,” he said.

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