Photo of a man in a suit speaking.

Casey Jaynes will begin his tenure as Carroll County’s new superintendent on July 1. He replaces Danny Osborne, who retired earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Casey Jaynes.

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series of stories Kentucky Teacher is running about new superintendents for the 2022-2023 school year.

Casey Jaynes didn’t always picture himself as a life-long educator.

After graduating from Hanover College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education in 1989, the Madison, Ind., native struggled to find a job in the field. He decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy and became a nuclear qualified electronics technician working on submarines.

It wasn’t until during his eight years of service that he realized he enjoyed teaching others and wanted to give education another shot.

“I thought I was going to be a 20-year career person in the Navy, but after three or four years I started training kids on nuclear powerplants and operation, and I really enjoyed it,” Jaynes said. “When I got out of the service, I looked into the education field again.”

He started teaching information technology at Henderson County High School in 1998 and the rest is history.

Jaynes worked his way up in education, previously serving as an assistant principal in Logan County High School from 2005 to 2008 and principal from 2005 to 2015, during which LCHS was recognized as a KDE School of Distinction in 2015. He most recently worked as the director of middle and high school teaching and learning in Boone County Schools since 2015, overseeing numerous instructional and budgetary programs for six middle schools, four high schools and a regional area technology center – the Ignite Institute – serving nearly 11,000 students.

On July 1, he will begin his tenure as Carroll County’s new superintendent, replacing former superintendent Danny Osborne, who had served in the role since 2018 and retired earlier this year. Assistant Superintendent Jonica Ray served as interim superintendent for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.

“All kids have to be successful and all kids have to be exposed to high levels of curriculum. Not all kids need college, but all kids need fundamental math and reading skills to survive in the workplace,” Jaynes said. “For me it’s about providing equal levels of access to high levels of education to all kids, so they can be successful in their career path.”

Jaynes said he is focusing on learning the “lay of the land” and connecting with the community.

“My hashtag is #listenlearnconnect. I’m trying to learn what the community needs, what the community wants in the school system, what they value. That is my goal the first year,” he said.

Just like many educators, Jaynes said he has faced his own set of challenges and is working on personal accountability and teamwork.

“I struggled with that as a principal and as a director and I’m hoping not to make that same mistake as superintendent. I need to be able to rely on my team and be an advocate for kids,” Jaynes said.  “I take it very personally when kids graduate, that what we have given them is the best we can give them, and they have had all the best opportunities. So being able to trust, being able to let go and allowing myself to be developed, it’s a process and something I have to work on every day.”

Jaynes also holds an associate’s degree in technical education from Western Kentucky University, a master’s degree in educational administration from Murray State University (MSU) and is working on a doctorate of education with a focus on educational leadership at the University of the Cumberlands. He also completed course work in educational administration from MSU and earned his director of pupil personnel, secondary supervision and school superintendent certifications.

Jaynes has been married for 33 years to his wife Laura. They share three kids: Kathryn, Kyle and Korey. The family enjoys taking trips each year, going to sporting events, cooking out and attending various food festivals and arts events like Shakespeare in the park.