From a young age, Amanda Abell felt called to teach.
“I always had an interest in being a teacher and working with youth. It’s something I felt I was very passionate about and something I was meant to do,” she said.
After six years as assistant superintendent in Caverna Independent School District, Abell was named the district’s new superintendent, replacing Cornelius Foster who resigned after eight years in the district. Abell will assume her duties as superintendent on July 1.
Originally from Green County, Abell started her teaching career in 1999 in the Green County School District. During her 23-year career, she also served as associate director of district support, east area coordinator and director of educator effectiveness at the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative. She has served at Caverna Independent for the past seven years, starting as supervisor of instruction and curriculum in 2015.
Abell received a bachelor’s degree in education from Western Kentucky University in 1998 and a master’s degree in education and instructional leadership levels 1 and 2 from University of the Cumberlands in 2012. She also earned her supervisor of instruction, superintendent and education specialist certifications from University of the Cumberlands.
Throughout her career in education, Abell said her motto always has been to try to make a difference in the life of a child every day.
In her district, she often sees students struggle with self-worth. Her primary goal for this upcoming school year is for the district to focus on providing opportunities to students in order to help them see their value and believe in themselves.
“If anything, I see some students in Caverna that don’t always believe in themselves. Our priority is to help them see their own individual talents and strengths and build on those,” she said.
Abell is the first woman to serve as superintendent of Caverna Independent schools, but she said the role doesn’t come without challenges.
“My biggest challenge throughout my career has been balancing home and school, especially as a woman. But it has made me become very organized and intentional about what I do every day so that when I come home, I can be present,” she said.
Overall, she said she is looking forward to continuing the work in her new position and moving to the next level.
“I have a strong passion for making a difference in the lives of kids. I think they are our greatest asset for our future,” Abell said. “We need to be deeply invested in our youth in order to help build our future communities.”
Abell is married to her husband, Chris, and they share three children. When she’s not working, she’s active in her church and community. She loves to volunteer in her spare time, especially with Kiwanis of Caverna, an international nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time.