Marion County native Chris Brady was named the next superintendent of Marion County Public Schools on June 6. He replaces Boyd Randolph, who has served as interim superintendent since former superintendent Taylora Schlosser took a leave of absence in September.
Brady, who has served as the district’s chief operating officer since 2015, began his tenure as superintendent July 1.
A native of Calvary, Brady said he chose a career in education because he feels strongly that public education is the most powerful way to improve the lives of people and the vitality of communities.
“Throughout my career, whether as a teacher or administrator, I saw firsthand how important public education and public schools are to the lives of people within those communities. Especially in rural areas, the public school system has such a profound effect on families, and that’s something we should embrace as educators,” he said. “I feel I could have been successful in other fields, but I’m certain there’s no other profession where I could be part of more important work.”
Brady started his career in 2001 teaching a variety of mathematics and computer science classes in Washington County. During the summer of 2005, he was an adjunct professor at Campbellsville University, teaching computer technology courses to graduate students earning their master’s in education and initial teaching certification in special education.
He went on to teach mathematics at Marion County Public Schools from 2005 to 2007, before becoming assistant principal at North Washington Elementary School (Washington County) in 2007. He continued to work his way up, eventually serving as interim principal for Marion County High School in 2010, which he said was his most challenging job to date.
“For the 2010 school year, I was selected to serve as the interim principal at Marion County High School. This happened very quickly and somewhat unexpectedly, so going into that role I didn’t feel as prepared as I would have liked,” he said. “Serving as the interim principal was a challenge, but it taught me the importance of collaboration. I needed the support from a lot of people that school year, from the attendance clerk, to the teachers, to my assistant principals, to the maintenance staff.”
Brady also taught part-time at Midway University from 2006 to 2015, while serving as assistant principal at Lebanon Middle School from 2008 to 2012, and principal of Washington County Elementary from 2012 to 2015.
He believes education is built on a strong relationship between students and teachers.
“Perhaps the most important way to build those relationships as a leader is to simply be very visible and model the high expectations you have for students and staff,” Brady said. For example, on many occasions, I’ve filled in as a substitute bus driver for our district when we were short-staffed. My hope is that others view me as someone willing to do the work that needs to be done.”
Although academic success is his primary goal, in the short term, he said, one of his goals is to work with teachers and administrators to better understand what can be adjusted or improved across the district so that student success is more tenable.
“There will always be a new program or initiative that schools could implement, but really the success of a school and of students comes down to the people who are working with them every day,” Brady explained. “I want to know from those people what can be improved, and then it’s my job to make those improvements a reality.”
Brady earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, computer science and secondary education from Campbellsville University. He holds a master’s degree in instructional leadership, as well as a Rank I in instructional leadership from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). He also earned his education specialist degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a focus on educational technology and completed superintendent coursework at the University of Louisville and EKU.
He achieved his superintendent, director of pupil personnel Level II, supervisor of instruction Level II and P-12 principal Level II certifications.
Brady is married to his wife, Jada, an oncology certified nurse at Ephraim McDowell Commonwealth Cancer Center. They share a daughter, Sierra, who will be a 1st grader in Marion County Public Schools for the 2022-2023 school year.