Perry County Schools Superintendent Kent Campbell surveys a classroom with kids working at a desk below him.

Kent Campbell took over as the new Perry County Schools superintendent at the beginning of the year.
Photo by Caleb Bates, Jan. 9, 2023

Perry County Schools is under new leadership. Kent Campbell, who grew up and attended school in the community, started serving as the district’s new superintendent at the beginning of the year.

Prior to beginning his role at the district’s helm, Campbell served the students of Perry County as a coach, teacher and school administrator. He most recently was principal at West Perry Elementary.

“I’ve been in a lot of schools,” he said. “I know the people of this county.”

As a first-year superintendent, he said he is relying on the district’s “family atmosphere” to achieve his goals of leading a high-performing school district. 

Campbell graduated from Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Ky., with a bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies education.

He began working as a substitute teacher in Perry County after graduation. He then worked at Buckhorn Children’s Center, Buckhorn High School, A.B. Combs Elementary and East Perry Elementary before becoming principal at Viper Elementary.

“While I was at Viper, our school was a five-star school,” he said. “It’s a great community, the parents value education and that’s where I started out being an administrator.”

After three years, Campbell became principal at West Perry Elementary.

Campbell said he intends to support his district through fostering meaningful relationships with those he serves.

“We must build our people up. We can’t come in and rule with an iron fist because people don’t respond well to that. You must be supportive, you must roll up your sleeves and go to work and you must be there for your people,” he said. “We all work together as a team.”

As a data-oriented person, Campbell said his goals center around hearing from people throughout the district and use their ideas to help improve it.

“The first couple of days I was in office, we created surveys to send out to our certified staff and classified staff. We value their input,” he said. “We want to see how we can move this district forward. Who’s better to know than the people of our district?”

He said his goals include supporting stakeholders at all levels through strategic plans. According to Campbell, the culture of each school in the district varies just as their challenges do.

“Each school has different needs and we’ve got to make sure that we support and address the needs that they have,” he said.

Campbell acknowledged schools throughout the district are still recovering from the July 2022 flooding.

“It’s been a traumatic experience for a lot of our staff and students,” he said. “We’ve got to be there for our people. Our people are our greatest asset.”