Editor’s Note: This one of a series of stories Kentucky Teacher is running about new superintendents for the 2023-2024 school year.
After spending 26 years as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent in western Kentucky, Karen Solise is excited to take on a new role as superintendent of the Anchorage Independent School District in Jefferson County.
Solise will take over July 1. She precedes Kelley Fern Ransdell, who is retiring after 10 years on the job. The district has one school that serves about 400 students in kindergarten through 8th grade.
“The move to Louisville is going to cause so much personal and professional growth,” Solise said. “This will be a new adventure and a new journey.”
Solise began her career teaching business and marketing to middle and high school students. She then became principal of McLean Middle School (McLean County), where she spent five years before transitioning to her current role as assistant superintendent of Trigg County schools.
Solise said she strives to always put students first, believing in the importance of student voice.
“I am a huge proponent of making sure that all students are seen, heard, challenged and included,” she said.
In addition to advocating for student voice, Solise also emphasizes the importance of student empowerment.
“I want kids to see the potential within themselves to grow, and to believe that they can do anything.” she said.
Solise’s passion for education not only fuels her to want to mentor others and help them succeed, but also to improve her own skills.
“I am always reflecting on how I can grow and be better,” she said.
Solise intends to lead her district with an emphasis on students, where each will be seen as an individual and an integral part of the whole student body.
“Whatever I go into, I want to go in full force. For one person or for 10,000 people, I want to give everything I have,” she explained, “I will have successes. I will have setbacks. But I will always make decisions for students rather than adults.”
Solise is making the move to Louisville with her husband, Preston.