Paul Mullins has found his way home after working in various education positions across the state for the past 30 years.
Mullins, a 1983 Elizabethtown High School graduate, was named new superintendent of Elizabethtown Independent Schools, effective Sept. 1.
“I’m excited to lead the district, to continue to strive for excellence in growth and to celebrate a storied history,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to give back to a community that gave so much to me.”
Coming back to Elizabethtown is a full circle moment for Mullins’ career because it is where his passion for education began.
“I truly loved my experiences at Morningside Elementary, T.K. Stone (Middle School) and Elizabethtown High School,” he said. “I pursued education because I loved my time in school.”
Mullins currently serves as superintendent of Logan County Schools, where he has been for seven years. His term there will end Aug. 31 before he starts at Elizabethtown.
Mullins began his career in 1994 as a social studies classroom teacher at North Hardin High School before moving to Elizabethtown Independent in 1995 to teach at Valley View Education Center. Mullins taught in the Elizabethtown district for four years. During this time, he also coached football, baseball, and girls’ basketball at Elizabethtown High School as well as football at T.K. Stone and Radcliff Middle Schools.
He also has served as assistant principal and athletic director at Nicholas County High School, and as principal of the Lewisburg School in Logan County, at Caverna High School (Caverna Independent) in Hart County and at LaRue County High School.
Prior to taking over as superintendent in Logan County, Mullins served as superintendent in Garrard County for three years, giving him 10 years of experience in the district leader role.
“I’ve been blessed and very fortunate to have a lot of wonderful opportunities before in a lot of different communities,” Mullins said. “I believe my 30 years of experience in different districts and facing difficult challenges along the way has prepared me to lead this district, to be able to grow leaders at our administrative level and support our teachers as they work hard to grow students.”
Mullins also credits his early interest in education to his brother Don, who spent 30 years of his own working in Elizabethtown Independent Schools and was an educator in Kentucky for 48 years.
“My brother was a very strong and positive influence on me, encouraging me to consider education,” he said.
Now, as leader of Elizabethtown Independent, Mullins wants to create a sense of teamwork, collaboration and inclusivity.
“We want to be a school system, not a system of schools,” he said. “It’s my plan and my desire to listen to all our stakeholders – our staff, our students and our community – to make sure that we’re meeting the needs of Elizabethtown.”
Mullins said it is important to focus on building strong leaders within the school system and providing all necessary resources to teachers.
“When support is put in place, you see students grow, and that is one of the most rewarding experiences,” he said.
As happy as he is to come home, leaving Logan County is a bittersweet move for Mullins.
“The people here in Logan County have been so, so good to me and my family,” he said. “It is a great school district and I wish them nothing but the best.”
Now he is beginning a new chapter of his life in the place where it all began.
“The coming full circle is something that I know will always mean a lot to me,” he said. “Elizabethtown is a very special place that is a close, tight-knit community that values high expectations and success. I’m excited to be a Panther again.”