Larry Garrity joined the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) in 2022 as director of the Division of Technical Schools and Continuous Improvement in the Office of Career and Technical Education.
As a division director, he works with three area supervisors to provide support to the 50 area technology centers (ATCs) operated by the state and managed by KDE. This includes hiring, evaluations and training.
Garrity also manages the financial side of supporting the ATCs. His work impacts 1,600 ATC students, 350 teachers and 50 principals across the state.
Garrity often travels to different ATCs and like many educators, considers the students the most important part of his job. He helps students make the connections and see opportunities that are for them and “find ways to grab hold of those opportunities.”
“The best part of my job is seeing the success stories of our students,” he said. “It is about seeing how work-based learning, career and technical student organizations, earning a recognized industry certification and dual or articulated credit has helped them create an exciting pathway to their future.”
Prior to joining KDE, Garrity pursued teaching.
“That’s the only reason why I’m doing this, because my high school teacher created that experience for me,” said Garrity. “He created that vision for me to see where I could go.”
A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles Harbor College and East Los Angeles College, Garrity moved from California to Kentucky where he taught drafting for 11 years at Webster County Area Technology Center.
After being inspired by the principal at the ATC he worked at, Garrity got his administrative degree at Murray State University and worked as a principal at Webster County Area Technology Center for 12 years.
He then worked as a West Region ATC Supervisor for three years.
“I never had any intentions of going this far. I was just going to be a teacher,” he said. “But 26 years later, here I am.”
When Garrity is not helping provide work-based opportunities for students, he spends time with his wife and five children in Madisonville.
He also takes time to read leadership books from authors like John Gordon and John Maxwell.
“Work can get mundane sometimes,” Garrity said. “I love reading leadership/development-type quotes because it reminds me of the ‘why’”