Michael Allen (Mike) Armstrong has been chosen unanimously by the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) Board of Directors to become the next executive director of the organization.
KSBA is Kentucky’s largest organization of local elected officials with membership of all 173 public school districts.
Armstrong, 59, of Louisa, is in his fifth year as superintendent of the Lawrence County school district. A native of Marietta, Ohio, he has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from the University of Kentucky and is on track to receive his doctorate in educational leadership from Morehead State University in 2015.
KSBA President Durward Narramore of the Jenkins Independent school district Board of Education said Armstrong’s varied expertise developed in a 33-year career in education and his passion for high quality teaching and learning sold the association’s 27-member board.
“Mike’s resume is impressive from his beginning as a special education teacher to his development as a principal, administrator with the Kentucky and Ohio departments of education and his work leading the Lawrence County system,” Narramore said. “He also brings to our management team the background of an elected official (with) leadership roles. In short, KSBA is gaining a chief administrator of tremendous past practice and just as promising potential to grow our organization’s services to local school leaders.”
Armstrong, a former city councilman and mayor of Louisa, also has served with the Lawrence County Education Association, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, the Kentucky Council for Exceptional Children and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.
Armstrong received his second four-year superintendent’s contract from the Lawrence County Board of Education in 2013. He began his education career in 1978 as a special education teacher at Lawrence County High School. He has worked in the district as middle school principal and director of special education and preschool programs.
For a decade, he managed state programs for special needs children at the Kentucky Department of Education (1996-2002) and Ohio Department of Education (2002-2006). He spent a year as a consultant to the Supreme Education Council in the Arab emirate of Qatar, helping that nation’s schools develop classroom services to students with disabilities.
Armstrong, who will become KSBA’s executive director on July 1, said he felt all of his career work to this point will aid him in the responsibilities to lead a statewide service and advocacy organization.
“This is a special opportunity for me because KSBA is so well respected for its high-quality services and the team of outstanding professionals who are available around the clock, not just to school board members and superintendents, but also to other district leaders and education partners in other organizations,” he said. “I’ve had many chances over the years to work for student success, and I think being part of the KSBA team will just allow me to continue what I’ve been doing in Lawrence County to a statewide level.”
Armstrong becomes the first superintendent to lead KSBA, although Interim Executive Director David Baird also is a former superintendent. Baird will resume his duties as associate executive director after the transition. William G. Scott, KSBA’s previous executive director, retired in 2013.
Armstrong signed a four-year contract at a starting salary of $125,000 in addition to all benefits available to other employees of the nonprofit association.
Established in 1936, KSBA provides school districts and local boards of education with professional development training, legal consultation, governmental advocacy and numerous other services.