James Flynn, superintendent of Simpson County Schools, has been selected as the 2015 Kentucky Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA).
Flynn was presented with the award Nov. 21 in a surprise ceremony at Franklin-Simpson High School that included faculty, staff, school board members and KASA staff members. He will now compete for the National Superintendent of the Year Award, to be given by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) in February, and he will also participate in the AASA’s National Conference on Education in February.
“Dr. Jim Flynn is a dynamic, inventive and creative leader. Jim is willing to share his superintendent knowledge and is the go-to individual among his colleagues,” Boone County Superintendent Randy Poe, the KASA’s 2013 Superintendent of the Year, said in a statement.
Flynn was selected for his devotion to improving achievement levels for all students. Under his leadership, the district has had multiple successes with programs targeting at-risk populations, has been a front-runner in the Superintendent Professional Growth and Evaluation System (SPGES) and has achieved a pervasive focus on nurturing the district’s learning culture.
He leads a district in which 62 percent of the students qualify for free/reduced-price school meals. The district has been rated as proficient, with almost 98 percent of its 2014 graduates deemed college- and/or career-ready – compared with a 62.3 percent rate statewide – and 100 percent of its alternative school graduates certified as college- and/or career-ready.
Milli McIntosh, the Simpson County Schools human resources director who nominated Flynn, said Flynn is known among his colleagues for his devotion to what is right for kids and has instilled that value in his staff.
“His unwavering commitment to do ‘what’s right’ and ‘what’s best for the children’ is observable by every decision he makes, and at the same time, his commitment touches all around him … evidenced by the fact that his beliefs become the beliefs of others,” McIntosh said.
Flynn has been the superintendent at Simpson County for 11 years. He began his administrative career as dean of students at Corpus Christi Academy in Texas and later was an assistant principal in the Warren County Schools and principal at Shelby County High School.
He is a faculty member and mentor for the KASA leadership series for new superintendents, and was president of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents in 2013-14 and was appointed by the Kentucky General Assembly to serve on the Local Superintendents Advisory Council.
A 1982 graduate of Bowling Green High School, Flynn earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Western Kentucky University, a master’s degree in secondary education/biology from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and a doctor of education degree from Northern Kentucky University.
“Jim understands that great leadership begins when you get back to the basics,” KASA Executive Director Wayne Young said. “He has worked diligently to create a school culture that inspires initiative, exploration and service to others, and that culture is paying dividends back to the community every day through the entry of life-ready citizens.”