April Pieper has been named director of state schools at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).
Pieper, who was named to the position on Sept. 14, most recently served as education program manager in KDE’s Office of Special Education and Early Learning.
As director of the division of state schools, Pieper will provide oversight of the operations and management of the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) in Louisville and the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) in Danville while also providing support to school leaders and working with stakeholders to improve student outcomes.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Pieper said. “I know both KSB and KSD have very rich community histories and involvement and I’m looking forward to working with them to help their students achieve their goals.”
Prior to joining KDE, Pieper taught high school English for 12 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English education, two masters’ degrees in curriculum and instruction and education administration and she completed coursework on a doctorate in educational leadership through Walden University before transferring her work to Murray State University to pursue the education specialty program.
She also earned certifications in English education (grades 7-12), supervisor of curriculum, director of pupil personnel, director of special education, school principal, district finance officer and superintendent.
Throughout her time at KDE, Pieper has worked closely with the Office of Teaching and Learning in leading statewide response to intervention work, as well as college and career readiness initiatives. She also has worked with the Office of Assessment and Accountability on college and career readiness and alternative assessment, and the Office of Career and Technical Education on career readiness measures and writing curriculum.
Pieper also has worked with the Kentucky Educational Collaborative for State Agency Children and the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education and Adult Education, now part of the Cabinet for Education and Workforce Development, to bridge the gap between PreK-12 learning and alternative programs or the transition to postsecondary education.
As part of her work, Pieper helped bring KDE’s perspective to the Kentucky Educational Collaborative for State Agency Children and Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education and toward consistent language and practices between the agencies.
Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass, who serves as superintendent of both KSB and KSD, said Pieper’s wide experience in education will serve both schools and students well.
“I am excited to have April step up and take this role,” he said. “Her background in college and career readiness, as well as in career and technical education, will be valuable as we continue working to ensure our students are well prepared to follow their dreams for life after graduation.”
Pieper believes that all students should be afforded ample experiences and opportunities to help them be successful and to meet their academic and career goals.
She said that her priority for this new position is to “work with the staff and faculty on both campuses to ensure that the students are safe, healthy and achieving at high levels.”