Graphic reading: 2023-2024 Commissioner's Search finalists named: Buddy Berry, Robbie Fletcher, Jim Flynn

At its meeting on March 8, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) Interview Committee voted to recommend three candidates as finalists in the search for Kentucky’s next commissioner of education.

The full KBE will interview the finalists in Louisville on March 18-19, and hope to have a new commissioner named and submitted to the Kentucky Senate for consideration of confirmation by the end of the month.

The candidates include:

Buddy Berry, Ed.D.: Berry has been serving as superintendent of Eminence Independent Schools since 2010. He began his teaching career as a high school mathematics teacher in Owen County and Jefferson County.

A native of Eminence, Berry earned his doctorate in education leadership from Northern Kentucky University, a superintendent certification from Eastern Kentucky University, a master’s in instructional leadership from Bellarmine University, a master’s in secondary counseling from the University of Louisville and a bachelor’s in mathematics education from the University of Kentucky.

Robbie Fletcher, Ed.D.: Fletcher serves as the superintendent of Lawrence County Schools, a position he has held since July 2014. Prior to this role, he served as a part-time faculty member at Asbury University, and as a principal, assistant principal and mathematics teacher in Martin County.

Fletcher earned a doctorate in education and a superintendency certification from Morehead State University, a master’s in supervision and administration from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s in mathematics from Morehead State University.

Jim Flynn, Ed.D.: Flynn currently serves as the executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, a position he has held since 2019. He served as the superintendent of Simpson County Schools from 2003 to 2019. Flynn has also held positions as a high school principal in Shelby County, and served as vice principal and high school science teacher in Warren County.

Flynn holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Kentucky University, a master’s in biology and secondary education from Texas A & M University at Corpus Christi, and a bachelor’s in biology from Western Kentucky University.

KBE retained McPherson & Jacobson LLC in December to lead the search for the next commissioner. The firm has placed more than 750 superintendents and other officials in public and nonprofit organizations across the country.

Robin Fields Kinney is currently serving as interim commissioner of education until a new commissioner is named. Upon her hire, the board and Kinney agreed that she would not be considered a candidate for the permanent position. Kinney has been serving in the role since Sept. 30.