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UCS Superintendent Not Chosen for Job in Louisville, KY

The new superintendent of Kentucky's largest district will be Donna Hargens, not Christine Johns.

Utica Community Schools Superintendent Christine Johns will not be leaving the district–at least for now.

The Jefferson County Public Schools District in Louisville, KY, announced the new superintendent of the state’s largest district will be Donna Hargens.

Johns and Hargens were chosen as the top two finalists for the job. Last week, both women appeared before parents in a public forum, and after a meeting this week, the JCPS Board of Education unanimously voted in Hargens, according to Fox 41.  She will replace JCPS Superintendent Sheldon Berman, whose contract was not renewed.

Hargens, 53, is the chief academic officer for the Wake County Public Schools, a district with 143,000 students in Raleigh, NC. She has served as interim superintendent and deputy superintendent in the district.

Johns, 45, has been the superintendent at UCS, a district with about 30,000 students, since 2006. Before then, she was the deputy superintendent at Baltimore County Schools.

During a contentious UCS Board of Education meeting Monday, where the board ultimately approved a budget for next year that would eliminate winter and spring athletics for seventh- and eighth-grade students, a parent snidely asked Johns how her job interview in KY went. UCS Board of Education President Carol Klenow asked the parent to stay on topic.

UCS Watchdog June 17, 2011 at 10:43 AM
What a huge disappointment for UCS that she wasn't chosen for the Louisville job. Its nice how the UCS Board extended her contract for 3 years while it was known that the overwhelming majority of employees and the community can't wait until she leaves. If there wasn't so much apathy in the community it would be nice to get a recall petition going. Budget problems or not, it would be nice to have a leader instead of a dictator - especially one that is committed to this community.
Jim June 17, 2011 at 01:57 PM
I think it was immature for the attendee to make a comment about Dr. John's interview process. I have (had) two children grow up in the UCS system and have been very pleased with the curriculum and overall quality of personnel. I have had a few concerns over the years such as: When the new curriculum for the 2011 graduation class was implemented, I though they should have prepared the early grade levels with what type of math and science classes they COULD have taken in middle school to be able to better meet the goals at graduation. I also did not like some of the "party line" union rhetoric about what our State Government is "doing to our schools". The Governor is only doing what the majority of the people want; requiring that we all get our act together, leveling the playing field, to make this a great State again. I do not know Dr. John's ultimate, personal goals, but I do appreciate her drive and acheivements.
Jackie June 18, 2011 at 02:13 AM
My guess is your students were largely A.J. (before Johns). I was pleased with the quality of education my older children received, but I work in the district and see so much behind the scenes stuff, it makes me sick. The push for AP classes has done nothing but lower the standards, so that what is AP now was regular class curriculum a few years ago. The pullout programs are decimating the quality of the regular classrooms and sucking money down. The fine arts are being gutted at every level, despite the fact that the voters approved a millage several years ago to add fine art wings to many of the elementary schools. It makes me want to cry to see what we have become under Dr. Johns leadership.
gina June 19, 2011 at 01:59 PM
If parents want to see a change, they need to show up AT EVERY BOARD MEETING, draw media attention, and demand a recall of the BOARD PRESIDENT that supports Dr. Johns and her endevors to destroy UCS. Neither one has an invested interest and both are self-serving. Dr. Klenow is the superintendent of Madison Publics schools and makes close to $200,000, did OUR taxpayers dollars pay for her specialized training at the Aspiring Superintendent Academy that she sent through? Makes one wonder. Furthermore, the community should be questioning how much is SPENT on the PSAT testing to identify AP potential....now that she didn't get the job- what will she do to UCS to build her resume next?
Dennis September 13, 2011 at 04:45 AM
We should learn from the unanimity of JCPS' decision. Listen closely, it speaks volumes.
a worker February 26, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Dr Christine Johns and the Utica BofE.... Failed leadership at it's finest.
Janet McMillan March 12, 2013 at 05:32 AM
I have personally spoke with child advocates, teachers, and a high school principal who tell me so many people want a piece of her they cannot believe she still has a job. That is a direct quote. Get rid of her along with Snyder and Klenow.
Janet McMillan March 12, 2013 at 05:43 AM
‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’
a worker June 26, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Does anyone know why the newest board member"(Ken Krolczek?) decided" to b vote in favor of outsourcing the school custodians?? Rumor has it.... because if he decided to vote against it the superintendent would outsource the councling department....Hmmm ....isn't his wife a coulcilor?. Way to go Ken.... Way to support the little guy. Ihope you are happy with GCA.

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