Darren Doyle, story and photos:
South Edmonson Elementary has announced that Josh Long will be the new principal at the school effective no later than January 1, 2018.
The announcement comes in the wake of the upcoming departure of current Principal Jamie Woosley, who is slated to take over duties as principal at Jennings Creek Elementary, a brand new school that is in its final stages of construction.
Mr. Long is a 2002 graduate of Edmonson County High School and is the son of Annette Renfro from Chalybeate. Long earned a bachelor's degree in political science from WKU in 2007, a master's degree in Exceptional Education in 2010, and a Rank I from the University of the Cumberlands in 2012. He earned principal's certification from WKU in 2016.
Long was first hired as a special education teacher at Austin Tracy Elementary in 2009, where he remained until 2012 when he became head teacher at the Children's Crisis Center for Bowling Green City Schools. In 2015, he became a guidance counselor at Eastern Elementary in Barren County where he will remain until his SEES Principal duties begin.
"South Edmonson is a great school and Jamie Woosley has done a tremendous job," said Long. "Coming here in the middle of the school year is actually an advantage because I can see how things are going and that will make for an easier transition."
The SEES Site Based Council, who recommended the hiring of Mr. Long, was in attendance at today's announcement. Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools Patrick Waddell discussed the council and hiring process.
"We had nine quality applicants for this position. They did a great job of vetting each and every applicant," said Waddell. "As the process drew closer, the council decided on five individuals, two of which met most of the criteria we were looking for. When all was said and done, after all the interviews, after all the discussion, I've always felt like the cream rises to the top and when it came down to it, we were able to decide on one candidate."
Waddell thanked all the faculty for their patience and understanding as well as the council members throughout the process.
"We know that no candidate is perfect, but we do feel that we have the best candidate and the perfect person to take over this position," he added.
Current Principal Jamie Woosley introduced to new principal said that he was excited for Mr. Long and wanted to be an open book for Long and is looking for a seamless transition.
"We're in good shape. We're in great shape here at South Edmonson. We've got great teachers and staff members and this school is going in the right direction. Today is the first step in that smooth transition, and at this time, I'd like to introduce Josh Long."
Long said he looks forward to building great things on top of what South has already become.
"I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone. I want to be a good communicator with our parents and am eager to become involved in this community," he said.
He plans on taking various days here and there to observe different aspects of the school before the full transition is made. He said that will depend on how fast his current school can find a replacement for him.
"I'm really excited to get to know the great students at South. Growing up here, I'm sure I know many of the parents and family members of these students and I look forward to those relationships."
Long currently lives in Glasgow with his wife and seven-month old baby.