Belcher, Johnson named assistant superintendents

Superintendent Brent Roark this week announced the appointment of Bristol Belcher and Brett Johnson to assistant superintendents effective Oct. 26.

“Mr. Belcher and Mr. Johnson have worked together extremely well,” Roark said. “They have worked tirelessly to mesh our regular instruction with our virtual instruction. I saw this over the course of the summer as they worked with me daily to put our program together. I have great respect for both of them already with their knowledge of curriculum and instruction.”

Roark said the district’s principals respond very well to both.

“They have a great relationship with all of our principals and work very well with them,” he said.

Roark said he hesitated to fill the assistant superintendent positions earlier, waiting nearly five months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said during that time strong consideration was given on the direction in which the positions will best benefit the students and school district today and in the future.

Belcher and Johnson will retain their existing duties as well, he said.

“I have challenged them with improving the quality of the virtual services we hurriedly put together this summer,” he said. “It is imperative that our virtual program continues to evolve and improve for all of our stakeholders — the students, teachers and parents and guardians. Our program must better respect our staff’s time and efficiency.”

“The availability of a robust virtual curriculum option is an avenue of instruction which will need to be sustained well into the future,” Roark added. “Virtual instruction is an entirely different realm of instructional delivery for which we are now responsible.”

He said Belcher has a proven record and brings experience as a school principal and academic leadership in our district.

Belcher has worked 26 years for the district. He has a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln Memorial University, a master’s in middle school education from Union College and a Rank I in educational administration/principalship from Union college. He also has additional endorsement for supervisor of instruction at Union College and for superintendent from the University of the Cumberlands.

He served as a middle school math teacher from 1995 to 2006 and as Wallins Elementary School principal from 2006-16. He currently serves as the director of federal programs overseeing Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV, Title V and 21st Century financial monitor. In addition, he is the district assessment coordinator, CARES funding monitor, oversees textbooks and facilitates the county’s elementary and middle school academic league.

Belcher is married to Vanessa Belcher, who is a teacher at Rosspoint Elementary, and is father to Brody Belcher, who is a teacher at Cawood Elementary and Jaiden Belcher, who is an education major at the University of the Cumberlands. He is the son of Pearl and Brenda Belcher of Coldiron. He is a lifelong resident of Harlan County.

Roark said Johnson is well versed in Infinite Campus and Odysseyware. He will continue to work with administrators, teachers and staff on providing guidance on the virtual program during the Pandemic and in the future.

Johnson has been with the district for 20 years. He attended Centre College for two years and then transferred to the University of Kentucky. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance.

He also earned a bachelor’s degree in education, master’s degree in middle school education, Rank I in educational administration/principalship and a supervision of instruction certification from Union College. He also has the pupil personnel certification and superintendent certification from the University of the Cumberlands.

Johnson will continue to fulfill his existing duties, which include serving as director of pupil personnel, Local Educational Assignment Data coordinator, attendance/enrollment related issues, dropout prevention, home schools monitoring, Parent Portal/Gradebook staff usage, non-traditional days (NTI) contact, Appalachian Challenge Academy contact, No pass No drive contact, Curriculum Achievement and Assessment Team, free and reduced application management coordinator and Kentucky Excellence in Education coordinator.

He is married to Tabatha Johnson, the district’s School Food Services account manager. He has two children, Kennedy Hensley, a district vision impaired teacher, and Brett Wes Johnson, an eighth grader at Rosspoint Elementary School. He is the son of Janet Johnson and the late Bill Johnson.

Belcher and Johnson will continue to serve out of the central administrative offices at 251 Ball Park Road, Harlan.

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