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Clark named superintendent of Bardstown City Schools

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By Kacie Goode

Bardstown City Schools has named a new district leader, but he is a familiar face of staff and students. The district announced early Friday afternoon that Ryan Clark would be appointed as superintendent, succeeding longtime leader Brent Holsclaw, who announced in January his plans to retire.

“All the finalists we interviewed were very highly qualified, making the decision a challenging one for the board,” said BCS Board Chair Jennifer Shrewsbury in a statement to media. “However, the members of the board were unanimous in their selection of Dr. Clark as the district’s next superintendent. We feel that Dr. Clark has the right combination of focus on student achievement, vast district knowledge, and shared core values to lead the district into the future.

“Dr. Clark's demonstrated strength as a collaborative leader and focus on building positive relationships will only build on the great work of previous superintendents. The board of education believes that Dr. Clark will be a visionary leader and is a great match for our staff, students, and community.

“We want to thank our entire community for their role in the process, especially the screening committee who played such a critical role and provided us with such excellent candidates.”

Clark advances to superintendent from his current position as Bardstown Middle School principal, a role in which he has served for five years. Clark has also served at Bardstown High school and has worked in the County district as well. He brings with him 14 years of administrative experience and a doctorate in educational leadership.

In addition to having worked with the district for some time, Clark and his wife are both graduates of BCS and their children are enrolled with the district. Clark’s sister and late father also worked with the district.

In his public showcase last week, Clark made the comment about BCS’ history of long-dedicated leaders, having had only eight superintendents in its more than century-long existence. Clark said he, too, was at a point in his career to provide “long-term leadership.”

In a statement later provided to The Kentucky Standard, Clark called it a great honor to be named the district’s ninth superintendent.

“It is very special to me to be taking on such an important role in a district that I hold so dear,” he said.  “I look forward to working together with our outstanding teachers and staff to continue providing the learning opportunities for our students that our community has come to expect. I am humbled by the board of education putting their faith in me to carry on our proud 110-year tradition.”

Clark will officially start July 1. With his advancement, the district will now be looking to fill the principal vacancy at Bardstown Middle.

Note: Board member Jim Roby participated in Friday's special-called meeting by phone.