Retired administrators Thompson, Simmons back on the job
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

Mary Ellen Simmons has joined Russellville Independent Schools as the interim director of special education. She assumed her duties recently and will work for the remainder of the 2010-2011 school year. She takes over for long-time administrator/teacher Kaye Wilkins, who retired at the
end of January.
Simmons was the special education director for Warren County Schools for the past nine years. She retired last June after 33 years in Special Education. She began her career as a special language pathologist and pursued her Masters and Rank I degrees from Western Kentucky University. She provided training and technical assistance to educators of special needs students in 31 districts when working for the Simpson County Regional Training Center.
Simmons notes Instructional Discipline, Conflict Resolution and Adult-Child Interactions as her favorite aspects of the learning environment. Her guiding phrase is “Any behavior we want to see in our classrooms, we must teach it.”
Kaye Wilkins was a highly respected teacher and administrator in the Russellville system. A 1971 graduate of RHS, she served as principal of Stevenson Elementary School before becoming a Central Office administrator. She filled most of the roles in the office under several superintendents.
The LoJo
A veteran administrator in the Logan County School System has returned to a position of responsibility on a part-time basis. Jim Thompson is serving as director of transportation and facilities for the system following the retirement of Mike Hurt in the late fall.
A graduate of Adairville High School, Thompson taught and coached at Chandlers before becoming the first girls basketball coach when Logan County High School was created. He was very successful in that role until he gave up coaching to become principal of Chandlers Elementary School. He later moved to the Central Office where he worked in his current position until his retirement in 2004.
Thompson says he is working about two and a half days per week and has committed to stay in this position for at least a year and a half.
He’s been busy in both roles. As director of transportation, he has dealt with the worst winter weather situations in recent memory. In facilities, he has been involved in planning for some major upgrades to athletic facilities at Logan County High School. The next six months could involve intensive work on those projects.
Mike Hurt came into the Logan County schools as vocational agriculture teacher at Auburn High School. When LCHS was created with former Auburn principal Howard Gorrell as principal of the new school, Hurt became the first principal of the expanded high school/middle school and was involved in the construction of the new building. He continued as the school’s principal until the middle of the last decade when he was promoted to the Central Office.

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