Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio announced today that Kymberly “Kym” Rice has been named the new principal of the Academy @ Shawnee. Rice will begin leading the school on March 19.
“Kym is a tireless leader who is passionate about providing educational supports for students and ensuring that every child is engaged and feels a sense of belonging,” Dr. Pollio said. “She has a proven record of successful school turnaround work, and I know that great things are in store for Shawnee as she engages with families, staff and stakeholders to reimagine the opportunities available for students.”
Rice currently serves as the principal for Western Middle School for the Arts (WMSFA), where she’s worked to transform the instruction, expectations, culture and climate over the past five years. Staff and coworkers describe her as a tireless advocate for students.
“It was a difficult decision to leave WMSFA where we’ve had tremendous success, but those who know me best know that my work is a calling, and I feel led to impact the lives of even more students at Shawnee,” Rice said. “I look forward to partnering with the Shawnee community to create a new map for improvement and growth at this historic institution.”
Before leading WMSFA, Rice worked as a turnaround expert for the Kentucky Department of Education.
In Rice’s absence, assistant superintendent Michelle Dillard will work alongside retired administrator Betty Graham to oversee day-to-day operations at WMSFA until the end of the year. A new principal will be named this summer.