Acting Superintendent Marlene Helm
Marlene Helm, whom the Fayette County Board of Education appointed in December 2014 as acting superintendent, began her career teaching sixth-grade science and reading at Breckinridge Elementary. After six years as a director of elementary curriculum in Scott County, she returned to FCPS and during the next 14 years held a variety of administrative positions, including personnel supervisor, director of state and federal programs, director of Early Start (KERA Preschool), assistant to the superintendent, affirmative action officer, and director of elementary schools. She also served as interim in FCPS before Stu Silberman became superintendent.
Helm has most recently served as a branch manager with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and a lead evaluator for AdvancED. Her experience also includes service as commissioner of Social Services for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, secretary of the Education, Arts and Humanities Cabinet for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and interim dean of the College of Education at Eastern Kentucky University. She has also taught graduate teacher education courses at Georgetown College and the University of Kentucky.
Helm’s contract with FCPS runs through June 30, 2015, but the school board can extend it if a permanent replacement for Tom Shelton is not ready to start July 1.
The school board identified five priorities for Helm:
- Improve culture, climate and communications,
- Maintain a focus on student achievement,
- Address the issues in the recent state audit,
- Continue the process of redrawing school attendance boundaries, and
- Move forward on the budget and staffing allocation efforts.
Helm's initial email to FCPS employees:
I’m thrilled to be rejoining the Fayette County Public Schools family, and I look forward to working in tandem with you to move the district forward and ensure our every effort and focus is on enhancing student achievement. I fondly remember my early days as a teacher at Breckinridge Elementary and the pride I felt to be a part of a world-class school district like FCPS. It’s an honor to again be a part of this team and have an opportunity to build on that legacy. My work will begin immediately with visits to schools and district departments to learn from you – the dedicated employees in our district. I will approach this role with tenacity and a sense of urgency. My focus will be on improving that which needs to be better, and helping to craft a new vision for persistent areas of concern and challenge. You are the experts and I will be counting on your insights, suggestions and ideas as we work together for the good of all students.