Meet the Principal

Phone: (859) 381-3541


Degrees and Certifications:

BA in Elementary Education, Transylvania University MA in Elementary Education, Georgetown University Rank I and National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist Educational Specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership, University of Kentucky

Ms. Leigh Ann McLaughlin

Ms. McLaughlin has guided Southern Elementary since July 2010 and has served Fayette County Public Schools for almost 30 years. Prior to becoming a principal, Ms. McLaughlin taught kindergarten through fourth grade at Southern and Rosa Parks elementaries, served as Literacy Coach at Maxwell Spanish Immersion Program, and Assistant Principal at Harrison Elementary. Becoming the principal at Southern Elementary has been the best part of her career.

In addition, Ms. McLaughlin is a trained facilitator for the National Institute for School Leadership, and she helped launch the districtwide principal cohorts. She serves on various committees at the district level and considers professional learning experiences as one of her passions.

Ms. McLaughlin wants others to know Southern Elementary is an amazing place to learn and work. “We are deeply invested in building positive relationships with students and families because we know it is a critical piece of education. We believe all students can grow and achieve at very high levels given the right circumstances.” The school recognizes and celebrates student success, diversity, and belonging on a daily basis which contributes to the positive culture and climate in the school. 

Ms. McLaughlin grew up in Madisonville, Kentucky where she was actively involved in her school and church communities. College years led her to Lexington, where she has lived since 1990. Ms. McLaughlin has a son, Grayson and a close-knit family. When not at school or working, she enjoys entertaining family and friends, cooking, music, and traveling.