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 for 23 years in Fayette County Public Schools. Prior to becoming a principal, Ms. McLaughlin taught kindergarten through fourth grade at Southern and Rosa Parks elementaries, was a literacy coach at Maxwell and professional staff assistant at Harrison. She acknowledges that being principal at Southern is her best experience yet.

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 staff believes all students can achieve at high levels. The staff prides itself on the close relationships built with students and families and they work tirelessly to provide the supports they need. The school recognizes and celebrates student success on a daily basis from academic success to being a good friend. Southern’s staff is incredibly talented and deeply devoted to success for all students.

Ms. McLaughlin grew up in Madisonville, 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 in kindergarten and a close-knit family. When not at school or working, she enjoys entertaining family and friends, cooking, music, and traveling.