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New JCPS Board Members Finish Training Before Taking Oath

Newly elected Jefferson County School Board members will finish training this week before taking office on Jan. 14.

Chris Brady will replace Larry Hujo in District 7, David Jones Jr. will replace Steve Imhoff in District 2 and Chuck Haddaway will replace Joe Hardesty in District 4. The three seasoned outgoing board members have all told WFPL they feel comfortable with their replacements and with leaving the district in the hands of Superintendent Donna Hargens, who was hired in 2011. Since November’s election, the freshmen have received training by both the Kentucky School Boards Association and JCPS staff. Under state law, new board members must have 12 hours of training each year in the first term—which consists of four years—and eight of those hours must come from the KSBA. The three have so far participated in budget, strategic planning and board policy trainings over the past few weeks and Brady says they’ll finish up this week with a seminar including an overview on superintendent evaluations. WFPL caught up with Brady who said there are some things that are hard to train. Brady points to how he felt after hearing a shooter killed 20 students and six adults at a school in Connecticut last year.  “It was traumatic for everyone. I think for teachers and educators I think this is our 9/11. I think it hit me even more now that I’m in a position to be responsible for school safety,” he said. Jones says there is a lot of information to digest, but he’s excited to get started. The real challenge for the board, he says, will be to direct as much time possible toward student achievement.  “The board devotes an awful lot of time for meetings. But I think if you get into it and look at the agendas I think you’ll find not a very high percentage of it are focused on the real drivers of performance,” he said. Jones says both outgoing and current board members have attended the training sessions.  The members-elect take office next Monday.