Kinmon moves from coach to transportation director

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By Ryan Naus

Ron Kinmon is passionate about basketball and teaching.

As the principal at Eagle Creek Learning Center and head boys’ basketball coach at Grant County High School, Kinmon looked to have an impact on student’s lives.

Now, he’ll look to have an impact in a different capacity after being named the new Director of Operations for the Grant County school district. Kinmon replaces Mark Hudson, who retired after 28 years in education.

“When you get into education, it’s a career,” Kinmon said. “This was too good of a career move to pass up. It’s a nice promotion to get. It’s an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss.”

In his new job, Kinmon will be in charge of transportation, maintenance and all buildings and grounds.

Paul Bodenhamer will step in as interim principal to replace Kinmon at Eagle Creek Learning Center, Grant County’s alternative school.

“It was difficult to leave Eagle Creek because I started it in January 1997,” Kinmon said. “We started in a mobile unit behind Crittenden-Mount Zion Elementary. That was my baby and I’m going to miss the interaction with the students at Eagle Creek.”

Along with leaving Eagle Creek, Kinmon stepped down as head coach of the Grant County boys’ basketball team. For the past 15 years, Kinmon has coached at his alma mater, 11 of which he was the head coach. Joe Utter will be the interim head coach.

“To give something up like that was not easy to do and I’ll miss being around the players,” Kinmon said. “But like I tell our student-athletes, they’re students first and athletes second. As an educator-coach, I’m an educator first.”

Kinmon looks forward to the challenges that his new job will bring.

“It’s a completely different type of job,” he said. “As a principal of a building, your number one priority is the student’s education. As director of operations, I’ll be indirectly involved in the student’s educational process. It will be completely different than anything I’ve done before. It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.”

Choosing to step away from coaching basketball, Kinmon believes his decision will allow him to be more involved with his family, instead of spending nights and weekends with his team.

“My children are getting to the point where they are involved in a lot of activities,” Kinmon said. “I’ve made sacrifices in the past to coach basketball and now I hope I’ll be able to be at more of their things.”

Kinmon’s salary at his new position is $80,472 for a full year.

Kinmon was selected as the best out of six candidates because superintendent Michael Hibbett believes Kinmon’s experience as a school administrator will help him in his new position.

“When you’re looking for an administrator, you’re looking for a self-starter and someone who realizes the connection of a school bus running correctly everyday and it’s importance to the classroom,” Hibbett said. “Ron was clear on that and his experience running the alternative school put him in line to be considered for a more administratively demanding job.”