Livingood named new Grant Co. superintendent

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By Bryan Marshall

From maintenance worker to superintendent, Ron Livingood has worked his way to the top of the Grant County School District.

The 53-year-old Crittenden man was named superintendent April 20, replacing a retiring Michael Hibbett.
Livingood received a four-year contract, beginning July 1, worth $116,197 annually.

“It is quite a blessing to consider that I will have the responsibility as a superintendent of this district,” said Livingood. “When I consider what great leaders have been here as superintendents, it is quite humbling for me. God has surely blessed me.”

Grant County Board of Education Chair Richard Bredenberg said he looked forward to Livingood’s leadership as he continues to advance the educational achievements of the district.

“We were very fortunate to have had 25 qualified candidates – five of whom were interviewed, and three who made final consideration,” Bredenberg said. “We believe Mr. Livingood brought to the table a total package of skills and experiences that met our specific needs at this time.”    

Livingood started as a maintenance worker and substitute bus driver for Grant County Schools in 1978.

He began his teaching career at Grant County High School in 1985, where he served as Choral Music and Band Director until 1991.

Livingood then stepped into an administrative role, serving one year as principal at Gallatin County High School, 14 years at Grant County Middle School and the past five years as principal of Pendleton County High School.

His more than 25 years of educational experience has prepared him for this moment, said Livingood.

“I believe that the primary instructional leaders in the district should be the principals,” he said. “There is a tremendous amount of work that they do. It is important to bring the experience as building level principal to the job of supervising and developing younger principals. Secondly, I have had the responsibility as chairing the Site Based Councils for 20 years. I believe that in a 20-year-period I have learned all the wrong ways to do things.

Hopefully, principals can learn from my mistakes and grow as leaders.”

As Livingood ushers in his tenure as superintendent, he will have the task of opening the nearly $10 million Career and Technical Center at Grant County High School for the 2011-12 school year.

The center will provide an opportunity to address college and career readiness, said Livingood.

“As you look at the skills necessary for college and career readiness, they are closely aligned,” he said. “The new vocational/ technical center is an idea that is ahead of its time. Mr. Hibbett and the Grant County Board of Education are to be commended for their forward thinking. When you consider that kids can get quality technical, vocational training in Grant County without wasting instructional time riding a bus for one hour each day you know that we are being efficient with our instructional time.”

Livingood was raised in Pendleton County, then attended Eastern Kentucky University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education in 1981, his Masters in Music Education in 1984 and his Rank 1 in Education Administration in 1991.

His Superintendent Certification was earned at Xavier University.

Livingood and his wife, Alane, have been married for 28 years and have made their home and raised their four sons in the Crittenden area.

Joel, now 26, and Josh, 24, are each serving in the military – Joel at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri, and Josh at Mayport Naval Base.

Their two younger sons, Jonathan and Jared, are currently students at Eastern Kentucky University.

As he prepares for his new challenge, Livingood said he wants to get to know all the new people and see all the familiar faces to build a positive rapport with all staff.

“We need to establish an academic focus that is kid centered and that provides students the opportunity to meet college and career readiness benchmarks,” he said. “Focusing our resources to help kids get to readiness standards will be a priority.”