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New WJHS principal announced

West Jessamine High School will have a new boss when students walk through the doors this fall.

Jessamine County Schools announced March 15 Brady Thornton was hired as the new principal, taking over for the 2018-19 school year.

Thornton will fill the vacancy left by former principal Scott Wells, who left WJHS to take the position of JCS chief operations officer in October.

Thornton is scheduled to officially resume his duties at WJHS July 1.

“I am a member of this community and I believe sometimes you get to choose home and sometimes home chooses you,” Thornton said. “(For) many of you, this home chose you. You were born and bred here and you are the bedrock of this community. Sometimes, we get to choose our home, and that’s what my wife and I did several years ago when we decided we wanted to find a community for our family. We chose Jessamine County. One of the many reasons we chose Jessamine County was because we know the quality of schools and we know the key and important things that you guys do here. That’s one of the reasons we are here.”

Thornton earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Milligan College and a master’s degree in instructional leadership from Eastern Kentucky University. He has 18 years of experience in education. Having served 11 of those years in administration, most recently as the assistant principal at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Thornton also served as associate principal at Anderson County High School and as a social studies teacher at Fayette County’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

Thornton has also served in a variety of leadership roles assisting with school audits for the Kentucky Center for School Safety, overseeing facility renovations and improvements and assisting with the development of the PLD Freshman Academy.

“I believe several things are important,” Thornton said. “I believe that, one, what we do every day is important. I believe that you may not feel that from our state right now, but every day, what we do when we’re here you know that our kids need us, and our parents need us and it’s not always about the curriculum. Most of the time it is, but sometimes, they need us for other reasons.

“My job is not going to come in and turn up the apple cart and come up with a bunch of new and crazy ideas. My job is going to be to come in and challenge us to take what we’re doing and do it better. That is my goal.”

Supt. Matt Moore said the WJHS school-based decision-making council worked diligently during the new principal selection process.

“The council utilized feedback about the characteristics students, staff and families wanted to see in their next principal to select the ideal candidate to lead WJHS,” Moore said. “Mr. Thornton’s experience, skill set and attitude make him the right person for this all-important job.”

Thornton said there is only one question he feels everything should be filtered through: What is best for the children?

“That sounds simple, but that’s not always an easy answer,” Thornton said. “If we are doing every day what is best for kids, we are going to end up OK and our kids are going to end up OK.

“I’m excited about my opportunity, and I’m excited about the people we have. I’m excited about what this school could be so I’m excited to jump in and work with the team we have here.”