A new school year calls for new agendas and goals. That is the case for Burgin principal Chris LeMonds and new appointed Superintendent, Will Begley. Burgin Independent Schools started their academic year on Wednesday, Aug. 2, and it was a success, according to LeMonds. “It’s been a smooth transition, probably the smoothest since I’ve been here,” said LeMonds. “The staff was really prepared coming off a short summer.”
LeMonds is in his fourth year at Burgin, making the move from Boyle County. Inside Burgin Independent over the summer, there might not have been a lot of room to maneuver. Maintenance staff did a lot of upgrading to the school building and everyone in the Burgin school system is excited for the new renovations. A lot of painting was done around the school, with the front hallway to the administrative offices. “It had not been painted in a long time,” he said. “It was a main hallway in our offices so we got that up to date.”
Tuition has also been added for this upcoming school year. Burgin was named a distinguished school, and hopes to stay that away amidst of changes around the school. Aside from the business aspect of things, school pride was mentioned a lot by both LeMonds and Begley. Burgin has around 520 kids for the 2016-2017 academic year, adding nearly 20 students over the summer.
LeMonds and Begley emphasized welcoming new kids to Burgin and making them feel at home, while still maintaining a small-school feel. Having a front office who is willing to accommodate anyone who comes plays a big role with the students and staff. “I think parents feel comfortable coming to the school and talking to our staff in the front office,” said LeMonds.
LeMonds also talked about the new staff at Burgin this year. Leslie Turner is the new reading recovery teacher, Ashley Booker is the new fourth and fifth grade science teacher and Travis Kern is the new guidance counselor. He returns to Burgin, from Danville, after coaching here a few years ago. Kern returns to Burgin after working in Danville for a few years.
Superintendent Begley always wanted to end his career as a superintendent and Burgin has given him a great opportunity. “I’ve been fortunate to live in the same community and Mercer County my whole educational career,” said Begley. “I’m closer to home now and I do not have to relocate my family.”
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of The Harrodsburg Herald.