The Peaks Mill Elementary school council has chosen former Second Street School teacher Susan Robertson to lead the school when classes start next week.
Robertson and another finalist for the principal’s position addressed more than 40 teachers, staff, parents and students Wednesday night in the school library, shaking hands and answering questions before the council moved behind closed doors to make its final decision.
After about three hours of discussion, the council voted unanimously to make Robertson the school’s next principal.
“She has experience working with both students who struggle and students who succeed,” Superintendent Chrissy Jones said after the vote, pointing to Robertson’s extensive experience targeting students who need a different approach in the classroom.
“She’s student focused – we heard that over and over in her interview and the forum tonight. We think she will be a good fit for the school.”
Robertson’s first teaching job was at Hearn Elementary. She spent most of her career with Frankfort Independent Schools, beginning in 1997 as a teacher at Second Street School and later as dean of students at Frankfort High School.
When grant funding for that position ran out two years ago, she took a job with the University of Louisville, traveling the state to help schools close achievement gaps through the Academic and Behavioral Response to Intervention Project.
But Robertson says she’s ready to return to a school and her “Frankfort family,” calling this her second home.
“I’m very excited and thrilled,” she said, reached by phone this morning as she drove to Peaks Mill to get started.
“I’ve been looking for a chance to get back into a school, and knowing the tradition and the reputation of this wonderful school, I’m just thrilled that they thought I was the one to lead their school.”
Robertson plans to work with Jones and outgoing principal Beth Nickel immediately to review what’s already going on in the school.
“I feel like I’m coming into a school that already has a strong curriculum base, and what I want to do is look at what we’re currently doing and tweak it to the needs of our students,” she said.
“My goal is really to make every student, staff and parent proud and excited about Peaks Mill and to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible.”
The school council has worked at a breakneck pace to find a new principal after an announcement July 6 that Nickel would move to Central Office to serve as director of elementary schools.
Nickel will serve as one of three directors at Central Office – one each focused on Franklin County’s elementary, middle and high schools.
She led Peaks Mill since 2008, and previously from 2000 to 2003.
The council interviewed four candidates earlier this week, chosen from 23 applicants. The other finalist was Jennifer Perkins, an administrator at Arlington Elementary in Fayette County.
Robertson, a Louisville native, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kentucky.
She lives in Shelby County with her husband, Jim, a financial adviser, and their two foster sons. She said her faith, family and community are important parts of her life.
As parents, staff and students ready themselves for a new school year, Robertson wants them to know she plans to give her best every day.
“I know we face challenges in education, but we’re going to do what’s best for the students of Peaks Mill and – with the support of parents and the community – help them reach their full potential,” she said.
“It’s just wonderful to be back in Frankfort.”