After nearly a year of searching for a permanent principal of Nelson County High School, Superintendent Wes Bradley announced that the NCHS SBDM unanimously hired Ben Monnett as the permanent principal beginning July 1st, 2020.
“I am proud of the hard work and patience from the NCHS site based decision making team throughout the nearly year long process. To be honest, I’m not sure we could have found a better fit anywhere in the state of Kentucky. I’m just really excited for the students, teachers, and families in our community. In the end, I think we found the best candidate to lead NCHS. Mr. Monnett was clearly a stand out and brings a good deal of success throughout his life that I expect to fully carry forward in his leadership at NCHS.”
An educator since 2013, Monnett has worked in various roles that have allowed for extensive learning. “I’m honored and humbled to have been chosen to serve as the next principal at Nelson County High School. To have the opportunity to lead a school with such a rich tradition as NCHS is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I look forward to joining the students, staff, and community in continuing to build upon this tradition and creating a legacy we can all take pride in.” Monnett added.
Monnett currently works for the Kentucky Department of Education as an Education Recovery Leader collaborating with principal teams across Jefferson County. However, his journey started as a student at Morehead State University where he originally pursued a career in sports management. In time, he found that his true passion was in serving others and finding ways to impact their lives for the better. A career in education quickly became the obvious choice for Monnett and he obtained a degree in special education from MSU. Beginning his career as a special education teacher at the middle and high school levels, Monnett went on to obtain a masters degree in Educational Technology (MSU) and an Educational Specialist certificate in School Administration (UK) before transitioning into a role as a high school administrator.
Importance of Family
Monnett currently resides in Morehead with his wife, Lauren, and their two children, Kayden (8) and Preston (5). Lauren is originally from Lexington and currently owns and operates Morehead Dance Academy where she offers instruction in ballet. Kayden is a 3rd grader who enjoys participating on the academic team and in her first role in the high school theatre production. Preston is completing his first year in pre-school and enjoys playing soccer and competing in wrestling. The Monnett’s are excited to join the Nelson County community and become active participants throughout the community and school system.
Family was a recurring theme throughout the interview process for Monnett. Growing up in Ohio, Monnett comes from a large family, with five siblings. Monnett attended Beavercreek High School in Beavercreek, Ohio where he was a student leader and athlete competing in baseball and basketball.
Monnett plans to make collaboration and community building a hallmark of his leadership. Through the development of relationships and consistent communication with school and community stakeholders, he wants to build a shared vision for success that everyone can work together in achieving. “I truly believe that we must take care of the individual above everything else. As we work to build relationships with the students and community members of the Cardinal family, we will develop a culture of care and support that will lead to high levels of student achievement.”
Listening & Learning
One of the first steps for Monnett in the weeks ahead is the beginning of listening and learning conversations with staff members, students, and families. While these conversations may occur virtually or over the phone, we are hopeful that as social distancing requirements shift in the months ahead, one-on-one and small groups will start to form in order to begin planning for the 2020-2021 school year.
Originally, a celebration and reception for the new principal was scheduled for Thursday, March 19th at 4:30 PM in NCHS Media Center however those plans were altered in light of the current community health crisis across the United States. The official meet and greet is to be determined. Mr. Monnett will begin meeting with community leaders in the next few weeks and officially begin his role July 1st, 2020.