Hamby, who is currently the assistant superintendent for operations and personnel, said he hopes to build on and improve on the work that McGinnis and others have done to improve the school district.
“Financially, we’re in good shape, even with budget problems around the state,” said Hamby.
Stronger academic standards will decrease the need for local students to take remedial classes once they get to college, Hamby said, adding that the district will need to look to the next 5–10 years to see what kind of classes the schools need to offer.
“We know we have a global economy,” said Hamby. “The days of … industries with low skill jobs that pay a lot of money … are gone.”
Hamby said that academic rigor leads to talented, educated individuals who will be qualified for a wider variety of jobs, and added that hopefully, an academically strong school district will attract companies that are working with Hemlock, which itself will create thousands of jobs in the area.
McGinnis and Hamby also talked about the various academic gains that students in the district have made in the last few years.
“Our scores reflect the tremendous students we have in Trigg County,” Hamby said. “We’re ranked 20th in the state and second in the region. We’re very proud of our accomplishments.”
After Hamby left, McGinnis said that under Hamby the school’s performance will continue to improve, and that Hamby will be an even better superintendent than he was, though he added that he wasn’t denigrating his own performance.
McGinnis said one of the reasons he is leaving is because “eight–10 years is enough for a school superintendent.”
McGinnis said that while he likes the idea of kids having a choice of schools, he doesn’t think charter schools are a good fit for kids here, and added the he has “always feared” school vouchers, as he believes that they undermine the public school system.
With school vouchers, private and public schools would be “competing for already inadequate dollars,” said McGinnis.
McGinnis said one of the issues the state has been dealing with is the fact that children were performing better on the Kentucky Core Content Test (KCCT) but were still lagging behind on the ACT. He said that was one of the reasons for SB 1 last year.
Earlier this year, Hamby and nine others applied for the position after McGinnis announced his retirement. Later, Hamby and two others were interviewed, and Hamby was ultimately picked.