Glasgow Daily Times
When Patricia Hurt took over as superintendent of Metcalfe County Schools, she faced a daunting task. The most pressing at the time was figuring out a way to replace four aging schools — three elementaries and the middle school.
It was clear the district did not have the money to build four new schools, so the most reasonable approach was to consolidate schools. That was going to be a difficult task to accomplish because two of the elementaries were located in outlying communities of Metcalfe County — Center and Summer Shade. The people of those communities were not going to be pleased with a push to shutter the schools and they weren’t when the plan was eventually announced.
The second problem was that the tax base for the school district had been eroded by the loss of jobs and industry. The only way to accomplish the task of replacing the older school buildings was to combine increased revenue locally with aid from the state.
Through Hurt’s leadership and cooperation from the elected officials, the board members, Metcalfe County will open a new middle school next month, and next year there will be a new elementary school. The district will have all of its students in a central location in Edmonton at the heart of the county.
Along the way, Hurt has also improved the educational outlook of the district. After having suffered through being a persistently underperforming district, the educational outcomes of future Metcalfe countians has grown.
Metcalfe Board of Education Chairman Joey Shive told the Daily Times that thanks to Hurt, the school district is in a better place both fiscally and academically.
It certainly is and now she can enjoy retirement.