Hopkins Co. superintendent set to retire | People
James L. Stevens, superintendent of Hopkins County Schools, announced to principals and district-level administrators today that he plans to retire no later than June 30, 2013. Stevens has been superintendent since September 2000. His 45-year career in education includes 42 years in Hopkins County as a teacher; coach; principal at Waddill Elementary School, South Hopkins High School and Madisonville North Hopkins High School; and assistant superintendent for facilities and safety.
“I’m very appreciative of the students I’ve had,” Stevens said.”I think I’ve touched a lot of lives during my career, including students, employees, parents and community members.”
His present contract does not expire until June 30, 2014. In announcing the decision, Stevens emphasized that he still cares deeply about the school district, its students and employees. “It’s just time,” he said. “There comes a time in everyone’s career and life, when it’s time to move on to the next phase.”
Accomplishments from Stevens’ time as superintendent include the implementation of all-day kindergarten, placement of a nurse in every school building through a partnership with the Hopkins County Health Department and development of School Counts!, a workforce readiness program that offers tuition support at Madisonville Community College, establishment of Family Resource Youth Services Centers in all schools, and several building renovation projects.
He has seen many changes in the education field, especially in the past 20 years. The implementation of KERA, accountability and assessment, the nickel tax for facilities and Senate Bill 1 has greatly improved education within the district and the state.
“I’m just somewhat frustrated about the requirements that are placed upon our teachers and our building-level administrators,” he said. “The lack of adequate resources, especially for programs and employee pay, is also difficult.”
Stevens praised the district’s employees for their hard work and caring attitudes.
“I’m very proud of the accomplishments of the school district,” he said. “Of course, I want to thank the community, but I also want to thank the employees. They have made a difference in my life, and I hope through my leadership positions that I have helped many students.”