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Bolen named Educator of the Year

George Rogers Clark High School Principal David Bolen has been named the building-level Administrator of the Year by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators.

He was presented the award at KASA’s annual leadership conference in Louisville Wednesday.

The award is the highest honor the association bestows on active administrators, recognizing outstanding leadership, significant contributions to the effectiveness of the association and the respect they bring to themselves, their colleagues and their profession, according to a KASA news release.

“Mr. Bolen has transformed the culture at GRC,” Dr. Kara Davies, principal at Clark County Preschool, said. “There has been a rebirth of excellence that has spread beyond the school and throughout the community.”

Noe Crum, principal at Johnson Central High School, agreed.

“He has achieved one success after another, and has done it all with a positive attitude and willingness to tackle any challenge,” he said.

After 28 years in public education, Bolen considers the 2020 KASA award a treasured achievement, GRC’s student newspaper, Smoke Signals, reported Wednesday.

“I was shocked to find out I had even been nominated,” Bolen told the newspaper. “Colleagues from other districts completed the nomination process, and that made me feel like others recognize and value my contributions to public education.”

Bolen’s 10-year tenure at GRC has included innovative academic transformations and expansions in the areas of dual credit and career pathways, along with implementation of the Student Leadership Challenge program, the first of its kind in Kentucky, and the school’s EKU Now program that have been models for other schools, the student newspaper reported.

“When I was hired at GRC, I looked at our school through the lens of my own two daughters who were high school age. That helped me see how to craft our academic programs to meet the needs of the whole child,” the paper quoted Bolen.

Bolen oversaw the transition to a new high school campus in 2013 and the opening of its athletics facilities this year.

“I hope I have given everyone who has crossed my path something they can use in their careers and lives,” Bolen told Smoke Signals.

KASA is the largest school administrators’ group in the state, representing more than 3,200 education leaders and other interest groups, and provides numerous benefits and services to Kentucky’s school administrators. Its Leadership Awards Program is offered in partnership with American Fidelity Assurance Company.