Jimmy Dyehouse is looking to be a busy man soon.
Not only is his name in the running for county magistrate of District 3 in the upcoming election, but he is set to be superintendent of Science Hill School for another three years.
“I’m happy to be back,” he said. “Tickled to death.”
Dyehouse discussed his return with the Science Hill school board during a meeting on Tuesday evening. The discussions took place in a closed executive session, so the Commonwealth Journal was unaware of what had been said, and after the session ended, board chairman Skip Norfleet , said no action had been taken in executive session and called the meeting to adjourn.
However, Dyehouse let the Commonwealth Journal know at the close of the meeting what had been discussed, essentially reaching an informal agreement with the board to return rather than retire, much like the other option Dyehouse was considering. .
The deal would extend Dyehouse’s time as superintendent of the North Pulaski County single-facility district by three years — the 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 school seasons.
Dyehouse is currently in an extension, as his original contract when he took over from Rick Walker as superintendent in 2017 was for four years. He signed a one-year contract for 2021-22 to overcome the mess presented by COVID-19 and give the board an opportunity to decide on his longer-term future this year. Prior to serving as Superintendent, he was at Science Hill for one year, 2016-2017, as Principal.
Details of terms and pay will be discussed with the board in May, Dyehouse said, which is likely when the board takes a formal vote on the matter.
“They needed to know to give them time to find someone (someone else if needed),” Dyehouse said of the start of talks with the board several months ahead of that May goal. “That’s why we had to do it so early. You have to start this research five or six months in advance.”
The ruling will have no effect on Dyehouse’s bid for tax court, he said. “Many teachers and principals, vice principals are even representatives in the state of Kentucky,” he said. “So it will just be on a much smaller, county-wide level, but it will be something that I can do with my job as a superintendent.”
In particular, Dyehouse noted that he would like to help continue to lead the school through the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19. Earlier in the meeting, the board discussed the possibility of adding more COVID-specific days off for staff (no action taken); Dyehouse said he knows of other state superintendents who quit their jobs out of frustration over the ramifications the presence of the virus has had on their districts.
Dyehouse made state news last year when his own frustration led him to call Gov. Andy Beshear a ‘liberal lunatic’ in a recorded phone message to Science Hill parents after the governor changed the policy. of the State concerning the masking of students the day before the start of classes. the current school year. Science Hill had already decided on a mask-optional policy for students and families, and the eleventh-hour mask mandate put in place by the governor put him and Dyehouse in a very public clash. As evidenced by reactions on social media, the reaction to Dyehouse was split between those who were unhappy with him and those who supported his comments.
In other Science Hill School Board business, the board approved raising the salary of graduate substitute teachers to $125 a day, to bring them more in line with other higher-paying districts. Currently, Science Hill pays locums $108 per day, less for those without a degree.