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The nominee for Kentucky's top education position pledges to 'honor the trust' put in him

Kentucky’s top education post is now filled – pending a vote by state lawmakers.

Three finalists had been recently unveiled, but two – Kentucky Association of School Superintendents head Jim Flynn and Eminence Superintendent Bud Berry – confirmed to the Herald Leader this week they were not chosen for the position.

The final candidate standing: Lawrence County Superintendent Robbie Fletcher.

Fletcher began his career as a math and science teacher, eventually advancing to the leading post at Lawrence County Schools. Fletcher told a KBE call announcing his promotion to state education commissioner. how he views his role

"I sincerely believe there is no greater compliment, no greater honor, no greater responsibility, than when a parent or guardian allows another person to be a part of their child's life," he said.

Fletcher will be the first education commissioner to need a vote of approval from the Republican-led state Senate.

A Republican member of the Kentucky Senate’s Education Committee says he’s encouraged by the selection, signaling good prospects for the nominee.

Bowling Green Rep. Mike Wilson is sounding positive about the nomination, saying in a statement that Fletcher is “from right here in Kentucky and is very familiar with the needs of students across the commonwealth.”

Reactions to the nomination in the Senate carry more weight, now that a new state law requires the body lend its approval to the education commissioner nominee.

Wilson’s statement also took a swipe at the previous commissioner, Jason Glass, who found himself at the center of election-year politics in 2022. Glass was a vocal opponent of Senate Bill 150, a wide-reaching measure that affects how public schools are allowed to accommodate transgender students. He called SB 150 “dangerous and unconstitutional.”

Wilson described Glass as having focused “far more on his personal political views” than educational outcomes.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.