Mr. Rob Clayton was named the Kentucky 2023 Superintendent of the Year (SOY) by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA). The Superintendent of the Year Award recognizes and honors Kentucky’s superintendents for the contributions they make every day advocating for public education, our children and our future. Mr. Clayton was surprised with the award at the KASA Annual Leadership Institute held in Louisville, Kentucky.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized as Kentucky’s Superintendent of the Year and although this may be an individual award, it actually reflects the combined effort, expertise, and commitment of all 3,000 TEAM WCPS employees who are truly committed to our students and their families. When you surround yourself with remarkable people, success is almost inevitable. Words cannot accurately express my sincere appreciation to our current and former Board members and employees, along with our community partners, who have made Warren County Public Schools a special place for students to learn, teachers to teach, staff to work, and for parents to send their children to receive excellent educational opportunities,“ said Mr. Clayton.
Mr. Clayton has been superintendent of Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) since 2013. WCPS is the 4th largest and fastest growing public school district in Kentucky. In nine years as superintendent of WCPS, he has supervised a 25% growth of WCPS students to almost 18,000 students (pre-K through grade 12) representing 103 different languages spoken and 89 nationalities. As a growth district, more than $200 million of capital improvements have been made under Mr. Clayton’s leadership, including three new elementary schools and major athletic renovations at all four high schools. Under his tenure, the district has grown its workforce to almost 3,000 employees as they serve the district’s 15 elementary schools, four middle, four high schools and five alternative schools. WCPS is the third largest employer in Bowling Green and Warren County.
Mr. Clayton was also an integral leader as WCPS began the journey of implementing Franklin Covey’s Leader in Me program, recording the state of Kentucky’s first Lighthouse Certification school in 2014 (the highest attainable standard). Currently, the district has ten schools that have received this highly regarded certification.
In 2016, Mr. Clayton also oversaw the establishment of the state of Kentucky’s first international high school, Geo International High School, which has since graduated over 250 students. In addition, under his leadership, WCPS opened the first Computer Science Immersion Elementary School in Kentucky, established the Beacon Virtual Academy and Jackson Academy Alternative Elementary schools, and has established the state of Kentucky’s most energy-efficient school district since 2021 through the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program.
Mr. Kerry Young, the Chairman of the WCPS Board of Education, stated, “During Mr. Clayton’s tenure, he has led our District with exemplary integrity and professionalism. While he has mentored new principals and leaders in Warren County, growing their leadership capacity, he has also mentored superintendents across the state as he is a true believer in lifelong learning and continued growth. In addition, under his tenure, Warren County Public Schools has further developed strong community partnerships with local industries and employers, regional postsecondary education institutions, nonprofit organizations and community leaders as Team WCPS works to expand opportunities for all students.”
Dr. Jim Flynn, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, stated, “Mr. Clayton received a bronze eagle sculpture, a scholarship for a Warren County high school senior, a commemorative ring, and travel reimbursement to and from the AASA National Conference on Education. He now moves on to compete with other state winners to become a finalist for the National Superintendent of the Year Award, given by AASA in 2023.”
Mr. Clayton is a proven leader in the Bowling Green/Warren County community and across the state and nation as he holds many professional memberships and leadership roles such as the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS) Executive Board President, American Association of School Administrators Governing Board, Vice-President of the Council for Better Education, Past Chair of Green River Regional Educational Cooperative Board of Directors, Former Executive Vice-President of Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute for School Principals Advisory Board, Bowling Green/Warren County Chamber of Commerce Strategic Planning Committee, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents New Superintendent Faculty Member, South Central Kentucky United Way Board of Directors and Allocations Committee, Kentucky School Board Association and Kentucky Association of School Administrator member.