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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

BREAKING: Assistant Superintendent, Rita Byrd, to Retire; Replacement to be Announced

Rita Byrd. Photo credit:
Fort Thomas Independent Schools Assistant Superintendent Rita Byrd, is retiring effective July 1, of this year, a source has told

Her replacement will be Johnson Elementary Principal, Jon Stratton. A press release will be available tomorrow with more information.
Johnson Elementary Principal, Jon Stratton, with Spelling Bee Champs this past February. Photo credit:

In a letter sent to Johnson Elementary parents, Stratton said,
It is with very mixed emotions that I announce I have accepted the district position of Assistant Superintendent for Student Services.  This will be effective July 1, 2014. 
While I am very excited about this new opportunity/challenge, it is very difficult to leave Johnson.  This is such a special place.  The seven years that I have spent here have been the most enjoyable and rewarding that I have had in my career.  Your children are amazing, the staff is second to none, and you have been extremely involved and supportive.  I believe that together, we have all worked to make our school a little better and I am confident that this will continue in the future. 
Moving forward, Mr. Kirchner is meeting with our Site Based Decision Making Council today to let them know the process that will lead to the selection of a new principal for Johnson. This is his top priority and I am sure the Council will be in touch with you as they work through this process.  
Thank you for being so wonderful and for sharing your children with me.  I count myself truly blessed to have been a part of this wonderful school/community/family.


  1. Fort Thomas Schools has top notch schools and staff. Let's hope that the Johnson hiring process by the SBDM council is effective in hiring talent that is commensurate with our districts expectations. A recent hire at one of our elementary schools left them with a principal lacking basic motivational and communication skills. Without these skills, teachers, students and parents appear to have become disenfranchised at this school which can only have a negative effect.

  2. Jon Stratton will do the same exemplary job as Assistant Superintendent as he did while Principal at Johnson. Walking into the position held by the much-loved and much-respected Clay Beekley for 20 years, Jon took ownership and made the position his own, truly taking the synergy of first rate faculty, involved, demanding and supportive parents and, of course, focused students thirsty for knowledge TO THE NEXT LEVEL. In a similar fashion, I have every confidence that Jon will take on the challenge of stepping into the position of ANOTHER TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW, similarly acting with respect for our values of being RICH IN TRADITION AND FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE. Jon and Family have taken to Fort Thomas, as we have to them, over these seven years, "like peas and carrots." Good fortune to Jon in his new role. I am confident that he will exceed expectations. Finally, with an eye toward Johnson Elementary, having served with my fellow Board members to secure two Superintendents, I can say that getting the right candidate is very much NOT as easy as it looks, as it really is like a box of chocolates where you never know what you're going to get, making our success all the more extraordinary! Let us hope that equally good fortune is with Superintendent Kirchner and the School Council in securing a Principal candidate who is similarly up to the job of taking the momentum of this tremendous school community from an exemplary district the tangible steps forward, as has been done by Mr. Stratton these 7 years.