Hancock County Schools Superintendent Kyle Estes is stepping down from his position, effective June 30.
Estes said his wife was recently offered a leadership position in Anchorage, Alaska, and he and his family are expected to move there to join her this summer at the conclusion of his contracted year. She started her new position in early January.
Estes, who began his teaching career as a math teacher and a basketball coach at Ohio County High School following his graduation from Kentucky Wesleyan College, is a native of Hancock County.
Following his four years at OCHS, he taught math at Owensboro High School for three years before becoming the director of student services with Hancock County Schools. He remained in that position until he was hired as the superintendent there in 2012.
“It’s been a tremendous pleasure for me to serve as superintendent from the school system I graduated from,” Estes said. “It’s something I never aspired to be or to do, but I appreciate the opportunity and it’s been an experience that I would not change for anything.”
In his time as superintendent, Estes has seen several positive changes occur throughout the Hancock schools district, including an expanded partnership with Owensboro Community & Technical College.
Hancock schools also have more offerings for students interested in pursuing trades outside of high school. The district has increased those programs for students, expanding its welding and industrial maintenance opportunities and other vocational programs.
Under Estes’ tenure, Hancock County Schools also implemented its early preschool program, and expanded preschool services to be all day.
The Work Ready certification program, and the high school’s early college program that enables students to earn their associate’s degree alongside their diploma, were also created.
The district also was able to pass an additional nickel tax that will enable it to build a new middle school in the distant future.
However, education as a whole has seen some downturns in his years as superintendent.
“The political part of the job seems to become more and more dominant,” Estes said, noting that funding struggles alone make it difficult to provide opportunities for students.
“The political climate, the toxicity of that has created some barriers in communication,” he said. “Those are issues from a negative standpoint that I have seen and observed. Hopefully that can change moving forward.”
Estes said he is excited about new opportunities for he and his family in Alaska, and that he is exploring his future options.
“I have always put that in God’s hands, and he has always provided for me,” Estes said.
Hancock County Schools Board of Education Chairman Allen Kennedy did not immediately return a phone call to contribute to this story.
Bobbie Hayse, firstname.lastname@example.org, 270-691-7315