Returning to work in Harlan County eight years ago, Frank Shope Jr. has now moved from a special education teacher at Harlan Independent Schools to director of district-wide services and middle school principal.
“I split the job up, middle school principal half a day and I deal with technology the other half of the day,” said Shope, 31, of Baxter. “I’m also in charge of other groups, but those are the main two I’m responsible for. I have the job of taking care of discipline and the middle school teachers, making sure they have everything they need to teach our children. If there are technology issues, I have the job of solving those problems also.”
Shope said with the job of updating the school’s district-wide computer system, he stays busy juggling his time.
“I have a lot of things going on, which leads to a pretty full day,” said Shope. “I’m excited for this opportunity to serve the Harlan Independent School System in a different capacity than I was. I’m excited to give back to the school system that provided my early education and pretty much got me to where I am today. I spent 13 years here as a student and to be back, especially in this capacity really excites me.”
Shope said he feels the Harlan Independent School System is an extraordinary school system with a reputation of excellence.
“Everyone is focused on academics,” said Shope. “We want our kids to succeed and do the best they can do. We believe every student should have that opportunity and have access to a high quality education. We want to offer that and make sure every student has the opportunity to blossom into whatever they want to be.”
He said, “The middle school is the building ground where students are beginning to think about what they want to become. Hopefully, at the middle school level, we can open their eyes to the possibilities out there for them and continue to encourage them to reach for the stars.”
Shope is a Harlan High School graduate. He attended the University of the Cumberlands where he obtained his bachelor’s degree. He went on to obtain his master’s degree in principalship at Union College in Barbourville.
His hobbies include hunting and fishing. He and his wife, Lori, have one son and are expecting another child in May.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at email@example.com