Beginning his career in education at Harlan Independent Schools 22 years ago, Harlan High School Principal C.D. Morton was chosen as the district’s new superintendent by the Harlan Independent Board of Education at a special called meeting on Monday.
After going into executive session per KRS 61.810 (1.f), the board returned with an unanimous decision to appoint Morton to a four-year term as superintendent.
“I’m unbelievably thankful for the opportunity the board has given me — that they have trust that I can lead this district,” said Morton. “There is no doubt I love this district. I’ve been here 22 years. I think the mentor I’ve had during that time has set the bar high and done a tremendous job in preparing me to help lead this school district. The wonderful thing is we have quality people in the right places doing the right thing. We have great support from our community, our families and good quality kids and that makes a difference. I heard someone say if it’s not scary and exciting then it’s not worth doing — that’s where I’m at right now.”
Morton began teaching in the Harlan Independent School District at the elementary school level, went on to teach in the middle school, was a middle school football and basketball coach and a bus driver. He moved to central office where he was head of the transportation, technology and textbooks, career and technical education, safe and drug free schools and this year while helping as the middle school principal, the board appointed him principal at the high school after Stacy Noah resigned.
“I believe the board has made an outstanding choice for the future of the district,” said Johnson. “My experience with Mr. Morton is that he is an outstanding administrator and an even better man. The district will be in very good hands. I look forward to working with him in the transition. I have great confidence in him.”
Board member Kat Stacy said she felt the board “made a great choice in choosing Morton.” Board member Will Miller said he “felt real good about the decision.” He said he looks forward to the future, adding he believes the district will do well under Morton’s leadership.
“I can’t think of an individual more deserving than Mr. Morton,” said Joe Meadors, board chairman. “He’s a product of our community and our school system. He has deep roots in this community. His family has attended this school since the late 1930s. He knows what we’re about and what we expect for our district. I look forward to the next four years. He’ll hit the ground running and he won’t have to learn about us because he is one of us. He has that advantage. I feel like the community will be behind him and I think he’ll do a wonderful job. I look forward to working with him and I think good things will happen in the future.”
Morton and his wife, Jennifer, who is a second-grade teacher at Harlan Elementary School live in Harlan. They have three children, Ethan, Charles David and Ella.