Hancock County selects new superintendent
The Hancock County Board of Education named current Ohio County High School Principal Robert “Robby” Asberry as the new superintendent of Hancock County Schools. He succeeds Kyle Estes whom announced his resignation earlier this year. Asberry’s contract runs through June 30, 2025.
“It is a huge honor being named the Superintendent of Hancock County Schools,” Asberry said. “It is a great district and a great county.”
Asberry said after being in administration for 13 years with the last five as the principal of Ohio County High School, he wanted to take the next step in his career. He feels the success he enjoyed as principal prepared him for this step.
“I think I have much to offer,” Asberry said. “I adapt to change well, and I like challenges and I wanted a new challenge.”
Asberry brings an impressive resume to the job. He taught math and Social Studies at the high school level before leaving the classroom for an administrative job. This year Asberry earned the prestigious Kentucky Secondary Schools Principal of The Year award. This award honors schools that possess a proven track record of preparing students to succeed in college.
On Tuesday afternoon, June 1, the Hancock County Board of Education made it official by holding a contract signing at the Central Offices. All board members in attendance approved the contract hiring Asberry. Board member Donna Quattrocchi missed the meeting due to a family emergency, but board member David Emmick said Quattrocchi supported the hire.
“I just think we made the right choice,” board member Raphael Wheatley said. “This is my first time hiring a superintendent.”
Wheatley said what made Asberry the correct choice in his opinion was the success he enjoyed at Ohio County High School. Under his tutelage, Ohio County High School recorded dramatic improvement in its achievement scores. In his first year as principal, OCHC recorded a 65.6 on the state accountability on-demand writing scores. Just three years later, 2017-2018, the school recorded a 77, and an even higher score the next year.
On the 2018-19 Junior ACT, the school finished with an ACT score of 19.1, the first year the school recorded a score above the state average. While on the Senior ACT the school recorded an average of 20.1, an increase of 1.4 points from his first year as principal. In fact, the school improved in all academic areas under his leadership.
“It will be my goal to increase student achievement and opportunities for all Hancock County students,” Asberry said. “I look forward to Hancock County being the number one district in the region.”
Hancock County Board of Education Chairperson Allen Kennedy served on the superintendent screening committee. He said the board received a number of quality applicants for the position.
“Over the last month or so we discussed a lot of people,” Kennedy said. “I really look forward to working with him.”
Kennedy said areas of improvements made under Asberry’s watch at Ohio County High School are areas of concern for Hancock County High School.
He said under Asberry Ohio County increased it college and career readiness scores, and expanded the school’s vocational education offerings. “He has done a wonderful job over there,” Kennedy said. “That was a real key for me; the experience he has had in those areas.”
Board member David Emmick thanked the screening committee for sending quality candidates for the board to interview. Emmick said he thinks the board chose the best candidate forwarded to them.
“He stood out,” Emmick said. “We had a few goals we wanted to achieve; we have some area we are struggling in and I feel he can fill those positions.”
Asberry earned his Bachelor’s in Education from Western Kentucky University. He also earned his Masters in Administration, Rank I with endorsements in Supervisor of Instruction, DPP, and Level II Administration from Western. He earned his Superintendent Endorsement Administration from the University of the Cumberlands. His first principal ship occurred at Ohio County Day Treatment. He served as principal there for three years before becoming the assistant principal at Ohio County High School. He looks forward to the challenge of being Hancock County’s next Superintendent.
“My emphasis will be on student safety, academic and transition readiness, school culture and school spirit,” Asberry said. “I believe effort, high expectations and school spirit are the biggest indicator of school success. This emphasis will increase student success and achievement.”
When current superintendent Kyle Estes resigned, the school district created a committee to review the applications for the position. Members of the committee included Certified representatives Josh Smith and Amanda Walz, Hancock County Board of Education representative Allen Kennedy, Principal representative Traci Sanders, Classified representative Greg Payne and Parent representative Ashley Holland. After the committee met and made its recommendations, the board of education then made its choice. Members of the board include board chairperson Allen Kennedy, Shane Ball, David Emmick, Donna Quattrocchi and Raphael Wheatley.
Asberry met his wife Liz in high school, and they dated for four years while he attended college, and married 24 years ago. Their youngest child Aiden graduated high school this year and plans to attend Owensboro Community and Technical College and earn his associate’s degree in welding. His daughter Avery attends Brescia University and majors in English and plans to teach in high school.
By Ralph Dickerson