Althea Hurt is the new District Director of Human Resources following the retirement of Jennifer Wooley.
“I am very excited to be joining the Bullitt County Schools family!” Hurt said. “I have heard great things about the students and employees and have already been made to feel welcomed.”
Hurt invested the past five years of her educational career as Meadow View Elementary School Principal in Hardin County. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Principal at North Hardin High School for five years.
Before taking on administrative responsibilities, Hurt worked as Math Facilitator and a Fourth Grade Teacher at Walker Intermediate School in Fort Knox. She has also taught third grade for the Department of Defense Schools in Germany and fifth grade in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“When I was in the classroom, there came a time that I wanted to make a greater impact on education,” Hurt reflected. “I then went into administration. As a principal, I begin to feel that same itch…the time had come for me to seek opportunities to make a greater impact on more students and adults working in education.”
Hurt believes one of the greatest impacts on student success is putting a qualified, effective teacher in front of students.
“What a great opportunity for me, as Director of HR, to influence the recruitment and retention of great educators,” she said.
Moving forward in education is exhilarating but bidding farewell to a school where one planted such deep roots is bittersweet. Hurt said she will miss the students at Meadow View the most.
“I receive a few hundred hugs each day and I will miss those smiling faces and little ones coming to school eager to tell me about their weekend and everything else that happened in their houses when they were not at school,” she said. “I will greatly miss the kids coming to share their successes with me and waiting for my smile and congratulatory hug!”
Hurt earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Southern University, a post graduate teaching certification and Rank II from Northwestern State University in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree and Rank I in Educational Administration from Western Kentucky University.
She brings work experience from Germany, Colorado, Louisiana and Fort Knox to her new role Bullitt County Schools.
“I have worked in areas with varying degrees of diversity, from farm counties to foreign countries,” she explained. “I have seen many sites that most people only see in books, and I can relate to many different family dynamics. I have learned what draws folks to areas and what keeps them happy in their employment.”
Hurt said she also knows and understands the support needed for employees to be able to effectively do their jobs and also balance their family lives.
“My years of experience in administration have helped me to understand the ins and outs of human resources as it relates to the school system,” she affirmed.
Hurt’s short term goal is to learn the new position and to be effective in recruiting and retaining great employees for the Bullitt County Schools system. Her long term goal is to be settled into the community and increase her experience and education.
“I also want to greatly contribute in Bullitt County being the top performing district in the state,” she said.
Let’s call it like it is…school districts in proximity to Jefferson County lose good professionals to a higher paying district.
How does a district deal with this challenge?
“Potential employees need to know what support systems they will have when coming to a school system,” Hurt said. “Time outside of the school day is very important, especially when recruiting new, inexperienced teachers. Being able to showcase and advertise students’ accomplishments and the great things going on in the district would help to retain effective employees. Also, highlighting community support systems would be beneficial when it comes to retention.
School personnel work long hours and days when students are away from class. It is not always easy to juggle career and an often busy family life.
“I am strong in my faith and have a great family and church support system,” she said. “I also make sure to balance work and making time for myself. Going to the gym and the spa are a regular part of my self-care routine.”
Her favorite quote is - Your background and circumstances don’t determine your future.
Hurt and her husband, James, who retired from the Army after serving for 20 years and is currently the Small Business Liaison on the Fort Knox Army Base, have three children, Johnne’, James III, and Jaylon, who are graduates of the Hardin County School system with their youngest also being a graduate of the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University.
The couple love spending time with their grandson, Ayden, and granddaughter, Luna, as well as traveling on weekends.