Joshua Powell Finally Signed An Agreed Order

If you missed it last week, news broke that Joshua Powell, current superintendent of Montgomery County Schools, was finally held accountable for something. For something years ago, that is.

Here’s a taste from the Mt. Sterling Advocate:

Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Josh Powell and the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board have signed an agreed order that resolve a case involving Powell.

In May of 2010, the Office of Education Accountability (OEA) issued a final report substantiating 12 of 20 allegations levied against Powell, who at the time was superintendent of Union County Schools. The OEA referred the matter to the EPSB for a possible hearing. The board then filed a notice of hearing and statement of charges and issues based on one of the allegations.

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“Powell acknowledges that … he violated both KRS 161.120 and 16 KAR 1:020, the Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky School Certified Personnel, by failing to ensure appropriate certification for all those in his employ,” the agreed order reads.

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The agreed order reminds Powell that a KRS statute states, “No person shall be eligible to hold the position of superintendent, principal, teacher, supervisor, director of pupil personnel or other public school position unless he or she hold a certificate of legal qualifications for the position.”

“As the appointing authority for a school district, it is Powell’s duty to ensure that the school district and all its employees comply with state school laws,” the agreed order adds. “The board is responsible for establishing the requirements for educator certification to ensure that every certified public school employee is properly trained and capable of performing the duties of the position. A superintendent must work not only with the best interest of students in mind, but also and always within the law.”

Powell is also subject to probationary condition.

“Powell shall submit written proof to the board that he has received professional development/training in the area of educator certification as approved by the board no later than June 1, 2014. Any expense incurred for said training shall be paid by Powell. Should Powell fail to satisfy this condition, certificate number 200102683 shall be automatically suspended until the condition is met. Powell is aware that should he violate KRS 161.120 in the future, the board shall initiate a new disciplinary action and seek additional sanctions.”

The agreed order was signed by Powell, his attorney, Michael A. Owsley, Cynthia Clay Grohmann, prosecuting attorney for the EPSB, and Cassandra Webb, chair of the EPSB. After it was signed by Powell, it was presented to the EPSB with a recommendation of approval from the board’s chief prosecuting attorney at the EPSB’s most recent meeting. It became effective Oct. 28 once approved by a majority of the EPSB and signed by the board chair.

There you have it. Powell signed an agreed order admitting that he was responsible for wrongdoing.

You can read the rest of the story for Powell’s ramblings that attempt to equate the EPSB investigation with a witch hunt, where he blames others, alleges there was no evidence (there was). We won’t post his silliness here. Because the agreed order tells you all you need to know.

Oh, and get this: That order? It didn’t come about and was not released until we started poking around and asking difficult questions. Imagine that. Powell and his folks (Terry Holliday) fought hard to keep it out of the public.

This is why Kentucky can’t have nice things.