Fayette County selects first-ever principal of Carter G. Woodson Preparatory Academy

Jocelyn Mills

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Chicago educator with Kentucky connections has been selected as the first-ever principal of Carter G. Woodson Preparatory Academy, announced Fayette County Public Schools Acting Superintendent Marlene Helm Friday.

Jocelyn Mills, who most recently served as the principal of Chicago’s Barbara A. Sizemore Academy for students in grades K-8, started her new role just before spring break. Slated to welcome young boys in kindergarten, first and second grades starting with the 2021-22 school year, Carter G. Woodson Preparatory Academy is an elementary extension of the all-male academy for middle and high school students by the same name.

- Advertisement -

To be initially housed in the historic Johnson Building on East Sixth Street, the program will feature a science, technology, engineering, and math-focused curriculum, which will be taught through the lens of African-American history and culture, using culturally responsive teaching and learning strategies. The elementary program will welcome 150 boys at the kindergarten, first, and second grade levels in August, and expand each year until it is a K-5 school.

“Ms. Mills believes that ‘schools are not just part of a community, they are what transforms a community,’” Helm said. “Her enthusiasm and sense of urgency for serving students will be a very strong addition not only to our district, but especially to this particular program.”

Mills has more than 21 years of experience in the field of education, having served as a nationally board certified high school social studies teacher, a middle school principal, a high school principal and the program manager for the Kentucky Department of Education’s District of Innovation initiative.

“Ms. Mills brings a wealth of educational experiences with her, including more than 6 six years as principal of an African-American centric school, which aligns with the lens by which the Carter G. Woodson Preparatory Academy is designed,” said Elementary School Chief Faith Thompson, who oversees Carter G. Woodson Preparatory Academy. “She is definitely a learning leader, and a leader to watch and learn from.”

Mills holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Kentucky, and a master’s degree in teaching from East Tennessee State University. She completed the Educational Leadership Program at Western Kentucky University, and received her Certificate in Urban School Leadership from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Previous articleUPDATE: Lexington Police release body camera footage of police car hitting autistic teen
Next article2021 KHSAA Girls’ Sweet 16: Quarterfinals
Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.