GRC High School selects next head principal

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – According to grchs.com, Jamie Keene has been chosen to be George Rogers Clark (GRC) High School’s next head principal beginning July 1. The announcement was made Wednesday, May 27.

The position was previously held by David Bolen, who is retiring after 11 years as GRC’s principal. Bolen’s tenure was the longest of a head principal since the school opened in 1963. Keene was Bolen’s first hire in July 2010, also giving Keene 11 years of experience at the Clark County high school.

“I am both honored and proud that the hiring committee has put faith in me to be the next leader who will help build and take GRC even further,” Keene said. “I want GRC to be the ultimate high school in the state and I’m ready to go to work to make that happen.”

Keene started his career in education in 1993 in eastern Kentucky, working at the elementary and high school levels as well as two years at an alternative school. Prior to coming to Winchester, he worked for three years with the Kentucky Department of Education.

“One of my priorities is to gather input from all staff members and begin prepping for next year with an academic focus,” Keene said. “It has been a difficult stretch since March of 2020 and we have a lot of work to do to make up lost ground.”

Keene shared that his focus will be to work with students, staff, parents and the community.

“For us to reach the heights we want, we must have involvement and investment from all stakeholders,” he stated. “First and foremost, we want buy-in from our students, who will be at the center of every decision.”

Working as the district athletic director gave Keene the opportunity to open one of the state’s most advanced high school athletic facilities and to organize with countless school, community and state leaders across the Commonwealth.

“When we host tournaments and state championships, the proceeds we make help fund student initiatives,” Keene said. “It helps us showcase our wonderful facilities. Our student athletes are able to see the caliber of teams it takes to compete at that level. It also helps our community with extra tourism. More people are in town which means more people eating at our restaurants and staying in our hotels.”

GRC has used those facilities this year to host the KHSAA state wrestling, cheer, volleyball, and dance competitions. Additionally, many post-secondary institutions have used GRC’s athletic facilities for a variety of events.

Over the next month, Keene will be consulting with Bolen and meeting with as many staff members as possible to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“I want GRC to be an environment where everybody wants to be, where learning is fun, and where no novel idea is off the table,” he said. “I want us to take risks and think out of the box. My goal is to build a culture of discussion, openness and collaboration.”

Keene and his wife Angie, also an educator, have been married for 31 years. They have two daughters, Taylor Waggoner and her husband Justin, and Madison Keene and her fiancé, Jared Adams, and two granddaughters, Ellie James and Ava Kate Waggoner.

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