Meeting our newly elected officials

Posted December 12, 2018 at 10:51 am

Sue Irwin SwearsC.psd

State appoints Irwin to school board

Clinton County Board of Education will be back at full strength this week following the filling of a vacancy created by the resignation of former member Jeff Sams.

The commission of the Kentucky Department of Education has appointed Sue Suratt Irwin to fill the seat left vacant since this past fall after Sams moved outside of Clinton County.

Although she isn’t an “elected” new official, theClinton County News is including her in this continuing series of introducing our new officials to our readers.

Irwin, a Cumberland County native but long-time resident of Clinton County, was one of four applicants for the job that was advertised for when the seat became vacant.

Irwin went through an interview process, which included a member of the KDE and a school board member from another county, who made their recommendation to the Department of Education Commissioner.

Irwin, who was interviewed on November 8, said she received a notification letter of her appointment on December 1 and was officially sworn in to the position on Tuesday, December 4.

The new board member, who will attend her first official meeting (work session) this Thursday, attended Cumberland County schools until her sophomore year, when she transferred to Clinton County, and is a 1989 graduate of Clinton County High School.

“I was fortunate enough to marry my high school sweetheart (Chad Irwin),” said the new board member. They have two sons, born 11 years apart, one now an adult and the other in high school, and they have two grandchildren.

Irwin has a degree in social work and said she has “always been an advocate in education and I like serving the community.”

Irwin said she was the first of three generations–including her parents and grandparents–to become a high school graduate and she also has a degree from Western Kentucky University.

Over the past few years, Irwin has worked with the local health department and also with the Communities Collaboration program with children. She noted she had been in several homes and seen children’s needs.

Although the new board member will not have official board training of any type until February, she does understand most duties of a board member and has attended several school board sessions over the past few months.

Board members are responsible for hiring the school’s superintendent and board attorney, as well as watching over school district finances and approving policies.

Irwin said she would like to see more technology in the schools to serve every student and more “space” including eventually a new high school. She also feels the superintendent and other school board members will be easy to get along with and can work together to improve education across the board.

Irwin works part-time at State Farm Insurance and her husband Chad also has his own fireplace business.

She noted her husband had been very supportive of her endeavor to apply for the board seat and said she would always put the children, schools and community first and foremost.