The Russellville city school district has hired a new director of special education - Linda Shelton, who comes from the Bowling Green city school district after serving there since 1988 as a special ed teacher.
She takes over the position from Mary Elen Simmons, who moved to a different position in the district’s central office earlier this year.
Shelton, who is originally from New Jersey, said this opportunity could not have come at a better time.
“It is very different from what I have been doing, but it couldn’t have happened at a better time,” Shelton said. “My last child graduated from high school, so we’re just all leaving at the same time.”
Shelton has spent time over the past few months learning under Simmons in Russellville about being a director of special education.
“Some things I will be learning on the fly, but I worked with some outstanding mentors during the time I was doing my internship though,” Shelton said. “With that practicum, I had the opportunity to go to special ed director meetings and I was exposed to so many opportunities that have helped prepare me for this.”
In addition to spending time in an internship for the position, Shelton also has an undergraduate degree in special education, a master’s degree in guidance for elementary education and her Rank 1 in student affairs and counselling.
Serving as a director of special education isn’t something she has sought after for a long time, though.
“I never thought I’d come out of the classroom,” Shelton said. “I love working with the students and going to school each day.”
She began working toward that goal a couple of years ago when a friend talked to her about being a director of special education.
“And then I just decided to start working toward that,” Shelton said.
Shelton will have to get used to working in a smaller school district, but she is ready to get to know everyone.
“I look forward to working with all the teachers, developing relationships with the people I work with as well as the students and the people in the community,” Shelton said.