The Russellville Independent School District has selected its new superintendent.

Bart Flener will replace Superintendent Leon Smith after he retires in June. The district’s board of education made the unanimous decision Monday.

“I just felt very honored that the board here in Russellville would have the faith and confidence in me that I could do this job,” Flener said.

Flener is currently assistant superintendent for student services in the Murray Independent School District, a job he’s held for three years. When he starts the Russellville job in July, Flener said he wants to first listen and get to know the people he’ll be working with to hear about how the district could be improved.

“I just want to be a patient listener when I get here,” he said.

Flener visited the district Tuesday to meet with Smith.

“I’ve been very impressed with him,” Smith said of Flener. “I think he’s coming with a good deal of experience.”

Along with experience as an assistant superintendent, Flener has been a director of transportation and coached boys’ basketball.

Flener was one of four finalists for the position, according to a news release from a search consultant.

The other finalists included Janet Hurt, an associate professor at Western Kentucky University; John Myers, director of pupil transportation and supervisor of facilities and maintenance in the Russellville district; and Mike Stevenson, principal at Warren Central High School.

Smith said the district is in a good position to handle a leadership transition. He offered his replacement a piece of advice: “Stay true to yourself, and do things with integrity,” he said. “Be honest with the community and do what you do for kids.”

Flener is a graduate of Caverna High School in Horse Cave and previously was a teacher and coach at Glasgow High School.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit


Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.