Black History Month celebration at Warren East

Principal Jonathan Williams hugs students after their dance performance during a Black History Month celebration Feb. 21 at Warren East High School.

After a yearlong stint as leader at Warren East High School, Principal Jonathan Williams will step into a new role as Edmonson County High School’s principal.

For Williams, it’s a homecoming he couldn’t pass up. As principal at ECHS, he’ll get to watch the Class of 2021 graduate – marking 20 years since his own graduation from the school in 2001.

“This is where I wanted to come back and serve,” Williams told the Daily News.

No other opportunity could pull him away from Warren East, he said.

“It’s an incredible place to work,” Williams said of WEHS, describing it as the perfect blend of a tight-knit, more rural school with the resources and top-notch facilities that only a large school district could provide.

Leaving the school community at WEHS wasn’t an easy choice, even after only a year, Williams said.

“The school’s students and staff embraced me like family,” he said.

Working with students and staff at WEHS, Williams said he’s proud of what they’ve achieved in only a year’s time. That includes developing an allied health and nursing career pathway and allowing students to implement new school culture initiatives, such as a student-produced Black History Month celebration, the first of its kind in the school’s history.

Before being named Warren East principal in May last year, Williams served as principal of H.W. Wilkey Elementary School in Grayson County for five years. He’s also taught special education at the elementary and middle school levels, been an assistant principal and a school interventionist, a role that supports teachers in boosting student achievement and engagement.

“I have to thank Ms. Shelee Clark for first hiring me into administration and a huge thank you to Mr. Doug Robinson and the site-based decision making council at Wilkey. Without them, I wouldn’t be in the position to come home,” he told the Daily News in a follow-up text message.

He also thanked district superintendents he’s worked with: “I have had the privilege to work for Barry Anderson, Doug Robinson and Rob Clayton. I’m so fortunate to have had those experiences.”

Warren County Public Schools spokeswoman Morgan Watson said the search for Williams’ replacement will begin shortly.

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

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

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