During the 20 years that Larry Lambdin has served on the Whitley County Board of Education, the school district has seen many improvements, including construction of an early childhood wing at Oak Grove Elementary School, the addition of the freshmen wing at Whitley County High School, and the construction of three new schools, Whitley Central Intermediate, Whitley East and Pleasant View Elementary School, which is located in Lambdin’s home district.
While these structural improvements needed to be made and he is extremely grateful for them, Lambdin said the thing that he is most proud of during his tenure on the board are the academic achievements of the district.
“When you rank a rural school like Whitley County, we are not a rich school but we compete with everybody. We are one-to-one on computer Chrome books. Our reading has so increased. The new schools are nice, but when you see it actually come back in test results and test scores, that’s where it is,” he noted.
Lambdin, who serves as chairman of the Whitley County Board of Education, presided over his final meeting Thursday night, and said the thing he will miss most is the comradery with his fellow board members and school officials.
“We have the best board in the state by far. We never have any problems,” he added.
Much of Thursday’s monthly meeting was spent with a ceremony honoring Lambdin for his many years of service.
J.E. Jones, who has served on the board for more than 30 years, noted that it is hard to believe Lambdin spent 20 years on the board.
“Larry has a lot of be proud of. He came on board hoping to make Whitley County a better school system, and I think he has did that. He has a lot of be proud of, especially the new Pleasant View School,” Jones said.
Tim Crawford, who has served as board attorney since 1991, noted that Lambdin has been a steady stern for the district.
“You have had the vision that you bought into with the boards you have worked with over the years. You have been a leader, and you made an example not only in this region, but in the state of Kentucky. I got a call today from two other districts wanting to know if I could help them with projects we have worked on here in Whitley County over the years,” Crawford said.
“Whitley County is still seen as a leader throughout the commonwealth of Kentucky. You have been a major part of that, and we appreciate your service.”
Lambdin opted not to seek re-election to the board this year, and will leave office at the end of the month.
Local banker and minister Kenny Carr ran unopposed for Lambdin’s seat on the board, and will replace him in January.
Carr, who also spoke during the ceremony, said that no matter which school students were from, Lambdin has been a champion for them.
Deputy Superintendent Paula Rickett noted that Lambdin has always made his decisions with the students in mind.
Whitley County High School Principal Bobby Lawson added that Lambdin has always been a “man of purpose.”
During the ceremony, Superintendent John Siler presented Lambdin with a shadow box, including a board appreciation coloring activity that Lambdin’s son and daughter did in 2005, Lambdin’s name plaque, newspaper clippings and other items.
“I couldn’t ask for a better board to work with,” Lambdin said. “We may not all be blood, but we are family and that is the way it is here in Whitley County. I do thank everyone for everything they have done.”