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Graves County Board of Education selects Graves High principal Matthew Madding as district's new superintendent
Graves County Schools Superintendent Matthew Madding

Matthew Madding will lead the Graves County School District as superintendent, beginning July 1. The Graves County Board of Education voted to hire him in a special, called meeting Wednesday afternoon, May 15.

"I believe that in the role of superintendent, you have a greater impact on the district as a whole," Madding said, when asked why he applied for the position. "At the end of the day, what we're about is our students and what greater opportunity to impact all of our students than as the superintendent?" he asked rhetorically.

"This is my district I grew up in, the only district I've worked in, and the district I intend to retire out of," he continued. "So, I'm going to be here for the long haul. When I'm making decisions in the next few years in this role, I'm not looking at how will this impact me six weeks, six months, or even two years from now. I'm looking at what will be the impact five and ten and 15 years from now, as my kids are coming through the system."

Madding was graduated as valedictorian of the Graves High Class of 2002. He then earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky, majoring in mathematics education. He taught math at Graves High from 2006-11. He earned a master's degree in secondary education at Murray State University, while teaching. Then, he earned a master's degree in administration through Northern Kentucky University.

He was hired as principal at Farmington Elementary School and served in that role for the 2011-12 school year. He then was appointed interim principal at Graves High for 2012-13 year. At the end of that school year, he was hired as principal, serving in that role for the past six years.

"The principal job at the high school is way too big for any one person to do by themselves," Madding said. "So, you have to rely on good people, being in the right positions, giving them responsibility and trusting them to do what you're asking them to do. That's been my philosophy as a principal. I'm going to bring that same philosophy to the job of superintendent."

The other major factor, he explained, is that everything should be student-centered, preparing students for college and/or the workforce. "That doesn't just happen at Graves County High School," he said. "That starts the first day our students step on our campuses, the first day of elementary school. We're building on that foundation all the way through, so it's a team effort."

Kim Dublin, who retires June 30, after serving six years as superintendent and her entire 31-year career in the school district, said Madding has been involved in all aspects of district-wide education planning and development. That includes years serving on the instructional leadership team and collaborating with others on formatting the massive one-to-one digital learning conversion from the beginning. "He comes into the position with a lot of foundational knowledge of where we're going as a district. So, this transition will be very smooth for him."

Madding's wife, Alison, teaches at Sedalia Elementary School. Their son, Nathan, 10, and daughter, Macy, 6, are students there. The family lives south of Sedalia.

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