Frankfort Pays Fond Farewell to McKinney

Some of the crowd which gathered Monday night at the Hot Dog Cafe to honor retiring superintendent Joel McKinney.

Retiring Community Schools of Frankfort superintendent Joel McKinney greets some of his well wishers at Monday’s celebration,.

Monday night was a special evening as approximately 125 friends, family and colleagues gathered at the Frankfort High School’s Hot Dog Cafe for a celebration who has spent 39 years in public education, including the last 10 as Community Schools of Frankfort assistant superintendent and superintendent.

“This is an amazing community and a great city to be a part of,” said McKinney. “To able to serve here for a decade here means a lot to me, to be able to continue my career as a superintendent brings me a great deal of pride, Most of all, I’m just humbled to know that I’ve had a little bit of an opportunity to influence and help this community continue on a path for a world class education for kids.”

This is the painting of Case Arena which was given to Joel McKinney as a going away present.

Former Frankfort Middle School Principal and current Mike Kelley shares a moment with Joel McKinney.

McKinney entered the cafeteria to a rousing redemption of the Frankfort High School school song  performed by the school band. The guest speakers list was an impressive list of coaches and teachers, past and present, and colleagues, including Dr. Matt Rhoda, who is replacing him as superintendent.

“I’m ready to get started,” said Rhoda. “These are big shoes to fill to come in right after him. It’s an honor to serve the Community Schools of Frankfort. I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Following Rhoda came Sherry Pritchett of the Frankfort Education Association, Frankfort Police Department Deputy Police Chief Jim Skinner, Community Schools of Frankfort School Board President Sandy Miller, COACH Kids Executive Director Susan Grasham, COACH Kids Board President Joyce Jacobs, Cindy Long of the District Leadership Team, Lesley Miller from the Community Schools of Frankfort Central Office, close friend Dr. Michael Beresford, son David McKinney, a video presentation by Tim Grasham and Community Schools of Frankfort Board Member Karen Sutton.

“Joel is one of the best educators I’m ever seen,” said Skinner. “It’s been such a blessing for us to have him here.”

McKinney was presented several parting gifts, including a painting of one of the favorite places, Case Arena.

McKinney was also described as a big cheerleader for the community and for the kids which he continues doing through his involvement as a mentor with COACH Kids.

Rhoda was asked his thoughts on the evening.

“Tonight exceeded expectation,” said Rhoda, “Just the manner in which we could come here and honor Joel for his leadership and what’s he done for the Community Schools of Frankfort.”

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