PADUCAH — The Paducah Public Schools Board is set to vote Monday on whether to renew Superintendent Donald Shively’s contract.

There have been repeated calls from the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP, as well as some parents and community members, asking the board not to renew Shively’s contract. A 2002 photo of Shively in blackface was widely shared online in 2020. After the photo surfaced on social media, Shively issued a public apology. The school board became aware of the photo in 2019, but took action only after the photo was shared online in 2020.

The board voted in December 2020 to require Shively to take 40 days of unpaid leave for racial sensitivity training. The Paducah-McCracken County NAACP said the training and a equity audit conducted for the school system were necessary, but the band maintained its position in favor of not renewing Shively’s contract.

The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board officially reprimanded Shively in February of this year, saying “Such racist and deplorable conduct interferes with students’ ability to learn and staff’s ability to teach in a safe and welcoming environment. for everyone.”

Shively’s current contract is due to end on June 30. The only action item on the agenda is “review and discussion of one or more motions related to the Superintendent’s reappointment and approval of a Superintendent’s renewal contract.”

The original agenda for the special meeting called did not include time for public comment. But Local 6’s Jack Kane learned that school board president Dr. Carl LeBuhn added one after a community member requested it. LeBuhn said the board wanted to allow the public to share their opinions at the meeting.

Local 6 will provide live coverage of the meeting, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Paducah Innovation Center, and Jack will provide additional coverage of the board decision during Local 6-10.


Arthello Beck Jr.'s light shines with the help of artist and curator Jennifer Monet Cowley


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