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McCracken County Schools Superintendent Brian Harper Resigns

Matt Markgraf | WKMS News

The McCracken County Board of Education has accepted Superintendent Brian Harper’s resignation in a special called meeting Friday.


Harper submitted his letter Friday, and his resignation is effective Saturday. This comes following a string of criminal investigations into several school district employees, a volunteer coach and a high school student. These charges stem from alleged inappropriate contact with minor students and the alleged failure of school officials to report this contact to law enforcement.


Credit Matt Markgraf / WKMS
Steve Shelby

Board Chair Steve Shelby said the search for a new superintendent will be intensive and take time.


“You know, we’re just looking for experience in different fields, experience as a superintendent. We’ve got a huge building project. There’s a lot of aspects," Shelby said.


Shelby said he has not spoken with Harper since receiving the resignation letter, but he wishes "the very best" to Harper and his family. 


The board met in closed session regarding an acting superintendent to serve during a search for Harper’s permanent replacement, but they weren’t able to confirm a replacement at the end of the meeting. The board intends to call another meeting next week to resolve the matter.


Board Member Melanie Burkeen in a statement (see below) said she has been "disturbed" by the criminal investigations and that building back community trust is needed.


"I ask that you try to see the positive changes from this and look at these difficult situations as an opportunity for change and growth," Burkeen said. "I feel we must switch gears at this time."


A charge of official misconduct against Director of Pupil Personnel Brian Bowland was dropped last week. McCracken County High School Principal Michael Ceglinski is still being charged with failure to report child dependency, abuse or neglect.




Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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