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Shelby County Public Schools Board of Education Names Dr. Joshua Matthews Superintendent

In a special called meeting on Friday, May 31, 2024, the Shelby County Board of Education announced the next superintendent for Shelby County Public Schools. Ms. Brenda Jackson, chairperson for the SCPS Board of Education said, “We welcome Dr. Matthews and his family to our district. He has a solid record for improving test scores and presented a plan to continue the important work we have begun in Shelby County.”


Dr. Joshua Matthews comes to Shelby County by way of Russellville, Kentucky. He has served as the Chief Academic Officer for Logan County Schools since July 2022. In this role, Dr. Matthews oversaw and achieved many initiatives that Shelby County Public Schools has been working toward. He created a new gifted program tailored to the needs of Gifted and Talented students. Shelby County has recently been rebooting the Gifted and Talented program. Other activities aligned to SCPS include leading the district’s initiatives for the Kentucky Innovative Leaders Network and the L3 grants, developing standardized rubrics for the Profile of Success, similar to the SCPS Profile of a Graduate, and the Defenses of Learning. Dr. Matthews supervised and improved the English Language Learner program for Logan County and developed and executed a district-wide professional development learning series. Dr. Matthews said, “Shelby County is renowned for its student-centered and innovative approach to education. Every decision places students at the forefront; from the board of education to the teachers and staff, the students are at the center of the decision. This dedication drew me to Shelby County.”  Dr. Matthews believes that the focus of the district should continue to be growing students. “As a district, we must continue to provide students with every opportunity possible to succeed. Continuing to teach the core work skills in our Profile of a Graduate through engaging and authentic learning experiences is vital to me. At the same time, we must ensure our curriculum is taught to mastery. Students performing academically at grade level is essential to ensure they are already for the next step in life.”


"A few additional goals for me are to ensure we have strong extracurricular and co-curricular activities for our students and that we function as a school system, not a system of schools. Dr. Sugg talked about the one-district-one vision, and I believe that for us to be successful as a district, we must function in that manner."


As a principal, Dr. Matthews led a school that ranked 22nd out of 318 middle schools in Kentucky in 2023, achieving the “Blue” designation on the 2023 KSA State Exam. Moreover, under Dr. Matthews’ leadership, his school received the prestigious Schools to Watch distinction in 2018 and re-designation in 2022.


Dr. Matthews serves as an adjunct professor at Campbellsville University and the University of the Cumberlands, teaching coursework in Education, Educational Administration, and Leadership. He has served on the Kentucky Association of School Administrators Leadership Challenge Steering Committee and is a graduate of their Executive Leadership Academy.


Dr. Matthew has many goals he hopes to achieve in Shelby County. He believes that Dr. Sugg has done an outstanding job and he wants to build on the solid leadership foundation that has been established. “I want to sustain the positive culture and climate of SCPS, creating a fun and safe environment for learning and working.”


Dr. Matthews holds a Doctorate of Education and a Master of Arts and Teaching from the University of the Cumberlands, a Master of Business Administration from Morehead State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Western Kentucky University. He is moving to Shelby County with his wife, Sharla, and their son AJ.