RICHMOND — Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.
“Jesse Ward has been a part of the landscape of Madison County Schools literally since he was old enough to go to school,” Thomas read from a prepared statement.
Ward attended Newby and Madison elementary schools and finished at Madison Central for grades 7 to 12.
Ward continued his education at Eastern Kentucky University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1968, master’s in 1972 and administrator’s certificate in 1974.
He was first a high school health teacher in Jackson County and moved on to Kingston, where taught physical education and coached several sports.
In 1969-70, he taught PE at Mayfield, Bellevue and Madison High, where he served as assistant basketball coach to a team that finished second in the state tournament.
Ward went on to teach social studies 14 years at Madison Central High School as well as coach football and track. He also helped found an intramural program at Central that included basketball, table tennis and academic competition.
Ward was among the first three teachers in the district to use computers in his classroom, Thomas said.
In 1984, Ward became principal at Foley Middle School and then became the first principal at Madison Southern High School in 1988.
During his time at Southern, the school was a pilot program for flexible scheduling as well as school management, meaning it was the first school in the district to use a Site-Based Decision Making Council before it was required by state law, Thomas said.
In 2000, Ward retired – the first time. Later that year, he was named interim principal at Madison Southern. In 2002, he became a scholastic auditor for the Department of Education. In 2003, he served as interim principal at Madison Central.