Ken Basil will serve as the Union County School District Superintendent for at least two more years.
Basil and the school district's Board of Trustees agreed to a two-year contract that will take effect Jan. 1, 2020, which the board accepted last week.
"I'll be starting my 13th year," Basil said. "There are alot of reasons to stay. Right now, our district is in better shape financially, academically, athletically, any way you want. I love the people I work with. We make decisions together and we're a family. I thought it was the best thing for me, my family and the district right now that I stay. I got a little more gas in the tank."
Due to the the adoption of SB 2438 into law in 2016, superintendents in school districts across the state, including Union County, must be appointed by their school boards as of Jan. 1 of this year, as opposed to being elected.
"It will be different," Basil said. "I'll have vacation days, just like all of our other employees; I can't just take off whenever I want. Also, they're [the board of trustees] going to have a little more authority over me. I trust them and they trust me. I don't think I could just work for anybody, but I can work for our board."
Basil has served as superintendent for the district since 2008. He graduated in 1979 from Myrtle Attendance Center, and in 1984, earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Mississippi State University. In 2000, he received his Master of Educational Leadership Degree also from Mississippi State University. He has been an educator for well over 30 years, most of which he spent in Union County. Basil is married to Christi Goolsby Basil and they have two sons, Tyler and Hayden. He and his family are members of Macedonia Baptist Church.
Basil said he still has some things he wants to accomplish as superintendent.
"First and foremost, we're going to keep our kids safe," Basil said. "Secondly, last year we were number eight or nine in the state in terms of rankings. We want to push it as far as we can and be the best we can be."
Basil also said that the district will, at some point, also need to address its growth needs.
"We've got alot of people moving in because they see how good our schools are doing," he said. "We've had several from outside the county who want to go to school here also. So it's good that we're continuing to grow, but eventually we're going to have to figure out something. It's a good problem to have."
Over the past five years, Basil has also worked to cultivate an atmosphere in the district that allows for decisions in the district office to be made as a group, rather than by him alone.
"Every decision we make is for the good of the students," he said.
Basil said that his contract is worded so that he can step away at any time and the board can ask him to step away at any time.
"We just wanted it worded that way," Basil said. "Also I didn't ask for a buy out clause. We just felt if it gets to a point where either I or the board feel like it's time, then that will be it."