Reporter, Hart Co. News-Herald
Assistant Superintendent Amanda Abell was unanimously approved as the next superintendent of Caverna Independent Schools, effective July 1, 2022. Her appointment will follow the resignation of current superintendent Cornelius Faulkner.
Abell has worked as part of Mr. Faulkner’s team for seven years, so she is no stranger to the district. Her total experience in education encompasses 23 years and began in 1999 when she first began teaching in public education in Green County. She has also served as the Associate Director of District Support at Green River Regional Education Cooperative (GRREC) and has co-led regional and state-level work around education, while also serving on local, regional, and state-level committees.
“Mrs. Abell, welcome,” began Board Member Gina Lyon. “Having had the opportunity to work with you in many different capacities, I know that you’re going to do a great job. I know your passion and your love for this school district and our children, and I look forward to working more with you in the future.”
School Board Chair Wayne Hatcher stated that replacing Mr. Faulkner would be difficult, but that Mrs. Abell was not expected to be Mr. Faulkner. Instead, Hatcher encouraged Abell to develop her own identity as Caverna Superintendent and to continue with the great initiatives she has already been part of.
“I want to thank the screening committee,” said Hatcher. “Many of you are here tonight. You did your diligent job. You sent us some wonderful candidates. We had some of the best candidates I’ve ever seen to apply for this job, which is a testimony in my judgment to the quality of Caverna Independent Schools. Thanks to the leadership of Mr. Faulkner and his leadership team, this school is in a position right now that people recognize and value what we’re doing. It was tough, doing what we were commissioned to do. This is our most important job, to choose our superintendent and also monitor that person, and we took very deep diligence. We didn’t do this lightly. We spent several hours, several meetings. We didn’t fly through this haphazardly. We were dedicated to finding the right person, and I believe we have found the right person. I think the transition is going to be smooth because (Mrs. Abell) has been with Mr. Faulkner for seven years. In my eyes, she’s proven herself to be qualified to serve this district as superintendent. I really believe that, so congratulations, Mrs. Abell.”
Abell, who will be the first female superintendent for Caverna Independent Schools, was first drawn to Caverna because it is a small, diverse school district. She also sees Caverna as a family who treats and supports each other just as a family would.
“I really appreciate the board, and I appreciate you all for believing in me,” said Abell. “I have become very invested in Caverna. I have poured everything I have into this district and these kids. If I promise you anything, it will be that I will fight for our kids to have opportunities until they see their own potential and believe in themselves, because that’s what it’s all about, and if we make that happen, then look at what we’ve done for our kids. That’s my promise to this community, this school, our families, and our kids is that I will be a model of what I expect from our principals, our teachers, and all of our classified (staff) in giving these kids what they need to see their own self worth and build their own potential. I promise to be that model.”