St. Paul welcomes new principal

By Matt Lasley -

St. Paul Catholic Elementary School this week announced that its new principal will be longtime elementary school teacher Kim Smith.

Smith, who has taught at H.W. Wilkey Elementary School for the last 14 years, will start her tenure as St. Paul’s principal on Aug. 1, the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

Smith said she first learned that St. Paul was seeking a principal for its elementary school last November and began the interview process shortly after.

“It just seemed like the right time,” she said. “The timing seemed to be where God was calling me.”

Smith said her goal as principal of St. Paul Catholic Elementary School is to see enrollment continue to grow, as well as ensure that students receive the best academics possible in an environment that offers a multitude of faith-based opportunities.

St. Paul has seen its enrollment grow a great deal over the past number of years.

Father Steve Hohman, who previously fulfilled the role of principal at the school, said that, four years ago, there were 17 students enrolled at St. Paul School. At present, there are 48 students enrolled at the school.

The hiring of Smith, who will also teach at St. Paul Catholic Elementary School, marks the third time in the last four years the school has added a new position, Hohman said.

“As we grow, we need that dedicated full-time principal,” said Hohman. “We’re excited to have Kim.”

Continuing to grow the school has been a top priority for St. Paul for some time, as numerous extracurricular activities, such as orchestra and archery, and a more diverse academic experience have been added in recent years.

Hohman said that some of St. Paul’s older students may have as many as seven or eight teachers.

St. Paul is also building its first gymnasium in its more than 100-year history, which will be ready for use by the next school year.

“There’s been a lot more energy,” Hohman said.

With renewed energy came planning for St. Paul’s future, and at the top of the list was finding a principal for St. Paul Catholic Elementary School.

Hohman said school officials prayed on this for quite some time.

“Kim was kind of who the Lord sent to us,” he said.

Smith said learning that she had received the position of St. Paul School Principal was fulfilling.

“I attended St. Paul, and I’ve always felt like it was my home,” she said. “Most of my inspiration to become a teacher came from people in this school.”

In addition to being a student, Smith has also been involved with St. Paul’s academic team and said her own children are enrolled at the school.

With the addition of Smith, St. Paul Catholic Elementary School now has six full-time teachers, in addition to Hohman who teaches Spanish to kindergarten through 8th grade students and Sister Anne Michelle Mudd who teaches religion.

The public will have the chance to learn more about St. Paul Catholic Elementary School, which offers preschool through 8th grade, during its upcoming open house on May 18.

St. Paul Catholic Elementary School is located at 1812 St. Paul Rd. in Leitchfield, and can be reached by phone at 270-242-7483 or by e-mail at

By Matt Lasley

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

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