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Chester County Press

KCSD superintendent to retire in July

03/15/2024 10:21AM ● By Chris Barber
By Chris Barber
Contributing Writer
Kennett Consolidated School District Superintendent Dusty Blakey will retire on July 26, a full five years before the end of his contract. That contract was approved by the board unanimously last July, and extended his position through the academic year ending in 2029.
His announcement was mentioned briefly by the school district’s Human Resources Director Chris Marsala as she listed the retirements and hires. Board President David Kronenberg later addressed the news in greater detail during the March 11 meeting at the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center.
Kronenberg at first thanked Blakey, 60, for his service, noting that Blakey had come at a difficult time when COVID-19 was about to strike the nation and its schools. He also brought the district through the process of planning for two new elementary school buildings and even implemented all the necessary precautions when escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante was on the loose in the area.
Kronenberg said that Blakey always had the priority of the students in mind. Going into the future, he added, the board will provide opportunities for community input about what they are looking for in Blakey’s successor.
The board members approved a contract with the Chester County Intermediate Unit that helps them seek a new superintendent.
Kronenberg said as well that he has five priorities with respect to Blakey’s retirement:
1. He is committed to working with Blakey throughout the time he remains in his position.
2. He is dedicated to clinging to the mission statement of the district and will use it as his guide
3. He is committed to the programs the district has established and will work toward their goals
4.  He is committed to the continuity and stability for the school district
5.  The board will work with the Chester County Intermediate Unit to find a replacement.
Blakey came to the district as its eighth superintendent in January of 2020. Six weeks into his tenure, he was faced with the challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
After receiving his undergraduate degree from Morgan State University, Blakey obtained a master’s degree in educational leadership and a doctorate in administration and public policy, both from the University of Delaware. In his career he was a social studies teacher, a wrestling coach and superintendent of the Colonial School District in Delaware.
In a written statement, Blakey said, “As I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my life, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you. Thank you for your support, your commitment to our students and your dedication to excellence in education.”
The board also saw a presentation of the design for the new Kennett High School sign that was created by a committee that consisted of all the class officers in the high school. It will be a bold statement of KHS, will be about five feet tall and will be equipped with lighting that can be changed to highlight events and seasons.
The student committee was at the meeting, and several members said the group dealt with various suggestions, but worked very cooperatively.
The sign is scheduled to be in place by the next school year.
The board approved school trips for robotics and FBLA.
The board approved as well the organizing of a new student club to deal with female student issues. It is called “Girls Spark.”