Kelley joins Alabama Department of Education

Published 9:08 pm Thursday, August 15, 2019

It took Dr. Brock Kelley becoming the principal of Charles Henderson High School to find his passion.

“I didn’t know what my passion was until it kind of hit me in the face when we started doing more workforce development programs at CHHS,” Kelley said. “Alabama is one of the top states in the nation in workforce development, bringing in companies and manufacturers. With the retirement of baby boomers, we need skilled laborers to replace them. I want to be a part of that to make Troy better and to make the state of Alabama better.”

Kelley served as the principal of CHHS from the fall of 2015 to the spring of 2019, with the school system announcing his departure last week, transferring former CHMS assistant principal Lise Fayson to fill Kelley’s role for the schoolyear that is now underway. Kelley will now head up workforce development for the Alabama Department of Education.

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Kelley said the high school is “in good hands” and will continue moving forward with momentum.

“There are great teachers there, great students, every stakeholder is phenomenal,” Kelley said. “My goal was to provide a place for everyone on that campus; I wanted them to feel at home, I wanted them to feel comfortable. High school is a time to kind of find yourself, what you’re good at, what you’re interested in. I wanted to find as many opportunities, as many programs so that students can do just that …

In his time as principal, the high school implemented its “ready-to-work” program, which had formerly been a course only seen at the community college level. The high school has since expanded to provide a Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSCC) certification course, and partnering with local manufacturer to embed the company’s six-week training program into the course so graduates are job-ready at the local plant. The school has also formed relationship with other business and industries such as KW companies, Golden Boy Foods and others. Over the summer, the high school hosted a training program for out-of-school young adults to receive training for the workforce.

“Gov. (Kay) Ivey has a strong start, strong finish initiative that is seeking to have 500,000 credentialed and qualified workers by year 2025,” Kelley said. “Working daily to figure out how we can innovate. What I want to do is use labor market data to guide financial decisions across the state when it comes to what we can and can’t put in place. Every decision we make will be ultimately driven by the labor market data and what companies move in to the state of Alabama.”

Kelley said he will greatly miss his fellow staff at CHHS and Troy City Schools, as well as the students.

“Ultimately, the things we did at CHHS is why I had an opportunity to take this job,” Kelley said. “I’m going to miss the family atmosphere, the camaraderie the administrators and staff had. When you spend four or five years with somebody day in and day out, you become close, you learn about their lives, their families, those relationships whether in the school, out in community – those are the things I’m going to miss most. The sense of pride when kids walk across the stage, the day-to-day interactions good or bad – I look at everything as a learning opportunity and a teaching opportunity … . I appreciate every relationship I’ve made in Troy; we’re still here in Troy. And I thank Troy City Schools and CHHS for the opportunity to lead the gem atop the hill for the last four years.”

Dr. Lee Hicks, superintendent of Troy City Schools, said Kelley will “go down in history as one of the top principals to ever grace the halls of CHHS.”

“He’s meant the world to this school system,” Hicks said. “He has brought in numerous