Guthrie received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky in 1998. After several years working in sales and in his mid-twenties living in Nashville, Guthrie decided a career change was needed.
“I realized sales wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Guthrie said. “I decided I’d like to get into coaching and teaching. At that time, a lot of people were getting emergency certified to teach. It didn’t happen that fast for me; I ended up enrolled at UofL in their master’s degree program.”
He earned a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Louisville, then eight years later, his principal certification from Bellarmine University. Moving from the classroom into an administrative position was not an easy decision for Guthrie.
“The opportunity presented itself that placed me in a leadership position with implementing new math standards,” Guthrie said. At the same time, a few of his co-workers were starting the process to gain their principal certification, and he was encouraged to do the same. “Just knowing that some people in the district began seeing me in that light, and after taking on a leadership role through this program made me realize the next step might be looking into administration.”
Guthrie said his time at HCMS has been “wonderful” and that he enjoyed having Principal Lucia Hughes as a mentor. But when he learned of the position at NCES, he felt compelled to consider the change.
“It’s hard to explain, but I felt like it was what I needed to do. I’m familiar with New Castle, my wife has taught there, my son is in kindergarten there. I’ve always been around the building, always been intrigued by it and have seen a lot of principals walk through the door in my 12 years here in the district,” Guthrie said. “It’s hard for me to sit in this position and do it safe, when I can be the person that can go over there and lead that school. I think I can do a good job there, and that’s what I’m really excited about.”
Those serving on the hiring committee were convinced Guthrie was the best choice.
“Mr. Guthrie demonstrated a commitment to the school and to this community and that, combined with his experience at the middle school as an administrator, made him the prevailing candidate for the position,” said HCPS Assistant Superintendent Chelsey Tingle.
“I’m excited about New Castle,” Guthrie said, while acknowledging that there is also some trepidation about moving to a school that has seen so much transition in its leadership in recent years. “I also think I’m up for the challenge. I have the confidence to know that I can make it work.”
Guthrie’s top priorities for his first year at NCES will be providing stability, being consistent with a school-wide behavior model and supporting new math curriculum being implemented next year. He knows he needs to institute a system of order and expectations while still making coming to school a fun experience.
“You need a healthy balance of both,” Guthrie said. “And I can be a pretty fun guy; I have a lot of ideas.”
His predecessor, who accepted a principal position at a middle school in a neighboring district, has complete confidence in Guthrie and his abilities.
“He will be an advocate for the teachers and an advocate for the students, and they’re all going to fall in love with him,” Hunsaker said. “He will do great things at New Castle.”
Guthrie transitions to his new role as principal of New Castle Elementary School on July 1.