LaMesa Marks-Johns Named Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools, Zone 1

Marks-Johns most recently served as JCPS coordinator of social emotional learning

September 10, 2020 – Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio has named Dr. LaMesa Marks-Johns the new assistant superintendent for elementary schools, Zone 1.  She replaces Brad Weston, who recently retired.

“LaMesa’s background makes her a perfect fit for this critical position,” Dr. Pollio said. “But even beyond that, her strengths as a collaborator and consensus builder will be key assets as she works to support the students, families and school staff in Zone 1.”

picture of LaMesa Marks-Johns
Marks-Johns, who began teaching at JCPS in 1999, most recently served as the district’s coordinator of social emotional learning, where for the past four years she has overseen the Trauma Informed Care, Compassionate Schools and Youth Mental Health First Aid initiatives.

Prior to that she served as principal of McFerran Preparatory Academy for seven years, and was in the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) Highly Skilled Educators Program for two years, helping schools and districts address the findings and recommendations outlined in state audits.

She’ll use all that experience to support her students, she said. 

“From my almost four years working on trauma informed care and social emotional care, I know there are some strategies that schools can implement to help our kids.  And I think that is going to be extremely important in NTI as well as when we return to brick-and-mortar learning.  Not only for students and families, but for us, as JCPS staff.”

She added that “right now, with everything that’s going on in our community, the equity piece is really going to be important.”

“I want to work with our schools to intentionally keep the cultures and experiences of students in mind, and using those experiences to help them move forward so they can be their best selves,” she said.

Marks-Johns noted that she and the other two assistant superintendents for elementary schools all served as JCPS elementary principals at the same time, so there is a natural camaraderie and shared understanding that will be beneficial as they work together.

“I’m looking forward to the collaboration as we share ideas about what kind of strategies and what kind of systems to put in place to bring about student success,” she said. “It has to make it back to the desk of students and their families.”

Marks-Johns earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Louisville, and her doctor of education from Spalding University.  She begins her new position Sept. 14.