Dr. Joshua DeWar Named Principal of Bardstown Elementary School

Dr. Joshua DeWar has been selected as the principal of Bardstown Elementary School. The Bardstown Elementary School Site-Based Decision Making Council voted to hire DeWar as principal at their May 12th special called meeting at the elementary school.

“While leading Bardstown High, Dr. DeWar has had a very positive impact on instruction and student achievement,” said Dr. Ryan Clark, superintendent of Bardstown City Schools. “His background in elementary instruction, passion for students, and commitment to developing student leadership will continue enhancing the excellent reputation of BES.”

DeWar is currently in his third year as principal at Bardstown High School. During his tenure there, he has expanded the school’s Advanced Placement and dual credit course offerings,  led the school to higher ACT scores, and collaborated on the implementation of a social-emotional learning program.

DeWar brings with him 21 years of teaching and administrative experience in primary, secondary, and post-secondary education. Before becoming the principal at BHS he spent four years serving K-8 grade students as an assistant principal of Boston School. He began his career as a K-12 educator with Jefferson County Public Schools as an elementary teacher at Engelhard Elementary School. His work with second grade students earned him state-wide recognition as the 2016 Kentucky State Elementary Teacher of the Year and the 2016 Ashland Teacher Achievement Award Recipient. 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed leading our high school, and I am proud of the growth we have had there in the last three years,” said Dr. Joshua DeWar. “I look forward to continuing to focus on student achievement and social-emotional well-being at BES while getting back to my elementary teaching roots. I  cannot wait to be a part of the exemplary work being done at BES, especially in the foundational areas of math and reading.”

DeWar holds a bachelor’s degree from Ripon College, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and the University of Louisville, and a Doctoral degree in Philosophy, Educational Administration & Leadership from Marian University. He has certificates in Principal Leadership, Pupil Personnel, and Instructional Leadership from Asbury University. DeWar is also a published author and has contributed to several education journals.

DeWar replaces BES Principal Brian Courtney who is assuming the role of Director of Human Resources after serving as BES principal for five years. DeWar will complete this school year as principal at Bardstown High School. He will assume his new principal role on July 1. The Bardstown High School Site Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council will work with Superintendent Clark to name his replacement in mid-June.

Students and families will be able to meet Dr. DeWar this summer at the  2023-24 Open House. Please look for additional information. 

  • Dr. DeWar stands in front of a paw at Bardstown Elementary School.
  • Dr. Joshua DeWar stands in front of the Bardstown Elementary School cafeteria.

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