FRANKFORT, KY  –  They sit just a few blocks apart, but today Frankfort Independent Schools (FIS) and Kentucky State University (KSU) officially began the process of uniting for a common goal: creating true college- and career-ready students.  FIS Superintendent Houston Barber and KSU President Raymond Burse announced the joint hiring of Dr. Ron Chi, who will serve both entities in the capacity of Chief Academic and Innovation Officer.

The creation of this new position signals the start of a collaboration between the institutions aimed at designing supports for students and educators through real-world, critical-thinking opportunities connected to the nationally recognized programs KSU has to offer.  In the coming weeks, Chi will be working with university and business leaders to create professional development experiences and curricula that will provide a pathway to college and beyond.


KSU President Raymond M. Burse, from left, Chief Innovation Officer Ron Chi and Frankfort Independent Schools Superintendent Houston Barber

“Preparing our young people for success in life, can’t happen in isolation,” said Dr. Barber. “This coming together means we are all answering the call to educate our children so that they can compete in the global marketplace. The hiring of Dr. Ron Chi is a catalyst for true transformation in education in the city of Frankfort and the state of Kentucky.”

“This partnership provides seamless support and it will be a model for other school districts. Faculty and community experts working together will give our students an innovative edge to form businesses of the future,” said Dr. Burse. “This joint partnership will be life-changing for students and the university community.”

Burse and Barber introduced Chi to a group of community and educational leaders at Frankfort High School. Chi has worked in public education for over 20 years in Kentucky and New York. He was the founding principal at The Learning Center at Linlee in Lexington.  Chi served on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Highly Innovative Principals cohort to discuss scaling innovative practices and processes throughout public education.