History making women; Classroom ‘first love’ for Fulton Independent Schools’ first female Superintendent

by Benita Fuzzell

Beginning her career at Fulton Independent Schools in 1973, teaching seventh and eighth grade English, and serving as the junior high cheerleading sponsor, Brenda Mahan went on to teach high school English, serve as high school guidance counselor, and then moved on to the Central Office, serving as Assessment Coordinator, Instructional Supervisor and Technology Coordinator.

When Superintendent Dale Kirk announced his retirement in early 2001, she was asked to apply for his position, and thereby became the first woman to serve as Superintendent of Fulton Independent Schools.

“I was fortunate to work with an excellent board of education and exceptional teachers and administrators,” Mahan said, adding that at that time there were very few female superintendents in the state of Kentucky.

“Now, I understand there are quite a few. When I retired in 2005, I knew I would continue to work in education in some capacity. I remember telling then Superintendent Dr. Larry Salmon, that I didn’t want to work in the central office because I went into education to work with students. I never “burned out” from teaching students so after a few months of retirement I was happy to continue to work for several more years as the Gifted Coordinator and teacher for a consortium of schools including Carlisle County, Fulton County, Fulton Independent and Hickman County. I retired again in 2018, but recently started to work a few days at Fulton Independent with middle school students,” Mahan said.

She and her husband, Bob Mahan reside in Fulton, enjoy traveling and spending time with their two teenaged granddaughters. They also have three more grandchildren under the age of four, in St. Louis, Mo.