Alumni Spotlight

David Lester

By: Whitney E. Copley
June 21, 2013

Alumnus David Lester will become the next superintendent of Pike County Schools this August. Lester, a 35-year veteran of the Pike County School System, was elected during a special meeting on June 4, 2013, by a majority vote of the Pike County Board of Education.

A native of Eastern Kentucky, Lester attended Belfry High School in Pike County. He majored in math with a minor in psychology at then Pikeville College. “Education was not my career path as I entered Pikeville College, but the experiences I received there, along with the opportunities provided, led me to a very rewarding and satisfying career in education,” said Lester. One might say that he was destined for the field of education, as both his parents, also UPIKE alumni, were educators. Lester explained that his education at UPIKE helped prepare him for his new career, “I am looking forward to using those experiences to provide Pike County Schools with the leadership needed to move forward as one of the most successful districts in the state.”

Lester will come out of retirement to take the helm as leader of the schools in Kentucky’s largest county. During his first stint in education, Lester worked as a math teacher and assistant principal at Belfry High School, was central office director of personnel at the Pike County Board of Education, served as principal at Jenkins Middle-High School and taught classes for Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and Morehead State University. Lester set out to accomplish many things in his retirement, but now he has accomplished most of those things. “I had planned to travel a great deal in retirement and I have certainly done that,” Lester said. Lightheartedly, he added, “I also had expected to lower my golf handicap but have come to the realization that one needs talent to play the game well.” Lester joked, “I have spent a good deal of time searching for the talent that is apparently not there.”

Throughout his 35 years in the public school system, Lester was mentored by long-time educator, the late Frank Welch. “Much of what I have learned about educational administration I learned from him,” Lester reflected. “His leadership made me a better classroom teacher and he served as a role model as I made the transition to administration.”

Lester and his wife, Judy, reside in Pikeville. Their daughter, Amanda, and her husband, Jeff Hill, are attorneys with the Hill and Hill Law Firm in Corbin, Ky., and have three children: Annemarie, 7; Nate, 4; and Natalie, 18 months. 

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