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Cowles to lead alternative schools

Mary Taylor Cowles has been hired as principal of alternative schools for Warren County Public Schools. She succeeds Matt Bastin, who left to become an assistant principal at Warren East High School. Cowles, 44, will oversee the Lighthouse Academy High School and the Jackson Academy school for middle school students.

Cowles finished a 10-year run as head coach of the Western Kentucky University women's basketball team in 2012. She compiled a record of 199-119, leading the Lady Toppers to seven postseason appearances and earning three Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year Awards. She spent a total of 18 years at WKU, including eight as an assistant coach, but she also has experience in public schools. Cowles, a standout player at WKU who finished her career with 1,072 points, taught one year in Simpson County Schools and one year at Greenwood High School before joining the Lady Topper coaching staff.

"I have always had my finger in education," Cowles says. "I very much believe in Warren County Schools. The district has great leadership in place, and that's a key to success."

Cowles, who has three children attending Warren County schools, says this new position is a good fit for her. ""It's kind of a new career path," she says, "but I'm a lifelong educator. It's a natural fit for me. I have always worked with young people, and this is an exciting time to be part of Warren County Schools."

Cowles is also familiar with the alternative high school she will be leading. "I learned about Lighthouse years ago," she says. "The school has had great success and offers a great avenue for a lot of students."

Cowles earned her bachelor's degree in business education and her master's degree in education administration at WKU.


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