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Thomas, former NH superintendent, dies

Thomas, former NH superintendent, dies
Thomas, former NH superintendent, dies
D. John Thomas

A former superintendent of the North Harrison Community School Corp. died Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. D. John Thomas was 70.
Thomas, who was born in Shelby County, Ky., was hired by the school corporation on Sept. 8, 2011, and remained in the position until mid-May 2017. He was one of six superintendents to succeed Monty Schneider, who retired in 2007 after a 17-year stint. Thomas served longer than any of the other five.
‘Mr. Thomas took over the corporation in a time of turmoil and financial distress,’ said Dr. Lance Richards, who served as assistant superintendent with Thomas then succeeded him after he resigned due to health reasons, which included back problems leading to surgery. ‘In partnership with our teachers, he was able to settle the contract after years of discord. He put into place several initiatives that allowed us to improve our facilities.’
Richards said he spoke with one of Thomas’ daughters, who said her father’s death was unexpected.
‘He was thinking about having another back surgery but had been on a new medication that seemed to help,’ Richards said he was told.
Prior to his hire at North Harrison, Thomas, an Army veteran who had spoken at programs around Memorial Day and Veterans Day, was a former U.S. history, math and English teacher in Switzerland County, a former assistant principal, principal and superintendent and had retired from Pike County schools in 2011.
Thomas signed a five-year contract with the North Harrison Community School Corp. that was later extended.
‘Mr. Thomas cared about North Harrison and was personally invested in its success,’ Richards said. ‘I learned a great deal sitting in the office next to him.
‘His passing is very sad, as I know he wanted to visit Vietnam one more time in retirement,’ he said.
Thomas, who also farmed, was a member of the Ghent (Ky.) Baptist Church.
Survivors include his wife, the former Sandra Scott; a son, John Ashley Thomas of Taylor Mill, Ky.; two daughters, Leah Michelle Thomas of Petersburg, Va., and Elizabeth Marie Thomas of Lexington, Ky.; his mother, Anna Marie Donovan Thomas of Taylorsville, Ky.; a brother, Ronald Thomas of Taylorsville, Ky.; two sisters, Sandy Jewell and Penny Edwards, both of Taylorsville, Ky.; and four grandchildren.
Thomas’ visitation will be tomorrow (Thursday) from 5 to 8 p.m. at Tandy-Eckler-Riley Funeral Home in Carrollton, Ky., and Friday after 11 a.m. at the Ghent (Ky.) Baptist Church. The funeral will be Friday at 1 p.m. at the church with burial in the Ghent Masonic Cemetery.