Jon Akers, a former Kentucky Principal of the Year, has been named director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety. Akers will replace Lois Adams Rogers, who returned to the Kentucky Department of Education last spring. He will start Feb. 1.

“Jon enjoys a reputation as one of Kentucky’s outstanding school leaders with excellent experience in all aspects of public education, including school safety,” said Blake Haselton, the Oldham County superintendent who chairs the center. “We’re excited about having him on board and look forward to his direction and leadership.”

A 1998 state law led to creation of the Center for School Safety as an information and training clearinghouse on school safety issues. The center also oversees much of the state’s school safety funding. Since 1998, the center has handed out $23 million to school districts for school safety improvements, such as alternative programs.

The center is housed at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.

Akers also will oversee the annual school safety data collection, which looks at everything from gun incidents to how many times students sass their teachers.

Akers was a principal at Lexington Junior High School and Bryan Station High School before spending 10 years as principal at Dunbar High School. He was named state principal of the year in 1998.

Akers joined Gray Construction shortly after his 1999 retirement, but decided he needed to return to schools. He said he wants to focus school safety on better relationships between students and adults.

“When that happens, you can garner a lot more information and head off unwanted activity,” he said.