Remembering William Helton
Recently, Magoffin County Schools lost one of its most notable educators, Mr. William Helton. He served the school system for 34 years before his retirement in 2008.
William Helton received a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography, with a minor in History, from Morehead State University in 1974. He began his teaching career at Prater Borders Elementary at Mine Fork. He taught Math at Millard Hensley Elementary at Bloomington for 10 years before joining the staff at Middle Fork Elementary, where he taught Social Studies. In 1989, Mr. Helton made the transition to teach History and Geography at Magoffin County High School. He received his Master’s in School Administration (Principalship) from Morehead State University, where he also received a Rank I Superintendent Certification.
Mr. Helton proudly served as principal at Millard Hensley Elementary, Prater Borders Elementary, and was also principal at Magoffin County High School from 1996 to 2005. At MCHS, he managed the largest school budget in the district, and made school Title IX compliant with the addition of volleyball, dance team and a golf team, which were a first for MCHS. He also started the very successful Project Graduation Program, thereby increasing graduation rates.
After a successful principalship, Mr. Helton was placed at Magoffin County School’s Central Office where he was Program Director of Facilities and Fleet until his retirement.
Magoffin County sports was always near and dear to Mr. Helton’s heart. During his tenure, he also served as basketball coach at Prater Borders Elementary, and Millard Hensley Elementary, where he coached his team to a county championship. He was also a bus driver for the school district from 1978-1985.
William Helton was a man of many talents and he used them for the betterment of Magoffin County Schools any way he could. He was member of both the Magoffin County Educational Association and the Kentucky Education Association.
His other affiliations included membership of Masonic Lodge #769; Pipefitting Local #155; Millwright Local #1031; Chairman of the Magoffin County Soil Conservation Board; and member of the Lakeville Baptist Church in Salyersville. Mr. Helton was also a life-long farmer of tobacco, hay and cattle.
Mr. Helton often said that Education was the only career he ever considered. He loved teaching and working with students. There are so many stories of how he made a special effort to connect with his students, and help them along in their lives, both in and out of the classroom. He was an educator at heart, and passed his love of learning to so many who will continue to remember him fondly.
William Helton left a legacy of hard work and determination. He believed that any task could be accomplished and every student could succeed if they tried their best and didn’t give up.
We at Magoffin County Schools will miss him terribly, and we send our deepest sympathies to his family.