When Matthew Boehman was in seventh grade, a history teacher changed his life. Mrs. Walls brought history to life for Boehman and led him to pursue a career in the education field.

On Tuesday, Boehman was named the new principal of Christian County High School.

Walls was even featured in the history textbooks that Boehman’s class used. She was a one of approximately 350,000 American women who joined the military during World War II.

Boehman’s textbook pictured his teacher as she was honored for her work in Africa during the war.

“I wanted to be like her,” he said. “I wanted to bring history to life for kids. She just instilled in me that that was the direction I wanted to go.”

Boehman fulfilled that dream and became a teacher. Eventually, he moved to his wife’s hometown of Hopkinsville and began teaching history at Trigg County High School along with coaching the school’s football team.

In 2011, he was named the principal of Pembroke Elementary School.

Five years ago, he joined the CCHS staff as an assistant principal. At the same time, Christopher Bentzel was named principal of CCHS.

On March 30, Bentzel was named the next superintendent of Christian County Public Schools. His appointment opened up the principal’s chair at CCHS.

Boehman said that over his time as an educator, moving into a leadership role felt like the right thing to do.

“Just through my roles of teaching and coaching, I thought (a leadership role) would be an interesting progression of my educational career,” he said.

Boehman’s final year as assistant principal of CCHS ended in a peculiar way as COVID-19 hit the district and country as a whole. CCPS began its non-traditional instruction on March 16 upon Gov. Andy Beshear’s request.

Boehman said the NTI program has gone well for CCHS.

“It’s an interesting time, obviously,” he said. “I think as administrators and teachers, we spend a lot more time trying to contact our students, trying to contact our staff members and trying to be more helpful than anything.”

He said it is an uncertain time for students and their families.

“More than anything, we just want to be there for our students,” he said. “And be the best we can to help them through this because it’s obviously a tough time for everybody.”

When Bentzel was selected as the new superintendent of CCPS, Bentzel said it was bittersweet. Although when he officially takes the position on June 30, he will only be moving down Glass Avenue to the central office, he said he would miss his family at CCHS.

Boehman agreed that CCHS is like his family, but he is still looking to finish this current year strong.

“Right now, I’m just excited because it is such a great family,” he said. “Such great students. Right now I just want to make sure we make the end of the school year for our seniors as special as possible given the circumstances.”

Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or jrusselburg@kentuckynewera.com

Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or jrusselburg@kentuckynewera.com

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