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Kelly Wayne Kilpatrick

Inducted 2001

Kelly Wayne Kilpatrick retired in January 2001 after serving for more than 30 years as principal of Jefferson County High School in Monticello.

Kilpatrick served as a member of the FHSAA Board of Directors for 14 years. During the 1996-97 school year, when the Association fell into disfavor with the Florida Legislature, Kilpatrick was appointed to serve as chair of the Association’s newly established Public Liaison Advisory Committee. This committee, under Kilpatrick’s leadership, proposed the reorganization of the FHSAA governance structure that was accepted as a compromise by the Legislature and brought the Association back from the brink of dissolution.

Kilpatrick also served as president of both the Florida Association of Secondary School Principals and the Florida Association of School Administrators.

Kilpatrick began teaching diversified career technology at Jefferson County High School in 1968. A mere year-and-a-half later, he was named principal. At only 28, Kilpatrick was the youngest principal in the state. His tenure saw him lead the school through desegregation, two school boycotts, ulcer treatment and open heart surgery. After suffering a major heart attack, Kilpatrick was back on the job just two weeks later.

Kilpatrick led Jefferson County High School to the highest pass rate in the state for the Florida High School Competency Test in 1984. His dedication to motivating his students allowed him to foster the Flyin' Tigers Academic Program, which targets 100 ninth graders struggling with basic math and reading skills.

Kilpatrick garnered many accolades for his work, including a Florida Association of School Administrators Service Award, Outstanding Administrator Award from OSGA (Vocational), Most Valuable Principal Award from the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium and the Governor's Award for School's Academic Achievement. He served in the United States Army from 1957 to 1960, received the Leroy Collins Distinguished Alumni Award from North Florida Community College in 1994 and received an Outstanding Citizenship Award from the Hiram Masonic Lodge #49 in 2000.

Kilpatrick was born in Fort Meade, Fla. He graduated from Florida State University in 1968 and received a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Florida State University in 1970. Kilpatrick and his wife, Jan, resided in Tallahassee until his death in June 2004.