Department of Defense Education Activity

Lucas ES Principal Retires After 36 Years in Education

photo of principal

FORT CAMPBELL, KENTUCKY — February 3, 2023 — Mr. Steve Gardner, Principal of Lucas Elementary School, will retire on June 30, 2023, after 36 years in education. 

“Fort Campbell has been very fortunate to have an outstanding school leader such as Mr. Gardner for the past 13 years.” said Hugh McKinnon, Fort Campbell Community Superintendent. “His focus on the well-being of students and high levels of achievement have brought great success to the schools he served and the DoDEA Americas Southeast District.  We wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.” 

About Mr. Steve Gardner 

Mr. Gardner spent twenty-four years teaching with Miami-Dade County Schools and St. Lucie County Schools.  He began his teaching career in Louisville, Kentucky but quickly relocated to Miami, Florida where he taught for many years as Director of Bands at both the middle and high school levels.  He then moved to St. Lucie County where he served as Band Director, Dean of Students, and Assistant Principal.  

Mr. Gardner began his DoDEA career at Fort Campbell, KY in 2010 when he was selected as Assistant Principal of Barkley Elementary School.  He was soon promoted to principal at Mahaffey Middle School and went on to be principal of Lucas Elementary School after the consolidation of Wassom and Mahaffey Middle Schools.  Mr. Gardner has been the principal of Lucas Elementary School for 6 years.  In 2021 Lucas Elementary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Distinction for high academic achievement.   

Mr. Gardner and his family will relocate back to Florida after his retirement.