Carnegie Center announces abrupt resignation of its executive director, city councilmember Shayla D. Lynch, J.D.

LEXINGTON, KY – In a sudden and unexpected move, Shayla D. Lynch, J.D. the executive director of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, has resigned from her position, effective August 11, 2023. The announcement on Monday came as a surprise to many in the Lexington community, where Lynch has been a prominent figure in various leadership roles.

Lynch, who was elected as District 2 Councilmember in November 2022, has cited her Council duties and the pursuit of other interests as the reasons for her departure. She will continue to serve the Lexington community through her role as Councilmember.

The Carnegie Center Board of Trustees has appointed Jennifer Mattox, the development director and a Carnegie Center employee of 19 years, to serve as the interim director until a new executive director is hired.

Lynch’s tenure at the Carnegie Center began in May 2022, following the retirement of Neil Chethik, the previous director of 10 years. Her appointment came shortly after the center reopened its doors to the public after operating remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Lynch’s leadership, the Carnegie Center experienced significant growth. “The Carnegie Center grew by leaps and bounds during the pandemic. We added online classes and virtual programs to our offerings, and the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative, now with 150 active members, has flourished exponentially in the last year. The Carnegie Center is well-positioned to make great strides in service to our writers and learners,” said Board of Trustees Chair Paige Bensing.

Lynch’s background includes serving as the executive director of Ampersand from 2019-2022, and she was the assistant director of the Lexington Fair Housing Council Inc. from 2012-2019. Her commitment to housing equality and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence has been well-recognized in the community.

A native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Lynch holds a Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Government from Centre College and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. She is also a graduate of Leadership Lexington.

In her role as Councilmember, Lynch has been a strong advocate for housing equality and has served on various committees and task forces related to racial justice and equality. Her volunteer work includes serving on the board for Lexington Habitat for Humanity and teaching youth about entrepreneurship through Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass.

Lynch’s resignation, though abrupt, is seen as a significant moment in the ongoing evolution of the Carnegie Center. The Board of Trustees expressed gratitude for Lynch’s contributions and leadership and wished her all the best in her future endeavors.

As the search for a new executive director begins, the community will be watching closely to see how the Carnegie Center continues to build on the momentum created during Lynch’s tenure. Her legacy of service, advocacy, and commitment to literacy and learning will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the organization and the community at large.

Image: The Carnegie Center for Learning and Literacy announced the resignation of its Executive Director, Shayla D. Lynch, J.D. (Carnegie Center \ LFUCG)