James Ishmael, 1969-1970
James Ishmael, 1969-1970

James D. Ishmael was a native of Mt. Sterling and attended Morehead on an athletic scholarship.  He was the first in his family to attend college.  After graduating from Morehead and after serving in World War II, he taught and coached at Vanceburg and West Liberty for a few years.  In 1946, he became the first football coach at Lafayette, where he remained as coach for five years.  He then became dean of boys and served as assistant principal at Lafayette High School for six years.  He was appointed principal of Picadome Elementary and served there until being appointed principal of Lafayette in 1962.  He remained principal until 1969, when he became an assistant superintendent of Fayette County Schools.  He served as treasurer and was responsible for building projects.  He retired from education in July 1976 after serving for 36 years.  The Fayette County Board of Education honored him at his retirement by naming the Lafayette football field the James D. Ishmael Stadium, which remains to this day.