Settle to retire after 50 Years as west Kentucky educator

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After 50 years as a devoted educator — including 14 as the executive director for the West Kentucky Educational Cooperative — John C. Settle, a resident of Murray, is set to retire July 31.

Dr. Settle joined WKEC in 2006. His career began in 1970 as a social studies teacher in McLean County (KY) Schools. Settle transferred to Daviess County Schools in 1988 where he served a director of elementary schools and professional development.

Settle was appointed superintendent of Bowling Green City Schools in June 1994 and remained in that position until November 2005 when he joined the faculty of Murray State University as director of research and school services. In July 2006 he became executive director of the West Kentucky Educational Cooperative. During his time at the cooperative, Settle was responsible for winning more than $40 million in grant awards for west Kentucky schools, establishing a regional professional development and conference center in Eddyville, and launching a regional crisis response and recovery procedure for west Kentucky schools. Settle earned a bachelor’s degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College, master’s and educational specialist degrees from Western Kentucky University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Settle says his greatest source of pride and joy is the success of his three children who followed him in careers in education. His daughter, Jennifer Settle Humphrey is the principal of Southern Oaks Elementary School in Daviess County. His oldest son, Tres Settle, is currently superintendent of Calloway County Schools, and Blake Settle, his youngest child, is a social studies and government teacher in Bowling Green City Schools.

“Dr. Settle has provided outstanding leadership for the West Kentucky Educational Cooperative during his tenure, progressing the organization to new heights,” said Russ Tilford, Lyon County Schools Superintendent and WKEC Board chairman. “Early in my career as a superintendent, Dr. Settle could always be counted on to be an experienced voice of reason. His guidance and friendship were extremely valuable to me during our time together.”

WKEC’s executive committee is immediately beginning the search for the cooperative’s next executive director. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit inquiries, resumes, and cover letters to by June 1, 2020.

The West Kentucky Educational Cooperative is one of eight regional educational cooperatives in the Commonwealth. WKEC serves 25 rural public school districts and one diocese in far western Kentucky. These districts—which include 113 elementary schools, 33 middle schools, and 36 high schools—represent more than 80,000 students and 5,600 certified staff members. WKEC’s staff of 70 provide a wide-range of support services including teacher and administrator professional development, special and adult education, grant writing, and unified purchasing. The Cooperative’s main office is located on the campus of Murray State University, with a centralized professional development and conference center in Eddyville.