Laurel Co. Schools hires new superintendent

By Paige Quiggins | 

Six months after a school superintendent resigned in the wake of D.U.I. charges, the Laurel County Board of Education picks a new leader.

Doug Bennett signed his 4-year contract on Friday, Apr. 27. Bennett was one of 22 applicants for the job and said he's looking forward to what's ahead.

After 20 years working for Whitley County Schools, Doug Bennett has worn many hats.

“From being a teacher, to a counselor, to a principal, from the board level from the school level, being involved in the community, those experiences are invaluable in preparing you for the wide scope that is required,” said Bennett.

Bennett said he has a plan for his new role as the Laurel County Schools superintendent.

“I think the primary focus of any school district or any superintendent is student achievement, and the ultimate goal is to allocate all resources, all personnel, all focus on, to achieve just that,” said Bennett.

The father of three said his children would attend Laurel County Schools once the family moves there and he stressed that student achievement did not stop at test scores.

“Those are indicators of a healthy district, but it doesn’t stop there,” said Bennett.
“I want to focus on the whole gamete, extracurricular activities and all aspects.”

Bennett said he will miss Williamsburg and Whitley County because that is where his entire career in teaching has been so far but he is excited for the new opportunities in a different place.

“It is bittersweet, you always get attached to people and my entire educational career to date has been in Whitley County and I have a strong affection for all those folks but this is a new beginning and this is a chance to develop that strong affection for additional family in Laurel County,” said Bennett.

Bennett said he looks forward to leading one of the biggest school districts in the region...

“My focus as superintendent would be to lead to what I understand to be an already outstanding staff to be among one of the top ten percent scoring districts in the state of Kentucky,” said Bennett.

Laurel County Schools has around 9,100 students enrolled, while Whitley County Schools have just over 4,000.

Bennett will begin his duties on July 1. He said he will be attending the school board meetings before his "official" start.