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Mt. Vernon leader named 'Superintendent of the Year'

A former mathematics teacher whose district has obtained rising test scores, smaller class sizes and more money for technology during his five years as superintendent, has been named "Superintendent of the Year" by the Illinois Association of School Administrators.

Kevin Settle, superintendent of Mount Vernon District 80, will represent Illinois at the American Association of School Administrators' conference in February, competing with superintendents from all 50 states for the title of AASA's national Superintendent of the Year.

"I've been blessed with a very cooperative Board of Education, a dedicated staff and supportive partnerships with the Mt. Vernon community. I couldn't be successful if it weren't for the group effort of all of these people," Settle told an audience at the third general session of the conference.

Not satisfied with his district's notable accomplishments to date, Settle said there is much more work to be done: "We are truly striving to provide equal educational opportunities for all students. Together we have been able to overcome barriers and improve the quality of education in Mount Vernon, and we plan to keep moving forward."

Settle, who has been superintendent in Mount Vernon for just five years, is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with Teacher Certification (1976). He received both his Master of Science Degree (1981) and Doctor of Philosophy Degree (1993) in Educational Administration from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Settle began his career in education teaching math at Webber Township High School in Mt. Vernon in 1977, and in 1982 he became the high school's principal. Three years later, Settle became the assistant regional superintendent of schools for Hamilton and Jefferson Counties. In 1994 Settle joined District 80, first as assistant superintendent and in 2002 as superintendent.

Settle belongs to many professional organizations, including the Illinois Association of School Administrators (Advisory Committee), Elementary District Organization (president), Education Council of 100, SIU Advisory Committee to Educational Administration, Educational League of Illinois, Franklin-Jefferson Counties Special Education Coop (chairman), Hamilton-Jefferson Counties Coop Board (chairman), and the Horace Mann League.

Raised in Charleston, Settle is the son of Nellie and the late Phillip Settle. He and his wife Cheryl, also a school administrator, have been married 31 years and reside in Mt. Vernon. They have a son, Jared, 24, who is a fourth-year student at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, and a daughter, Hillary, 21, who is a senior journalism major at Eastern Illinois University. Both children plan to graduate in May 2007.

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