In 1991 while finishing up his senior year at the University of Kentucky, Doug Bechanan’s advisor told him of a teacher vacancy in Nicholas County and encouraged him to apply. As he drove to the county that day, he saw a community that was full of pride for their school system. At the time he says he saw thought he could easily see himself teaching in the county. What he could not imagine is that one day he would be named Superintendent of the district.
Last Wednesday evening, the Nicholas County Board of Education unanimously voted to do just that, welcoming Mr. Bechanan as its new Superintendent. This was the end of a process, several months in the making as it involved a search committee and multiple rounds of interviews of the 19 applicants.
Growing up on a tobacco and cattle farm just outside of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Doug began his teaching career in Nicholas County in 1991 as Agricultural Education teacher. Later he was principal of Nicholas County High School from 1998-2006 and has served since as District Administrator for the past twelve years.
Mr. Bechanan explains that his goals for the district are, “To provide a caring, safe environment where our students can learn at high levels to develop a pathway for their future.” One of his major goals is to keep the district within its economic means in a time where school districts are continually “asked to do more with less”.
“Nicholas County is blessed to have such a wonderful school system. We have modern facilities, opportunities for students, and one of the best staffs that you could find anywhere” Bechanan says.
While Bechanan states district improvements in academics and facilities, he wants to see continued effort in improving student achievement and opportunities. “My goal is for every student to have a strong academic skill set that will provide a foundation for future learning”. He states that group test scores will only increase unless there is a concentration on the needs of the individual student. The new superintendent gives credit to the district’s educators in this effort as they “continue to roll-up their sleeves and work unselfishly every day to change lives”.
Some of his plans include an emphasis on school safety as he wants to ensure that every child feels and is safe when they come to school. Additionally he sees a need for the continued development of communication with parents, encouragement of career and college readiness, maintenance of facilities, and promotion of transparency.
It is evident that Bechanan holds a great pride in the school system and believes in the community. “It’s a wonderful place to live and raise children. With the district and community working together it will only bring success for our students and citizens”.
“I am so very grateful to the members of the Nicholas County Board of Education for allowing me an opportunity in leading this district. It’s a blessing to be part of a wonderful team of people that truly care about students.”
Bechanan is married to Cassinda, they have two children, Logan and Fielden, and reside in Nicholas County.