New Christian County superintendent Bentzel hopes to help students take advantage of opportunities

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Chris Bentzel, Christian County's new Superintendent, speaks with students at an event before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christian County’s new Superintendent Chris Bentzel said he wants to fully support students to help prepare them for their future. After leaving the U.S. Army, he taught 5th-grade social studies for four years in Christian County, then went on to be an elementary school principal, middle school principal and high school principal there.
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Editor’s Note: This is the seventh of a series of stories Kentucky Teacher is running about new superintendents for the 2020-2021 school year.

By Sky Carroll
sky.carroll@education.ky.gov

As a student, Chris Bentzel wishes he would’ve had a little more guidance on taking advantage of opportunities and making wise decisions for his future. As the new superintendent for Christian County Schools, he wants to fully support students to help prepare them for their future.

“I’m looking forward to being able to positively influence our children – the next generation,” Bentzel said. “I want to help them take advantage of what’s in front of them.”

Bentzel, who has been serving as superintendent since July 1, said he’s most looking forward to seeing students again. However, he said he plans to prioritize safety and health and hopes students and teachers are excited to be back in school.

“I just want to see our teachers and kids again and I want everyone to be safe,” he said. “It’s been a challenging six months and it’s time for a little positivity.”

Bentzel grew up in Lancaster, Penn., a suburb outside Philadelphia. After graduating from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, he spent 10 years in the U.S. Army.

In the last four years of his service, Bentzel found his way to Kentucky, stationed at Fort Campbell.

After leaving the Army, he taught 5th-grade social studies for four years in Christian County, then went on to be an elementary school principal, middle school principal and high school principal there.

Bentzel earned his master’s degree in school administration and Rank 1 in school leadership from Murray State University.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Kelly, who has been a 5th-grade math teacher at South Christian Elementary School for the past 10 years, and their five children.

Bentzel has a 7-year-old, a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 23-year-old stepdaughter, who currently is attending Murray State University to be a teacher.

The Bentzels adopted the three older children through the Kentucky foster care system.

When it comes to the upcoming school year, Bentzel said he is excited to continue to have the opportunity to influence and “tell my story to the next generation.”

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