NORFOLK, Neb. -- A northeast Nebraska high school has its newest principal.

After an interview process involving students, parents, teachers, staff members, administrators, and community members, Jason Settles has been selected as the Principal of Norfolk Senior High School for the 2023-2024 school year, pending official Board approval later this month.

Settles replaces Dr. Derek Ippensen, who announced last month that he would be leaving the district at the end of the school year.

“Mr. Settles is a Norfolk Panther alumnus," Norfolk Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jami Jo Thompson said. "Three things are very evident about Mr. Settles: 1. He loves Norfolk Senior High School. 2. He is passionate about helping every student meet their goals for the future. 3. He believes that Norfolk Senior High School is a great place for students and staff, but he wants to make it even better.”

Settles was hired as an assistant principal for Norfolk High School in 2014. Among the things that Thompson credited Settles for during his tenure were "increased safety measures, a more rigorous curriculum, and improvements to our Alternatives for Success program, English Language Learner program, and Special Education program."

Settles has two Masters degrees, one in educational leadership and one in curriculum and instruction. He also has an educational specialist degree and was awarded the Nebraska Council of School Administrators’ Region 3 Assistant Principal of the Year in 2015-2016.

Prior to his return to Norfolk High School, Settles taught social studies at La Vista Junior High School in La Vista and Southeast High School in Lincoln.

“I am humbled and excited to be selected as the next principal of Norfolk Senior High School," Settles said. "I look forward to helping the staff of NHS prepare all students to pursue their goals for the future.”