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Campbellsville University honors 177 teachers in 66 school districts for excellence in teaching

                                                                                                                                                                May 16, 2015
For Immediate Release

Dr. Tommy Floyd preaches at Chapel

Dr. Tommy Floyd, chief of staff for the Kentucky Department of Education, urged the award
recipients to bring out the best in their students. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew


By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University honored 177 teachers from 66 school districts throughout Kentucky by receiving the Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award Saturday, May 16 at the Ransdell Chapel on the CU campus.

Dr. Thomas Floyd, chief of staff, office of the Commissioner of Education, gave greetings from Terry Holliday, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, who sent a video message to the teachers and praised their “innovative spirit.”

“I’m here today to recognize the quality of teaching and learning taking place in school systems throughout Kentucky,” Floyd said.

He said being a teacher today isn’t easy, as teachers wear multiple hats perhaps including counselor, disciplinarian, parent, friend, bus monitor, instructional leader, club sponsor and confidant.”

However, he told the teachers that a lot of progress had been made in Kentucky in recent years and people in the rest of the country want to emulate what Kentucky does.

He pointed out the progress that has been made such as: implementation of new standards that are raising the bar on education in Kentucky, more children are ready to take the next step with Kentucky’s college and career-readiness rate having climbed from 34 percent to 62.5 percent, and Kentucky’s graduation rate is in the top ten in the country at 87.5 percent.

He told the teachers that achievement gaps, however, do exist and “We must find a way to eliminate them. That is one of our priorities moving forward.”

He said the teachers serve all kids, and “You are dedicated to making sure each and every child succeeds.”

Floyd thanked the teachers for their gift of commitment to helping children. “Teaching is a life well spent,” he said.

Floyd gave several examples of influential teachers throughout his life who helped him with encouragement of reading in the first grade, being recognized for being the second person in his class to master his multiplication tables through 12 in the third grade, finding his career path as a biology teacher and learning the value of being punctual and having a good personal appearance.

“We thank you and recognize you for your gifts to the future,” he said.

Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Donna Hedgepath, dean of the School of Education and incoming vice president for academic affairs, presented the certificates to the teachers before a luncheon in Winters Dining Hall.

 Dr. Frank Cheatham and Dr. Donna Hedgepath
Dr. Frank Cheatham, left, receives an honorary Excellence in Teaching Award from Dr. Donna
Hedgepath, who is to begin serving in his role as vice president for academic affairs, upon
Cheatham’s retirement after 43 years at Campbellsville University. The ceremony was
Cheatham’s last official event before his retirement. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew

Cheatham, who is retiring after 43 years of service at Campbellsville, was given an honorary Excellence in Teaching Award, by Hedgepath for his 50 years of service in education.

He graduated from Campbellsville University in 1965 and taught math and biology at Taylor County High School for two years. He taught math and computer science at Campbellsville University from 1973 until becoming vice president for academic affairs in 1999 when he also still taught some classes periodically.

 Dr. John Chowning
Dr. John Chowning, vice president for church
and external relations and executive assistant
to the president, welcomed those attending on
behalf of Campbellsville Univeristy president
Michael V. Carter. He also read the names of
the award recipients. Dr. Donna Hedgepath,
dean of the School of Education, who is
becoming the new vice president for
academic affairs, is behind him.
(Campbellsville University Photo by Drew

Dr. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, introduced the speaker and welcomed the teachers to Campbellsville University on behalf of Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of the university.

Chowning congratulated the teachers for the dedication and working in such a “noble profession.” Chowning announced the names of the teachers from each school district as they received their awards.

Hedgepath congratulated the award recipients as well who have gone “above and beyond.”

Hannah Ellis
Hannah Ellis of Taylor County, who
is a Nashville recording artist recently
featured on “The Voice,” sang at the
ceremony. (Campbellsville University
Photo by Drew Tucker) 

Hannah Ellis of Taylor County, who is a Nashville recording artist recently featured on “The Voice,” sang at the ceremony.

Judith and Roger Davis provided music at a luncheon in honors of the teachers.

Campbellsville University began the Excellence in Teaching Awards Program in 1987 with assistance from Earl Aaron and the Ward, Cundiff and Aaron Memorial Fund. The purpose of the program is to recognize the quality teaching and learning taking place in the school systems throughout Kentucky.

Through the awards program, CU presents certificates to teachers in each grade level [preschool/elementary (P-five), middle grades (six to eight) and high school (nine to 12)] as selected by their school districts.

At this 29th annual program, CU recognized 177 teachers from 66 school districts. A total of 3,191 teachers have been recognized for their teaching excellence throughout the years.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is in partnership with Lexington’s CBS- affiliate, WKYT-TV.

The Excellence in Teaching Award recipients include the following with their superintendent listed first:

Adair County School System, Alan W. Reed, superintendent — Laura Beth Marcum, Adair County Primary Center, 1998 and 2002 Campbellsville University graduate; Jennifer Bryant Kemp, Adair County Middle School; and Bradley Neal Stephens, Adair County Youth Development Center;

Anderson County School System, Sheila Mitchell, superintendent – Shannon Lee Wells, Turner Elementary School; Leslie Spencer Edmondson, Anderson County Middle School; and Jaclyn R. Haddix, Anderson County High School, 2006 Campbellsville University graduate;

Barren County School System, Bo Matthews, superintendent – Deborah Renea Dickerson, North Jackson Elementary School; Olivia LeAnn Dooley, Barren County Middle School; and Karen L. Maxwell, Barren County High School;

Bell County School System, Yvonne Gilliam, superintendent – Melanie Renee Mills, Lone Jack School Center; Amanda S. Day, Bell Central School Center; and Karen Sue Saylor, Bell County High School;

Blue Grass Baptist School, Derek Holmes, chairman – Florence E. Jones, Blue Grass Baptist School;

Boone County School System, Randy Poe, superintendent – Anne Carroll Oney, Shirley Mann Elementary School; Don Black, Camp Ernst Middle School; and Debra Ann Garey, Conner High School;

Bourbon County School System, Lana Fryman, superintendent – Elaine K. Hacker, Cane Ridge Elementary School; Jamie Elizabeth “Betsy” DeGolian, Bourbon County Middle School; and Dr. Eric James Smart, Bourbon County High School;

Bracken County School System, Jeff Aulick, superintendent – Melinda Kay Persinger, Bracken County Middle School;

Breathitt County School System, Larry Hammond, state manager – Paul Douglas Halsey II, L.B.J. Elementary School; Tina Michelle Griffith, Sebastian Middle School; and Jayce Walker, Breathitt County High School;

Bullitt County School System, Keith Davis, superintendent – Gina Marie Beasley, Brooks Elementary School; Meredith Faye Patton, Bullitt Lick Middle School; and Christine Vowels Bickett, North Bullitt High School;

Burgin Independent School System, Martha Collier, superintendent – Cherie Lynn Chamberlain, Burgin Independent School (preschool); and Gabrielle Nicole Short, Burgin Independent School (middle/high);

Campbellsville Independent School System, Mike Deaton, superintendent – Shirley Diane Cox, Campbellsville Independent School, 1992 and 1995 Campbellsville University graduate; Mary Catherine “Katie” Wilkerson, Campbellsville Middle School, 1985 Campbellsville University graduate; and Benjamin Adam Davis, Campbellsville High School, 2007 Campbellsville University graduate;

Carter County School System, Ronnie Dotson, superintendent – Sonya A. Hay, Star Elementary School; Erin Michele Younkin, West Carter Middle School; and Sheri Jo Bonzo, East Carter High School;

Casey County School System, Marion Sowders, superintendent – Lesli J. Patten, Liberty Elementary School; Randall Scott Pierce, Casey County Middle School; and Richard B. Terry, Casey County High School;

Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg, Jason Gribbins, head of school – Kristy Lea Blacketer, Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg (elementary); Judith Ann Slyh, Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg (middle); and Jennings B. Barnett, Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg (high);

Clark County School System, Paul Christy, superintendent – Amy Michele Madsen, George Rogers Clark High School;

Cornerstone Christian School, Joseph Allen, principal – LeNita Michelle Fugate, Cornerstone Christian School (elementary); and Kimberly Marie White, Cornerstone Christian School (middle);

Crittenden County School System, Vince Clark, superintendent – Sarah J. Riley, Crittenden County Elementary School; Neal Bryant, Crittenden County Middle School; and Kim Hunt Vince, Crittenden County High School;

Cumberland County School System, Dr. Kirk Biggerstaff, superintendent – Kara Vest Wilbert, Cumberland County Elementary School; Amber Ferguson, Cumberland County Middle School; and Heidi Ciccarelli Smith, Cumberland County High School;

Danville Christian Academy, Debra Lucas, headmaster – Jana Sharon Oliver, Danville Christian Academy (elementary); Gina Diane Waldrop, Danville Christian Academy (middle); and Kimberly Shae McCowan, Danville Christian Academy (high);

Danville Independent Schools, Dr. Keith Look, superintendent – Michelle “Renee” Lanigan, Jennie Rogers Elementary School; Diania G. Henderson, Bate Middle School; and Andrew James Groves, Danville High School;

Daviess County School System, Owens Sayler, superintendent – Diana Lynn Roberts, Country Heights Elementary School; Karen Jeanne Mallonee, College View Middle School; and Debbie W. Muse, Apollo High School;

East Bernstadt Independent School System, Vicki Jones, superintendent – Connie Sue Floyd, East Bernstadt Independent School (elementary); and Rebecca Michelle Evans, East Bernstadt Independent School (middle);

Edmonson County School System, Patrick L. Waddell, superintendent – Lauren Elaine Alford, South Edmonson Elementary School; Amanda Stice Davis, Edmonson County Middle School; and Carolyn Ann Vincent, Edmonson County High School;

Elizabethtown Independent School System, Jon Ballard, superintendent – Melissa Lynn Gregory, Panther Academy; and Kerrie Ann Bal, Talton K. Stone Middle School;

Estill County School System, Randall Christopher, superintendent – Jennifer Kaitlyn Parker, South Irvine P-K Center; and Andrea Banks, Estill County Middle School;

Fulton Independent School System, Tamara Smith, superintendent – Sherri Lynn Mercer, Carr Elementary School; and Daniel Benjamin Dietrich, Fulton City High School;

Gallatin County School System, Travis Huber, superintendent – Donna Kannady, Gallatin County Elementary School; Kimberly S. Jones, Gallatin County Middle School; and Dara Lynne Hale, Gallatin County High School;

Garrard County School System, Paul M. Mullins, superintendent – Sharon Kay Hurt, Lancaster Elementary School; Jennifer Eden Rhodus, Garrard Middle School; and Emily Michelle Lane, Garrard County High School;

Glasgow Independent School System, D. Sean Howard, superintendent – Lisa R. Vaught, South Green Elementary School; Heather Marion Johnson, Glasgow Middle School; and A. Jade Nadile, Glasgow High School;

Green County School System, Jim Frank, superintendent – Darlene Henderson, Green County Primary School, 2007 Campbellsville University graduate; and Deborah Marie Thompson, Green County Middle School, 1995 Campbellsville University graduate;

Greenup County School System, Sherry Horsley, superintendent – LeeAnn Boggs Stout, Greysbranch Elementary School; Deborah L. Harbour, McKell Middle School; and Melissa Ann Bowling, Greenup County High School;

Hardin County School System, Nannette Johnston, superintendent – Kelly Anna Wilson, Howevalley Elementary School; Steven Ray Everage, James T. Alton Middle School; and Katherine Mallary Graybeal, Central Hardin High School;

Harlan County School System, T. Michael Howard, superintendent – Emily Renee Jones, James A. Cawood Elementary School; Nancy S. Cantrell, Green Hills Elementary School; and Lealon Scott Pace, Harlan County High School;

Harrison County School System, Andy Dotson, superintendent – Katherine Eads Rush, Eastside Elementary School; Leann Michelle Brannock, Harrison County Middle School; and David Wayne Adams, Harrison County High School;

Hart County School System, Ricky D. Line, superintendent – Bethann Nicole Neville, LeGrande Elementary School; Lori Beth Sexton, Cub Run Elementary School; and Pamela Kaye Glaab, Hart County High School;

Jefferson County School System, Dr. Donna Hargens, superintendent – Cheng Zhao Fisher, Field Elementary School; Caitlin Marie Jennings, Noe Middle School; and Jennifer Cain Fuchs, Seneca High School;

Jessamine County School System, Kathy Fields, superintendent; Susan Fleming Strait, Jessamine Early Learning Village; Jason Sharp, East Jessamine Middle School; and Adam Clayton Lowe, West Jessamine High School;

Kentucky Christian Academy, Lori J. Eubank administrator – Cheris Lynn Young, Kentucky Christian Academy, 2010 and 2012 Campbellsville University graduate;

Kentucky School for the Deaf School System, Walter T. Hulett, superintendent – Byron P. Wilson, Kentucky School for the Deaf (elementary); Ann Elizabeth Arnold, Kentucky School for the Deaf (middle); and Alexandra Meckes, Kentucky School for the Deaf (high);

Knox County School System, Kelly Sprinkles, superintendent – Kathy Lynn Justice, Lynn Camp Elementary School; Jennifer Anne Mills, Knox County Middle School; and Lee Edward Campbell, Knox Central High School;

LaRue County School System, Sam Sanders, superintendent – Laura Marie Kudrna, Hodgenville Elementary School; Seronia Ann Hudson, LaRue County Middle School, 2001 Campbellsville University graduate; and Amy Jo South, LaRue County High School;

Laurel County School System, Dr. Doug Bennett, superintendent – Carla Claiborne, Johnson Elementary School; Kristina Renea Thomas, North Laurel Middle School; and Rhonda Reid Bryant, North Laurel High School;

Lincoln County School System, Karen Hatter, superintendent – Dana G. Bullock, Crab Orchard Elementary School; Catherine Ann Hill, Lincoln County Middle School; and Donita Lynn Brock, Lincoln County High School, 2008 Campbellsville University graduate;

Logan County School System, Dr. Kevin F. Hub, superintendent – Teresa Lynn Head, Auburn School; Sherrie L. Pryor, Chandlers School; and Bryan Estes, Logan County High School;

Marion County School System, Taylora Schlosser, superintendent – Jayne Allison Litton, Calvary Elementary School School, 2009 and 2014 Campbellsville University graduate; Teresa Ann Barnett, Lebanon Middle School, 1993 and 1996 Campbellsville University graduate; and Mary D. Rush, Marion County High School;

Marshall County School System, Trent Lovett, superintendent – Suzanne McKenty, Central Elementary School; Leslie Radcliffe, South Marshall Middle School; and Robert Doug Lyles, Marshall County High School;

Mercer County School System, Dennis Davis, superintendent – Lisa LaFavers Combs, Mercer County Intermediate School; Erica Lynn Ashford, King Middle School; and Anna Maria Taylor, Mercer County Senior High School;

Metcalfe County School System, Dr. Benny Lile, superintendent – Cathy Jean Jessie, Metcalfe County Elementary School; Dorina Lynn Thiery, Metcalfe County Middle School, 2005 Campbellsville University graduate; and Henry “Jay” Damron, Metcalfe County High School;

Nelson County School System, Anthony Orr, superintendent – Mollie Smith Medley, Foster Heights Elementary School; Heather Renee Smith, Boston School; and Amy Elizabeth Herberg, Thomas Nelson High School;

Owen County School System, Robert Stafford, superintendent; Teresa Parker Dempsey, Owen County Elementary School; Candy Jo Osborne, Maurice Bowling Middle School; and Kevin B. Webster, Owen County High School;

Paris Independent School System, Gary Wiseman, superintendent – Vanessa Wright, Parish High School;

Perry County School System, Jonathan Jett, superintendent – Melissa Begley Moore, Viper Elementary School; Michael Joseph Slagell, Robinson Elementary School; and Anthony Melton, Perry County Central High School;

Pulaski County School System, Steve Butcher, superintendent – Tracy Lynn Childress, Nancy Elementary School; Christopher Michael Fabrizio, Northern Middle School; and Karen Lynn Smith, Southwestern High School, 1981 Campbellsville University graduate;

Rockcastle County School System, David A. Pensol, superintendent – Linda Denise Clontz, Mount Vernon Elementary School; Kimberly Renee Wolfe, Rockcastle County Middle School; and Shawnetha Noelle Watson, Rockcastle County High School;

Russell County School System, Michael A. Ford, superintendent – Dena Ann Flatt, Russell Springs Elementary School; Vickie Lea Cain, Russell County Middle School, 2009 Campbellsville University graduate; and Christopher C. Godby, Russell County High School;

Simpson County School System, Dr. James Flynn, superintendent – Jessica DarBy Mitchell, Simpson Elementary School; Matthew Ewing Marsh, Franklin Simpson Middle School; and Denise Michele Reetzke, Franklin Simpson High School;

Somerset Christian School System, John Hale, principal – Susan Marie Lange, Somerset Christian School (elementary); Riley Thomas Perkins, Somerset Christian School (middle) and Guy Robert Crubaugh, Somerset Christian School (high);

Somerset Independent School System, Boyd L. Randolph, superintendent; Cynthia Ann Ikerd, Hopkins Elementary School; Barbara K. Brown, Meece Middle School; and Kristi L. Jenkins, Somerset High School;

Spencer County School System, Chuck Adams, superintendent – Rebekah Ingram, Spencer County Elementary School; and Leann Wafford, Spencer County High School;

Taylor County School System, Roger D. Cook, superintendent; Joan Willis Tinnell, Taylor County Elementary School, 1991 Campbellsville University graduate; Leigh Ann Hayes, Taylor County Middle School, 2008 Campbellsville University graduate; and Susan Beth Dillery, Taylor County High School;

Todd County School System, Wayne Benningfield, superintendent – Sheila Michelle Woodall, North Todd Elementary School;

Trigg County School System, Travis Hamby, superintendent – Kendell Lynn Finley, Trigg County Intermediate School; and Amy Amanda Breckel, Trigg County High School;

Walton-Verona Independent School System, Dr. Robert Storer, superintendent – Kristin Blevins Bach, Walton-Verona Elementary School; and Kristen Alice Gerrein, Walton-Verona High School;

Warren County School System, Rob Clayton, superintendent – Arrah Smith Holdsworth, Richardsville Elementary School; Stacey Rose, Drakes Creek Middle School; and Karen Renea Furlong, Warren East High School; and

Washington County School System, J. Robin Cochran, superintendent – Kim D. Abell, Washington County Elementary School, 2000 and 2003 Campbellsville University graduate; Michelle D. Devine, North Washington Middle School; and Lauren E. Powell, Washington County High School.

The Campbellsville University School of Education offers the following programs: undergraduate: P-5, elementary education; 5-9, middle grades education; 8-12, English, math, biology, chemistry and social studies; P-12, art, music, health and physical education; P-12, English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement; P-12, environmental education endorsement; P-12, Spanish; P-12, special education; early childhood education, and interdisciplinary early childhood education;

Graduate – teacher leader master of arts in education; teacher leader master of arts in special education; master of arts in special education initial certification; Rank I program; director of special education; P-12, ESL endorsement; P-12, environmental education endorsement; P-12, gifted and talented education endorsement; and P-12, moderate and severe disabilities certification.

The school has 18 faculty members with five staff members. There are two student organizations Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) International Honor Society and The Education Club.

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accredits the Campbellsville   University School of Education.

The 2015 Excellence in Teaching Committee consists of: Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Donna Hedgepath, dean of the School of Education and incoming vice president for academic affairs;
Linda Beal, adjunct instructor in mathematics; Bettye MacFarland, assistant to the dean of the School of Education; Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator;

Paula Smith, director of alumni relations; Kellie Vaughn, secretary to the president; Linda Waggener, marketing and media relations coordinator; and Connie Wilson, academic coordinator.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is