By Joan C. McKinney, director, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky’s 2017 Elementary Teacher of the Year, Kellie Jones of Taylor County’s Intermediate School, urged the teachers to whom she spoke at Campbellsville University to “keep your passion for teaching” and “Students today need passionate and energetic influence in their learning and in their lives.”
Jones addressed the 190 teachers throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky throughout 69 districts as they received Campbellsville University’s Excellence in Teaching Awards during the 31st annual ceremony Saturday, May 20 in Ransdell Chapel.
Jones told the teachers, during her first year of teaching, she was expecting her first child, and she received an apple and an inspirational message daily from one of her students.
She said the notes encouraged her and were treasured by her. “They helped me to stay focused on finding the good in all situations and encouraged me to strive to accomplish goals with perseverance,” she said.
Jones, who has taught 25 years and who is a Campbellsville University alumna, told the teachers to find their “great potential to be a positive influence for both your colleagues and your students.
“I want to encourage Kentucky teachers to search ways to continually grow, go after your passions, step out and take risks and encourage your coworkers and students to do the same.”
She encouraged the teachers to be “world class” and not just “middle class” or in other words “good enough.”
“Our students, our families, our communities and our nation deserve a brighter future and you have the opportunity to impact that.
“You can be influential to make a positive change during the time that you have your students in your care. The encouragement for students to strive to become all that they can be will build a brighter future for us all.”
Dr. Donna Hedgepath, vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Beverly Ennis, dean of the School of Education presented the certificates to the teachers before a luncheon in Winters Dining Hall.
Hedgepath, who has taught in the public-school system, told the teachers, “We celebrate you today. You can’t pay enough money for wonderful teachers. We applaud the best of the best of teachers today.”
Ennis said, “Teaching is the profession that creates all others,” is a motto hanging in Campbellsville University’s School of Education building.
“We don’t celebrate teachers enough. We are honored today to celebrate hard-working teachers. Thank you for your service to the children of Kentucky.”
She said Campbellsville University is the most diverse private college in Kentucky and is in the top five lowest debt colleges in the southern region of the United States.
Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president of Campbellsville University for government, community and constituent relations, introduced Kellie Jones and read the names of the honorees.
Kelli Evans, a Campbellsville University student, sang, and Corey Bonds, assistant director of bands and instructor in music, accompanied her on piano.
Dr. Shane Garrison, vice president for enrollment services, gave the benediction before the luncheon.
At this 31th annual program, CU recognized 190 teachers from 69 school districts. A total of 3,580 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, Dr. Pam Stevens, superintendent – Laura Murrell, Adair County Primary Center; Carl Sode, Adair County Middle School; and Victoria Leibeck-Owsley, Adair County High School;
Anderson County School System, Sheila Mitchell, superintendent – Jason Alexander, Robert B. Turner Elementary School, 2008 Campbellsville University graduate alumnus; Alexander Hunter, Anderson County Middle School; and Lisa Clarke, Anderson County High School;
Bardstown Independent School System, Brent Holsclaw, superintendent – Kim Case, Bardstown High School, 1996 Campbellsville University undergraduate alumna;
Barren County School System, Bo Matthews, superintendent – Jeanie Rogers, Austin-Tracy Elementary School; Casey Powell, Barren County Middle School; and William Fant, Barren County High School;
Bath County School System, Harvey Tackett, superintendent – Connie Richardson, Crossroads Elementary School; Tonia Hunt-Gibson, Bath County Middle School; and Kristal Robinson, Bath County High School;
Bell County School System, Yvonne Gilliam, superintendent – Amanda Elliott, Page School Center; Misty Barnes, Yellow Creek School Center; and Herbert Garnett, Bell County High School;
Bourbon County School System, Amy Baker, superintendent – Lydia Austin, North Middletown Elementary School; Tiffany Bagley, Bourbon County Middle School; and Amy Hynes, Bourbon County High School;
Bullitt County School System, Keith Davis, superintendent – Brittany Joiner, Nichols Elementary School; Jodi Jones, Eastside Middle School; and Cecilia Zehnder, North Bullitt High School;
Burgin Independent School System, Martha Collier, superintendent – Tiffany Wilson, Burgin Independent School, Elementary; Dentineé Rizzuto, Burgin Independent School, Middle; and Jennifer Barlow, Burgin Independent School, High;
Butler County School System, Scott Howard, superintendent – James Felty Jr., North Butler Elementary School; Holly Elmore, Butler County Middle School; and Joanna Embry, Butler County High School;
Campbellsville Independent School System, Mike Deaton, superintendent – Leanna Cundiff, Campbellsville Elementary School; Robbilyn Speer, Campbellsville Middle School, 2009 Campbellsville University undergraduate and 2013 graduate alumna; and Tyler Hardy, Campbellsville High School, 2012 Campbellsville University undergraduate alumnus;
Carter County School System, Dr. Ronnie Dotson, superintendent – Kathy Glancy, Olive Hill Elementary School; June Alexander, East Carter Middle School; and Wendy Potter, East Carter High School;
Casey County School System, Marion Sowders, superintendent – Shelly Hill, Jones Park Elementary School; Julie Hayes, Casey County Middle School; and Susan Stringer, Casey County High School, 1991 Campbellsville University undergraduate alumna;
Caverna Independent School System, Cornelius Faulkner, superintendent – Talara Dennison, Caverna Elementary School; Heather Vincent, Caverna Middle School; and Stephanie Price, Caverna High School;
Cloverport Independent School System, Keith Haynes, superintendent – Mary Tindle, William H. Natcher Elementary School; Jill Powers, Frederick Fraize Middle School; and Alicia Emmick, Frederick Fraize High School;
Crittenden County School System, Vince Clark superintendent – Tiffany DeBoe, Crittenden County Elementary School; Talley Joyce, Crittenden County Middle School; and Cara Merrick, Crittenden County High School;
Cumberland County School System, Dr. Kirk Biggerstaff, superintendent – Becky Ballard, Cumberland County Elementary School; Rodney Smith, Cumberland County Middle School; and Nathan Britt, Cumberland County High School;
Danville Independent Schools, Dr. Keith Look, superintendent – Angie Holderman, Hogsett Elementary School; Sarah Wall, Bate Middle School; and Logan Scisco, Danville High School;
Daviess County School System, Owens Saylor, superintendent – Lori Ann Clements, West Louisville Elementary School; Olga Payne, Daviess County Middle School; and Emily Harpenau, Apollo High School;
East Bernstadt Independent School System, Vicki Jones, superintendent – Stacy Durham, East Bernstadt Independent School, Elementary; and Karen Nantz, East Bernstadt Independent School, Middle;
Edmonson County School System, Patrick Waddell, superintendent – Melissa Vincent, South Edmonson Elementary School; Cara Compton, Edmonson County 5/6 Center; and Leanne Pierce, Edmonson County High School;
Elizabethtown Independent School System, Jon Ballard, superintendent – Jill Valentine, Panther Academy; and Rhonda Wilson, Elizabethtown High School;
Frankfort Christian Academy, Carrie Beth Tigges, superintendent – Margaret Bevins, The Frankfort Christian Academy, Elementary; Ruth Fitz-Gerald, The Frankfort Christian Academy, Middle; and Amanda Hendriz, The Frankfort Christian Academy, High;
Franklin County Schools, Chrissy Jones, superintendent – Marjorie Allen, Peaks Mill Elementary School; Bobbie Fryman, Bondurant Middle School; and Eric Shields, Western Hills High School;
Gallatin County School System, Travis Huber, superintendent – Samantha Bray, Gallatin County Elementary School; and Melissa Clinkenbeard, Gallatin County High School;
Garrard County School System, Corey Keith, superintendent – Jason Bisher, Camp Dick Robinson School; Jacob Simpson, Garrard Middle School; and Joseph Chamberlain, Garrard County High School;
Glasgow Independent School System, Larry Hammond, superintendent – Lisa Woodward, Highland Elementary School; Tammy Witcher, Glasgow Middle School; and Lisa Bartley, Glasgow High School;
Green County School System, Jim Frank, superintendent – Amy Shofner, Green County Primary School, 1996 Campbellsville University graduate alumna; Sandra Bell, Green County Middle School; and Laura Cash, Green County High School, 2012 Campbellsville University undergraduate alumna;
Greenup County School System, Sherry Horsley, superintendent – Mitzi Lanning, Greysbranch Elementary School; Kenton Horsley, McKell Middle School; and Ashley Smith, Greenup County High School;
Hardin County School System, Teresa Morgan, superintendent – Sabrina Mackey, North Park Elementary School; Nicholas Ritter, James T. Alton Middle School; and Danna Pearsall, Central Hardin High School;
Harlan County School System, T. Michael Howard, superintendent – Priscilla Britton, Cawood Elementary School; Billy Cottrell Jr., Wallins Elementary School; and Robin Sanders, Harlan County High School;
Harrison County School System, Andy Dotson, superintendent – Darla Grob, Northside Elementary School; Laurie Thomas, Harrison County Middle School; and Roger Hurst, Harrison County High School;
Hart County School System, Ricky Line, superintendent – Susan Rowe, Bonnieville Elementary School; Matthew Hawkins, Cub Run Elementary School; and David Williams, Hart County High School;
Jefferson County School System, Dr. Donna Hargens, superintendent – Jecorey Arthur, Hite Elementary School; Alexander Whittenburg, Moore Middle School; and Brandon Riddle, Seneca High School;
Jenkins Independent School System, Michael Genton, superintendent — Brian Bentley, Jenkins Independent School, Middle;
Jessamine County School System, Kathy Fields, superintendent – Donna McDermott, Red Oak Elementary School; Sharon Collins, West Jessamine Middle School; and Joseph Mau, The Providence School;
Kenton County School System, Dr. Terri Cox-Cruey, superintendent – Ellen Crum, Piner Elementary School; Dwayne Humphrey, Turkey Foot Middle School; and Terry Pelfrey Jr., Kenton County Academies of Innovation & Technology;
Kentucky Christian Academy, Lori Eubank, administrator – Jerri Byrd, Kentucky Christian Academy;
Knox County School System, Kelly Sprinkles, superintendent – Kimberly Davis, Central Elementary School; Angela Payne, Knox County Middle School; and Julia Kosowsky, Knox Central High School;
LaRue County School System, Sam Sanders, superintendent – Laura Evans, Hodgenville Elementary School; Pamela Baker, LaRue County Middle School; and Jessica Beaven, LaRue County High School;
Laurel County School System, Dr. Doug Bennett, superintendent – Karen Jewell, Sublimity Elementary School; Regina Bishop, South Laurel Middle School; and Charlie Houchens, North Laurel High School;
Lincoln County School System, Michael Rowe, superintendent – Joy Robertson, Highland Elementary School; Dixie Lay, Lincoln County Middle School; and Agatha Manion, Lincoln County High School;
Marion County School System, Taylora Schlosser, superintendent – Renee Kaminski, West Marion Elementary School; Jennifer Russell, Lebanon Middle School; and Rebecca Costisick, Marion County High School, 2004 Campbellsville University undergraduate and 2012 graduate alumna;
Marshall County School System, Trent Lovett, superintendent – Kelly Edwards, Jonathan Elementary School; Andrew Clinton, North Marshall Middle School; and Amy Cathey, Marshall County High School;
Meade County School System, Dr. John Milby, superintendent – Bronica Ray, Brandenburg Primary School; and Pam Foushee, Meade County High School;
Menifee County School System, Timothy Spencer, state manager – Donna Bowman, Botts Elementary School; Melinda Capp, Menifee Elementary School; and Tracy Bean, Menifee County High School, 2005 Campbellsville graduate alumna;
Mercer County School System, Dennis Davis, superintendent – Lynn Flach, Mercer County Intermediate School, Connie Eades, King Middle School; and Charlie Cox, Mercer County Senior High School;
Metcalfe County School System, Dr. Benny Lile, superintendent – Haley Martin, Metcalfe County Elementary School; Jennifer Shearer, Metcalfe County Middle School; and Anita Estes, Metcalfe County High School;
Monroe County School System, Amy Thompson, superintendent – Wendy Blythe, Tompkinsville Elementary School; Karen Copass, Monroe County Middle School; and Janice Graves, Monroe County High School;
Montgomery County School System, Matthew Thompson, superintendent – Micah Fawns, Mt. Sterling Elementary School; Kirby Haskins, McNabb Middle School; and Abigail Thomas, Montgomery County High School;
Owen County School System, Dr. Robert Stafford, superintendent – Felechia Wainscott, Owen County Elementary School, 2011 Campbellsville University undergraduate alumna; Devin Duvall, Maurice Bowling Middle School; and Kimberly Webster, Owen County High School;
Paris Independent School System, Ken Bicknell, superintendent – Elizabeth Waugh, Paris Elementary School;
Pulaski County School System, Steve Butcher, superintendent – Lindsey White-Wilson, Nancy Elementary School; Sara Cranfill, Northern Middle School; and Becky Dodson, Pulaski County High School;
Robertson County School System, Sanford Holbrook, superintendent – Treva Woods, Robertson County School, Elementary; Aaron Massey, Robertson County School, Middle; and Frank Gifford, Robertson County School, High;
Rockcastle County School System, David Pensol, superintendent – Stephanie Hurst, Roundstone Elementary School; Julie Phillips, Rockcastle County Middle School; and Vanessa Bowling, Rockcastle County High School;
Rowan County School System, Marvin Moore, superintendent – Maria White, Clearfield Elementary School; Nickolaus Diedrichsen, Rowan County Middle School; and Kayla Stafford, Rowan County Senior High School;
Russell County School System, Michael Ford, superintendent — Leah Ballou, Russell Springs Elementary School; Kandi Campbell, Russell County Middle School; and Devin Palacky, Russell County High School;
Russellville Independent Schools, Leon Smith, superintendent – Katherine Cleary, R.E. Stevenson Elementary School; Calvin Head, Russellville Junior/Senior High School; and Corey Waters, Russellville Junior/Senior High School;
Science Hill Independent School System, Rick Walker, superintendent – Robyn Stephens, Science Hill Independent School, Elementary;
Scott County School System, Dr. Kevin Hub, superintendent – Kellie Moses, Garth Elementary School; Stephanie Carrico, Royal Spring Middle School; and Susan Hall, Scott County Ninth Grade School;
Somerset Christian School, John Hale, principal – Katina Davis, Somerset Christian School, Elementary; Patricia Martin, Somerset Christian School, Middle; and Kerri Adkins, Somerset Christian School, High;
Spencer County School System, Chuck Adams, superintendent – Sabrina Barnett, Spencer County Elementary School; Carl McClain, Spencer County Middle School; and Kelsi Edelen, Spencer County High School;
Taylor County School System, Roger Cook, superintendent; Tonya Rogers, Taylor County Intermediate School, 2015 Campbellsville University graduate alumna; Kendra Blair, Taylor County Middle School; and Stephen Bishop, Taylor County High School, 2004 Campbellsville University undergraduate and 2010 graduate alumnus;
Todd County School System, Wayne Benningfield, superintendent – Pam Conyea, North Todd Elementary School; Jessica Lear, Todd County Middle School; and Lisa Chandler, Todd County Central High School;
Union County School System, Patricia Sheffer, superintendent – Sherry King, Uniontown Elementary School; and Joie Logsdon, Union County High School;
Walton-Verona Independent School System, Dr. Robert Storer, superintendent – Devon Kells, Walton-Verona Elementary School;
Warren County School System, Rob Clayton, superintendent – Molly Grimes, Oakland Elementary School; Grant Calvert, South Warren Middle School; and Martha Tudor, South Warren High School;
Washington County School System, Dr. Robin Cochran, superintendent – Anne Taylor, Washington County Elementary School; Kristen Bartley, Washington County Middle School, 2003 Campbellsville University undergraduate alumna; and Dawn Curtsinger, Washington County High School; and
Wayne County School System, Wayne Roberts, superintendent – Amanda Beck, Walker Early Learning Center; Malissa Atkinson, Wayne County Middle School; and Treba McFall, Wayne County High School.
Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 5,000 students offering over 80 programs of study including 19 master’s degrees, six postgraduate areas and seven pre-professional programs. The university has off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset and Hodgenville with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville and a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.