A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Education Week offering free online summit on Teaching Math in a Pandemic

Education Week is offering a free online summit on Teaching Math in a Pandemic 1-2:30 p.m. ET Jan. 21. Participants can ask journalists and expert guests how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment and engagement in math. Photo from TextHelp Scheduled discussions include: • What the Research Says About Math Learning Loss and the Pandemic • Making Remote Math Tests and Quizzes...

Graves County principal Janet Throgmorton goes the extra mile to ensure students can continue learning

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher Three years ago, Principal Janet Throgmorton of Fancy Farm Elementary (Graves County) was looking for a way to save her district some money while addressing one of its most pressing needs. Like many districts throughout Kentucky, Graves County faced a shortage of bus drivers and was having a tough time finding substitute drivers to fill those seats. Being a firm believer...

Kentucky shines with 45 schools on list of winner for 2020 Healthy School Program

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Judged by population, Kentucky ought to have eight schools on the list of award winners in the 2020 Healthy Schools Program. Instead, it has 45. This disproportionate success is due primarily to the Baptist Health School Wellness Initiative, offered by the Delta Rural Network Center at Baptist Health Madisonville. Forty-one of Kentucky’s 45 Healthy Schools winners are...

LaRue County’s Savannah Boone named Kentucky’s 2020 Special Education Teacher of the Year

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Savannah Boone, an instructor at LaRue County High School, is Kentucky’s 2020 Special Education Teacher of the Year. As the winner, Boone will receive a scholarship to attend the Special Education Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. in summer 2021, a plaque and $500. Jessica Tipton of Madison Central High School (Madison County) and Amber Ervin of Old Kentucky Home...

Letcher County Elementary School teacher Tyler Watts uses Post-it Notes to teach math, create art

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher The Post-it Note pictures by Tyler Watts on the windows of the Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library in Whitesburg are getting lots of attention, but it’s far from his first such project. This year’s row of five Christmas-themed Muppet characters is just the most recent. He has covered the library windows in Post-it Notes a half-dozen times for the holidays, including...

KDE releases school reopening guidance for January; in-person classes may resume January 11

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released guidance Friday on reopening schools for in-person instruction in January 2021, accompanied by a new executive order signed by Gov. Andy Beshear. Beshear’s previous executive order, issued Nov. 18, allowed students to return to classrooms as of Jan. 4. The Dec. 18 order sets standards for reopening and recommends...

Union County’s Patricia Sheffer named 2021 Kentucky Superintendent of the Year

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Union County Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Sheffer was named the Kentucky 2021 Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA). “I really accept this award on behalf of the wonderful team I have here,” Sheffer said. “I’m blessed to work with a respectful board that trusts the decisions I make. I think everything...

Civics Unplugged opens applications for virtual 2021 fellowship for High School students

Civics Unplugged, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social enterprise whose mission is to empower the leaders of Generation Z to build the future of American democracy, has opened applications for the Civics Unplugged Fellowship 2021. The fellowship is a 5-month civic leadership program that empowers high school students representing every region of the U.S. with the tools, training and community to reform...

A reunion 40 years in the making: How a Louisville teacher helped shape the life of a D.C. attorney

Ana Reyes, left, hugs her 1st-grade teacher Pat Harkleroad. After testing negative on a COVID-19 test, Reyes, now an award-winning attorney reunited with Harkleroad, now retired and taking care of her husband and son. The two flipped through old photos and reminisced on moments from their lives during a reunion on Nov. 13. Reyes reunited with Harkleroad, after testing negative on a COVID-19 test. (Photo...

Harrison and Barren County teachers to represent Kentucky for 2020 national RISE Awards

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky Teacher Robert Walker, a school safety and wellness coordinator in Harrison County, and Shelly Thomas, a family resource center coordinator in Barren County, have been selected to represent Kentucky for the national 2020 Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award. Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman made the announcement during Gov. Andy Beshear’s media briefing...

Greenup County High School student buzzing after receiving national beekeeping award

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky Teacher Emma Stevens has been beekeeping for a little over a year and a half, yet she already has brought pride not only to Greenup County, but the whole Appalachian region. The 16-year-old junior at Greenup County High School recently was named one of the nation’s top youth beekeepers by the North American Bayer Bee Care Program. “Getting recognized for my work reassures...

Ben Wilcox shapes role of Kentucky’s first state school security marshal amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Ben Wilcox laughs a little when asked how COVID-19 has changed his job as Kentucky’s state school security marshal. He hadn’t been on the job long when the pandemic hit. The position of state school security marshal had only been created in March 2019. Wilcox formally started work July 1 of that year, but a month earlier he began traveling the state to share information...

West Hardin Middle School teacher Joy Knight named Kentucky’s Financial Literacy Teacher of the year

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher West Hardin Middle School (Hardin County) teacher Joy Knight has been named 2020 Financial Literacy Teacher of the Year by the Kentucky Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and ClassAct Federal Credit Union. Joy Knight (Photo from Hardin County Schools) Knight teaches financial literacy. She uses interactive projects, guest speakers, video clips and other...

GE Appliances head named winner of 2020 Kelly Award for Business and Education partnership

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Kevin Nolan, president and CEO of GE Appliances, is this year’s recipient of the Kelly Award for Business and Education Partnership from the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE). The award was announced at the KBE’s Oct. 7 regular meeting. “We love to present this award because it gives us a chance to recognize how important it is for businesses and education to work...

Superintendent Kevin Stull brings experiences from Ky. Department of Education to Garrard County

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky Teacher Whenever Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) employees begin making their way back into KDE headquarters in Frankfort, one familiar face will have already hit the ground running in Garrard County. Kevin Stull played an integral role in the department during his tenure. He served as the lead for the Principals Professional Growth and Effectiveness System, was...

Forty-Four Kentucky schools among 517 nationwide recognized as America’s Healthiest Schools

Forty-four Kentucky schools are among those recognized nationwide as 2020 America’s Healthiest Schools. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has given the award for 15 years, recognizing schools that use best practices to support learning and development, including meeting or exceeding federal standards for nutritious school meals and providing regular opportunities for students and staff to be...

New Butler County Schools superintendent Robert Tuck seeks to develop new generation of leaders

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Robert Tuck came well-prepared into the job of Butler County Schools superintendent. He knew he was hired in June, so he had time before his July 1 start date to confer with retiring Superintendent Scott Howard. And Tuck already had been assistant superintendent for three years, with experience in Butler County not only as a teacher and administrator but as a 1992 graduate...

Former Boone County Schools superintendent Randy Poe continuing education journey with the KBE

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky Teacher Randy Poe’s journey with Boone County schools began as a bus driver for the district. Now, after serving the northern Kentucky community for nearly 40 years, Poe’s journey continues with the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE). “I consider it a great honor to be nominated and recognized to sit on the board so that I can continue working for children in Kentucky,”...

Louisville teacher Angelina Harper’s NTI setup draws rave reviews from parents on social media

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher A Jefferson County public school teacher’s home setup for her children is being shared far and wide, providing other parents with ideas to keep kids focused during online schooling. Angelina Harper, a special education teacher at Cochran Elementary School (Jefferson County), had been thinking how to make non-traditional instruction (NTI) work for her three children....

Ky. Department of Education, Valvoline announce 2021 Teacher Achievement Award winners

Kentucky Teacher The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc. have selected 24 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2021 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA). These teachers qualify to compete for the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award which will be announced in October. “Now more than ever before, we are honored to celebrate some of Kentucky’s most outstanding...