Inside Our Schools

Oct 16, 2013 11:43 AM

2014 Kentucky Teacher Of The Year Announced

A 3rd-grade teacher at Murray Elementary School in the Murray Independent school district, Holly Bloodworth, is the 2014 Kentucky Teacher of the Year.

Ashland Inc. and the Kentucky Department of Education made the announcement today at a ceremony held at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. Governor Steve Beshear; Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday; and Ashland Chairman and CEO Jim O'Brien were on hand to make the presentation.

Melanie Trowel, a science teacher at Carter G. Woodson Academy in Fayette County, is the 2014 Middle School Teacher of the Year. Joanna Howerton Stevens, a mathematics teacher at Lincoln County High School in the Lincoln County school district, is the High School Teacher of the Year.

The three joined 21 other teachers from across the state honored with 2014 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards.

Gov. Steve Beshear praised all the achievement winners for their dedication, innovation, enthusiasm and ability.

"Our best hope for the future is to prepare each of our children for a life of promise in this highly competitive and increasingly sophisticated world," Gov. Beshear said. "Our teachers are the ones who are called, day after day, to perform heroic tasks in the classroom - to convey knowledge, train, inspire, mentor, awaken curiosity and show our children not only how to learn but to think. As I look out over today's honorees, I feel confident that we have the right people on the job."

"Classroom teachers are the most important assets we have in education," said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. "These teachers represent the best of the best in Kentucky.

Even with budget cuts, Kentucky's teachers are proving high student achievement is possible and that our students can graduate college- and career-ready."

Stevens and Trowel received $3,000 each and a customized, art-glass vase from Ashland Inc., while Bloodworth received $10,000 and a commemorative crystal-glass bowl. In addition, the Department of Education will provide a sabbatical or suitable alternative for Bloodworth, who also will represent the state in the 2014 National Teacher of the Year competition. The remaining 21 winners each received $500 cash awards. All 24 teachers received framed certificates and were further recognized at a luncheon following the ceremony.

"Ashland is about making things better for communities," said Chairman and CEO Jim O'Brien. "Supporting education is just one way that we go about doing that."

This is the 13th year Ashland Inc. and the Kentucky Department of Education have co-sponsored the Kentucky Teacher Achievement Awards. Applications for the program were distributed across the state, and the first tier of the selection process was completed in August, with 24 teachers selected as 2014 Ashland Inc. Teachers Achievement Award winners.

Ten top scorers - three each from the elementary and middle school levels and four from the high school level - were selected, and teams of educators visited their classrooms to view them at work and to conduct personal interviews. From those 10, three were selected as 2014 Kentucky Teachers of the Year. The selection of the overall Kentucky Teacher of the Year was based on the compilation of scores from all phases of judging.

Ashland has recognized outstanding Kentucky teachers with its Teacher Achievement Awards since 1988. Approximately $685,000 has been awarded to more than 45 teachers in grades K to 12.

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