McCracken County public school teachers April Griggs and Jennifer Shidal are among 3,381 new national board-certified teachers, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. They join the 4,786 teachers who successfully renewed their certification this year. There are now more than 125,000 board-certified teachers across all 50 states. Griggs is a third grade teacher at Reidland Elementary School. She is in her 19th year of teaching and received her certification in generalist/early childhood. Shidal teaches English at McCracken County High School. She is in her 15th year of teaching and received her certification in English language arts/adolescence and young adulthood. In order to become a board-certified, teachers complete a performance-based, peer-reviewed process, demonstrating their proven impact on student learning and achievement.

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Kurt Sutton, of financial services firm Edward Jones in Paducah, was recently presented with the firm’s Doug Hill Award for achievement in building client relationships. Sutton was one of 68 financial advisers of the firm’s 18,000 to receive the award, named after one of Edward Jones’ most successful financial advisers.

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Tara R. Blazina, CPA, MBA, has been named a partner in the Paducah office of Kemper CPA Group. She has an associate degree from West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is a 2009 and 2010 cum laude graduate of Murray State University with a bachelor of science in business and a master of business administration. She became a licensed CPA in 2012. Blazina began her career with Kemper CPA as a staff accountant in August 2010. She has experience in the areas of tax and auditing and in third party administration of 401(k) plans. She has also completed the Faurote Group Leadership Training and is currently participating in the Emerging Leaders Academy. She is a member of the BNI Impact Chapter and a member of the WKCTCS College of Business Community Advisory Board.

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Kara Gray-Watson has joined the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau as the newest member of the CVB sales and marketing team. Specializing in destination services, she will play a key role in the development of visitor information resources, partner relations and the delivery of the Paducah experience. Gray-Watson is a graduate of West Kentucky Community and Technical College with an associate of arts and studied history at Murray State University. She has held a variety of positions in hospitality and events locally and is a recipient of the Paducah Hospitality Association “Spirit of Hospitality” Award.

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Jaclyn Reid, principal of Sharpe Elementary School in Marshall County, is among the 33 leaders selected for inclusion in the 2020 cohort of the Kentucky Women in Education Leadership (KWEL). These leaders, along with some of the state’s top female executive educators, will convene Jan. 23-24 in Louisville for an induction ceremony and leadership forum. KWEL is designed for women working in P-12 public education who wish to advance their careers. KWEL members benefit from a support system, leadership development opportunities, career advancement, shared experiences through a network of on-going professional growth and development, coaching and mentoring, and reward and recognition for exemplary leaders.

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Marshall County Hospital Home Health recently received top-tier rankings from two national third-party evaluators of home health agency, patient satisfaction and overall performance — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services five-star quality rating system and the 2019 HomeCare Elite. The CMS star ratings recognized Marshall County Hospital Home Health with a five-star rating in both quality and patient satisfaction, achieving the highest rating possible in both categories. The hospital also was named a top 100 agency of the 2019 HomeCare Elite, which recognizes top-performing home health agencies in the United States.

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