Five area teachers, administrators and school district staff members were honored Thursday at the sixth annual Regional Educators Awards and Scholarship Program hosted by the West Kentucky Community and Technical College.
Four others received the President’s Award for their service to area schools and to education in western Kentucky.
According to information provided by WKCTC, the awards program seeks to recognize outstanding contributions to pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, elementary and secondary education as well as the advancement of understanding and support for continued education.
It also honors the vital role that all educators, administrators, staff and supporters play in education.
In conjunction with the awards program, a scholarship has been established for WKCTC students interested in K-12 teaching, early childhood education or educational majors to encourage and assist with western Kentucky’s future educators.
The winners and finalists for each of the five categories were:
• Distinguished Faculty, pre-kindergarten through fifth grade: Kandi Dawson, Murray Elementary School, winner; Jill Dobson, Heath Elementary School, finalist; Stephanie Wheeler, Sedalia Elementary School, finalist.
• Distinguished Faculty, sixth through 12th grade: Kara Dowdy, Mayfield High School, winner; Ashley Fritsche, Calloway County High School, finalist; Amanda LeClere, Hickman County High School, finalist.
• Distinguished Administrator: Miranda Reed, Lyon County School District director of education, winner; Jodi Butler, Calloway County Middle School assistant principal, finalist; Sarah Townsend, Fulton Independent School District director of student services, finalist.
• Camelia Reece Unsung Hero Administrative Staff Award: Natalie Crawford, Mayfield Youth Services Center coordinator. winner; Kara Connell, Lone Oak Middle School counselor, finalist; Tasha Seig, Paducah Independent School District school psychologist, finalist.
• Camelia Reece Unsung Hero Support Staff Award: Kari Garner, Livingston Central High School nurse, winner; Katherine Tilley, Lone Oak Intermediate School attendance secretary, finalist; Mindy Varel, Hendron-Lone Oak Elementary School secretary, finalist.
Winners of the President’s Award were:
• Casey Allen, superintendent of the Ballard County School District and veteran educator
• Cynthia Alston, retired educator in the Paducah Independent School District
• Jay Simmons, retired superintendent of the Carlisle County School District
• Melinda D. Smith, seventh-grade science teacher at Caldwell County Middle School named the Challenger Learning Center at Paducah’s Outstanding Educator
Teachers, administrators, staff and support staff were nominated to the Regional Educators Awards by their co-workers and administrators. There were 40 nominees for the pre-kindergarten through fifth grade award, 43 nominees for the sixth through 12 grade award.
The keynote speaker of the program was Jason Glass, the commissioner and chief learner of the Kentucky Department of Education, who spoke to the audience through a recorded video message.
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