Timothy Peterson, a social studies teacher at Taylor County High School, has received the inaugural Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award for Civics and History Teachers.
The award, given by the National Archives in conjunction with the University of Kentucky Libraries Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, will be presented to up to three teachers per year based on the teacher’s knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the subject and commitment to increasing student awareness of the importance of public service, impact on student success and evidence of creativity and innovation.
Peterson received the award on July 9 during a ceremony on the UK campus. He was nominated by Roger Cook, superintendent of Taylor County schools.
“Peterson daily demonstrates outstanding leadership in and out of the classroom by promoting and strengthening high-quality civics education. … He seeks to improve not only students, but himself through rigorous exploration of information and continuing education,” Cook said.
Kassie Miller, a recent student of Peterson, also praised the teacher.
“Timothy Peterson, or as we call him, ‘Coach P,’ was my social studies teacher each year of high school,” Miller said. “In addition to learning about American history, ancient civilizations and world geography, Coach P taught me what it means to be a globally minded citizen. Throughout his classes, he incorporated practical applications about how our actions affect our next-door neighbors, fellow Kentuckians, and even those living across the ocean. His courses developed in me a hard work ethic and a service-oriented heart.”
Peterson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the UK College of Education twice,
The Clements Award honors the life and career of the late Earle C. Clements and his lifelong commitment to education and public service. Clements’s political career included service as a county sheriff, clerk, and judge; in the state senate and as governor; and in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, where he was a close colleague to Lyndon Baines Johnson. Bess Clements Abell, Clements’s daughter, is a board member of the National Archives Foundation, a member of the UK Libraries National Advisory Board and a UK alumna.
“We are pleased to partner with the University of Kentucky Libraries to recognize Kentucky’s finest educators,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero said. “We are grateful to the National Archives Foundation and especially to longtime supporter Bess Clements Abell and her family for making these awards possible.”
Nominations for the Clements Award come from throughout Kentucky. An independent review panel selects up to three teachers per year to receive the Clements Award and $1,000 each.