Graves custodian named NEA Educational Support Professional of the Year

Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell

Matthew Powell, the custodial supervisor at Graves County Central Elementary School, has been named the 2019 Education Support Professional of the Year by the National Education Association (NEA).

Powell was chosen for his dedication and hard work on behalf of students, colleagues and his community. He was recognized in March at the NEA Educational Support Professional National Conference in Las Vegas, where he received a $10,000 check. He also will speak in June at the NEA Representative Assembly in Houston.

He was selected from candidates nominated from more than 35 states.

“I was just in shock when they called my name and for the rest of the night, knowing that there are so many people who do so much for kids across the country,” Powell said. “I am very humbled. It was an honor to see an audience of 900 standing in support, but I know it’s not just about me, it’s about our students, schools and communities here in Graves County.

Powell is the president of the Graves County Education Support Professionals and a member of the NEA board of directors. He has been employed with the school district since August 2007 and has worked at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He is a graduate of the Kentucky Education Association Fellows program and NEA Leaders for Tomorrow, Class of 2016.

“I’m proud of Matt Powell’s accomplishments,” Graves County Superintendent Kim Dublin said. “I appreciate his willingness to work at the state and national levels for the good of public education. He is a proponent of kids and striving for programs and excellence that will prepare them for their future. We know that students now need to prepare differently than when we were growing up and he understands the significance of all staff being a part of that. I’m very proud of him. I appreciate what he does, and that’s a tremendous honor he’s achieved.”