Hardin County Superintendent Teresa Morgan was named the 2024 Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA). Morgan has been superintendent since 2016.
Morgan has followed in the footsteps of her predecessors, Lois Gray and Nannette Johnson, who also received the award during their time as superintendent in Hardin County.
“I believe five women have won the award in history. Three of them are now from Hardin County,” said Morgan.
Over the past 35 years, Morgan has held many positions throughout the district. She started in 1989 as a special education teacher and moved on to other roles such as assistant principal, principal and director of elementary curriculum before becoming superintendent.
“It is just humbling to see students start in preschool and then have the opportunity to see them in multiple grade levels,” Morgan said. “You see the possibilities of opportunities that we as a collective district have provided for those students, which is inspiring.”
Throughout her years, Morgan said the connections she has made with the students in the district have been irreplaceable. Every spring she is reminded why she continues to work toward building opportunities for her students.
“Graduations are the capstone of what has happened for those students,” Morgan said. “When you see a collective group of students stand up and you see the successes that they have, that is what reminds me every year. I don’t take that for granted.”
Although education has been Morgan’s calling for the past 35 years, that has not always been the case.
Growing up, she remembers helping in her mother’s classroom. Day in and day out, she would see the demanding work being a classroom teacher required and decided against the education route.
“She would do laundry, cook dinner and then a lot of times, would go right back to doing schoolwork,” Morgan said.
It was not until Morgan was in college as an undecided major that she decided to take a few education courses. Those courses led her to a student teaching position at Tamarack Elementary School (Daviess County).
“I knew this was exactly what I was called to do. I loved every minute of it,” she said.
The Superintendent of the Year Award is a recognition that has been given to Kentucky superintendents since 1988. The award honors district leaders for the contributions they make every day for public education, students and the future of their students.
Morgan has been a part of several initiatives throughout her time, one of which is Grow Your Own. This program is tailored for high school students who want to go into education. The district pays for a portion of their college tuition in the hopes students will come back to the school district to reinvest in the future of the community. This program is also available for paraprofessionals in the community.
“The Superintendent of the Year award is an award dependent upon the great community that we are very fortunate to live in, and a compliment to everything happening in the state with other superintendents,” said Morgan.
She said collaborating with superintendents across the state has helped her recognize the importance of teaching and has allowed her to see the difference educators like herself make in the lives of children around Kentucky.