Sunday, September 27, 2020
Erika Webb, an English teacher at East Jessamine High School (Jessamine County), celebrates being named Kentucky Teacher of the Year Oct. 19, 2010 in Frankfort, Ky. At right is Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Joseph Meyer. Photo by Amy Wallot

Teacher of the Year story a family feature

Meet Erika Webb, the 2011 Kentucky Teacher of the Year.
Ballard Memorial High School (Ballard County) juniors Blake Rundles and Ami Wiggins make the bed for Fern Spahn at Life Care Center of La Center May 20, 2010. Both students are in teacher Cindy Allardin’s Nursing Assistant class, which tends to patients at the center. Students at Ballard Memorial High have the opportunity to follow all disciplines in the facility from therapy and activities to administrative nursing. Photo by Amy Wallot

Little changes improve Ballard County student performance

The Ballard County school district has three schools and fewer than 1,500 students combined. Located west of Paducah, the tiny district was struggling several years ago to make sure students were reaching proficiency and their fullest potential.
Library media specialist Becky Nelson, left, and 5th-grade language arts teacher Katisha Pickrell discuss the Mock Newbery Club for gifted readers at Hearn Elementary School (Franklin County) Aug. 25, 2010.

Beyond books

Becky Nelson says that, while she’s a library media specialist (LMS), she also considers herself a resource. “Though I work individually and in groups directly with students, I can teach many more of them through teamwork with their classroom teachers,” said the veteran LMS at Hearn Elementary School (Franklin County). “The library and librarian are resources for all instruction.”
Letcher County Central High School language arts teacher Rebecca Potter, left, mathematics teacher Faye Collier, center, and Principal Denise Yonts discuss the new language arts standards Sept. 9, 2010. Teachers from across the state are spending this year transforming Kentucky’s new Core Academic Standards into usable learning targets and developing the best ways to teach them. Photo by Amy Wallot

New standards, targets drive improved teaching

Teachers from across the state are spending this year transforming Kentucky’s new Core Academic Standards into usable learning targets – and developing the best ways to teach them. Rebecca Potter, an 18-year veteran who teaches senior English and newspaper journalism at Letcher County Central High School, said integrating both content and technique can only benefit teachers.
Business teacher Jackie Revlett speaks to students during her Computer Applications class at Daviess County High School May 19, 2010. "We want our business students to graduate with the skills necessary for the workforce," she said. "We must prepare them all with the skills they need to succeed." Photo by Amy Wallo

Business as usual

Jackie Revlett had trouble selecting a major while she was attending Murray State University. She went from music therapy to nursing to accounting to computer science. “I enjoyed business classes in college, but knew that my personality would not conform to an office cubicle from 8 to 5,” Revlett said.

Diverse Schools to Watch have much in common

By Matthew Tungate Kentucky’s seven 2010 Schools to Watch (STW) seem very different on paper. Four are spread across rural parts of Kentucky, while three are in Louisville suburbs. Two have fewer than 150 students,...
Students listen during Jocelyne A.M. Waddle’s French IV Advanced Placement class at Frankfort High School (Frankfort Independent) May 17, 2010. Waddle, a native of France, is one of several foreign language teachers around the state using the draft world language standards created by the Kentucky World Language Association Teacher Network. Photo by Amy Wallot

Use it or lose it: World languages focus on communication

Kentucky students who go to a foreign country are sometimes faced with a significant problem – they can’t ask for food. More specifically, they can’t order the food they want, according to Jacque Van Houten, world language and international education consultant for the Kentucky Department of Education.
Biology consultant Ann Griffin, left, works with Holmes High School (Covington Independent) teacher Elaine Eifert and Warren Central High School (Warren County) teacher Joey Norman on an experiment during the 2010 Advanced Placement (AP) Summer Institute at Western Kentucky University June 28, 2010. The institute provides AP teachers the opportunity to share experiences and brainstorm ways to improve teaching strategies and methods. Photo by Amy Wallot

The place to be

Some teachers come to network. Some want to know about testing changes. Others pick up new strategies for classroom learning, while others want a challenge for themselves. But the common bond they all share is they want to be better Advanced Placement (AP) teachers.

Stop and smell the tomatoes

Fuqua, a family consumer science teacher at Bryan Station High School (Fayette County), started a school garden at her school last year. She incorporates the garden with core content to make her students more aware of what the physical world offers them on a daily basis. “A garden is a place to do something yourself that has visible results,” Fuqua said. ”This builds pride and a connection with nature and the world around us that I feel is incredibly important to a person’s life. I believe that people need a break from the technologies around them a few moments out of each day to stop and smell the tomatoes.”
New Haven Elementary School (Boone County) art teacher Norita Alexander, left, Assistant Principal Sandy Collette, center, and special education teacher Tara Wittrock review behavior referrals for their school during the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) workshop in Covington June 10, 2010. More than 20 school districts in Kentucky have implemented the PBIS model, which is designed to reduce discipline problems and increase student learning across all grade levels. Photo by Amy Wallot

Positively rewarding

Students go to school to learn, make friends and gain invaluable experiences to take with them beyond the walls of a school building.