Picture of Keva Buckley, middle school Teacher Achievement Winner, Kentucky School for the Deaf.

After changing her college major five times, Keva Buckley finally settled on becoming an educator.

When applying for classes, she accidentally signed up for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) education course at Eastern Kentucky University, not realizing it was different from other education courses. From this initial class, Buckley discovered her passion for American Sign Language (ASL) and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

“The day I discovered Deaf education, my life was forever changed. The years that have followed have enriched my life beyond words,” said Buckley.

Buckley obtained a dual certification in middle grade English and DHH education and a master’s in literacy from Eastern Kentucky University.

Buckley has taught at the Kentucky School for the Deaf since January of 2018. She transitioned from teaching high school English to teaching middle school English and language arts in 2021.

Buckley said her favorite parts of teaching are the “light bulb moments,” otherwise known as the moments of triumph when a student truly grasps a concept.

“I love every time I get to cheer with a student knowing how hard they’ve worked on a skill,” she said. “I am grateful for every single moment like that in and beyond the classroom.”

Buckley believes that communication and learning are of utmost importance, as a student and as an adult.

“Language is at the center of all that we are and all that we do,” she said. “I hope it is never lost on me how very powerful it is to be a learner and user of language.”

Buckley said that she is proud to be a DHH teacher and is thankful for those who have helped her get to this point.

“I would not be here … without those who have taken the time along the way to encourage me, help me find light and carefully, gently, coax me to keep growing,” she said.

Buckley was named a 2023 Teacher Achievement Award winner.

In addition to teaching, Buckley owns her own professional photography business and is also a birth doula in Danville.