Graphic with a picture of Sally Zaring reading: Elementary School Teacher Achievement winner, Painted Stone Elementary School (Shelby County).

Sally Zaring is an active member of the Shelby County area and has been making strides to improve the well-being of her community for more than two decades.

Zaring is currently a kindergarten teacher at Painted Stone Elementary School (Shelby County), where she has served for more than 20 years, teaching various grade levels. Zaring said she has committed to breaking down educational barriers through getting involved in her community.

“How we spend our time reflects our priorities,” she said. “I’ve chosen to spend my time getting involved in matters of the heart, our educational system at the local level and now the state level.”

As a lifelong learner, Zaring has presented at conferences, led seminars and field-tested math curriculum. Most recently, she started working with Shelbyville’s City Council to advocate for youth.

Zaring also has contributed significantly to The Coalition to Sustain the Education Profession, a group run by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators that aims to formulate a new vision for teacher recruitment and retention to address the ongoing teacher shortages in Kentucky’s schools.

“Students are impacted daily by decisions lawmakers make, and I feel a calling to speak for the students and staff of our current and future schools,” Zaring said. “Our children deserve to be served by legislators with a kids-first lens, and I would be honored to contribute to the group that provides it.”

Zaring’s love for agriculture has grown new paths for the way students learn at Painted Stone Elementary School, where she uses agricultural concepts for project-based learning. As the community of Shelbyville morphs into a suburban area, Zaring keeps agricultural and environmental experiences alive for her students.

Zaring has provided her kids with opportunities to engage in agricultural and environmental experiences, including working with other Shelbyville leaders to create an apiary (a bee hive yard), vegetable garden, butterfly garden and outdoor classroom.

Zaring also was named a 2024 Kentucky Teacher Achievement Award winner.