Abby Lee learned what it means to be a teacher from her mother, Kris Potter, a lifelong kindergarten and 1st-grade teacher at Adairville Elementary School in Logan County.
“Each summer, I would organize her book nook, set up her listening tables and hand write each of her students’ names on their desks,” Lee said. “I witnessed her make plans to push each child to meet mastery on their academic goals before the end of the year.”
Lee always dreamed of following in the footsteps of her mom, who retired after the 2021-2022 school year and is now a response to intervention teacher at Lewisburg Elementary School (Logan County). Today, Lee is living out her dream as a teacher at LaRue County Middle School (LCMS).
For the past five years, Lee has served as a social studies and reading classroom teacher at LCMS. This summer, she decided to step out of this role and was hired as her school’s library media specialist. Lee was offered this position following the retirement of her school’s librarian, who had worked there for 28 years.
“I have major shoes to fill, but I am really excited for the opportunity,” she said.
Lee began her career as a social studies teacher at Caverna Independent Schools before moving to LaRue County. She has been teaching for a total of seven years.
Lee has a passion for not only leading her students well inside the classroom, but also connecting with them outside of it. This encouraged her to become a Kentucky Youth Assembly sponsor for her school. As a sponsor, she oversees students realistically modeling state government.
“I thoroughly enjoy watching my students shine during debate and overcome their fear of public speaking as they take the microphone on the floor of the real House and Senate chambers in Frankfort,” she said.
As her school’s library media specialist, Lee plans to continue sponsoring the Kentucky Youth Assembly because of her passion for the organization.
“It is my favorite extracurricular activity and will give me an avenue to still be involved with my first love of teaching social studies,” she said.
Another passion of Lee’s is sharing her love of how technology can enhance student learning.
She has attended the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education’s spring conference for the past six years and pioneered her school district’s online Digital Portfolio project during the 2018-2019 school year, in which students were challenged to create their own Individual Learning Plan on a digital platform for the first time. This project was so successful that it is now a requirement for all students in LaRue County in grades 6-12.
Lee has been given many opportunities to present to other teachers and leaders at conferences in order to educate them on how to best use technology in their classrooms. She also has served on her school’s school-based decision making council, as the social studies cadre leader and a new teacher mentor.
Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in history and social studies from Western Kentucky University (WKU), a master’s degree in education as a teacher leader from Campbellsville University and a master’s degree in libraries, informatics and technology in education from WKU.
She has been the recipient of the LaRue County Excel Teacher of the Year, Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award and recognized as a WKU Distinguished Educator Middle School Finalist and Innovation nominee. She also was recently named a 2024 Teacher Achievement Award Winner.
Lee attributes her success as a teacher to her mother’s early example of a what a great teacher is and her father’s belief that everyone gets a chance at something.
“My mom instilled within me the passion and hard work it takes to be an educator today,” she said. “I want my students to feel that they get a new chance, each day, in my classroom. A chance to learn, a chance to face challenges head on and a chance to succeed with hard work.”