Picture of Ashley Hill, assistant director of early literacy, Office of Teaching and Learning. "My favorite aspect of working at KDE is being part of a committed team, striving toward continuously improving outcomes for our students."

Ashley Hill’s 11 years as a reading instruction teacher and her lifelong love of reading drew her to the work that she does at the Kentucky Department of Education as the statewide assistant director of early literacy in the Office of Teaching and Learning.

“This is exciting work that has the potential to change the lives of many students by ensuring they are given the instruction and support necessary to become skilled readers,” she said. “My favorite aspect of working at KDE is being part of a committed team, striving toward continuously improving outcomes for our students.”

Hill has been a part of the KDE team since February 2023. As an assistant director, her duties vary day to day, from researching information for the early literacy webpage, to setting up meetings to find new partnerships and presenting information at schools.

Her job mostly focuses on Senate Bill 9 (2022), the Read to Succeed Act. Hill oversees the coaching model that is being built due to this bill and provides assistance on the bill to educational cooperatives, school districts and anyone who wants to learn more about it.

“The most rewarding part of the job thus far is understanding that that we have teachers and administrators out there that want to learn this information,” Hill said.

Prior to joining KDE, Hill was an elementary teacher and focused on reading instruction. During her time in the classroom, she noticed there was a pattern among her students. Some of them were able to follow along, but there also was a large selection of students that could not pick up on the work as easily despite her following the curriculum.

Hill became the chief academic officer of Corbin Independent, where she learned the science behind how students learned to read. The information she learned and her previous experience with students in the classroom brought her to KDE.

“When I saw the job opening, I thought ‘That’s where I need to be, that’s what I want to do.’ I realized that I could expand my reach in this role to support not only the students in my home district, but the teachers and students across the Commonwealth,” she said.

Hill graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with an elementary education degree and received a master’s in reading/writing specialist. She currently is a doctoral candidate at the University of Cumberlands.

A resident of Corbin, Hill and her husband Adam have three children. In her free time, she enjoys podcasts and documentaries, spending time with her family and attending as many Cincinnati Reds games as they can.

You can keep up with Hill and her work on Twitter @AHillCAO.