Nine outstanding teachers from around the state – three elementary school teachers, three middle school teachers and three high school teachers – are semifinalists for the 2012 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award, the Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland Inc. announced today.

Winners of the Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher of the Year awards, as well as the overall 2012 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, will be announced at a ceremony in Frankfort on October 18, in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building.

Competing for Elementary Teacher of the Year are:

  • Elizabeth Ann Fuller, J.B. Atkinson Academy, Jefferson County
  • Amy Littlejohn, Caldwell County Elementary, Caldwell County 
  • Rachel Losch, Dixie Elementary, Fayette County

Middle school semifinalists are:

  • Jennifer S. Fowler, Paintsville Jr./Sr. High,  Paintsville Independent
  • Virginia L. (Jenni Lou) Jackson, Corbin Middle, Corbin Independent
  • Donna K. Williams, Taylor County Middle, Taylor County

 In the high school category, the semifinalists are:

  • Randy Barrette, Menifee County High, Menifee County
  • James A. Gilbert, Central High, Jefferson County
  • Kimberly Shearer, Boone County High, Boone County

 The nine semifinalists were among 24 educators who were named as 2012 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA) winners. They were chosen based on their scores from the first round of judging, which was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators. Applications included information on nominees’ teaching philosophies, teaching experiences, involvement in their respective communities and letters of recommendation. 

Classroom visits and personal interviews with each of the nine semifinalists will result in the selection of the 2012 Elementary School, Middle School and High School Teachers of the Year. A culmination of these scores results in the selection of the 2012 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. This individual then will represent Kentucky in the 2012 National Teacher of the Year competition.

Ashland will present the 24 TAA recipients with cash awards and certificates at the awards ceremony in Frankfort. In addition to their cash awards, the three Kentucky Teachers of the Year also will receive custom-designed glassware commemorating their accomplishments, and all 24 educators will be honored at a special luncheon that day. To read the bios of the 24 TAA winners, visit the education section of Ashland Inc.’s website.

The Kentucky Teacher Awards program combines the best elements of the Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards and the Kentucky Teacher of the Year programs. This marks the 11th year the Department of Education and Ashland have partnered to honored Kentucky educators.

Ashland has recognized outstanding Kentucky teachers with its Teacher Achievement Awards since 1988. Approximately $631,500 has been awarded to more than 425 teachers of grades K to 12.