The Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland Inc. have selected 24 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2012 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA).

 These teachers will compete for the 2012 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced next month.

 The 24 winning teachers, listed by school district, are:

Boone County — Kimberly Shearer, Boone County High

Bourbon County — Scott Cahill, Bourbon County Middle

Bullitt County — Braxton Kyle Buege, Eastside Middle

Bullitt County — Daniel Mullins, Brooks Elementary

Caldwell County — Amy Littlejohn, Caldwell County Elementary

Christian County — Melanie Anne Barrett, Christian County High

Clay County — Joyce Ellen Bowling, Manchester Elementary

Corbin Independent — Virginia L. (Jenni Lou) Jackson, Corbin Middle

Fayette County — Kellie M. Little, Athens-Chilesburg Elementary

Fayette County — Rachel Losch, Dixie Elementary

Frankfort Independent — Jocelyne Waddle, Frankfort Middle/High

Hart County — Angela Barbour, Cub Run Elementary

Hart County — Shanna Teodorski Smith, Cub Run Elementary

Jefferson County — Elizabeth Ann Fuller, J.B. Atkinson Academy

Jefferson County — James A. Gilbert, Central High

Jefferson County — Valerie Sue Rueger, Ramsey Middle

Knott County — Amanda Ratliff, Knott County Central High

LaRue County — Summer Twyman Garris, LaRue County High

Menifee County — Randy Barrette, Menifee County High

Paintsville Independent — Jennifer S. Fowler, Paintsville Jr./Sr. High

Pike County — Kim Meddings, Belfry Middle

Pike County — Melissa Lee Dudley Sheets, Elkhorn City Elementary

Taylor County — Donna K. Williams, Taylor County Middle

Wayne County — Angela Patton Sloan, Wayne County High

All 24 teachers will be honored at a, Oct. 18 ceremony at the State Capitol Building in Frankfort. Representatives of the Kentucky Department of Education, the Governor’s office and Ashland’s Chairman and CEO Jim O’Brien will be present to honor the teachers and to recognize the Kentucky Elementary, Middle and High School Teachers of the Year.

From that group of three finalists, Kentucky’s Teacher of the Year will be named to represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Ashland will present the 24 recipients with cash and certificates at the Frankfort awards ceremony. In addition to their cash awards, the three Kentucky Teachers of the Year will receive custom-designed glassware commemorating their accomplishments. All 24 educators will be honored at a special luncheon after the ceremony. 

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.

Judging took place in August by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators, many of whom have more than 25 years of teaching experience. Applications included information on the nominees’ teaching philosophies; teaching experiences; involvement in their respective communities; and letters of recommendation from peers, students, parents, administrators and others.

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