Gross receives Kevin M. Noland Award

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Lisa Gross, Director of Communications for the Kentucky Department of Education, poses with former interim and associate commissioner Kevin Noland after receiving the Kevin M. Noland Award during the Kentucky Board of Education meeting. Photo by Amy Wallot, June 6, 2012
Lisa Gross, Director of Communications for the Kentucky Department of Education, poses with former interim and associate commissioner Kevin Noland after receiving the Kevin M. Noland Award during the Kentucky Board of Education meeting. Photo by Amy Wallot, June 6, 2012

Lisa York Gross, director of the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Division of Communications, received the 2012 Kevin M. Noland Award from the Kentucky Board of Education today.

The award recognizes a KDE employee for significant service to Kentucky’s public schools and for providing inspiration for education. Nominations are made by KDE staff.

Gross received multiple nominations for the award, and one nominator praised her grasp of Kentucky’s increased focus on success for all students.

“She thoroughly understands and can explain the Unbridled Learning system, including how the assessment and accountability system will work, and looks at all of KDE’s publications and communication pieces to focus them on the goal of ensuring that all students are college- and career ready,” the nominator wrote.

Gross joined the agency in 1986 as a videographer. She later moved to print communications and was named press secretary in 2000. Gross served as interim associate commissioner of the Office of Communications in 2005, then became director of the Division of Communications in 2006. She also worked in broadcasting as a radio station program director and on-air personality and as writer/editor of various publications.

Her current duties include serving as the department’s primary media and communications contact; providing data and research information internally and externally; managing a graphics and writing staff; and providing assistance to KDE staff in policy development.

Gross earned a dual bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Morehead State University. She is a native of East Bernstadt, Ky., and resides in Frankfort with her husband, Colin.

The Kentucky Board of Education established the Kevin M. Noland Award to honor former Interim Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Associate Commissioner and General Counsel Kevin M. Noland, who served the Department of Education for approximately 18 years.

A selection committee made up of a cross-section of KDE employees was appointed by Commissioner Terry Holliday. The committee met, reviewed and rated the nominations based on the following criteria:

  • an individual who focuses on the mission for student proficiency
  • an individual who is an excellent ambassador for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Education and Kentucky’s schools
  • an individual who is knowledgeable and productive
  • an individual who has made an impact in one of the following areas: school districts, community partners, parents and/or co-workers through leadership, customer service, teamwork and community service

Previous Kevin M. Noland Award winners are:

2011     No award presented; process for selection revamped.

2010     Sally Sugg, director of the Division of District 180

2009     Linda Holbrook, state Reading First coordinator

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