The Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland Inc. have selected 24 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2013 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA). These teachers qualify to compete for the 2013 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced next month.

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

Clay County – Joyce Ellen Bowling, Manchester Elementary

Corbin Independent – Kristal Doolin, Corbin Middle School

Daviess County – Heidi Givens, Country Heights Elementary

Daviess County – Angela Gunter, Daviess County High

Fayette County – Linda Kelley Dewees, Henry Clay High

Fayette County – Christi Elkins-Gabbard, Lexington Traditional Magnet

Floyd County – Amanda Lee, May Valley Elementary

Floyd County – Tammy Meade, Betsy Layne Elementary

Franklin County – Cheryl Nance, Collins Lane Elementary

Hardin County – Byron L. Witham, James T. Alton Middle

Jefferson County – Allison Hunt, duPont Manual High

Jefferson County – Karen P. Stark, Westport Middle

Jefferson County – Anita Winstead, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary

Kenton County – Kristopher Bryant Gillis, Dixie Heights High

McCracken County – Cathy McAlister, Hendron/Lone Oak Elementary

Madison County – Lisa L. Jury, Madison Central High

Menifee County — Randy Barrette, Menifee County High

Muhlenberg County – Carolyn Shelton, Muhlenberg County High

Oldham County – Christine G. Price, South Oldham High

Paducah Independent – Megan Jones Storey, Paducah Middle

Robertson County – Amanda Underwood, Deming School

Rowan County – Michael W. Kash, Rowan County Middle

Shelby County – Sloane Barnett, Simpsonville Elementary

Shelby County – Jennifer Cox, Shelby County East Middle

All 24 teachers will be honored at a ceremony in Frankfort on Oct. 17 in the State Capitol Building. 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, the Kentucky Teacher of the Year will be named and will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Ashland will present the 24 TAA recipients with cash awards and certificates at the awards ceremony. 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 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 12th year the Department of Education and Ashland have partnered to honored Kentucky educators.

Judging was conducted 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 and involvement in their respective communities, as well as letters of recommendation from peers, students, parents, administrators and others.

Ashland has recognized outstanding Kentucky teachers with its Teacher Achievement Awards since 1988. Approximately $658,000 has been awarded to more than 425 teachers of grades K to 12.