Nine outstanding teachers from around the state – three elementary school teachers, three middle school teachers and three high school teachers – are semifinalists for the 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 2013 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, will be announced at a ceremony in Frankfort at 10 a.m. ET on October 17, in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building.

Competing for Elementary Teacher of the Year are:

  • Joyce Bowling, Manchester Elementary, Clay County
  • Heidi Givens, Tamarack Elementary, Daviess County 
  • Anita Winstead, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, Jefferson County

 Middle school semifinalists are:

  • Kristal Doolin, Corbin Middle, Corbin Independent
  • Karen Stark, Westport Middle, Jefferson County
  • Byron Witham, James T. Alton Middle, Hardin County

 In the high school category, the semifinalists are:

  • Randy Barrette, Menifee County High
  • Angela Gunter, Daviess County High
  • Allison Hunt, duPont Manual High, Jefferson County

The nine semifinalists were among 24 educators who were named as 2013 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 2013 Elementary School, Middle School and High School Teachers of the Year. A culmination of these scores results in the selection of the 2013 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. This individual then will represent Kentucky in the 2013 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.

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.

Ashland has recognized outstanding Kentucky teachers with its Teacher Achievement Awards since 1988. Approximately $658,000 has been awarded to more than 450 teachers of grades K to 12.