The Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland Inc. have selected 24 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2014 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA). These teachers qualify to compete for the 2014 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced next month.

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

Bracken County Robin Rath-Fultz, Taylor Elementary

Carter County – Beverly McDavid, West Carter Middle

Elizabethtown Independent – Derisa Hindle, Talton K. Stone Middle

Fayette County – Cynthia L. Brown, Lexington Traditional Magnet

Fayette County – Scot A. Gill, Tates Creek High

Fayette County – Melanie Trowel, Carter G. Woodson Academy

Fayette County – Catherine Vannatter, Bryan Station High

Floyd County – Cortney H. Flannery, Betsy Layne High

Floyd County – Amanda Lee, May Valley Elementary

Hardin County – Kathy S. Thompson, Central Hardin High

Jefferson County – Rita Cron, Atherton High

Jefferson County – Angela Pleasant, James E. Farmer Elementary

Jessamine County – Shawn Carlstedt, Rosenwald Dunbar Elementary

Lincoln County – Joanna H. Stevens, Lincoln County High

Madison County – LenaKay E. Wilson, Mayfield Elementary

Menifee County – Lana Swartz, Menifee County High

Muhlenberg County – Kelly D. Melton, Muhlenberg North Middle

Murray Independent – Holly Bloodworth, Murray Elementary

Pendleton County – Michelle W. Lustenberg, Phillip A. Sharp Middle

Oldham County – Craig Grimm, North Oldham High

Oldham County – Gina Weber, Crestwood Elementary

Scott County – Willow Hambrick, Royal Spring Middle

Simpson County – Sharon S. Smith, Franklin Elementary

Taylor County – Jessica McCubbin, Taylor County Middle

All 24 teachers will be honored at a ceremony in Frankfort on October 16 in the State Capitol Building. Governor Steve Beshear, Education and Workforce Secretary Thomas Zawacki, Education Commissioner Terry Holliday 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 this 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 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 13th 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 $685,000 has been awarded to 450 teachers of grades K to 12.