At its meeting in Frankfort today, the Kentucky Board of Education awarded Mary Ann Miller, Policy Advisor for the Commissioner and the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE), the 2013 Kevin M. Noland Award.
The award recognizes a Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) employee for significant service to Kentucky’s public schools and for providing inspiration for education. Nominations are made by KDE staff.
“She is the type of public servant who will not rest and who will not be at peace until Kentucky has reached its full potential,” her nominator wrote. “In her position as policy advisor, she is dedicated to making Kentucky’s public schools better with the goal of every child becoming college- and career-ready.”
During the surprise presentation of the award, the former special education teacher was lauded for her incredible work ethic and described as the often unsung hero of KDE.
“Few people understand the role Mary Ann has played behind the scenes for more than 20 years in her service to KDE and the KBE,” said Board Chair Roger Marcum. “In her position, she has been instrumental in connecting the dots between offices to ensure federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver requirements are met. She is the conscience of the agency and often is the one that asks the tough questions to make sure we get it right.”
During her 26 years with KDE, Miller has served as a Program Consultant, Staff Assistant, Principal Assistant, and Policy Advisor. She is a two-time winner of the Distinguished Service Award and has also won an ACE award. Miller is a member and former officer of the National Council of State Board of Education Executives (NCSBEE) and is currently the Commissioner’s designee to the Kentucky Board of Proprietary Education and a board member of the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition (KAAC). She formerly served as a member of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) board of directors. Miller is a graduate of Dawson Springs High School, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Murray State University and a Master of Arts in Education Learning Disabilities.
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, met, reviewed and rated this year’s 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:
2012 Lisa Gross, director of the Division of Communications
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