Ten outstanding teachers from across the state — three elementary, three middle and four high school teachers — are semifinalists for the 2014 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award.

Winners of the Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher of the Year awards, in addition to the overall 2014 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, will be announced at a ceremony in Frankfort at 10 a.m. ET on October 16, in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building.

Competing for Elementary Teacher of the Year are:

  • Holly Bloodworth, Murray Elementary, Murray Independent
  • Angela Pleasant, James E. Farmer Elementary, Jefferson County
  • LenaKay E. Wilson, Mayfield Elementary, Madison County

Middle School semifinalists are:

  • Willow Hambrick, Royal Spring Middle, Scott County
  • Michelle W. Lustenburg, Phillip A. Sharp Middle, Pendleton County
  • Melanie Trowel, Carter G. Woodson Academy, Fayette County

In the high school category, the semifinalists are:

  •  Scot A. Gill, Tates Creek High, Fayette County
  • Craig Grimm, North Oldham High, Oldham County
  • Joanna H. Stevens, Lincoln County High, Lincoln County
  • Catherine Vannatter, Bryan Station High, Fayette County

The ten semifinalists are among 24 educators who were named 2014 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 experience, 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 2014 Elementary School, Middle School and High School Teachers of the Year. A culmination of these scores results in the selection of the 2014 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. This individual then will represent Kentucky in the 2014 National Teacher of the Year competition.

Ashland will present the 24 Teacher Achievement Award recipients with cash awards and certificates at the awards ceremony in Frankfort. In addition to cash awards, the three Kentucky Teachers of the Year also 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 13th year the Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland have partnered to honor Kentucky educators.

Ashland has recognized outstanding Kentucky teachers with its Teacher Achievement Awards since 1988. Approximately $685,000 has been awarded to more than 450 teachers of grades K to 12.