Kentucky educators have set a new record with their response to the 2015 Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) Kentucky Survey.

Nearly 45,000 – 89.3 percent – of school-based certified educators completed it, surpassing the 2013 response rate of 87 percent and setting a new national record among states that administer the working conditions survey.

The TELL Kentucky Survey is designed to gather a variety of information from teachers, counselors, principals and other administrators who know best the working conditions in our schools. The survey includes questions on the adequacy of facilities and resources; time; empowerment; school leadership; community support; student conduct; professional development; mentoring and induction services; and student learning. The web-based survey is voluntary, anonymous and confidential.
As an incentive to educators to participate in the TELL Kentucky Survey, the Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky, the Hope Street Group, the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, the Kentucky Education Association and the Kentucky School Boards Association contributed prize money for weekly drawings throughout the survey period. No public money was used for the prizes.

School winners received $1,000 and were drawn from schools that had at least a 50 percent response rate.

The educator winners’ schools were selected from the schools with a 100 percent participation rate. The school then held a drawing for the individual educator winner who took home $1,000.

Below is a list of the winners from each week of the survey:

• Week 1 School: Browning Springs Middle School (Hopkins Co.)
• Week 1 Educator: Cheryl Thompson, Pat Thompson, Kela Wright and Shelly Scott, Joe Harrison Carter Elementary (Monroe Co.), split the $1,000 prize
• Week 2 School: Taylor Elementary (Bracken Co.)
• Week 2 Educator: Tina Mullins from Pembroke Elementary (Christian Co.)
• Week 3 School: Harlan High School (Harlan Independent)
• Week 3 Educator:, Erin Reyes, Daviess County Middle School (Daviess County)
• Week 4 School: Watterson Elementary (Jefferson Co.)
• Week 4 Educator: Michelle Gullette, Shearer Elementary (Clark Co.)

The overall school winner was Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Fayette Co.).

Of the state’s traditional public schools with at least 10 teachers, all but three schools met the minimum response rate of 50 percent needed to participate in the drawing to receive school-specific reports of the results. All 173 school districts in the state exceeded the 50 percent threshold for reporting. School and district completion rates are posted on the TELL Kentucky website at

It is anticipated the initial results will be released to schools and districts the week of May 11. Educators, stakeholders and policymakers will use the survey results to make evidence-based decisions on policies and practices that will improve student achievement and increase teacher retention.