(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – At the Kentucky Board of Education meeting April 13, Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt presented the 2016 Kevin M. Noland Award to Laura Arnold, associate commissioner for the Office of Career and Technical Education at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).
The award recognizes a KDE employee for significant service to Kentucky’s public schools and for providing inspiration for education. Nominations are made by KDE staff.
“Laura has worked tirelessly to advance student learning and achievement among career and technical education students in Kentucky,” Pruitt said. “She genuinely wants what is best for the children of Kentucky and has worked tirelessly to ensure greater opportunities for children from all backgrounds and all areas of the state.”
Arnold oversees the 42 staff members in the Office of Career and Technical Education at the Kentucky Department of Education, as well as 650 staff members at 53 state-operated Area Technology Centers (ATCs).
“Laura has been particularly active working with business and industry partners within the state,” co-worker Matt Chaliff said in his nomination letter. “These relationships have helped better connect the work of career and technical education teachers and the Office of Career and Technical Education with the needs of employers in Kentucky. Our students are leaving better prepared for the world of work because of her work to make these connections,” he said.
Arnold is a graduate of Owen County High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics education and master’s degrees in vocational education and educational leadership (Rank I) from the University of Kentucky. She served as a 4-H youth development agent, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and principal of the Marion Co. ATC before joining KDE in 2011, where she has been an education academic program manager, policy adviser and division director.