(Frankfort, KY) – Nine outstanding educators from across the state – three elementary, three middle and three high school teachers – are semifinalists for the 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, the Kentucky Department of Education and ValvolineTM announced May 3.

Winners of the Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher of the Year Awards, in addition to the overall 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, will be announced at a ceremony at 10 a.m. ET on May 15, at the Berry Mansion in Frankfort.

Competing for Elementary Teacher of the Year are:

  • NyRee D. Clayton-Taylor, Phyllis Wheatley Elementary, Jefferson County
  • Ashley Whitehead-Judd, Tyner Elementary, Jackson County
  • Amanda Klare, Beechwood Elementary, Beechwood Independent

Middle school semifinalists are:

  • Larry Bailey, Ashland Middle, Ashland Independent
  • Jessica Dueñas, Oldham County Middle, Oldham County
  • Kerri Stanfield, Mason County Middle, Mason County

In the high school category, the semifinalists are:

  • Christy Bickett, North Bullitt High, Bullitt County
  • Tiffany Marsh, Paul Laurence Dunbar High, Fayette County
  • Susan E. McLaughlin, Lafayette High, Fayette County

A blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators selected the nine semifinalists based on their applications, which included information on nominees’ teaching philosophies, teaching experiences, involvement in their respective communities and letters of recommendation. The semifinalists are among 24 educators who were named 2019 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award (TAA) winners last month.

Classroom visits and personal interviews with each of the nine semifinalists will result in the selection of the 2019 Elementary School, Middle School and High School Teachers of the Year, from which the 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year will be selected based on scores. This individual then will represent Kentucky in the 2019 National Teacher of the Year competition.

In addition to cash awards, the Kentucky Teachers of the Year receive custom-designed glassware commemorating their accomplishments.

Interim Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis, Valvoline Chief Executive Officer Sam Mitchell and other dignitaries and guests will recognize the Kentucky Teachers of the Year and all of the 2019 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award winners during the awards ceremony later this month in Frankfort. A luncheon will be held in their honor following the ceremony.