(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – At the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) meeting in Frankfort Dec. 5, Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis presented the 2018 Kevin M. Noland/Mary Ann Miller Award to Amanda Ellis, chief academic officer and deputy commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Education.
The award recognizes a Kentucky Department of Education employee for significant service to Kentucky’s public schools and for providing inspiration for education. KDE staff submits nominations for the award.
“I have had the privilege of observing Amanda’s leadership for quite some time now, as an outstanding school administrator prior to coming to KDE, as an associate commissioner in the former Office of Teaching and Learning, and now as our deputy commissioner and chief academic officer. Amanda works tirelessly to enrich the lives of students across the Commonwealth,” said Lewis. “She has earned the respect of her colleagues at KDE and across the state, and it is my honor and privilege to present her with this award, named for previous staffers whose dedication to public service and the Kentucky education system was a cut above the rest.”
Prior to her position as chief academic officer, Ellis served as associate commissioner of the Office of Teaching and Learning. In her previous role as the director of the Division of Next Generation Professionals, she led the work of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) initiative. She also has served as the principal at Emma B. Ward Elementary (Anderson County), as an elementary school curriculum coach and a middle school science teacher.
She earned her bachelor’s in elementary education with an endorsement in middle school science and technology from Indiana University, and her master’s in elementary education from Georgetown College. Ellis earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Kentucky.
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 for approximately 18 years. Last year, the KBE added Chief of Staff Mary Ann Miller’s name to the award to honor her 30 years of service to the Kentucky Department of Education. Miller retired in October of 2017.
A selection committee made up of a cross-section of KDE employees 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:
- 2017 Jonathon Bogar, welding instructor, Belfry Area Technology Center
- 2016 Laura Arnold, associate commissioner, Office of Career and Technical Education
- 2015 No award presented
- 2014 Rhonda Sims, director of Assessment Support and Research within the Office of Assessment and Accountability
- 2013 Mary Ann Miller, policy adviser for the commissioner and the Kentucky Board of Education
- 2012 Lisa Gross, director of the Division of Communications
- 2011 No award presented
- 2010 Sally Sugg, director of the Division of District 180
- 2009 Linda Holbrook, state Reading First coordinator