- The award recognizes a KDE employee for significant service to Kentucky’s public schools and for providing inspiration for education. The KDE staff submits nominations for the award.
- Kiley Whitaker has played a critical role in the acquisition and implementation of the New Skills for Youth Grant that KDE is using to help connect Kentucky’s students to in-demand careers.
By Jacob Perkins
Kiley Whitaker, assistant director of the Division of Technical Schools and Continuous Improvement at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), was named winner of the 2019 Kevin M. Noland-Mary Ann Miller Award at the December Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) meeting.
Unfortunately, due to illness, Whitaker was unable to receive the award at the time.
Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown made sure this was rectified by presenting the award to Whitaker at the Feb. 4 KBE meeting.
The award recognizes a KDE employee for significant service to Kentucky’s public schools and for providing inspiration for education. The KDE staff submits nominations for the award.
Whitaker has helped collect, manage and interpret data that has been used to make decisions at all levels of career and technical education. He has worked closely with the KYStats in the collection, analysis and application of employment trend and demand data that has helped strengthen critical partnerships between schools, the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board and other groups.
Whitaker also has played a critical role in the acquisition and implementation of the New Skills for Youth Grant that KDE is using to help connect Kentucky’s students to in-demand careers.
“This place (KDE) is more like family than it is work and I’m appreciative to come in here every day,” Whitaker said. “This award means the world to me.”
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, the 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-Mary Ann Miller Award winners are:
- 2018– Amanda Ellis, chief academic office and deputy commissioner
- 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, Division of Assessment Support and Research
- 2013– Mary Ann Miller, policy adviser for the commissioner and the Kentucky Board of Education
- 2012– Lisa Gross, director, Division of Communications
- 2011– No award presented
- 2010– Sally Sugg, director, Division of District 180
- 2009– Linda Holbrook, state Reading First coordinator