Bourbon County educator receives inaugural Priority Award

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2020 KBE Priority Award Winner for Closing the Achievement Gap Jeanne Crowe

At its June 3 meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) presented the first annual 2020 Priority Award for Closing the Achievement Gap to Jeanne M. Crowe, director of Continuous Improvement in Bourbon County Schools.

Crowe, a 31-year educator, has worked more than a decade in the field of school improvement, including as a highly skilled educator and an education recovery leader/specialist for the Kentucky Department of Education.

With a career that spans more than three decades at district, state and postsecondary education levels, Crowe’s work from 2011 to 2019 at East Carter High School best captures her Priority Award qualities. She was assigned as an education recovery specialist at the high school after it had been designated a Priority School and the district was identified as Persistently Low Achieving.

In 2013, under the guidance of Crowe and with the assistance of her school team, East Carter High School received the distinction of a High Performing School and Carter County that of a High Performing District. By 2015, Carter County was named a District of Distinction.

“As a teacher in Estill County, my mother relished the opportunity to teach a self-contained group of at-risk students, many of whom moved from two or more grade levels behind in reading to grade level and beyond under her tutelage,” said her daughter Whitney Crowe, who nominated her mother for the 2020 Priority Award and works for the Kentucky Department of Education. “While a highly skilled educator in Fayette, Madison and Lee counties, schools where she worked saw measurable gains in student achievement, including amongst diverse populations of students.”

Throughout her career, Jeanne Crowe has provided leadership and guidance in school improvement and student achievement and crafted systems that ensured sustainability and capacity at the school and district levels. East Carter remains a high achieving school. It has been designated as a Hub School to serve as a resource to schools designated for Targeted Support and Improvement and acts as a lab of learning activity for both students and stakeholders. In 2019, Carter County was one of only two county school districts in the state to achieve a four-star rating at all tested levels.

“Jeanne’s leadership has helped improve education for students across Kentucky,” said Lu Young, chair of KBE. “For more than three decades she has continued to put learning first and to focus on closing the gaps so that all children can succeed.”

Crowe obtained her Rank I, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and currently holds professional certifications as a teacher, instructional supervisor, director of pupil personnel and superintendent. In 2015, Crowe received her School Improvement Specialist Certificate from the Institute of Performance Improvement.

The KBE recognizes educators, organizations and education stakeholders on an annual basis. The Priority Award aims to honor a person or organization who has done outstanding work in a strategic priority area of the Board’s choosing. The area the award will recognize and the criteria for the nomination process will be selected annually in August.

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