Reeca Carver, state adviser for the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) at the Kentucky Department of Education, was named the winner of the 2021 Kevin M. Noland-Mary Ann Miller Award at the December Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) meeting. Carver also serves as an education vocational program consultant in the Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE).
The award recognizes a Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) employee for significant service to Kentucky’s public schools and for providing inspiration for education. Nominations for the award are submitted by KDE staff.
“Not many people have the opportunity to say that they have accomplished their dream job,” Carver said. “But at FCCLA we are able to show them how the items and things we teach them every day can be applied in their everyday living and can also help them to be accomplished leaders in their schools, homes and communities.”
“I just want to thank you all so much. It’s an honor to receive this award. I hope I do justice to this award for Kevin and Mary Ann and continue to serve these students.”
Her nominator, Robin Linton, also in OCTE, said that Carver has provided numerous activities to help students be proficient with real-world activities. These activities have helped students develop leadership and soft skills, leading to more involvement in competitions and community service projects.
“In the 18 years of being in her position with KDE, she has provided and presented numerous workshops at the local, regional, state and national levels to teachers to enhance the learning performance of students,” Linton said.
Carver also has led the development of competitions for students with special needs. The state’s career and technical student organizations now have two modified events for students with special needs.
“Ms. Carver has made an impact on several areas for KDE. Teamwork is a big part of her nature. She is one of the first to volunteer and assist those in need,” Linton wrote in her nomination form.
The award is named for Noland, who served as KDE’s deputy commissioner and general counsel and served as interim commissioner on four occasions, and Miller, who served KDE as a program consultant, staff assistant, policy adviser, director of KBE and chief of staff.
The award was established in 2013 to recognize Noland’s 18 years of service; KBE added Miller’s name to the award in 2017 to honor her 30 years of service to KDE. Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass said the award is more poignant this year as Miller passed away in May. Her husband, Ed Miller, was at the meeting to present the award to Carver. Noland attended the meeting virtually.
“Mary Ann was very humbled to follow the award that was named in honor of her friend Kevin Noland. And so I hope that this year the recipient will be honored and continue to work tirelessly in educating people of the goals of the department,” Ed Miller said.
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, KDE and Kentucky’s schools;
- An individual who is knowledgeable and productive; and
- 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 include:
- 2020: Gretta Hylton, associate commissioner, Office of Special Education and Early Learning
- 2019: Kiley Whitaker, assistant director of the Division of Technical Schools and Continuous Improvement
- 2018: Amanda Ellis, chief academic officer and deputy commissioner
- 2017: Jonathon Bogar, welding instructor, Belfry Area Technology Center
- 2016: Laura Arnold, associate commissioner, OCTE
- 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 KBE
- 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