The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) announced the selection of 22 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2024 Kentucky Teacher Achievement Awards on July 5. These teachers qualify to compete for the 2024 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in September.
“The Kentucky Teacher of the Year Awards honor exceptional educators who go above and beyond to support Kentucky’s future leaders,” said Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass. “Our teachers are among the best in the nation, and we at KDE are proud to recognize and celebrate their tireless efforts in their classrooms and communities.”
The 22 winning teachers are:
- Amber Dwyer, Alvaton Elementary (Warren County)
- Katie Hale, Ponderosa Elementary (Boyd County)
- Deanna Landrum, Southgate Public School (Southgate Independent)
- Justin Moreschi, Klondike Lane Elementary (Jefferson County)
- Brittany Ritter, Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts (Jefferson County)
- Donnie Wilkerson, Jamestown Elementary (Russell County)
- Sally Pollett Zaring, Painted Stone Elementary (Shelby County)
- Kevin Dailey, Ballyshannon Middle (Boone County)
- Doug Henry, Bullitt Lick Middle (Bullitt County)
- Abby Lee, LaRue County Middle
- Maegan Tepe, Ballyshannon Middle (Boone County)
- Rebecca Clark Thayer, Beaumont Middle (Fayette County)
- Kimberly Thompson, Eastside Middle (Bullitt County)
- Brandi Violette, Olmstead Elementary (Logan County)
- Sara Beth Boggs, Frankfort High (Frankfort Independent)
- Ryan Davis, Waggener High (Jefferson County)
- Luke Glaser, Hazard High (Hazard Independent)
- Sara Peyton, Rowan County Senior High (Rowan County)
- Kumar Rashad, Breckinridge Metropolitan High (Jefferson County)
- Aretha Whaley, Casey County High
- Kimberly McClellan White, Muhlenberg County High
- Samuel Whitehead, Rowan County Senior High (Rowan County)
“These award-winning teachers represent more than 40,000 of their colleagues who continue to serve their students and the teaching profession,” Glass said. “I thank all teachers who give of themselves every day to inspire, motivate and support Kentucky’s students.”
Profiles and pictures of each award winner are available on the KDE Awards and Recognition webpage.
All 22 teachers will be honored during a ceremony in Frankfort on Sept. 13. At that time, the Kentucky Elementary, Middle and High School Teachers of the Year will be announced. From this group of three finalists, the 2024 Kentucky Teacher of the Year will be named and will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
This year, KDE received 1,367 teacher nominations from all 171 school districts. Of that number, 255 teachers completed their applications.
“This is the second year in a row we received at least one nomination from every school district in the Commonwealth,” said Toni Konz Tatman, chief communications officer for KDE. “Simply being nominated for this award is meaningful for our teachers, and we appreciate every person who made the effort to nominate an outstanding educator.”
Judging was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators from across the state. Applications included information on the nominees’ teaching philosophies, teaching experiences and involvement in their respective communities, as well as letters of recommendation from peers, students, families, administrators and others.