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2015 Ashland Inc.
Teacher Achievement Award Winners

Sara Appleby

Daviess County Middle School
Owensboro, Ky.

Fourteen-year teaching veteran Sara Appleby has taught language arts at Daviess County Middle School for 12 years. Appleby earned a bachelor’s degree at Lambuth University and a master’s degree at Brescia University. She is a member of the Daviess County Public Schools Homework Task Force and co-facilitator of the Leader in Me Faculty Lighthouse Committee. Appleby also chairs her school’s language department, represents the school in the Literacy Design Collaborative and serves as a resource teacher for the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP).

Appleby is a recipient of Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching, Daviess County Public Schools Middle School Teacher of the Year, Daviess County Middle School Teacher of the Year and Foundation of Daviess County Public Schools Focus awards. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Sara Appleby

Renee Biddle

Charles Straub Elementary
Maysville, Ky.

Renee Biddle is a 20-year veteran of the teaching profession, with 19 years in her current position, teaching first-grade students at Charles Straub Elementary School. Biddle earned a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s degree at Morehead State. She is a member of her school’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan Team and has served on a district-wide Superintendent Advisory Committee. As a first-grade chairperson, Biddle worked with building administrators to discuss instructional strategies for the grade level and school.

She is a five-time recipient of DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Junior American Citizens Community Service Class awards. Biddle’s professional affiliations include the Mason County and Kentucky Education associations.

Renee Biddle

Ella F. Bowling

Mason County Middle School
Maysville, Ky.

Ten-year teaching veteran Ella F. Bowling has taught seventh-grade science courses at Mason County Middle School for eight years. She earned a bachelor’s degree and Rank 1 certification at Morehead State and a master’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University. After attending the Ron Clark Academy, Bowling planned and hosted a “Ron Clark Cadre Share-A-Thon,” attended by 60 district teachers. She has served as a presenter for other education-related initiatives as well.

She has received National Biology Teachers Association, National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Dorothy Stout Professional Development and KEA/NEA Excellence in Teaching awards. She is a member of the Mason County and Kentucky Education associations, the Kentucky and National Science Teachers associations and the American Association for Advancement of Science.

Ella F. Bowling

Cathy Justus Cook

Julius Marks Elementary School
Lexington, Ky.

Cathy Justus Cook, an eight-year veteran educator, has taught second-grade students at Julius Marks Elementary in Lexington for the past two years. Cook earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree at Georgetown College.

After training to become a Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) resource teacher, Cook mentored a new second-grade teacher throughout her first year. She chaired a school-wide committee on the Writing Program Review Process and served on an Elementary Advisory Committee for the superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools. Cook has been a volunteer tutor for the Great Leaps Reading Program and Black Men on the Rise. She also took part in service trips to an orphanage in Liberia through Americans for African Adoptions.

Cathy Justus Cook

Linda Dewees

Henry Clay High School
Lexington, Ky.

Linda Dewees has taught mathematics courses at Henry Clay High School throughout her 17-year teaching career. She earned a bachelor’s degree and Rank II certification at the University of Kentucky. Dewees serves as a mentor to a new calculus teacher in another county. She designed and implemented a new, ninth-grade geometry class at HCHS and worked with another teacher to create a blended algebra I and geometry class for students based on test scores.

Dewees has received honors throughout her career, including a previous Ashland Teacher Achievement Award, a Rotary Club of Lexington John R. Bryden Great Teacher Award and an HCHS staff-selected Henry Clay Great Compromise Award. She is a member of the Kentucky and National councils of Teachers of Mathematics and the American Statistics Association.

Linda Dewees

Michael DiEnno

Lebanon Junction Elementary
Lebanon Junction, Ky.

With 14 years in the education field, Michael DiEnno has spent the past four years teaching fourth-grade students at Lebanon Junction Elementary. DiEnno earned a bachelor’s degree at Murray State University, a master’s degree at Clemson University and a master’s degree at Bellarmine University. He took part in the Teacher Professional Growth Effectiveness System (TPGES) Pilot Program. DiEnno serves as his school’s science lead and as a faculty co-trainer for implementing the recently adopted Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

He is the recipient of Kentucky Heritage and Jordan Fundamentals grants and was one of four Kentucky recipients of the Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence. DiEnno’s professional affiliations are the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society, the Xi Sigma Pi National Forestry Honor Society and the Kentucky and National Education associations.

Michael DiEnno

Regina Donour

Letcher County Central High School
Whitesburg, Ky.

Regina Donour has taught science courses at Letcher County Central High School for nine of her 17-year career. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama; master’s degrees at Morehead State University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and science/biology certifications at the University of Virginia. Donour has been a Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) resource teacher; a member of the Science Leadership Network of the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative; and a participant in the district Professional Growth and Effectiveness System Evaluation Committee.

She was a PRIDE Environmental Educator of the Year and a finalist for McGlothlin Teaching Excellence and Kentucky Presidential Award for Excellence awards. Her professional affiliations include the National Energy Education Project, Kentucky Science Teachers Association and Kentucky Association of Environmental Education.

Regina Donour

Abby Flake

Audubon Elementary School
Owensboro, Ky.

Abby Flake has been an educator for 15 years, with the last two years at Audubon Elementary, teaching third-grade students. Flake earned an associate degree at Owensboro Community College, bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Western Kentucky University, and Rank I certification at Indiana Wesleyan University. She chairs the K-3 Program Review; piloted the Teacher Professional Growth Effectiveness System Program; and has supervised student teachers from Western Kentucky University, Brescia University and Kentucky Wesleyan College.

Flake has received Campbellsville University Elementary School Excellence in Teaching, Daviess County Public Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year and Audubon Elementary School Teacher of the Year awards. Her professional affiliations include the Daviess County, Kentucky and National Education associations.

Abby Flake

Patrick M. Goff

Beaumont Middle School
Lexington, Ky.

With 15 years of teaching experience, Patrick M. Goff has taught science courses to eighth-grade students at Beaumont Middle School for the past 12 years. Goff earned a bachelor’s degree at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree at the University of Kentucky. He also has achieved National Board Certification.

Goff led a design/implementation team for the district’s First Annual Summer Science Institute for Middle School Science Teachers. He is a teacher coach for Infinite Campus and a resource teacher for Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) and practicum/student teachers. Goff also chairs the school’s Science Department. He is a recipient of two Lexmark Inspire awards and of a Kentucky American Water grant. Goff’s professional affiliations include the Kentucky and National Science Teachers associations and the Fayette County Public Schools’ college, career, citizenship-readiness plan.

Patrick M. Goff

Peggy A. Helm

Crosby Middle School
Louisville, Ky.

With 31 years in the teaching profession, Peggy A. Helm has taught language arts to seventh-grade students at Crosby Middle School for 11 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Spalding University and a master’s degree at the University of Louisville. Helm also attended the Writing and Learning Academy at Eastern Kentucky University and has achieved Rank I certification.

She leads her school’s literacy program, chairs the Language Arts Department and presents at faculty/staff in-service sessions. Helm also is a member of the School Curriculum and Instruction Committee and the Instructional Leadership Team. She served on Crosby’s Professional Growth Effectiveness System Leadership Team and participated in a Literacy Design collaborative grant program. Helm is a member of the Jefferson County Teachers and Kentucky Education associations and of the Association for Middle Level Education.

Peggy A. Helm

Emily A. Johnston

Henderson County High School
Henderson, Ky.

Emily A. Johnston has taught career and technical education courses to Henderson County High School seniors throughout her eight-year teaching career. Johnston earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Eastern Illinois University and a second master’s degree at Western Kentucky University. She also holds Early Care and Education Trainer’s credentials (Level 5).

Johnston is an advisor for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and a Kentucky Teacher Internship Program resource teacher. She has served on a KDE Early Childhood Task Force, trained CTE teachers in the use of Edmodo and presented at a Kentucky Association of Colleges for Teacher Education conference. Johnston was the first Family and Consumer Sciences teacher to have students (four) achieve Child Development Associate Certification and was named a CTE Teacher of the Month by her school.

Emily A. Johnston

Stacie L. Kegley

Longbranch Elementary School
Union, Ky.

Stacie L. Kegley has been teaching for seven years, with the last four in her present position as a library media specialist for kindergarten through fifth-grade students at Longbranch Elementary School. Kegley earned her bachelor’s degree at Northern Kentucky University and a master’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University. She facilitates a The Leader in Me book study and has presented on the topic, along with Understanding by Design (UbD).* Kegley also chairs the school’s Literary Committee and is team leader for unified arts.

She is the recipient of Golden Apple, PTA District and PTA State Outstanding Educator awards and is a member of the Kentucky Library Association, Site Based Decision Making Council and Boone County Education Association.

* Also referred to as backward design/planning, Understanding by Design and UbD are registered trademarks of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Stacie L. Kegley

Elizabeth M. Lovett

Jesse D. Lay Elementary School
Barbourville, Ky.

Elizabeth M. Lovett has taught music (arts and humanities) at Jesse D. Lay Elementary for 17 of her 23-year teaching career. Lovett earned a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University, Rank I and Music Education certifications at Union College and is a candidate for National Board Certification. She has showcased her students’ talents through six school-wide elementary musicals, the Knox County Arts Festival and the Knox County Honor’s Choir.

Lovett has been featured in Who’s Who of Professional Women (Marquis) and has been named Elementary Music Teacher of the Year by District 10 of the Kentucky Music Educators Association. She is a member of the Knox County, Upper Cumberland and Kentucky Education associations, Kentucky Educators Public Affairs Council and Kentucky Music Educators Association. Lovett also supports the Retired Educators Providing Support mentoring program.

Elizabeth M. Lovett

Lisa M. Moore

Vine Grove Elementary
Vine Grove, Ky.

With 23 years’ in the teaching profession, Lisa M. Moore has taught fourth-grade students at Vine Grove Elementary for the past two years. Moore earned her bachelor’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University, a master’s degree at Maryland’s Towson University and Rank 1 certification at the University of the Cumberlands.

She participates in the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System and incorporates Best Practice Writing Instruction and Thoughtful Education learning strategies. Moore has further supported her community through Project Graduation at Central Hardin High School, Cecilia, and as a board member at Bethlehem High School, Bardstown. Her professional affiliations include the Hardin County and National Education associations.

Lisa M. Moore

T. Danielle Pendleton

Central High Magnet Career Academy
Louisville, Ky.

Danielle Pendleton has taught French to high school students at Central High Magnet Career Academy throughout her seven-year teaching career. Pendleton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Louisville. She is a trainer for the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System and served as a Tools for Teaching professional-development leader.

Pendleton has mentored/supervised teacher candidates from the University of Louisville and Bellarmine. Her professional affiliations include the Jefferson County Teachers Association, Kentucky and National Education associations, Kentucky World Language Association and American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. She provides after-school tutoring for French students and served as primary contact/leader for a 2014 Dare to Care food drive.

T. Danielle Pendleton

Scott Lee Pile

Calloway County Middle School
Murray, Ky.

Scott Lee Pile has spent his entire, 12-year career teaching science at Calloway County Middle School. Pile earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Murray State and has achieved Rank I certification. He serves as a presenter, panelist and keynote speaker for education-related initiatives, including Murray State’s College and Career Readiness Summit and Future Educators Camp, along with National Kentucky Science Teachers Association conferences.

Pile’s students have participated in the International Future Problem Solving Competition and represented Kentucky in the National Science Bowl, earning an excellence in science award. Pile is a recipient of the Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award and other honors. He is a member of the Kentucky/National Science Teachers associations and the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition.

Scott Lee Pile

Sarah M. Reed

Field Elementary
Louisville, Ky.

Eighteen-year veteran educator, Sarah M. Reed has taught third-grade students at Field Elementary for five years. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Iowa’s Coe College, a master’s degree at Indiana University and has achieved National Board certification. Reed leads the Math Field Elementary, Third Grade and Instructional Leadership teams and chairs the Academic Response to Intervention and Arts/Humanities Program Review committees. She presented before the county board of education, and an article Reed wrote was in Kentucky Literacy Link.

She is a recipient of the Gheens Institute Professional Learning Communities Award and a member of the: Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics; Kentucky Reading Council; National Board Certification Program; International Reading Association; Kentucky Reading Project; and Jefferson County/National Education associations.

Sarah M. Reed

Michelle Ruckdeschel

Beacon Central High School
Utica, Ky.

With 15 years as an educator, Michelle Ruckdeschel has taught mathematics at Beacon Central High School for four years. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree/teacher certification at Murray State, and Level I Principalship Certification at the University of the Cumberlands. Ruckdeschel has participated in Professional Growth and Effectiveness System and Pilot Teacher/PGES Virtual Observer projects. She also takes part in Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers (ECET2KY) initiatives at region and state levels.

Ruckdeschel is the recipient of Campbellsville University High School Excellence in Teaching, Beacon Central High School and Daviess County Public Schools High School Teacher of the Year and Foundation for Daviess County Public Schools Great Expectations Focus awards. She is a member of the Christian County/Daviess County and National Education associations, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and National Business Education Association.

Michelle Ruckdeschel

Faye L. Smith

Campbell County Middle School
Alexandria, Ky.

Twenty-seven year teaching veteran Faye L. Smith has taught mathematics at Campbell County Middle School for nine years. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree at Thomas More College, a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina and Instructional Leadership Certification at Xavier University.

Smith coached the KAAC Governor’s Cup Regional Championship Team. She is a recipient of numerous honors, including the Campbell County Middle School Top Twenty and student-selected Most Influential Teacher awards. She has received two Veterans of Foreign Wars Middle School Teacher of the Year awards and a Math Counts Coach of the Year Award. Her professional affiliations are the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition, Math Counts Foundation, Northern Kentucky Academic League and National Council of Teachers of Math.

Faye L. Smith

Joshua Sullivan

Owensboro Middle School
Owensboro, Ky.

Joshua Sullivan began teaching academic-enrichment classes at Owensboro Middle School since becoming a teacher six years ago. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Kentucky Wesleyan College and a master’s degree at the University of the Cumberlands. Sullivan has served as an Interdisciplinary Team leader and as a member of the school’s Professional Learning Communities Training Team. He served on the board of the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition and on the Disney Youth Education Series Teacher Feedback Committee.

Sullivan coordinated Project Mickey, which gives students an opportunity to take social studies, physical/animal sciences, and technology courses at Disney World. He has been honored by Owensboro Middle School Teacher as a Teacher of the Month, and his professional affiliations include his school’s Site Based and the Owensboro Public Schools Super councils.

Joshua Sullivan

Joshua C. Underwood

Mason County High School
Maysville, Ky.

With 14 years in the teaching profession, Joshua C. Underwood teaches chemistry at Mason County High School. Underwood earned a bachelor’s degree at Morehead State and a master’s degree at Montana State. He also has achieved National Board Certification. Underwood serves on the Kentucky Education Association’s National Board Team and is an original member of the KEA’s National Board Certification group, which presents sessions for teachers going through the certification process. He has presented or co-presented at every Kentucky Science Teachers Association Conference since becoming a member in 1999.

Underwood is a recipient of Robertson County Teacher of the Month, Kentucky Education Association Teacher of the Year, Kentucky Science Teachers Association High School Teacher of the Year and Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching awards.

Joshua C. Underwood

Jennie S. Watkins

Corbin Intermediate School
Corbin, Ky.

Jennie S. Watkins has taught language arts and geography at Corbin Intermediate School for the past six of her 17-year teaching career. Watkins earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Cumberlands and a master’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University. She helped draft/revise the new Kentucky Core Academic Standards for Social Studies and developed a unit on Informational Reading that became the basis for after-school enrichment programs. Watkins also developed/implemented a project-based unit on Chinese history and collaborated with Eastern Kentucky University on a project-based unit in economics.

She has been named a Kentucky Hope Street Group State Fellow and was a Kentucky Outstanding Civic Educator of the Year finalist. Watkins’ professional affiliations include the Kentucky Association of Professional Educators, for which she serves as district representative.

Jennie S. Watkins

Pamela J. Wilson

Russell County High School
Russell Springs, Ky.

Nineteen-year educator Pamela J. Wilson has taught mathematics at Russell County High School for 13 years. Wilson earned bachelor’s and master’s degree at Western Kentucky University and has achieved Nation Board Certification. She is a member of the district CEP 50/50 Committee and serves as a department chairperson and Professional Learning Community (PLC) facilitator for her school. Wilson also participates in Lindsey Wilson College and Morehead State University classroom observations for pre-service teachers.

She was a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and is a recipient of the Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award. Wilson’s professional affiliations include the Kentucky and National councils of Teachers of Mathematics.

Pamela J. Wilson

Victoria Yeomanson

Randall K. Cooper High School
Union, Ky.

With 23 years in the teaching profession, Victoria Yeomanson has taught English at Randall K. Cooper High School for the past six years. Yeomanson earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree and teaching certification at the University of Nevada. She has achieved National Board Certification as well. Yeomanson is a resource teacher for the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) and a team leader for the English III Instructional Leadership Team. She has been featured in a training video for superintendents as an example of exemplary teaching disposition.

Yeomanson has received Scripps Howard Foundation Golden Apple and Cincinnatus Association C3 Outstanding Kentucky Public School Educator awards and two nominations for Ashland/KDE Teacher of the Year. Her professional affiliations include the Boone County Education Association and the Kentucky and National councils of Teachers of English.

Victoria Yeomanson