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Ashland joins state in honoring Kentucky's top teachers

Front row, left to right, Terry Holliday, Education Commissioner; Joanna H. Stevens, High School Teacher of the Year; Governor Steve Beshear; Holly Bloodworth, Kentucky Teacher of the Year; Jim O'Brien, Ashland Chairman and CEO; Melanie Trowel, Middle School Teacher of the Year; Tom Zawacki, Workforce and Education Cabinet Secretary.

Each year, we join the Kentucky Department of Education in naming the Kentucky Teacher of the Year. The 2014 honoree is Holly Bloodworth, a third grade teacher at Murray Elementary School.

Melanie Trowel, a teacher of science at Carter G. Woodson Academy in Fayette county, was named 2014 Middle School Teacher of the Year. Joanna H. Stevens, math teacher at Lincoln County High School in the Lincoln county school district, was named 2014 High School Teacher of the Year.

The three joined 21 other teachers from across the state honored with 2014 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards. Stevens and Trowel received $3,000 each and a customized, art-glass vase from Ashland Inc., while Bloodworth received $10,000 and a commemorative crystal-glass bowl. In addition, the Department of Education will provide a sabbatical or suitable alternative for Bloodworth, who also will represent the state in the 2014 National Teacher of the Year competition. The remaining 21 winners each received $500 cash awards.

Click here to read a news release.

Ashland has recognized outstanding Kentucky teachers with its Teacher Achievement Awards since 1988. Approximately $658,000 has been awarded to nearly 450 teachers of grades K to 12.

Teacher of the Year

Holly Bloodworth

Murray Elementary School
Murray, Ky.

Holly Bloodworth, a 26-year veteran educator, has taught third-grade students at Murray Elementary for 13 years. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Murray State University and achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. She serves on the TALK Conference Planning Team and participated in the ECET2 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Think Tank.

Bloodworth also served on the governor-appointed School Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Council (SCAAC). She began a First District Mentoring Cohort for NBCT candidates and has served as a KEA Student Program mentor and a Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) resource teacher. Bloodworth is past president of the Murray Education Association and president-elect of the First District KEA.

Holly Bloodworth

Middle School Teacher of the Year

Melanie Trowel

Carter G. Woodson Academy
Lexington, Ky.

A 14-year teaching veteran, Melanie Trowel has taught science classes at the Carter G. Woodson Academy for a year. Trowel earned a bachelor’s degree at Queens College and a fifth-year degree in special education at the University of Kentucky. Trowel chairs the Science Department and recently presented a message on equity at a teacher panel with more than 400 attendees.

Trowel is an Infinite Campus teacher coach and a Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) resource teacher. She has served as a member of the Principal Advisory Committee and the District Science Leadership Network Team. Trowel’s professional affiliations include the Fayette County Education Association and the Kentucky and National Science Teachers associations.

Melanie Trowel

High School Teacher of the Year

Joanna Howerton Stevens

Lincoln County High School
Stanford, Ky.

Joanna Stevens has taught math at Lincoln County High School for two years of her three-year teaching career. Stevens earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Kentucky. She is a math-content lead specialist, coaching-session instructor, extended school services coordinator and Math Department Professional Learning Community (PLC) facilitator.

Stevens also serves as a Writing Program Review Standards Committee lead and a Turnaround Team member. She is head coach of the academic team and a host for the regional Governor’s Cup Program. Stevens is a member of the Kentucky Education Association and further serves her community through Patriot Club, Garrard County Open Tennis Tournament, Mountain Tennis Circuit and Lincoln County Distinguished Young Women (Junior Miss) Committee activities.

Joanna Howerton Stevens

2014 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Award Winners

Cindy Brown

Lexington Traditional Magnet School
Lexington, Ky.

Cindy Brown has been a member of the teaching profession for 14 years. For the past seven years, she has taught language arts to eighth-grade students at Lexington Traditional Magnet School. Brown earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Eastern Kentucky University and has achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification.

She has served as team leader, cluster leader and chair of the LTMS Language Arts Department. Brown helped create and implement a parent-support outreach program called Parent University. She also helped produce a school-wide discipline policy, helped launch a school clothing bank and took part in a back-to-school rally designed to develop and support positive community.

Cindy Brown

Shawn Carlstedt

Rosenwald Dunbar Elementary
Nicholasville, Ky.

Shawn Carlstedt has taught for 15 years, with the last four in her present position, teaching first- and second-grade students at Rosenwald Dunbar Elementary. Carlstedt earned a bachelor’s degree at Asbury College, a master’s degree at Georgetown College and Rank I certification at the University of Kentucky. She serves as a practicum resource teacher, grade-level coach, K-3 Program Review Pilot lead teacher and as a Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) resource teacher.

Carlstedt also is a grade-level representative and a volunteer, after-school tutor in literacy and math. She has served as an after-school Spanish instructor and as parent director of the Jessamine County High School Theatre Department. Carlstedt is a member of the Jessamine County, Kentucky and National Education associations.

Shawn Carlstedt

Rita A. Cron

J. M. Atherton High School
Louisville, Ky.

With 11 years’ teaching experience, Rita A. Cron has taught social studies at J.M. Atherton High School in Louisville for five years. Cron earned a bachelor’s degree at Indiana University and a master’s degree and education specialist certification at the University of Louisville. She is in the process of completing a dissertation at the University of Louisville. Cron is leader of the U.S. History Professional Learning Community (PLC).

She chairs the Social Studies Department and is a member of the Instructional Leadership Team and Site Based Decision Making Council. Cron has served as a contributing editor for the Courier Journal Public Editors Readers News Network, and her professional affiliations include Women in School Administration, the National Council of Geography and the National Education Association.

Rita A. Cron

Cortney Flannery

Betsy Layne High School
Betsy Lane, Ky.

Cortney Flannery has devoted her six-year career to teaching biology at Betsy Layne High School. Flannery earned a bachelor’s degree at Pikeville College. She is a content leader and department chair for Vertical Team meetings and a Professional Learning Community (PLC) leader. Flannery has served on the Floyd County Curriculum Mapping Committee and helped prepare a session for the Floyd County Professional Development Academy.

She serves as Project Prom sponsor and as a volunteer volleyball coach. Flannery recently presented at an Advance Kentucky study session and received a University of Kentucky 2013 Teacher Who Make a Difference Award. Her professional affiliations include Advance Kentucky and the Floyd County, Kentucky and National Education associations. .

Cortney Flannery

Scot Gill

Tates Creek High School
Lexington, Ky.

Scot Gill has taught science at Tates Creek High School throughout his 19-year career. Gill earned a bachelor’s degree at Transylvania University and two master’s degrees at the University of Kentucky. He also teaches physics at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Gill has served as a cooperating teacher and mentored colleagues.

He helped design/implement a science curriculum and received the Fayette County Merit of Excellence (FAME) Award more than a dozen times. He is a 2013 inductee in the Woodford County Schools Hall of Fame, and his professional affiliations include the International Baccalaureate Programme, National Energy Education Development Project, PAEMST (Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching) Alumni and the Modeling Instruction Group.

Scot Gill

Craig M. Grimm

North Oldham High School
Goshen, Ky.

An 11-year teaching veteran, Craig M. Grimm has taught social studies/social science courses at North Oldham High School for 10 years. Grimm earned a bachelor’s degree at Morehead State University and a master’s degree at Wright State University. He achieved certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and mentors NBPTS candidates.

Grimm also mentored five candidates through the Oldham County New Teacher Mentoring Program, and he serves on the school’s Site-Based Decision-Making Council. He is director of the Social Studies Professional Learning Community (PLC) and helps promote the AP program. Grimm’s professional affiliations include the National Honor Society Advisors for Secondary Schools, College Board for Secondary Schools and the Divided We Fail Political Action Committee.

Craig M. Grimm

Willow Hambrick

Royal Spring Middle School
Georgetown, Ky.

A 15-year veteran educator, Willow Hambrick has taught language arts at Royal Spring Middle School for seven years. Hambrick earned a bachelor’s degree at Hanover College, a master’s degree at Spalding University and 15 graduate hours at the University of Louisville. She serves as a teacher/leader, a literacy coach, Language Arts Department chair and Innovation Community leader at Royal Spring Middle School, where she also leads professional-development writing seminars for co-workers and other district teachers.

Hambrick has mentored student teachers in the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP). Her professional affiliations include the Site Based Decision-Making Council, Parent-Teacher-Student Association, National Council of Teachers of English and the American Academy of Poets.

Willow Hambrick

Derisa Hindle

Talton K. Stone Middle School
Elizabethtown, Ky.

Derisa Hindle has taught for nearly six years, all in her present position as a math and social studies teacher at Talton K. Stone Middle School. Hindle earned an associate degree at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Western Kentucky University. She has presented at a Kentucky Association for Gifted Education Conference and to T. K. Stone and Morningside Elementary faculty members on constructed response.

Hindle participated in professional-development training at the Partnership Institute for Mathematics and Science Education Reform (PIMSER). Her professional affiliations include the Kentucky and National Education associations, the Kentucky and National Teachers of Mathematics councils and the Kentucky and National Middle School associations.

Derisa Hindle

Amanda Lee

May Valley Elementary
Martin, Ky.

With six years’ experience in the education field, Amanda Lee has taught second-grade students at May Valley Elementary for the past year. She earned an associate degree at Big Sandy Community & Technical College, a bachelor’s degree at Morehead State University and a master’s degree and Rank I certification at Union College. Lee is a Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System coordinator for May Valley Elementary, a member of the Floyd County Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Team and a lead on her school’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan.

She has served as a cooperating teacher and as a presenter for the Floyd County Professional Development Academy and the 2013 Kentucky School Councils Association Conference. Lee’s professional affiliations include the Floyd County Evaluation Committee and the Kentucky Education Association.

Amanda Lee

Michelle Williamson Lustenberg

Phillip A. Sharp Middle School
Butler, Ky.

With 21 years’ experience, Michelle Williamson Lustenberg has taught gifted and talented classes for kindergarten through 12th-grade students at Phillip A. Sharp Middle School for the past two years. Lustenberg earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Northern Kentucky University and gifted certification at Georgetown College.

She recently participated in a Kentucky United Nations Association (KUNA) share session. For the past seven years, Lustenberg has organized a Kentucky Association for Gifted Education Creativity Night session for presentation at the annual KAGE Conference. Her professional affiliations include the KDE Gifted Advisory Council, Kentucky and National Art Education associations, Kentucky Historical Society, Northern Kentucky Print Club and the Kentucky Education Association.

Michelle Williamson Lustenberg

Jessica McCubbin

Taylor County Middle School
Taylor County Middle School

With going on 12 years’ teaching experience, Jessica McCubbin has taught math at Taylor County Middle School for the past seven years. McCubbin earned a bachelor’s degree at Campbellsville University and a master’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University. She has served as middle school leader for district vertical alignment meetings and as a cooperating teacher for pre-service teachers from Campbellsville University.

McCubbin has presented at Taylor County elementary, middle and high-school teachers meetings; Kentucky Education Association “Let’s TALK” and Innovations for Learning conferences and at a Kentucky Leads the Nation Roundtable meeting. Her professional affiliations include the Taylor County, Kentucky and National Education associations and the Association for Middle Level Education.

Jessica McCubbin

Beverly McDavid

West Carter Middle School
Olive Hill, Ky.

Beverly McDavid has taught for 15 years, with the last three years at West Carter Middle School, teaching science. McDavid earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Morehead State University. She has achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, and she mentors NBPTS candidates. McDavid recently updated paired-teacher training for the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) and was asked by the executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council to represent middle school teachers on the Environmental Literacy Plan Implementation Advisory Team.

McDavid recently presented at the Kentucky Association of School Administrators. Her professional affiliations include the Kentucky and National Science Teachers associations, Kentucky Education Association, Kentucky Association for Environmental Education and the Kentucky Bluebird Society.

Beverly McDavid

Kelly Don Melton

Muhlenberg North Middle School
Greenville, Ky.

Kelly Don Melton has 18 years’ teaching experience, with six years in her present position, teaching math to sixth-grade students at Muhlenberg North Middle School. Melton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Western Kentucky University and Rank I certification at the University of Phoenix.

She anticipates completion of the Supervisor of Instruction Program at the University of the Cumberlands in December 2013. Melton chairs her school’s Math Professional Learning Committee (PLC) and is a supervising teacher for the Murray State University Student Teaching Program. She is a member of Muhlenberg County District Leadership Team, Core Content Standards Organization and Math Cadre and of the Kentucky Educational Cooperative Math Content Network.

Kelly Don Melton

Angela Pleasant

James E. Farmer Elementary
Louisville, Ky.

With 16 years’ teaching experience, Angela Pleasant has taught third-grade students at James E. Farmer Elementary School for six years. Pleasant earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Louisville and has achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification.

She is a resource teacher for the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP), a support teacher for NBPTS candidates and a mentor for student teachers. Pleasant’s professional affiliations include the Louisville Writing Project, Kentucky and International Reading associations, Women in School Administration and the Greater Louisville Alliance of Black School Educators. She is an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority/Eta Omega Graduate Chapter member and a recipient of the 2013 Carl Perkins Contributor to Special Education Award.

Angela Pleasant

Robin Renee Rath-Fultz

Taylor Elementary
Brooksville, Ky.

A seven-year teaching veteran, Robin Renee Rath-Fultz has taught special education classes for kindergarten through fifth-grade students at Taylor Elementary for five years. Rath-Fultz earned a bachelor’s degree at Midway College and two master’s degrees at Georgetown College.

She serves as Functional Behavior Assessment Team leader and Complex Needs consultant for Taylor Elementary and as an Autism Cadre leader and Safe Crisis Management instructor for the district. Rath-Fultz recently helped plan a Bracken County Spina Bifida Cruise In and has annually devoted more than 500 volunteer hours toward coordinating a Tri-County Agriculture Safety Day for more than a decade. Rath-Fultz is a member of the Kentucky and National Education associations.

Robin Renee Rath-Fultz

Sharon Schwab Smith

Franklin Elementary School
Franklin, Ky.

A 32-year veteran educator, Sharon Schwab Smith has taught kindergarten students at Franklin Elementary School for 29 years. Smith earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Western Kentucky University. She has participated in Steven Covey Leader In Me and in co-teaching training and serves on the Franklin Elementary Program Review Committee.

Smith assists in writing kindergarten unit plans, and she designed a baseline assessment for students entering kindergarten. She is a Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) resource teacher, and she mentored a fellow kindergarten teacher as well. Her professional affiliations include the Simpson County Educational Excellence Foundation and the Simpson County and Kentucky Education associations.

Sharon Schwab Smith

Lana Swartz

Menifee County High School
Frenchburg, Ky.

Lana Swartz has taught for 16 years, serving the last six as a science teacher at Menifee County High School. Swartz earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Morehead State University. She is a member of the Collaborative Biology Raising Achievement (CoBRA) partnership between the Kentucky Department of Education and Morehead State and of Dataseam, an MSU 21st Century Education Enterprise partnership.

Swartz recently took part in the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System. She has served as an instructor for the Robinson Leaders Space Camp and for Space Trek Camp. Swartz’s professional affiliations include the Menifee County and Kentucky Education associations, Kentucky Teacher Association, National Science Teacher Association and the American Association of University Women.

Lana Swartz

Kathy S. Thompson

Central Hardin High School
Cecilia, Ky.

A 22-year teaching veteran, Kathy S. Thompson has taught English/language arts at Central Hardin High school throughout her career. Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Montevallo and a master’s degree at the University of Louisville. She also has achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. Thompson drafted her school’s writing policy and serves on the Writing Program Review Committee.

She judges National Council of Teachers of English Writing and FFA Talent Show and Preliminary Speech competitions and has been actively involved with Compassion International for the past 10 years. Thompson recently received a county technology grant for a set of classroom laptop computers. Her professional affiliations include the National Council of Teachers of English and the Hardin County, Kentucky and National Education associations.

Kathy S. Thompson

Catherine E. Vannatter

Bryan Station High School
Lexington, Ky.

Catherine E. Vannatter is a six-year teaching veteran, with four years in her current position, teaching language arts at Bryan Station High School. Vannatter earned a bachelor’s degree at Transylvania University, a master’s degree at the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University.

She has achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification and mentors NBPTS candidates. Vannatter serves as a BSHS department chair, a field supervisor for student teachers and as a resource teacher for the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP). Her professional affiliations include Educational Testing Services, the Advance Kentucky/National Math and Science Initiative, Omicron Delta Kappa and the Fayette County, Kentucky and National Education associations.

Catherine E. Vannatter

Gina C. Weber

Crestwood Elementary
Crestwood, Ky.

With nine years’ teaching experience, Gina C. Weber has taught second-grade students at Crestwood Elementary for the past year. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Louisville and a master’s degree at Bellarmine University. After attending Math Solutions Training and the Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC) Thinking Strategies Institute in Denver, she provided professional-development opportunities for fellow teachers.

Weber also instructed teachers at the Archdiocese of Louisville on the use of Web 2.0 technologies in primary classrooms. She chairs her school’s Writing Program Review Committee and has served as a Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) resource teacher. Weber is a member of the Kentucky Education Association and the Golden Key National Honors Society.

Gina C. Weber

LenaKay E. Wilson

Mayfield Elementary
Richmond, KY.

With more than 15 years’ teaching experience, LenaKay E. Wilson has been a Reading Recovery and Reading Interventionist for kindergarten through fourth-grade students at Mayfield Elementary for the past 9 years. Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and two master’s degrees and Rank I certification at Eastern Kentucky University. She currently serves as a Read To Achieve Reading Recovery/Reading Interventionist for Madison County Schools.

Wilson was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to the Read To Achieve (RTA) Reading Diagnostic and Intervention Grant Steering Committee. Her professional affiliations include the Madison County, Kentucky and National Education associations, the Kentucky Education Central District Board, Kentucky Department of Education RTA Steering Committee and the Madison County Grow Your Own Leadership Cadre, Madison County Schools Instructional Rounds Leadership Team, Madison County School's Certified Evaluation Committee, Mayfield's PTO and Mayfield's SBDM Council, etc.

LenaKay E. Wilson