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Semifinalists named for 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year; two from south central Kentucky

Samuel Northern, of Simpson Elementary in Simpson County, and Donnie Wilkerson of Jamestown Elementary in  Russell County are named semifinalists for 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year
Samuel Northern, of Simpson Elementary in Simpson County, and Donnie Wilkerson of Jamestown Elementary in Russell County are named semifinalists for 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year(KY Department of Education)
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 3:35 PM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) – Nine outstanding teachers from across the state – three elementary, three middle and four high school – are semifinalists for the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and Valvoline Inc. announced on Sept. 1.

Winners of the elementary, middle and high school Teacher of the Year awards, in addition to the overall 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, will be announced in a virtual ceremony later this fall.

Competing for elementary Teacher of the Year are:

Samuel Northern,

Simpson Elementary (Simpson County)

Donnie Piercey

Stonewall Elementary (Fayette County)

Donnie Wilkerson

Jamestown Elementary (Russell County)

The middle school semifinalists are:

Laura Peavley

Westport Middle (Jefferson County)

Jeannette Teater

The Providence School (Jessamine County)

Tia Wood

Ballyshannon Middle (Boone County)

In the high school category, the semifinalists are:

Lori Knapp-Lindsay

Boone County Ignite Academy

Christopher McCurry

Lafayette High (Fayette County)

Scott Wade

Newcomer Academy (Jefferson County)

“Teachers are essential to not only the educational, but the social and emotional well-being of our children. We have witnessed that firsthand this year,” said KDE Interim Commissioner of Education Kevin C. Brown. “These award-winning educators represent more than 42,000 of their colleagues who are doing anything and everything to serve their students and ensure learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. I congratulate them and thank all Kentucky teachers for their outstanding efforts during these challenging times.”

The nine semifinalists are among 24 educators in Kentucky who were named 2021 Valvoline™ Teacher Achievement Award winners. They were chosen based on their scores from the first round of judging, which was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators. Applications included nominees’ teaching philosophies, teaching experiences, involvement in their respective communities and letters of recommendation.

A classroom lesson review and interview with each of the nine semifinalists will result in the selection of the 2021 Elementary School, Middle School and High School Teachers of the Year.

The semifinalist with the highest cumulative score will be named the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. That individual will go on to represent Kentucky in the 2021 National Teacher of the Year competition.

Valvoline will present the 24 recipients of the Teacher Achievement Award with a cash award and certificate during a virtual awards ceremony in October. The three Kentucky Teachers of the Year also will receive custom-designed glassware commemorating their accomplishments.

Copyright 2020 WBKO. All rights reserved.

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