Western Kentucky University announces finalists of second annual Distinguished Educator Awards
Teacher leaders in the WKU service region recognized and celebrated
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Western Kentucky University today announced the 2021 finalists of the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences’ Distinguished Educator Awards.
“While it’s hard to believe we’re rounding out a year of non-traditional instruction, our teachers have felt every shift and change that came with our new ‘normal’,” said Corinne Murphy, Dean of WKU’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. “Our teachers adapted and persevered through every roadblock and moment of uncertainty, showing that education, while considered very traditional in nature, is just as nimble and innovative as the other professional fields that made sharp pivots during the 2020 year. Our teachers incorporated these changes with grace, and we’re thrilled to honor them with some well-deserved recognition.”
Each award celebrates the individual and significant contributions educators make to the teaching profession.
From elementary education to teacher mentorship, WKU recognizes the following P-12 educator finalists based on their inspiring and specialized solutions in the classroom:
Rachel Smith – LaRue County, Hodgenville Elementary
Justin Browning – Barren County, Barren County High
Taylor Stewart – Warren County, Drakes Creek Middle
Samantha Pedigo – Warren County, GEO International High
Sharon Mattingly – Barren County, Barren County High
Kristi Costellow – Bowling Green Independent, Parker Bennett Curry Elementary
Terri Cleaver – Bowling Green Independent, Parker Bennett Curry Elementary
Tammy Dennis – Green County, Green County Primary
Sherri Gilpin – Caverna Independent, Caverna Elementary
Chelsie Walsh – LaRue County, LaRue County Middle
Ashley Holland – Warren County, Alvaton Elementary
Marschelle Sekora – Simpson County, Lincoln Elementary
Visual Performing Arts
Pam Thurman – Warren County, Jody Richards Elementary
Susie Lucas – Barren County, North Jackson Elementary
Landon Case – Bowling Green Independent, TC Cherry Elementary and BG Junior High
Lauren Lamb – Warren County, North Warren Elementary
Tim Gross – LaRue County, LaRue County Middle
Dale Decker – Green County, Green County Intermediate
Emma Taylor – Barren County, North Jackson Elementary
Carol Ann Gilbert – Warren County, Warren Elementary
Dana Soto – Green County, Green County Primary
Lorie Estes – Green County, Green County Intermediate
Nikki Knott – Daviess County, Burns Elementary
Monica Spencer – Larue County, Abraham Lincoln Elementary
Middle Grades (6-8)
Rodney Smith – Cumberland County, Cumberland County Middle
Lindsay Gibson – Russell County, Russell County Middle
Amelia Watkins – Warren County, Cumberland Trace Elementary
Chris Thomas – LaRue County, LaRue County High
Colton Isaacs – Warren County, Warren Central High
Leigh Ellen Bristow – Todd County, Todd County Central High
WKU will announce category winners the week of April 19 -- each winner will receive a $200 cash prize and a commemorative plaque.
Additionally, WKU will feature a perpetual plaque in Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame honoring winners for years to come.
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