Campbellsville University honors 199 teachers throughout 70 Kentucky school districts for excellence in teaching at 30th annual ceremony

Campbellsville University honors 199 teachers throughout 70 Kentucky school districts for excellence in teaching at 30th annual ceremony

May 21, 2016

For Immediate Release

Rhonda Sims, associate commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, told the
recipients of the Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Awards, teachers and those
in the education profession have not gotten the admiration they deserve. She is a 1984 graduate
of Campbellsville College. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joshua Williams)


By Joan C. McKinney, coordinating director


CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “I hope you are proud of yourselves and your accomplishments. Today is a day to celebrate you!”


Rhonda Sims, associate commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, told the 199 teachers from 70 school districts throughout Kentucky honored by Campbellsville University, teaching is an important job, a hard job and a challenging job.


Sims, a 1984 Campbellsville College graduate, was the guest speaker at the 30th Annual Excellence in Teaching Awards Ceremony Saturday, May 21 at the Ransdell Chapel on the Campbellsville University campus.


Sims urged teachers to not say “I’m just a teacher” when asked what they do. She told them to say: “‘I inspire,’ ‘I innovate,’ ‘I motivate,’ ‘I engage,’ ‘I challenge’ or ‘I nurture children.’”


She told the honorees they prepare the next generation to lead, think and solve problems.


“You can love the subject matter you are teaching, but without care, concern and compassion for your students, you may be a good teacher, but you will never be a great teacher,” Sims said.


Sims taught before going into administration with the Kentucky Department of Education, and said, “Teaching ignited a fire within me that I still feel when I go to work each day.”


After playing school with dolls when she was a little girl, pretending they were students, she said, “When I got into the classroom with real students, I discovered that teaching was not only my calling, but also my passion,” she said.


“You wouldn’t be here today if you didn’t have that passion for your students and share that love of learning.”


Dr. Shane Garrison, dean of online education, made a special announcement in which Campbellsville University will be offering a $1,000 scholarship to each award recipient to be used toward any online master’s degree program at Campbellsville University for a total of nearly $200,000.     


In addition, Campbellsville University will allow this scholarship offer to be shared with others. Award recipients can recommend a fellow teacher, colleague, family member or friend for a $1,000 “Pay It Forward” scholarship. He said principals and superintendents of honored teachers can also recommend someone for the scholarship.


The deadline to apply for the scholarship is July 29, and students must begin their academic coursework either in August or October of this year. More information can be found at


Dr. Donna Hedgepath, vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Beverly Ennis, dean of the School of Education and Garrison presented the certificates to the teachers before a luncheon in Winters Dining Hall. Garrison also gave the invocation.


Hedgepath, who has taught in the public school system, told the teachers to “Enjoy the day; it’s about you.”


Dr. Beverly Ennis, dean of the School of Education, told the educators she came from their ranks
having taught 34 years in the public school system, before coming to Campbellsville University
in 2006. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joshua Williams)

Dr. Beverly Ennis, dean of the College of Education, said, “Thank you for your service to children.” She told of the history of Campbellsville University, and said Campbellsville University is the most diverse private college in Kentucky and is in the top 20 lowest debt college in the United States.


Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president of Campbellsville University for
government, community and constituent relations, introduced Rhonda Sims, who is a 1984
graduate of Campbellsville University. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joshua Williams)

Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president of Campbellsville University for government, community and constituent relations, introduced Sims and also read the names of the honorees.


At this 30th annual program, CU recognized 199 teachers from 70 school districts. A total of 3,390 teachers have been recognized for their teaching excellence throughout the years.


The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is in partnership with Lexington’s CBS-affiliate, WKYT-TV.


The Excellence in Teaching Award recipients include the following with their superintendent listed first:


Adair County School System, Alan W. Reed, superintendent – Alice Curry, Adair County Elementary School; Katie Campbell, Adair County Middle School; and Mary McQuaide, Adair County High School;


Anderson County School System, Sheila Mitchell, superintendent – Dawn Royalty, Sparrow Early Childhood Center; Natalie Frasure, Anderson County Middle School; and Lauren Vasser, Anderson County High School;


Augusta Independent School System, Lisa McCane, superintendent- Tamara Denham, Augusta Independent School, Elementary; Terry Bray, Augusta Independent School, Middle; and Dan Hildebrand, Augusta Independent School, High;


Barren County School System, Bo Matthews, superintendent – Cory Edwards, Red Cross Elementary School; Chasity Shipley, Barren County Middle School; and Michael Steenbergen, Barren County High School;


Bell County School System, Yvonne Gilliam, superintendent – Pauline Dixon, Yellow Creek School Center; Jonathan Mangus, Lone Jack Central School Center; and Angelia Hammons, Bell County High School;


Bourbon County School System, Amy Baker, superintendent – Shannon Wigginton, Bourbon Central Elementary School; Bradley Muntz, Bourbon County Middle School; and Michael Bess, Bourbon County High School;


Bracken County School System, Jeff Aulick, superintendent – Melissa Irish, Taylor Elementary School; Mary Appleman, Bracken County Middle School; and Lila Brindley, Bracken County High School;


Bullitt County School System, Keith Davis, superintendent – Traci Moore, Lebanon Junction Elementary School; Carl Curtsinger, Mt. Washington Middle School; and Katie Hardy, North Bullitt High School;


Burgin Independent School System, Martha Collier, superintendent – Tabitha Renner, Burgin Independent School, Elementary; and Amanda Rulon, Burgin Independent School, Middle;


Butler County School System, Scott Howard, superintendent – Kimberly Grubb, Morgantown Elementary School; Monica Crawford, Butler County Middle School; and Elliot Blanton, Butler County High School;


Campbellsville Independent School System, Mike Deaton, superintendent – Doretha Sanders, Campbellsville Elementary School, 1998 Campbellsville University graduate; Jessica Lile, Campbellsville Middle School, 2011 and 2015 Campbellsville University undergraduate and master’s graduate; and Amy Deaton, Campbellsville High School, 2008 Campbellsville University master’s graduate;


Carter County School System, Dr. Ronnie Dotson, superintendent – Samantha Thompson, Carter City Elementary School; Christi Burnett, East Carter Middle School; and Linda Burton, West Carter High School;


Casey County School System, Marion Sowders, superintendent – Valeri Spaw, Walnut Hill Elementary School; Kim Baldwin, Casey County Middle School; and Kacey Huffaker, Casey County High School, 2006, 2008 and 2013 Campbellsville University undergraduate and master’s graduate;


Caverna Independent School System, Cornelius Faulkner, superintendent – Jessica Hampton, Caverna Elementary School;


Crittenden County School System, Vince Clark, superintendent – Suzzanne Brown, Crittenden County Elementary School; Shawna Sharp, Crittenden County Middle School; and Melisa Quertermous, Crittenden County High School;


Cumberland County School System, Dr. Kirk Biggerstaff, superintendent – Lori Branham, Cumberland County Elementary School; Kristen Anderson, Cumberland County Middle School; and Tiffany Skeens, Cumberland County High School;


Danville Independent Schools, Dr. Keith Look, superintendent – Carla Arnold, Toliver Elementary School; Caleb Wetmore, Bate Middle School; and Walker Dean, Danville High School;


Daviess County School System, Owens Saylor, superintendent – Donna Howard, Whitesville Elementary School; Jessica Morris, Burns Middle School; and Beverly Payne, Davis County High School;


East Bernstadt Independent School System, Vicki Jones, superintendent – Daryl Feltner, East Bernstadt Independent School, Elementary; and Karen Nantz, East Bernstadt Independent School, Middle;


Edmonson County School System, Patrick L. Waddell, superintendent – Andrea Miller, Kyrock Elementary School; Mechille Gravil, Edmonson County Middle School; and Olivia Culbreth, Edmonson County High School;


Elizabethtown Independent School System, Jon Ballard, superintendent – Dana McCurry, Panther Academy; Kathryn Davis, T. K. Stone Middle School; and Tim Hinkle, Elizabethtown High School;


Estill County School System, Jeff Saylor, superintendent – Elizabeth Hughes, Estill Springs Elementary; Audrey Worrell, Estill County Middle School; and Amy Farmer, Estill County High School;


Gallatin County School System, Travis Huber, superintendent – Tammy Walters, Gallatin County Elementary School;


Garrard County School System, Paul M. Mullins, superintendent – Paula Turner, Paint Lick Elementary School; Hillary Vanoy, Garrard Middle School; and Jennifer Putman, Garrard County High School;


Glasgow Independent School System, D. Sean Howard, superintendent – Renee Price, Glasgow Preschool Academy/South Green Elementary School; Wendy Decker, Glasgow Middle School; and Karla Bowles, Glasgow High School;


Green County School System, Jim Frank, superintendent – Kathy Pegram, Green County Intermediate School, 2008 Campbellsville University graduate; Carol Harmon, Green County Middle School; and Casey Lay, Green County High School;


Greenup County School System, Sherry Horsley, superintendent – Sarah Kelsey, McKell Elementary School; Kacey Carver, McKell Middle School; and Eric Boos, Greenup County High School;


Hancock County School System, Kyle Estes, superintendent – Kelly Corley, North Hancock Elementary School; Trey Anderson, Hancock County Middle School; and Josh Bush, Hancock County High School;


Harlan County School System, T. Michael Howard, superintendent – Kenny Hughes, Black Mountain Elementary School; Vanessa Belcher, Rosspoint Elementary School, fourth-sixth grades; and Benjamin Baker, Harlan County High School;


Harlan Independent Schools, Charles Morton, superintendent – Emily Bailey, Harlan Elementary School; Melissa Howard, Harlan Middle School; and Berdie Crabtree, Harlan High School;


Harrison County School System, Andy Dotson, superintendent – DeAnna Murdock, Southside Elementary School; Betty Faye Peak, Harrison County Middle School; and Mary Ping, Harrison County High School;


Hart County School System, Ricky Line, superintendent – Megan Thompson, LeGrande Elementary School; Andrea Nichols, Munfordville Elementary School, seventh and eighth grades; and Roxye Sidebottom, Hart County High School, 2015 Campbellsville University master’s graduate;


Hopkins County School System, Linda Zellich, superintendent – Stacy Burns, Pride Elementary School; Amanda Bearden, James Madison Middle School; and Shannon King, Madisonville North Hopkins High School;


Jackson Independent School System, Lonnie Morris, superintendent – Brenda Tincher, Jackson City School, Elementary; Sylvia Havicus, Jackson City School, Middle, 2009 Campbellsville University master’s graduate; and Joseph Sewell, Jackson City School, High;


Jefferson County School System, Dr. Donna Hargens, superintendent – Brandy Hurley, Fairdale Elementary School; Kimberly Joiner, Noe Middle School; and Mary Wurst, Butler Traditional High School;


Jessamine County School System, Kathy Fields, superintendent – Brittney Sanderson, Brookside Elementary School; Alison Calhoun, West Jessamine Middle School; and Ashley Onkst, East Jessamine High School;


Kentucky Christian Academy, Lori J. Eubank, administrator – Kari Jo Booe, Kentucky Christian Academy, 2003 and 2006 Campbellsville University undergraduate and master’s graduate;


Kentucky School for the Deaf School System, Dr. Stephen Pruitt, superintendent – Karen Schulz, Kentucky School for the Deaf, Elementary; Chanda Britt, Kentucky School for the Deaf Middle; and Paula Meckes, Kentucky School for the Deaf, High;


LaRue County School System, Sam Sanders, superintendent – Dora Canter, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School; Teresa Lee, LaRue County Middle School; and Houston Cruse, LaRue County High School;


Laurel County School System, Dr. Doug Bennett, superintendent – Shawna Chaney, Camp Ground Elementary School; Diana Beckner, South Laurel Middle School; and Stephen Byrd, South Laurel High School;


Lincoln County School System, Karen Hatter, superintendent – Susan Johnson, Stanford Elementary School; Timothy Wheeler, McGuffey 6th Grade Center; and Amanda Coffman, Lincoln County High School;


Marion County School System, Taylora Schlosser, superintendent – Karen Nelson, Glasscock Elementary School; Amanda Farmer, St. Charles Middle School, 2002 Campbellsville University graduate; and Jason Simpson, Marion County High School;


Marshall County School System, Trent Lovett, superintendent – Nan Arant, Calvert City Elementary School; Andrew Clinton, North Marshall Middle School; and Tracey York, Marshall County High School;


Meade County School System, Dr. John Milby, superintendent – Deborah Strubler, Payneville Elementary School; Mary Lang, Stuart Pepper Middle School; and Mark Crosslin, Meade County High School;


Menifee County School System, Timothy Spencer, State Manager – Katrina Hiler, Menifee Elementary School; Debra Craver, Menifee Elementary School, sixth and seventh; and Lana Swartz, Menifee High School;


Mercer County School System, Dennis Davis, superintendent – Traci Goodlett, Harlow Early Learning Center, 1992 Campbellsville University graduate; Tiffany Ison, King Middle School; and Amanda Brandenburg, Mercer County Senior High School;


Metcalfe County School System, Dr. Benny Lile, superintendent – Robin Hancock, Metcalfe County Elementary School; Stephen Robertson, Metcalfe County Middle School; and Brandi Ethridge, Metcalfe County High School;


Nelson County School System, Anthony Orr, superintendent – Emily-Ann Gann, The New Haven School; and Martinia Amshoff, Boston School;


Ohio County School System, Scott Lewis, superintendent – Kelly Jameson, Southern Elementary School; Christie Young, Ohio County Middle School; and Arthur Hale, Ohio County High School;


Owen County School System, Dr. Robert Stafford, superintendent – Susan Traylor, Owen County Elementary School; Timothy Marcum, Maurice Bowling Middle School; and Chad Rose, Owen County High School;


Owsley County School System, Tim Bobrowski, superintendent – Tia Botner, Owsley County Elementary School; Tina Cornwell, Owsley County High School, seventh and eighth grades; and Jennifer Hall, Owsley County High School, ninth-12th grades;


Paris Independent School System, Gary Wiseman, superintendent – Ashley Norris, Paris Elementary School; Samantha Brown, Paris Middle School; and Ivonne Davila-Beegle, Paris High School;


Pulaski County School System, Steve Butcher, superintendent – Jennifer Blankenship, Pulaski Elementary School; Whitney Fletcher, Northern Middle School; and Jennifer Bowling, Pulaski County High School;


Rockcastle County School System, David Pensol, superintendent – Rita Shaffer, Brodhead Elementary School; Kimberly Holcomb, Rockcastle County Middle School; and Mary Adams, Rockcastle County High School;


Rowan County School System, Marvin Moore, superintendent – Brenda Carter, McBrayer Elementary School; Stacie May, Rowan County Middle School; and Alan Evans, Rowan County Senior High School;


Russell County School System, Michael Ford, superintendent – Renae Turner, Jamestown Elementary School; Jason Davidson, Russell County Middle School; and Marla Akin, Russell County High School;


Russellville Independent Schools, Leon Smith, superintendent – Jennifer Clark, R. E. Stevenson Elementary School; Kaylee Crowder, Russellville Junior/Senior High School, sixth grade; and Jessie Baker, Russellville Junior/Senior High School, ninth-11th grades;


Science Hill Independent School System, Rick Walker, superintendent – Tiffany Bray, Science Hill Independent School, Elementary; and Stephanie Roberts, Science Hill Independent School, Middle;


Scott County School System, Patricia Putty, superintendent – Janet Butler, Lemons Mill Elementary School; Patrick Keeney, Georgetown Middle School; Micki Ray, Scott County High School;


Silver Grove Independent School System, Kenneth Ellis, superintendent – Nicole Wiseman, Silver Grove Independent Schools, Elementary; and Brett Kies, Silver Grove Independent Schools, High;


Simpson County School System, Dr. James Flynn, superintendent – Marschelle Sekora, Lincoln Elementary School; Justin Mitchell, Franklin Simpson Middle School; and James Parrish, Franklin Simpson High School;


Somerset Independent School System, Kyle Lively, superintendent; Jennifer Coldiron, Porter Hopkins Elementary School; Richard Lovitt, Meece Middle School; and Courtney Ikerd, Somerset High School;


Spencer County School System, Charles Adams, superintendent – Ricky Reinle, Taylorsville Elementary School; Amanda Butler, Spencer County Middle School; and Peggy Pickett, Spencer County High School;


Taylor County School System, Roger D. Cook, superintendent; Andrea Smith, Taylor County Elementary School, 2009 Campbellsville University master’s graduate; Vicky Newton, Taylor County Middle School; and Emma Valdés, Taylor County High School;


Todd County School System, Wayne Benningfield, superintendent – Joey Jones, North Todd Elementary School; Lisa Porter, Todd County Middle School; and Shannon Bailey, Todd County Central High School;


Union County School System, Patricia Sheffer, superintendent – Megan Fields, Morganfield Elementary School; Lindsay McCall, Union County Middle School; and Jeremy Hill, Union County High School;


Walton-Verona Independent School System, Dr. Robert Storer, superintendent – Tara Rowekamp, Walton-Verona Elementary School; Patrick Ryan, Walton-Verona Middle School; and Sarah Hester, Walton-Verona High School;


Warren County School System, Rob Clayton, superintendent – Catherine Wintuska, Jody Richards Elementary School; Mallory Hyman, Warren East Middle School; and Julie Waddell, South Warren High School;


Washington County School System, Dr. J. Robin Cochran, superintendent – Amy Noel, Washington County Elementary School, 1999 Campbellsville University graduate; Allison Carney, North Washington Middle School; and Monika Seitz, Washington County High School.


Wayne County School System, Wayne Roberts, superintendent – Rhonda Ward, Bell Elementary School; Jeannie Sexton, Wayne County Middle School; and Brenda Hoover, Wayne County High School.


Kelli Evans, a Campbellsville University student from Bradfordsville, Ky., was the featured
soloist at the Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Awards Ceremony.
(Campbellsville University Photo by Joshua Williams)

Kelli Evans, a Campbellsville University student from Bradfordsville, Ky., was the featured soloist, and Gabriella Burdette, a Campbellsville University student from Brazil, was her accompanist.


The Campbellsville University School of Education offers the following programs: undergraduate: P-5, elementary education; P-5 and interdisciplinary early childhood education dual certification; 5-9, middle grades education; 8-12, English, math, biology, chemistry and social studies; P-12, art, music, health and physical education;


P-12, English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement; P-12, environmental education endorsement; P-12, Spanish; P-12, special education; early childhood education, and interdisciplinary early childhood education; learning and behavior disorders (P-12) and elementary education (P-5) dual certification (coming soon);


Graduate – teacher leader master of arts in education; teacher leader master of arts in special education; master of arts in special education, initial certification; Rank I program/master of arts in school improvement; director of special education certificate;


P-12, ESL endorsement; P-12, environmental education endorsement; P-12, gifted and talented education endorsement; P-12, master of arts in school guidance counseling; P-12, moderate and severe disabilities certification and master of arts in teaching (coming soon).


The school has 16 faculty members with four staff members and a graduate assistant. There are two student organizations Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) International Honor Society and The Education Club.


The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accredits the Campbellsville University School of Education.


The 2016 Excellence in Teaching Committee consists of: Dr. Donna Hedgepath, vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Beverly Ennis, dean of the School of Education; Linda Beal, instructor in mathematics; Joan C. McKinney, coordinating director, Office of University Communications;


Paula Smith, former director of alumni relations; Drew Tucker, marketing and media relations coordinator; Kellie Vaughn, secretary to the president; and Connie Wilson, academic coordinator.


Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is


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