Campbellsville, KY – Kentucky’s 2017 Elementary Teacher of the Year, Kellie Jones of Taylor County’s Intermediate School, addressed the 190 teachers throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky throughout 69 districts as they received Campbellsville University’s Excellence in Teaching Awards during the 31st annual ceremony Saturday, May 20 in Ransdell Chapel.
Jones, who has taught 25 years and who is a Campbellsville University alumna, told the teachers to find their “great potential to be a positive influence for both your colleagues and your students.
“I want to encourage Kentucky teachers to search ways to continually grow, go after your passions, step out and take risks and encourage your coworkers and students to do the same.”
She encouraged the teachers to be “world class” and not just “middle class” or in other words “good enough.”
“Our students, our families, our communities and our nation deserve a brighter future and you have the opportunity to impact that.
“You can be influential to make a positive change during the time that you have your students in your care. The encouragement for students to strive to become all that they can be will build a brighter future for us all.”
Daviess County educators acknowledged were: Owens Saylor, superintendent; Lori Clements, West Louisville Elementary School; Olga Payne, Daviess County Middle School; and Emily Harpenau, Apollo High School.
Clements is a kindergarten teacher at West Louisville Elementary School, where she has been teaching since 2013. She graduated from Majesty High School in 1990. Clements obtained her bachelor’s degree in 1996 from Western Kentucky University. In 2007, she received her master’s degree along with her Rank I from Western Kentucky University.
She is married to Paul Clements, and they have three children; Olivia, Lauren and Ethan Clements. Her parents are Sandy and Barry Bivens.
Payne is a science teacher for seventh and eighth grade at Daviess County Middle School, where she has been teaching since 2010.
She graduated from South Cheshire College in Cheshire, United Kingdom in 1992. Payne received her bachelor of science degree from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1996. In 1997, she obtained her certificate of education from University of Gloucestershire, and in 2008 Payne received her master’s in education from University of Phoenix.
Harpenau is a special education teacher at Apollo High School, where she has been teaching since 2013.
She graduated from Tell City High School in Tell City, Ind. in 2007. Harpenau obtained her bachelor of science degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2011. She received her master of arts degree from University of the Cumberlands in 2016.
Her parents are Susan Harpenau from Tell City, Ind. and Rick Harpenau from Troy. Ind.
Dr. Donna Hedgepath, vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Beverly Ennis, dean of the School of Education presented the certificates to the teachers before a luncheon in Winters Dining Hall.
Hedgepath, who has taught in the public-school system, told the teachers, “We celebrate you today. You can’t pay enough money for wonderful teachers. We applaud the best of the best of teachers today.”
Ennis said, “Teaching is the profession that creates all others,” is a motto hanging in Campbellsville University’s School of Education building.
“We don’t celebrate teachers enough. We are honored today to celebrate hard-working teachers. Thank you for your service to the children of Kentucky.”
She said Campbellsville University is the most diverse private college in Kentucky and is in the top five lowest debt colleges in the southern region of the United States.
Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president of Campbellsville University for government, community and constituent relations, introduced Kellie Jones and read the names of the honorees.
Kelli Evans, a Campbellsville University student, sang, and Corey Bonds, assistant director of bands and instructor in music, accompanied her on piano.
Dr. Shane Garrison, vice president for enrollment services, gave the benediction before the luncheon.
At this 31st annual program, CU recognized 190 teachers from 69 school districts. A total of 3,580 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.
Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 5,000 students offering over 80 programs of study including 19 master’s degrees, six postgraduate areas and seven pre-professional programs. The university has off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset and Hodgenville with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville and a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.