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3 from Boone County in Running as Kentucky Teacher of the Year

The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc. have selected 24 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2021 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA). These teachers qualify to compete for the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award which will be announced in October.

Three of the recipients are from Boone County Schools.

“Now more than ever before, we are honored to celebrate some of Kentucky’s most outstanding educators,” said Sam Mitchell, Valvoline chief executive officer. “Being a teacher is incredibly challenging during normal times. In today’s anything-but-normal environment, many of us have become all-to-familiar with the incredible role our teachers play. Valvoline is pleased to celebrate educators across the state and to recognize these outstanding award winners.  

The local 24 winning teachers are:

Elementary School

Stephanie Groathouse, New Haven Elementary (Boone County)

Middle School

Tia Wood, Ballyshannon Middle (Boone County)

High School

Lori Knapp-Lindsay, Boone County Ignite Academy

All 24 teachers will be honored at a yet-to-be finalized event in the fall. At that time the Kentucky Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers of the Year will be announced. From this group of three finalists, the Kentucky Teacher of the Year will be named and will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Valvoline will provide the 24 recipients with cash awards. In addition, the three Kentucky Teachers of the Year will receive custom-designed glassware commemorating their accomplishments.

This year's program set a record with more than 2,800 nominations and 208 applications submitted.

Judging was conducted in May by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators, many of whom have more than 25 years of teaching experience. Applications included information on the nominees’ teaching philosophies, teaching experiences and involvement in their respective communities, as well as letters of recommendation from peers, students, parents, administrators and others.

“Now perhaps more than ever before have we seen how essential teachers are to the lives of our children. Teachers are heroes,” said Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown. “On behalf of the Kentucky Department of Education, I congratulate these award-winning educators. They have adapted not only their teaching styles and curriculum to serve their students during this pandemic, but they also have served on the front line, ensuring their students are safe, secure and well fed.”

-Staff report

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