Middle school teacher from Fayette, high school instructor from Lincoln County also recognized
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 16, 2013) – A third-grade teacher at Murray Elementary School in the Murray Independent school district, Holly Bloodworth, is the 2014 Kentucky Teacher of the Year.
Ashland Inc. and the Kentucky Department of Education made the announcement today at a ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. Gov. Steve Beshear; Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday; and Ashland Chairman and CEO Jim O’Brien were on hand to make the presentation.
Melanie Trowel, a science teacher at Carter G. Woodson Academy in Fayette County, is the 2014 Middle School Teacher of the Year. Joanna Howerton Stevens, a mathematics teacher at Lincoln County High School in the Lincoln County school district, is the High School Teacher of the Year.
The three joined 21 other teachers from across the state honored with 2014 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards.
Beshear praised all the achievement winners for their dedication, innovation, enthusiasm and ability.
“Our best hope for the future is to prepare each of our children for a life of promise in this highly competitive and increasingly sophisticated world,” he said. “Our teachers are the ones who are called, day after day, to perform heroic tasks in the classroom – to convey knowledge, train, inspire, mentor, awaken curiosity and show our children not only how to learn but to think. As I look out over today’s honorees, I feel confident that we have the right people on the job.”
Classroom teachers are the most important assets in education, Holliday said.
“These teachers represent the best of the best in Kentucky. Even with budget cuts, Kentucky’s teachers are proving high student achievement is possible and that our students can graduate college- and career-ready,” he said.
Stevens and Trowel received $3,000 each and a customized, art-glass vase from Ashland Inc., while Bloodworth received $10,000 and a commemorative crystal-glass bowl. In addition, the Department of Education will provide a sabbatical or suitable alternative for Bloodworth, who also will represent the state in the 2014 National Teacher of the Year competition. The remaining 21 winners each received $500 cash awards. All 24 teachers received framed certificates and were further recognized at a luncheon following the ceremony.
“Ashland is about making things better for communities,” O’Brien said. “Supporting education is just one way that we go about doing that.”
This is the 13th year Ashland Inc. and the Kentucky Department of Education have co-sponsored the Kentucky Teacher Achievement Awards. Applications for the program were distributed across the state, and the first tier of the selection process was completed in August, with 24 teachers selected as 2014 Ashland Inc. Teachers Achievement Award winners.
Ten top scorers – three each from the elementary and middle school levels and four from the high school level – were selected, and teams of educators visited their classrooms to view them at work and to conduct personal interviews. From those 10, three were selected as 2014 Kentucky Teachers of the Year. The selection of the overall Kentucky Teacher of the Year was based on the compilation of scores from all phases of judging.
Ashland has recognized outstanding Kentucky teachers with its Teacher Achievement Awards since 1988. Approximately $685,000 has been awarded to more than 45 teachers in grades K to 12.
In more than 100 countries, the people of Ashland Inc. provide the specialty chemicals, technologies and insights to help customers create new and improved products for today and sustainable solutions for tomorrow. Ashland’s chemistry is at work every day in a wide variety of markets and applications, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment.
Teacher of the Year Biographies
Holly Bloodworth is a 26-year teaching veteran. She has taught third-grade students at Murray Elementary School in the Murray Independent school district for 13 years. Bloodworth earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Murray State University and has earned national board certification.
She serves on the TALK Conference Planning Team and participated in the ECET2 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Think Tank. She also served on the governor-appointed School Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Council (SCAAC). Bloodworth began the First District Mentoring Cohort for national board certification candidates and has served as the Kentucky Education Association (KEA) Student Program mentor. She also is past president of the Murray Education Association and president-elect of the Frist District KEA.
Melanie Trowel has taught science for 14 years, the last year of which has been at Carter G. Woodson Academy in Fayette County. She previously taught science and special education courses at two other schools.
She earned her bachelor’s at Queens College, a fifth-year degree in special education at the University of Kentucky, and attended Eastern Kentucky University. Trowel chairs her school’s Science Department and recently shared concerns and issues regarding equity as part of a teacher panel at “The Convening – A Conversation With Our Partners About Equity.”
Trowel is an Infinite Campus teacher coach and a Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) resource teacher for student teachers and practicum students, and has mentored first-year and future teachers. Trowel also has served as a member of the Principal Advisory Committee and the District Science Leadership Network Team. Her professional affiliations include the Fayette County Education Association and the Kentucky and National Science Teachers Associations.
Joanna Howerton Stevens
Joanna Howerton Stevens has taught for three years and currently is a mathematics teacher at Lincoln High School in Lincoln County. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Kentucky. She is a math-content lead specialist, coaching-session instructor, extended school services coordinator and Math Department Professional Learning Community (PLC) facilitator.
Howerton Stevens also served as a Writing Program Review Standards Committee lead and a Turnaround Team member. She is head coach of the academic team and a host for the regional Governor’s Cup Program. She also is a member of the Kentucky Education Association and further serves her community through the Patriot Club, Garrard County
Open Tennis Tournament, Mountain Tennis Circuit and Lincoln County Distinguished Young Women (Junior Miss) Committee activities.