Saturday 23rd October 2021

Several area educators announced as finalists in WKU’s Distinguished Educator Award

Sharon Mattingly, Barren County High School Spanish educator, was selected as a finalist for Western Kentucky University’s Distinguished Educator Award. Several other educators from around the area were named as finalists. 
(BRENNAN CRAIN/WCLU NEWS)

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Western Kentucky University recently 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:

Innovation

Rachel Smith – LaRue County, Hodgenville Elementary

Justin Browning – Barren County, Barren County High

Taylor Stewart – Warren County, Drakes Creek Middle

Diversity

Samantha Pedigo – Warren County, GEO International High

Sharon Mattingly – Barren County, Barren County High

Kristi Costellow – Bowling Green Independent, Parker Bennett Curry Elementary

Literacy

Terri Cleaver – Bowling Green Independent, Parker Bennett Curry Elementary

Tammy Dennis – Green County, Green County Primary

Sherri Gilpin – Caverna Independent, Caverna Elementary

Teacher Mentor

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

Physical Education

Lauren Lamb – Warren County, North Warren Elementary

Tim Gross – LaRue County, LaRue County Middle

Dale Decker – Green County, Green County Intermediate

Special Education

Emma Taylor – Barren County, North Jackson Elementary

Carol Ann Gilbert – Warren County, Warren Elementary

Dana Soto – Green County, Green County Primary

Elementary (P-5)

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

Secondary (9-12)

Chris Thomas – LaRue County, LaRue County High

Colton Isaacs – Warren County, Warren Central High

Leigh Ellen Bristow – Todd County, Todd County Central High

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