CAMPBELLSVILLE – As a young child, Dr. Aaron Thompson, president of the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education (CPE), was often reminded by his parents of the importance of an education and the opportunities it afforded him. would open.
“They pushed education, and they pushed it hard,” Thompson said at the 36th annual Campbellsville University Teaching Excellence Awards program May 14 at Ransdell Chapel.
The Teaching Excellence Awards program honored 218 teachers throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky from 76 districts and/or private schools.
Growing up in Crawfish, Ky., in Clay County, the son of an illiterate coal-mining father, Thompson watched his father work long hours in the mines.
“My dad always said, ‘Boy, you better get an education, because if you don’t you’re going to break your back in the coal mine,'” Thompson said.
Thompson said her mother, who had an eighth grade education, told her, “If you get an education, you’ll learn to read and write and count your money. If you do that, they can’t take it away from you.
“She saw Jim Crow in full effect, where people took stuff away from you if you had no education. I took this as education would give me economic prosperity. She was literally saying that you would have the knowledge to troubleshoot and figure out how to protect those things around you.
Thompson, a first-generation high school student, praised the honored teachers and said they “fully understood the essence of learning.”
“I’m a teacher,” Thompson said. He told teachers it was about learning. “You are a role model and sometimes you are a force of love,” Thompson said.
He told teachers that they needed to understand the good in students and tell them that they could be something special.
“Teacher engagement in and out of the classroom has the greatest effect on students’ lives,” Thompson said. “That’s the power you have.
“If you won an award today, you did something.”
He said you might not have followed the rules, but “sometimes you have to come out with the same old stuff that didn’t work. The status quo holds people back.
He said teachers have learned to collaborate and reach levels of students that have not been reached before.
“It’s the idea that you understand what learning is,” he said.
Teachers need to find ways to share with students so they have the opportunity to learn and excel.
“You have to teach self-realization. You have to look at values and connect those values to what to do as a teacher,” Thompson said.
He said the CPE has a strong focus on disenfranchised people. He said students see a teacher reach out to a student who doesn’t have the right to vote, and they feel good when a teacher helps that student who might have been expelled.
“I appreciate you. I appreciate you because you have learned the essence of learning,” Thompson said. He urged them to celebrate with your loved ones and reflect on how they got there. the.
Thompson praised Campbellsville University for enrolling and said students receive a good education at the university.
Dr. Donna Hedgepath, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, welcomed the teachers and their families and said, “The University of Campbellsville School of Education is committed to education. Today is about you, your sacrifices and your commitment. It’s one of my favorite events up there with the start. She gave the invocation.
Dr. Lisa Allen, Dean of the School of Education, welcomed teachers to the program. She said teachers take risks and are innovative, problem solvers, mentors and leaders.
Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president for government, community and constituent relations, read out the names of the teachers from each district.
CU Sound, comprised of Campbellsville University students Jacob Hayes and Collin White, along with Kaylee Lawrence, a senior from Taylor County High School, performed two songs. Jamie Lawrence, the church’s executive director of ministry and evangelism, was an accompanist.
Dr. Shane Garrison, Vice President of Enrollment Services, said Campbellsville University offers the most affordable academic master’s programs in the School of Education and the university is the largest private provider of dual-credit courses in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, serving 4,000 students. in 58 Christian high schools and academies. He said, “We believe in teachers.
Garrison gave the blessing.
A total of 4,586 Kentucky teachers have been honored since the program began in 1987 with the help of Earl Aaron and the Ward, Cundiff and Aaron Memorial Fund. The purpose of the program is to recognize the quality of teaching and learning that takes place in Kentucky’s school systems.
The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is in partnership with CBS Lexington affiliate WKYT-TV.
Teachers are selected by their school districts at each grade level (preschool/elementary, middle school, and high school).
The local teachers are below:
Knox County – Jeremy Ledford, Superintendent; Danielle Matlock, Central Elementary School; Miranda Giles, Knox County College; Heidi Suttle, Lynn Camp High School.
Matlock, from Gray, Ky., has been teaching 5th grade social studies at Central Elementary School since 2017. She previously taught 3rd grade math at Girdler Elementary School.
She received her Bachelor of Science from Union College in 2016. She received her Master of Arts from Cumberlands University in 2020. She graduated in 2012 from Knox Central High School.
She is married to Justin Matlock and they have two children: Ruth and Rhett.
Giles, from Corbin, Ky., teaches 8th grade social studies at Knox County Middle School. She previously served as a substitute teacher and educational supervisor at Corbin Independent Schools in 2015 and 2018.
She completed her BSc and secondary education at the University of the Cumberlands in 2019. She graduated in 2016 from Corbin High School.
She is the daughter of Mary and Arthur Lewis of Corbin, Ky., and she is married to Joshua Giles.
Suttle, from Corbin, Ky., has taught English, Creative Writing, Advanced Placement Literature, and Dual Credit English at Lynn Camp High School since 2011. She previously taught English and Writing creative at Bryan Station High School from 2009 to 2011.
From Wright State University, she received her Bachelor of Arts in 2008 and her Masters of Education in 2009. She graduated in 2004 from Dayton Christian High School, Dayton, Oh.
She is married to Edward Tyler Suttle and they have three children: Graham, Rhett and Evangeline.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 12,000 students offering more than 100 degree programs, including doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s, associate’s, pre-professional, and certification. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.