Three local teachers on Monday were named winners of the Western Kentucky University Distinguished Educator Award, while five more were finalists. The statewide awards program includes 10 categories of recognition and spotlights teachers who showcase excellence.
Owensboro Public Schools had one winner: Cami Fulkerson at Newton Parrish Elementary School. Fulkerson won the Teacher Mentor category. She has been with Newton Parrish for more than 30 years and was the only nominee from the district.
“She is so knowledgable when it comes to knowing how to teach students how to read. She’s willing all the time to share her knowledge and to model for teachers,” said Zaletha Brown, Curriculum Facilitator for Newton Parrish.
Daviess County Public Schools had two winners and five finalists across their district.
Terri Zborowski won in the Special Education category. She is a teacher at Burns Middle School and was recognized as an educator who provides meaningful guidance to students, colleagues, instructional assistants and student mentors.
Holly Johnson, a physical education and health teacher at Apollo High School, was honored for her work in developing wellness programs that encourage students to develop healthy lifestyle habits. In submission for the award, students provided testimonies describing the impact that Johnson has had on their lives to reach their health goals.
WKU recognized five additional teachers in from DCPS for their contributions:
- Jonathan Leohr, Apollo High School – High School/Grades 9-12
- Jill Pate, Burns Middle School – Middle School/Grades 6-8
- Carrie Wilkerson, Daviess County High School – Literacy
- Erinn Williams, West Louisville Elementary School – Innovation
- Emilie Young, Burns Elementary School – Visual and Performing Arts
“We are so proud that our outstanding DCPS educators have been recognized by their peers at the state level,” DCPS Superintendent Matt Robbins said. “Teacher leaders make a difference in the lives of students far beyond their own classrooms by expanding their circles of influence to embrace other educators.”