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Regional Educators Awards and Scholarship Program

Education is for improving the lives of others and for
leaving your community and world better than you found it.
  - Marian Wright Edelman


Award winners at the WKCTC Regional Educators Awards and Scholarship Program are (from left) Susan K. Crawford, Distinguished Faculty Award (preĀ­K through fifth grade);
Heather Vashti Anderson, Cornelia Reece Unsung Hero Staff Award; Gena Maley,
Distinguished Faculty Award (sixth through 12th grade); and
Ellen Murphy, Distinguished Administrator Award. Standing with the winners is WKCTC

Dr. YatesDr. Lucian Yates, III, recognized the pressure of being the featured speaker of the inaugural Regional Educators Awards and Scholarship Program at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, especially as it was being held on the "Ides of March" - March 15.

While the Ides of March may be known for a host of bad events such as the day in Roman times for settling debts and the day on which Julius Caesar was assassinated, Dr. Yates declared it a day of celebration, especially for the 28 nominees who were recognized with the special red carpet celebration."Because of this inaugural event here at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, we recognize the 'heros' and the 'sheros' who go about their tasks day in and day out without any fanfare, but with diligence and integrity," said Dr. Yates, dean of graduate and professional studies at Tennessee State University. "They make a mighty difference in the lives of boys and girls."

More than 200 educators, family, friends, and students were on hand to cheer and recognize the 28 nominees in the awards program. Deserving faculty and staff from throughout the Jackson Purchase were nominated for awards in four categories: distinguished faculty for grades pre-kindergarten through fifth, distinguished faculty for grades sixth through 12th, distinguished administrators, and the Cornelia Reece Unsung Hero Staff Award, named for the wife of WKCTC President Anton Reece.

"Tonight, we honor the educators who go above and beyond their daily responsibilities and play a tremendous role in the shaping of education in our region," said co-emcee Lee Emmons, WKCTC's vice president of institutional advancement. "We honor the vital role all our educators, administrators, staff, and supporters play in education."

The awards and scholarship program was established in August 2017 to recognize pre-kindergarten through high school educators, administrators and staff members who have gone beyond their daily responsibilities and have worked tirelessly on behalf of students, parents and the community in WKCTC's service region, which includes Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall, McCracken, Livingston and Lyon counties in Kentucky and Alexander, Hardin, Massac, Pope, and Pulaski counties in Illinois.

More than 40 faculty, staff, and administrators were nominated by students, parents, community members, and colleagues. Each nominee was then asked to submit an application. Twenty-eight applications were then reviewed by a selection committee made up of educators, business and community leaders who selected two finalists and a winner in each of four categories.

In conjunction with the awards program, a scholarship for WKCTC students interested in K-12 teaching or educational support majors has been established to encourage and assist the region's future educators. Area businesses and organizations have donated to establish the scholarship.

Dr. Yates said he was glad he was a not a judge who had to select a winner from the nominees. "You are all winners," Dr. Yates told the audience. "I was brought to tears with the authenticity, warmth, and fervor with which these educators were described. How blessed your communities are to have such consummate educators in your presence."

Special recognition was also given by WKCTC President Reece to Patricia Greer, Marshall County High principal; Trent Lovett, Marshall County School District superintendent; Dianne Owen, Four Rivers Foundation director; and Donna L. Wear, Commonwealth Middle College principal.

Winners and finalists were:

Promotion Distinguished Faculty (Pre-K-5th) Award

Promotion Distinguished Faculty (6th-12th) Award

Promotion Distinguished Administrator Award

Promotion Cornelia Reece Unsung Hero Staff Award


Special thanks to our sponsors:
Community Financial Services Bank
Paducah Junior College, Inc.
Harper Industries
Travis School Equipment