FRANKFORT, Ky., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Ten outstanding Kentucky teachers were honored today at the state capitol as Gov. Brereton Jones joined Ashland Oil, Inc. (NYSE: ASH) in presenting the corporation's fifth annual Teacher Achievement Awards.
"Recognizing our teachers for their outstanding efforts helps promote excellence throughout Kentucky education," Jones said. "Our children are the beneficiaries of the commitment each of these teachers has made to our schools."
"The teacher awards program is an integral part of Ashland Oil's continued commitment to quality education," said Mac Zachem, corporate senior vice president. "There is a vitally important relationship between business and schools. Parents, teachers, students and business representatives must combine all necessary resources and energies to make certain children are educated," he said. "Teachers, in effect, play the pivotal role in this unity, as they often are required to juggle the interests of all the groups while insuring that children remain the focus of education.
"The teacher is being called upon through Kentucky's education reform to be a leader and proponent of positive change in the classroom," Zachem continued. "I am proud that Kentucky's teachers are not only meeting the demands of change, but are guardians of the quality education needed to make our children competitive in our new world. Our 10 recipients this year exemplify the best teaching in the commonwealth."
Each winning teacher was presented a $2,500 cash award from Ashland Oil. The 10 outstanding teachers are:
-- Thelma Beeler, Lafayette High School, Lexington;
-- Janet C. Hagley, Danville Independent School, Danville;
-- Patricia Ann Higgins, Southside Primary School, Shelbyville;
-- Pam Jackson, Huntertown/Southside Elementary Schools, Versailles;
-- Mary Lillian Johnson, Scott County High School, Georgetown;
-- Ruth Johnson, Covington Independent School, Covington;
-- Shauna Lynn Patton, Central Elementary School, Paintsville;
-- Suzanne Sharpe Sidebottom, duPont Manual Magnet School,
-- Bobbie S. Stoess, Crestwood Elementary School, Crestwood; and
-- Michael E. Terrell, Cochran Elementary School, Louisville.
Marnel Moorman, president of the Kentucky Education Association, said, "Kentucky teachers are working harder than ever to ensure a quality education for all students, and Ashland Oil's program provides excellent recognition. Teachers are spending a lot more time implementing change and innovative concepts in the classroom; and, the 10 teachers recognized today bring praise and honor to all of them."
Nominations for the Teacher Achievement Awards were open to the general public. Any certified Kentucky teacher currently teaching kindergarten through grade 12 was eligible. Ten winners in each of four states in which Ashland Oil sponsors the program -- Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Minnesota -- were selected by a panel of educators. More than 11,000 nominations were received.
Ashland Oil, Inc. is a diversified energy corporation engaged in petroleum refining, transportation and wholesale marketing; retail gasoline marketing; motor oil and lubricant marketing; chemicals; coal; highway construction; and oil and gas exploration and production.
Ashland Oil, Inc. 1993 Teacher Achievement Awards
-- Teacher: Thelma Beeler
School: Lafayette High School
-- Teacher: Janet C. Hagley
School: Jennie Rogers Elementary
-- Teacher: Patricia Ann Higgins
School: Southside Primary School
-- Teacher: Pam Jackson
School: Huntertown/Southside Elementary Schools
-- Teacher: Mary Jenkins Johnson
School: Scott County High School
-- Teacher: Ruth Johnson
School: Holmes High School
-- Teacher: Shauna Lynn Patton
School: Central Elementary School
-- Teacher: Suzanne Sharpe Sidebottom
School: duPont Manual Magnet
-- Teacher: Bobbie S. Stoess
School: Crestwood Elementary
-- Teacher: Michael E. Terrell
School: Cochran Elementary School
-- Michael E. Terrell
Cochran Elementary School
"I know I am useful, because I give my students a chance at a decent life," says Terrell, a primary program teacher at Cochran Elementary No. 323. "I give them an opportunity to succeed, even though they have the right to choose otherwise. I have never given up on any of my students!"
Terrell is one of 10 outstanding Kentucky teachers recognized by the Ashland Oil Teacher Achievement Awards program. He received a $2,500 cash award for excellence in teaching.
Today Terrell faces the challenges of teaching in an inner city situation. He strives to meet his students wherever they are academically, creating a classroom environment that encourages and fosters creative thinking, cooperative learning and student success. "We can tinker all we want with curriculum in the classroom to improve it," he continues, "but actually it is a better childhood that children need." During nearly 20 years of teaching, Terrell has worked through his teaching to do just that. "My function parallels that of any CEO of any company, intervening only as a consultant to help when there are no solutions, and to freely interrupt to teach cooperative skills. When students realize they can bring something to the negotiating table and are dependent upon each other, then they become individually accountable."
He received a bachelor of science degree and his master's degree in elementary education from Western Kentucky University. Terrell has developed successful business-education partnerships, which have brought more than a million dollars of donated clothes, coats, books, shoes, toys, food, monies and friendships to Cochran Elementary. The Cochran Christmas project, initiated in 1983, was featured in 1987 on "The Sunday Morning Show" with Charles Kuralt. Terrell has been recognized for his work with inner-city students with the Equal Opportunity Education Award given by the Kentucky Department of Higher Education, the University of Louisville and Indiana University. He has received the Louisville Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year Award.
-- Bobbie S. Stoess
Crestwood Elementary School
Teaching is many things for Stoess. It's teaching academic skills and life skills for everyday living. It's being a friend, a "mom," a bookkeeper, janitor and a secretary. But whatever "hat" Stoess wears, she does her job with love. Her rewards are seeing the successes of her students and the smiles on their faces when they have learned something new. She is a primary teacher at Crestwood Elementary in Crestwood and is a veteran teacher with 14 years of experience.
Stoess is one of 10 outstanding Kentucky teachers recognized by the Ashland Oil, Inc., Teacher Achievement Awards program. She received a $2,500 cash award for excellence in teaching.
Excited about the classroom of the 90s, Stoess incorporates new teaching strategies for teaching math, reading and writing into her classroom. She attends numerous conferences and workshops to develop new teaching tools. As part of the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program, she works with new teachers from the University of Louisville and Spalding University. She is an active member of NEA and KEA, as well as the Oldham County Teacher's Association, serving in several leadership positions.
Stoess received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and is presently working on her Rank I at the University of Louisville.
Stoess was recognized in 1991 as Crestwood Teacher of the Year and received a 1992 Golden Apple Achiever Award from Ashland Oil. She also is involved in community volunteer activities, including Girl Scouts and the United Way. She is an active member of Crestwood United Methodist Church.
-- Suzanne Sharpe Sidebottom
duPont Manual Magnet School
Sidebottom's art classroom at duPont Manual Magnet School fits anything but the norm. She and her students turned her classroom into a giant vegetable garden, with 36-inch tomatoes and a hoe that went through the ceiling. Her students also have produced a 93-piece gallery show of recycled school furniture into art. Some of her students are pursuing art careers, and others have simply gained an appreciation of art, which will last a lifetime.
Sidebottom is one of 10 outstanding Kentucky teachers recognized by the Ashland Oil, Inc., Teacher Achievement Awards program. She received a $2,500 cash award for excellence in teaching.
Sidebottom teaches ceramics, sculpture and computer graphics and is particularly interested in the use of technology in the classroom. Her efforts contributed to the establishment of the first computer graphics lab in Kentucky used exclusively for art students. She is one of three educators in Kentucky to become a member of a "Learning Tomorrow Team" sponsored by the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education.
A teacher for more than 20 years, Sidebottom received her bachelor's degree from George Peabody College and her master's degree from Indiana University Southeast.
Sidebottom was named the 1991 Jefferson County Secondary Teacher of the Year and received the EXCEL Award (Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership) in 1992. She has taught numerous art-related workshops in the community and has exhibited her own artwork at as the Speed Museum, Stairways Gallery and the Louisville Visual Art Association.
-- Shauna Lynn Patton
Central Elementary School
For Patton, the most important thing she can do for her young pupils is to remember that each is an individual. As a primary level teacher at Central Elementary School, she strives to use a variety of teaching methods to match the different learning styles of her students. "As individuals, they have different personalities, different abilities and different learning styles," says Patton, "so I must address all of these in my teaching."
Patton is one of 10 outstanding Kentucky teachers recognized by the Ashland Oil, Inc., Teacher Achievement Awards program. She received a $2,500 cash award for excellence in teaching.
With five years' teaching experience, Patton's classroom reflects the latest teaching techniques. Whether it is the whole language method, the writing to read approach, math manipulatives or Activity Centered Elementary Science (ACES), Patton challenges her students and strives to keep learning alive, something that will become a life-long process for them. "I want to assist students in unlocking learning potential, not as a chore, but as a wonder in life," she says.
Patton was selected as Primary Teacher of the Year in 1991-92 at Central Elementary. She is an ACES trainer and travels to various Kentucky counties demonstrating this science teaching method.
Patton received an associate degree at Prestonsburg Community College, a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky and her master's degree from Morehead State University. She intends to begin a Rank I Program this summer. Active in the community, Patton volunteers with 4-H and at the First Baptist Church in Paintsville.
-- Ruth Johnson
Holmes High School
A colleague describes Johnson as the most talented and dedicated educator he has ever met..."a consummate motivator and instructor, a caring and giving human being." One of her students names her "the teacher of a lifetime." With 19 years' experience, she teaches communications and English at Holmes High School.
Johnson is one of 10 outstanding Kentucky teachers recognized by the 1993 Ashland Oil, Inc., Teacher Achievement Awards program. She received a $2,500 cash award for excellence in teaching.
Johnson's teaching philosophy and professional development have been shaped by numerous influences, but she is especially interested in methods that develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. That she is successful is demonstrated by a comment from a student who said, "Mrs. Johnson is unique in her method of teaching because she does not teach us what to think. She teaches us how to think."
High on the list of her classroom rules is: Respect the humanity of others. "I believe a large part of respect is setting expectations for myself and for my students," says Johnson. "I have a reputation for being a real 'dragon-lady' academically, but also for being fair."
She received a bachelor's degree from Eastern Kentucky University and her master's degree and Rank I certification from Xavier University.
Johnson is a consultant on critical thinking for the Visiting Teachers Institute in Kentucky and Detroit County Day Schools and has taught summer seminars on the topic at Xavier University. As an examiner for the International Baccalaureate Program, Johnson helps her students develop meaningful community service projects, such as a school recycling program and elementary school tutoring.
-- Mary Jenkins Johnson
Scott County High School
Unlike many teachers who will say they have always wanted to teach, Johnson never planned to be a teacher. She foresaw a career in business and got her teaching certification "just in case." Then she walked into a classroom as a student teacher, and she knew she had discovered her vocation. In 11 years of teaching, she has taught juvenile offenders and dropouts, women returning to school for their GEDs and high school business students. She has taught high school business and currently is a guidance counselor at Scott County High School.
Johnson is one of 10 outstanding Kentucky teachers recognized by the Ashland Oil, Inc., Teacher Achievement Awards program. She received a $2,500 cash award for excellence in teaching.
She works to meet the individual needs of her students. "I believe learning cannot occur unless a student feels secure and non-threatened. So many adolescents, through no fault of their own, face conditions at home that deny them fulfillment of the basic needs of shelter, food and love. I strive to make any interaction with a student an opportunity for that child to believe he is worthwhile, lovable and accepted. I've driven backroads to convince a truant student that education will make his dreams reality. I've arranged day care for the child of a teenage mother so that quitting school is not her only alternative."
She received her bachelor's and master's degrees and Rank I certification from Western Kentucky University.
Johnson is active in a variety of school and community activities. She works with the Beta Club and the Key Club and is active in church, where she teaches classes from two to three year olds to teenagers and has sponsored activities for the youth.
-- Pam Jackson
Huntertown/Southside Elementary Schools
Jackson became a teacher for many reasons. She was inspired by her mother, who taught for 30 years. She was inspired by her oldest son whose critical illness at birth motivated her to really put into practice what she had always preached: "Treat a child as though he is already the person he is capable of becoming." And, she was inspired by her own experience as a dyslexic. She knew that she not only wanted to teach children to read but to be a role model who helped all children