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CU presents annual 'Excellence in Teaching' awards

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By The Staff

Campbellsville University awarded Excellence in Teaching Awards to 137 educators from across Kentucky during the 22nd annual awards program Saturday, May 17, in the Winters Dining Hall of the E. Bruce Heilman Student Complex on the Campbellsville University campus.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is in partnership with Lexington's CBS-affiliate, WKYT-TV.

Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs at CU, addressed the teachers and guests from public and private school systems from 52 Kentucky school districts.

"Congratulations to all of you," Cheatham said.

He praised Dr. Michael V. Carter, president, under whom the university has moved forward "in tremendous ways with the quality of our faculty."

In addressing the group, Carter said he comes from a family of teachers, and "We at CU are committed to teaching, good teachers and effective learning. We all want students to be successful."

Dr. Brenda Priddy, dean of the School of Education, addressed the teachers and told them that CU wants "excellence" in our students, their families and in all that is done in the teaching program.

"Teachers shape the future," she said.

The purpose of the Excellence in Teaching Awards Program is to recognize the quality of teaching taking place in the school systems throughout Kentucky. The program was begun in 1987 by Campbellsville University with assistance from Earl Aaron and the Ward, Cundiff and Aaron Memorial Fund at the university.

Through the awards program, Campbellsville University presents awards to teachers in each grade level (elementary [P-5], middle [6-8] and high school [9-12]) as selected by their school district. Since the program's inception, 2,223 teachers have been honored by their colleagues.

The Excellence in Teaching Award recipients from Taylor County include the following, with the superintendent listed first:

Campbellsville Independent School System: Diane Woods-Ayers, superintendent; Angela G. Russell, a 1994 (B.A.) and 2000 (M.A.) graduate of Campbellsville University, Campbellsville Elementary School; Elisha Marie Rhodes, a 2004 graduate (B.S.) of Campbellsville University, Campbellsville Middle School; Cheryl Lynn Dicken, a 1989 (B.S.) and 1994 (M.A.) graduate of Campbellsville University, Campbellsville High School;

Kentucky Christian School: Ronald W. Curry, chair, Board of Trustees; Elizabeth D. Wigginton, a 2007 graduate (M.A.E.) of Campbellsville University, Kentucky Christian School;

Taylor County School System: Gary N. Seaborne, superintendent; Rebecca J. Grant, a 1976 graduate (B.S.) of Campbellsville University, Taylor County Elementary School; Leigh Ann Hays, a 2008 graduate (M.A.) of Campbellsville University, Taylor County Middle School; and Jeffrey Dale Gumm, a 1984 graduate (B.S.) of Campbellsville University, Taylor County High School.

Russell, of Campbellsville, is married to James Scott "Jamie" Russell and they have one daughter, Shandi Russell, 8. She is the daughter of Lester and Janet Caulk of Knoxville, Tenn. She received her Rank 1 in 2002, master of arts in education from Campbellsville University in 2000, bachelor of arts in elementary education from Campbellsville University in 1994 and graduated from Taylor County High School in 1991 with academic honors. Russell is a second and third grade teacher at Campbellsville Elementary School.

Rhodes, of Elk Horn, is married to Nathan Dean Rhodes and is the daughter of Steven Larry Ball Sr., of Union City, Mich., and Brenda Ball of Tekonsha, Mich. She received her master's in counseling degree from Western Kentucky University in 2008, bachelor of science in elementary education from Campbellsville University in 2004 and graduated from Union City High School in Union City, Mich., in 2000. Rhodes is a fifth grade social studies teacher at Campbellsville Middle School.

Dicken, of Campbellsville, is married to Mark Allen Dicken and is the daughter of Charles Thomas and Phylis Nell Richardson of Campbellsville. She received her master of arts in education from Campbellsville College in 1994, bachelor of science in mathematics and chemistry in 1989 and graduated from Campbellsville High School in 1985. Dicken is a mathematics and science teacher at Campbellsville High School.

Wigginton, of Campbellsville, is married to Dr. Scott E. Wigginton, associate professor of pastoral ministries and counseling at Campbellsville University, and they have three children, Auburn Elizabeth Wigginton, Hope Evans Wigginton and Caleb Scott Wigginton. She is the daughter of Dr. Robert L. and Ruth S. Decker of Asheville, N.C. She received her master of arts in education from Campbellsville University in 2007, bachelor of science in vocational home economics education from Auburn University in 1985 and graduated from Shelby High School in Shelby, N.C., in 1981. Wigginton is a fourth grade teacher at Kentucky Christian School.

Grant, of Campbellsville, is married to Donald Ruell Grant and they have two children, Matthew Aaron Grant and Andrew Ryan Grant. She is the daughter of Dessie Page Frankum of Columbia and the late Luther Owen Frankum. She received her Rank I in counseling from Western Kentucky University in 2000, master of arts in elementary education from Western Kentucky University in 1986, bachelor of science from Campbellsville College in 1976 and graduated from Adair County High School in 1970. Grant is a third grade teacher at Taylor County Elementary School.

Hays, of Campbellsville, is married to Philip Edward Hays Jr., and is the daughter of Judy Ann Ford of Campbellsville and the late Randy Ray Ford. She received her master of arts in education from Campbellsville University in 2008, bachelor of arts in education from the University of Kentucky in 2003 and graduated from Campbellsville High School with a college prep diploma in 1998. Hays is a reading teacher at Taylor County Middle School.

Gumm, of Campbellsville, is married to Deborah Kaye Gumm and they have two children, Jeffrey Dale Gumm Jr. and Joshuah Lowe Gumm. He is the son of Larry Dale and Jane Harston Gumm of Greensburg. He received his Rank I from Western Kentucky University in 2001, bachelor of science in secondary education from Campbellsville College in 1984 and graduated from Green County High School in 1980. Gumm teaches U.S. and world history and is head baseball coach at Taylor County High School.

Other winners with local ties

Jefferson County School System teacher Stephanie J. Boling also received an Excellence in Teaching Award from Campbellsville University.

Boling, of Louisville, is married to Tim W. Boling, and they have two children, Kylie Johanna Boling and Dillon Michael Boling. She is the daughter of Norman and JoAnna Akin of Campbellsville.

She received her Rank I in orientation and mobility from the University of Louisville in 2004, master's of education from U of L in 2002, bachelor's degree in middle grades education from Campbellsville University in 1998, and graduated from Taylor County High School in 1993. Boling is a mathematics and social studies teacher at Peace Academy in Louisville.

LaRue County teacher Roy Glen Walker was also honored.

Walker, of Campbellsville, is married to Nancy Joyce Walker and they have two children, Jamie Glen Walker and Misti Leigh Walker. He received his master's in education from WKU in 2006, bachelor of science in business administration from Campbellsville University in 1980 and graduated from Taylor County High School in 1976. Walker is a special education teacher at LaRue County High School.

Marion County School System teachers Teresa Kearney Barnett and Jane Thomas Murray were also honored.

Murray, of Lebanon, is married to Dennis Michael Murray, and they have two children, William Quinn Murray and Mark Thomas Murray. She is the daughter of Cora Mattingly Thomas of Lebanon and the late William Mark Thomas. She received her master's degree in education in 1984 from Western Kentucky University and bachelor of science in education in 1980 from Campbellsville University. Murray is a 1969 graduate of St. Charles High School and is a kindergarten teacher at Glasscock Elementary School.

Barnett, also of Lebanon, is married to Kenneth Eugene Barnett Jr., and they have two children, Nicholas Grant Barnett and Parker Thomas Barnett. She is the daughter of William Larry and Betty Jo Kearney of Campbellsville. She received her Rank I in educational leadership from Eastern Kentucky University, and received her master of arts in education in 1996 and bachelor of science in middle grades education in 1993, both from Campbellsville University. Barnett is a 1988 graduate of Taylor County High School and is a sixth and seventh grade/language arts teacher at Lebanon Middle School.

- Ashley Zsedenyi is a staff writer, and Joan C. McKinney is director of the Office of Communications at Campbellsville University.