The KCTE recognizes outstanding educators of English and Language Arts during our annual conference. Nominate an outstanding teacher or administrator today.

Nominations for the 2023 awards will be accepted through Dec. 3, 2022.

The 2022 Award Winners Recognized at the
Annual Conference:

Elementary School Teacher of the Year: Brandi Borgemenke, Gallatin County Elementary School

Brandi Borgemenke, Ms. B. to her students, graduated from Northern Kentucky University and is completing her Masters at the University of the Cumberlands. Ms. B. has been teaching for 7 years - she has spent time teaching in inner-city, rural, and Montessori-based settings. Being an educator goes far beyond academics; Ms. B.’s goal is to show her students how loved they are. She wants them to feel confident and know they have the ability to accomplish everything they set their minds to.

Middle School Teacher of the Year: Melanie Callahan, South Laurel Middle School

Melanie Callahan is a certified educator in Middle School English, Communication, and Theatre Arts. Currently teaching at South Laurel Middle School in London, Mrs. Callahan was named Kentucky Elementary Teacher of the Year by KDE in 2020 and Kappa Delta Pi Teacher of Honor in 2017. She is an Honorable Kentucky Colonel, member of KCTE, and former EPSB board member for the Arts and Humanities. Mrs. Callahan's research emphasis is on 18th Century culture, particularly Shaker writings and teachings.

High School Teacher of the Year: Jayna Fox, Oldham County High School

Jayna Fox spent the first twelve years of her career at Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Jefferson County and moved to Oldham County High School during her thirteenth-year teaching. Competency-based education and standards-focused instruction has been a constant theme in Jayna’s approach to teaching. Jayna believes that this approach provides clear expectations for each student, holds them accountable, and encourages learning by providing them with choices within the curriculum. Jayna has an amazing support system through her husband, Elliot Fox, and their two daughters, as well as her extended family (many of whom are also teachers). She enjoys cooking, photography, and working outside with her daughters.

College Teacher of the Year: Dr. Leslie David Burns, University of Kentucky

Dr. Leslie David Burns is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of Kentucky. He has served as Program Chair of English Education there since 2005 and has enjoyed over 25 years as a teacher and teacher educator. He is a co-author of the National Council of Teachers of English National Standards for the Preparation of Teachers of English Language Arts, Grades 7-12, and the author/editor of numerous articles and books. Dr. Burns dedicates this award to his wonderful, inspiring students, who teach him over and over that learning, literacy, community, and love really do make all the difference in the world.

Administrator of the Year: Dr. Holli Hunt, Principal, Gallatin County Middle School

Dr. Holli Hunt is the Principal at Gallatin County Middle School. As a 14-year veteran, she has served in many roles in education including teaching, mentoring, and coaching. She is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Ashford University, Murray State University, and the University of the Cumberlands. Dr. Hunt is extremely passionate about assisting students to overcome adversity and become the best version of themselves. She has been married for 17 years and is the mother of three beautiful daughters.

Gretchen Niva Service Award: Dr. Andrea Olinger, University of Louisville

Dr. Andrea Olinger is an associate professor of English at the University of Louisville, where she directs the composition program and the Thomas R. Watson Conference in Rhetoric and Composition. She teaches undergraduate college writing courses as well as courses on writing pedagogy, research methods, and disciplinary writing. Her research on writing teacher development, disciplinary writing, and style in academic writing can be found in journals such as English Education, Written Communication, and Literacy in Composition Studies. When she’s not at work, she’s busy making handmade books and brewing kombucha.