The 2017 Award Winners Recognized at the Annual Conference:

Elementary School Teacher of the Year: Shannon Pritchett

Shannon has taught kindergarten in Catholic schools for 27 years – the last 15 at St. Patrick Catholic School in Louisville. Before moving to Louisville, Mrs. Pritchett taught in Nashville and Memphis, TN. She says, “Teaching is my passion, my love, and my calling. I truly love what I do! Teaching is filled with endless rewards. My classroom is a positive, loving place where children feel comfortable to discover, explore, and learn about God, His great love, and awesome creation.”

Middle School Teacher of the Year: Kimberly Barrett

Kimberly is a life-long learner with a desire to reach kids. She feels so blessed to have a beautiful family and a fantastic job as a middle school teacher at South Marshall Middle School.

High School Teacher of the Year: Julie Ford

Julie has been teaching English (mostly sophomores and juniors) for almost sixteen years, and she is a wife and mother of 7 amazing kids. They all teach her so much about the human condition and about herself every day. Julie is also a student of life and of people’s stories. She loves to read, to write, and to listen, and her dream is that she encourages as many students as she can to love all of that as well. Julie longs to see a day when all people can communicate their opinions and dreams equally and with equal tolerance and passion, a day when all stories are heard and appreciated.

College Teacher of the Year: Dr. Jacqueline Hansen

Dr. Jacqueline Hansen spent most of her childhood hiking and fishing in the Rocky Mountains and exploring her local public library in the Denver area. After earning a BA in Elementary Education from Doane College in Nebraska, she taught elementary school for 23 years in Grand Island, Nebraska. While teaching full-time, Dr. Hansen went on to earn a MA Elementary Education, MA Education Administration and EdD Education Administration, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nebraska. Then Dr. Hansen came to Murray State University so she could impact more children’s lives by teaching teachers to love teaching as much as she does. Dr. Hansen is a Professor of Education, Department Chair, and Director of Assessment at MSU.

Administrator of the Year: Jana Beth Francis

Jana Beth Slibeck Francis is the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning for the Daviess County Public Schools. As the district assessment coordinator for the last 15 years in Daviess County, she has been active in work around assessment and accountability. Her passion lies in providing high quality professional learning to teachers believing that each and every teacher is first a learner. A champion for teacher leadership, Mrs. Francis encourages teachers in Daviess County to learn together to improve the lives of their students. She started her teaching career in DeKalb County, Georgia where she earned a masters in educational leadership through the Principal’s Academy at Georgia State. Prior to that she received in a degree in mathematics from Wellesley College. Jana Beth and her husband Matt are proud graduates of Kentucky public high schools (Go Russell Red Devils!). Matt and Jana Beth have one daughter, Eliza Beth, who is in third grade.

Gretchen Niva Service Award: Patti Slagle

Patti taught high school English in Jefferson County for 28 years spending the majority of those years at Iroquois and Seneca High Schools (where she served as EDC). During her tenure in the classroom, she made numerous NCTE presentations and served as Associate Chair of NCTE’s Secondary Section Steering Committee as well as sitting on NCTE’s Executive Committee. In 1993, Patti received the Mildred A. Daugherty Award from the Greater Louisville English Council after Co-Chairing the 1992 NCTE Convention in Louisville. Upon retirement from JCPS, she spent ten years working as a Language Arts Consultant for Houghton Mifflin/McDougal Littell in the educational publishing division. In 2012, Patti published Classroom Management: Voices of Experience co-authored with her Seneca colleague, Kay Twaryonas. She was a Fellow of LWP 1 in 1982. At the other end of her career in education, Patti returned to LWP eventually serving as an LWP Co-Director for XXXIII, XXXIV, and XXXV. On behalf of LWP, she took a “deep dive” into the CCSS Language Standards leading to her designation as their “Grammar Consultant.” Patti currently teaches Grammar Methods at the University of Louisville.

Stephanie Kirk Classroom Learning Grant: Amber Hall

After a few years’ hiatus, Amber has returned to AP Language & Composition coursework. Traditionally students built their toolboxes by reading, but more and more students are not engaging in such activities on their own. Thus, it is the teacher’s responsibility to offer engaging opportunities for students to approach difficult texts, which is why Amber loves love pop culture. She finds that it provides a platform for how she meets her (nonreader) students where they are. When Amber is not working with the AP curriculum, she can be found either chasing her two little ones or making a mess of her kitchen.

Intellectual Freedom Award: Emily Veatch

Emily teaches at Marion County High School in Lebanon, Kentucky. This is her fourth year of teaching. She currently teaches Pre-AP English 2, English 2, and English 4. Some of Emily’s favorite books include Pride and Prejudice, The Book Thief, Memoirs of a Geisha, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and The Awakening. Her favorite part about teaching English is the fact that students are able to explore the world around them from their seats in their desks. Watching her students become more globally aware through the reading of literature is very rewarding to her.