Administrator of the Year: Misty Johnson, Assistant Principal, Bath County High School

Misty Burchett Johnson is the assistant principal at Bath County Middle School. Prior to that position, she spent ten years in the English Language Arts classroom, teaching high school English, Journalism, and AP Language and Composition. She has been involved in both the Morehead Writing Project and the Bread Loaf Teacher Network. Holding a Rank I as an Educational Specialist, she was also awarded a fellowship to the Bread Loaf School of English, studying in Vermont and Oxford, England. In addition to being a strong believer in servant leadership, she is currently working on providing access to learning opportunities for all students through the LRNG Innovators Grant.

Elementary School Teacher of the Year: Brandis Carlson, Mason County Schools

Brandis has been teaching for 14 years, all in the Mason County school district at Charles Straub Elementary. Thirteen of those years were teaching kindergarten. This year she accepted a position as a reading and math intervention teacher. She is a co-director of the Morehead Writing Project, helping with the Summer Institute as well as leading writing camps and professional development. She has co-written two grants for her school. One grant Straub Elementary received was the HP Technology for Teaching grant and more recently, The Leader in Me grant. Brandis has served in various leadership roles throughout her district from being a member of the district wide curriculum team and writing team, to serving as a grade level leader and a site based council member. Brandis resides in Fleming County with her four children, Camryn, Jordyn, Dylan and Parker. She attends church at Better Life in Morehead.

Middle School Teacher of the Year: Amy Bellamy, Owensboro Middle School

Amy has taught 7th grade Language Arts for 12 years at Owensboro Middle School-North, widening her students' literature experiences through the imaginative works of Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe. She is a past participant of the WKU Writing Project, an active member of the Owensboro Writers Group, and a 2017 NaNoWriMo winner who has led professional development for teachers, both locally and at the state level. She is the author of the book Kentucky Family, a collection of memoirs, and a soon-to-be-published historical novel. When she’s not pushing 13-year-olds to reach their potential, she enjoys leading a local book club, traveling, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and two crazy dogs.

High School Teacher of the Year: Chris Wright, Ludlow High School

Chris Wright is an ELA teacher at Ludlow High School, where he is in his tenth year. At Ludlow, Chris serves as Track and Field coach, Cross Country coach, and Freshman Basketball coach while also serving on SBDM. For the past six years, Chris has been a Co-Director of the Northern Kentucky Writing Project through Northern Kentucky University. As Co-Director, Chris has worked on projects for the National Writing Project and the Gates Foundation/Literacy Design Collaborative team. Chris is currently earning his doctorate in Leadership Studies from Xavier University.

College Teacher of the Year: Dr. Penelope Wong, Berea College

Penelope Wong is an Associate Professor of Education Studies in the Education Department at Berea College where she also works in the teacher certification program. She is a former high school English teacher and English as a Foreign Language Teacher, which has taken to amazing and wondrous parts of the world. She has worked in the United Arab Emirates and on the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona. Additionally, she had her own tutoring business, where about fifty percent of her clients were English language learners from all over the world. Her current research interests are wide-ranging and include but are not limited to English education, the benefits of mindfulness and meditation in K-16 educational settings, social justice education, and culturally sustaining pedagogy. In her free time, she enjoys horseback riding, traveling, yoga, reading and hiking.

Gretchen Niva Service Award: Dr. Angela Gunter, Literacy Specialist, Green River Regional Educational Cooperative

Angie is a former AP English Language teacher and Dean ofLiberal Arts at Daviess County High School. She earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership and currently is an adjunct instructor at Western Kentucky and Brescia Universities. Angie also serves as Kentucky ELA Content Lead with Student Achievement Partners, is a national NMSI trainer, a NMSI AP English Mentor, and a Hope Street Group Teacher Fellow Trainer. Angie is a past president and has served as treasurer and special projects chair for the KCTE. She is also a Candidate Support Provider for teachers pursuing National Board teaching certification and a Director at Large for the KY NBCT Network. Angie currently serves as a Literacy Specialist for the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative.