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Four alumni among 2018 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Awards recipients

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and Valvoline have selected four Morehead State alums as recipients of the 2018 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Awards.

The teachers qualify to compete for the 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in May. The programs have recognized more than 500 teachers and awarded $750,000 since 1988.

The alums who won the award were:

  • Elementary School division - Amber Adams, Wrigley Elementary School (Morgan County);
  • Middle School category - Ashley Haynes, Hazard Middle School (Hazard Independent) and Brianne McDowell, Mason County Middle School (Mason County); and
  • High School section - Cortney Flannery, Betsy Layne High School (Floyd County).

All 24 teachers selected for the award will be honored at a ceremony on May 16 at the State Capitol Building in Frankfort. Gov. Matt Bevin, Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt, and Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer of Valvoline, will honor the teachers and recognize the Kentucky Elementary School, Middle School and High School Teachers of the Year. From this group of three finalists, the Kentucky Teacher of the Year will be named and will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Valvoline will present the 24 Teacher Achievement Award recipients with cash awards and certificates at the awards ceremony. In addition to cash awards, the three Kentucky Teachers of the Year also will receive custom-designed glassware commemorating their accomplishments, and all 24 educators will be honored at a special luncheon after the ceremony.

Judging was conducted in March by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators commissioned by Valvoline and KDE, many of whom have more than 25 years of teaching experience. Applications included information on the nominees’ teaching philosophies, teaching experiences and involvement in their respective communities and as letters of recommendation from peers, students, parents, administrators and others.

The Kentucky Teacher Awards program combines the best elements of what was formerly known as the Ashland Teacher Achievement Awards that was sponsored by Ashland Global Holding Inc. Valvoline, a publicly traded company headquartered in Lexington, which is pending final separation from Ashland Global Holding Inc., now sponsors the Teacher Achievement Awards and the Kentucky Teacher of the Year programs.

For aspiring educators, programs in MSU’s College of Education provide high-quality preparation and strong support in an environment that facilitates and fosters student learning. A successful career in education requires tremendous dedication to the profession and a passion for continuous improvement.

Additional information is available by calling 606-783-2162 or visit