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Morehead State alum Leann Lewis is the 2021 KEA Teacher of the Year

LeeAnn Lewis PictureLeann Lewis (Class of 2001), a ninth-grade English teacher at Simon Kenton High School in Kenton County, is the 2021 Kentucky Education Association (KEA) Teacher of the Year.   

The Teacher of the Year Award is presented to the KEA educator who excels in five critical areas of teaching: advocacy for the profession, professional practice, community engagement, attention to diversity and leadership in professional development. The award was announced in April 2021 and awarded virtually at the annual KEA Delegate Assembly.  

“It has been truly a humbling experience,” Lewis said. “None of this would be possible without so many family members, students, teachers, co-workers and colleagues who have been there to teach, listen, encourage and challenge me throughout my career.”  

Growing up in Loveland, Ohio, Lewis' mother was a pre-school teacher at church and an instructional assistant for more than 30 years in Loveland City Schools. She enrolled at MSU because it wasn’t too far from home, and she heard about its reputation as an excellent school for training teachers. 

As a teacher, Lewis is dedicated to serving diverse and underserved communities while fostering a community of learners. She is also prioritizing development of a reading curriculum that touches on social justice issues, improving a program for freshman success and college readiness, and providing students with proper social and emotional skills to maximize their potential for success. She serves in other roles at Simon Kenton High School, including on the site-based decision-making council, leading professional development workshops and serving as the current local education association president.  

“When I first started teaching, I thought my job was to teach reading and writing…now teaching is so much more than content,” Lewis said. “Teachers today are teaching students content, multitude of soft skills, social/emotional learning skills, technology and preparing them for the future.”  

Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts with an area of concentration in English education and a teacher Certificate in 2001. She completed a Master of Arts in Education from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008. She received the 2020 Kenton County Public School’s “Be Like Mr. Rogers” Award and was named a Top 20 educator in Cincinnati Magazine in 2019. She was the Northern Kentucky Education’s Teacher of the Year in 2016.  

For more information about MSU’s Volgenau College of Education and its programs, call 606-783-2162 or visit