Jessamine County Schools honored its best teachers Monday, presenting the 2012 Excellence in Education awards for elementary, middle and high schools.
The winners were Shawn Carlstedt of Rosenwald-Dunbar Elementary School, Anna Campbell of West Jessamine Middle School and Tasha Bowlin of East Jessamine High School. The awards were presented at the conclusion of the school district’s opening-day ceremonies at East Jessamine Middle School.
In comments read by chief academic officer Kathy Fields before the announcement, Rosenwald-Dunbar principal Beth Carpenter wrote that Carlstedt’s dedication to teaching as a “ministry” instead of an occupation exemplifies her mission and purpose.
“Good teaching does not come from behind the behind the desk, buried in books or adorned on a cheery bulletin board; good teaching is derived from the heart,” Carpenter wrote. “Shawn adopted a classroom of children with a spectrum of needs; she adapted to those needs and embraced each one as a special gift. Shawn embraced the purity, innocence and vitality of each child. At the end of the year, those children left her classroom loved and in turn, that love fostered personal growth and academic achievement.”
Campbell, a seventh-grade science teacher, likes a challenge; she chose to have an observation for her Kentucky Teacher Internship Program done in what she described as her “worst class.”
“I chose Kathy (Fields) to observe my worst class for my KTIP during the worst time of the year, mainly because I knew that I had the support of the administration to help me out make me be a better teacher,” Campbell said Monday during the ceremony. “And I was wanting to be a better teacher; if I didn’t have the support, I probably would not be here today.”
Bowlin’s principal, Janet Granada, wrote that the language-arts teacher had been encouraged to pursue a master’s degree in an area that would allow her to move out of the classroom into administration. Bowlin got her master’s in English, saying she loves what she does and doesn’t think she will ever leave the classroom.
Bowlin said Monday she was privileged to work in Jessamine County, which she said is the equivalent of running with the Jamaican track-and-field team in the Olympics.
“We are so far ahead of everyone else, and it’s such a good thing, because no matter what’s coming, we always know about it before it gets here,” she said.
Each recipient of the Excellence in Education award will receive a $1,000 classroom award and be a Jessamine County nominee for Kentucky’s teacher of the year.
All the teachers gathered had a chance to applaud their superintendent, Lu Young, at the end of the ceremony. Young was named the Kentucky superintendent of the year at a surprise event in November 2011; Wayne Young, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, returned to Jessamine County on Monday to present the award again in front of most of the school district.
The three winners were selected from a pool of all the schools’ teachers of the year. Other teachers of the year were Jessamine Early Learning Village’s Melissa Rhodes, Nicholasville Elementary School’s Matthew Sanders, Brookside Elementary School’s Trina Moore, Warner Elementary School’s Andrea Dean, Wilmore Elementary School’s Sara Smorstad, East Jessamine Middle School’s Regina Sandberg, West Jessamine High School’s Matt Albertson, The Providence School’s Jessie Law, Jessamine Career and Technology Center’s Jennifer Hulette and special education’s Gina Jones.