A science teacher at Lexington's Carter G. Woodson Academy has been named 2014 Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year.
Melanie Trowel, a 14-year veteran, was recognized along with Holly Bloodworth, a third-grade teacher at Murray Elementary School, who is the state's overall Teacher of the Year; and Joanna Howerton Stevens, a mathematics teacher at Lincoln County High School, who was named High School Teacher of the Year.
The three joined 21 other Kentucky teachers to be honored Wednesday at the Capitol in Frankfort at the 2014 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards.
Beshear praised the winners for their dedication, innovation, enthusiasm and ability.
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"Our best hope for the future is to prepare each of our children for a life of promise in this highly competitive and increasingly sophisticated world," he said. "Our teachers are the ones who are called, day after day, to perform heroic tasks in the classroom — to convey knowledge, train, inspire, mentor, awaken curiosity and show our children not only how to learn but to think. As I look out over today's honorees, I feel confident that we have the right people on the job."
Stevens and Trowel received $3,000 each and a customized, art-glass vase from Ashland Inc. Bloodworth received $10,000 and a commemorative crystal-glass bowl. In addition, the Department of Education will provide a sabbatical or suitable alternative for Bloodworth, who also will represent the state in the 2014 National Teacher of the Year competition. The remaining 21 winners each received $500 cash awards.
All 24 teachers received framed certificates and were further recognized at a luncheon following the ceremony.
Trowel has been at Carter G. Woodson Academy in Fayette County for the past year. She previously taught science and special education courses at two other schools.