A high school math teacher in the Caverna Independent School District – who friends and co-workers called a “diehard ambassador for students” – has lost her battle with COVID-19.
“We at the Caverna Independent School District have suffered a devastating loss, and we are sad to inform you that one of our beloved faculty members, Amanda Nutt, has died as a result of complications from COVID-19,” Caverna High School announced on its Twitter account Wednesday.
Nutt was with the district for six years.
“I chose to become a teacher in order to give students what I didn’t have when I was in school. I wanted to be the teacher that I needed when I was younger and I strive to be the teacher that incorporates fun and active learning in the classroom,” Nutt wrote in a biography she submitted for GoTeachKy.
The Kentucky Department of Education program aims to ensure all students have equal access to top-notch teachers.
“My favorite thing is building relationships with my students. Seeing them grow and learn about math and life all at the same time is a great joy. I love to see when they go to college and trade school and continue pathways to make a life for themselves! Their smiles, hugs and stories always ensure me that I’m making an impact and that it will be a great day!” Nutt wrote.
Speaking to the Daily News on Wednesday, Caverna Superintendent Cornelius Faulkner and Assistant Superintendent Amanda Abell described Nutt as a dedicated educator who stayed after school to tutor students – whether she was paid to or not – and who showed up to ballgames to cheer on her students.
Faulkner described Nutt as unfailingly kind and compassionate – the kind of educator who pushed her students but earnestly believed in them all along.
“It’s hard to replace a person that has a real connection with students,” Faulkner told the Daily News. “She impacted lives, not just their day-to-day.”
Abell said Nutt meant as much to the school district’s staff as she did to students.
“She was one of those teachers that helped kids believe in themselves,” Abell said. “She’s not a teacher that you can replace easily. She’s one of a kind. She was always lifting people up.”
Along with her dedication to students, Nutt brought prestige to the Caverna district – which primarily serves an area straddling Barren and Hart counties – as an award-winning educator.
She was named Hart County Teacher of the Year in 2020, was awarded the B.H. Weaver Outstanding Educator Award that same year and received the Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching award in 2019.
Abell said Nutt was also nominated for the 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award and the Western Kentucky University Distinguished Educator Award.
Nutt was pursuing her doctorate degree in educational leadership from WKU and was on track to graduate this year, Abell said.
The school district announced funeral arrangements for Nutt, with visitation at the Winn Funeral Home in Horse Cave set to take place Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. There will be a funeral at 6 p.m. A private burial will take place in Mount Washington, the district announced.
– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @NewsByAaron or visit bgdailynews.com.