Western Kentucky University kicked off Teacher Appreciation Week on Tuesday by revealing the inaugural winners of its College of Education and Behavioral Sciences’ Distinguished Educator Awards.

“Each teacher deserves immense praise for the hard work and dedication they’ve shown their students and districts during nontraditional instruction,” said Corinne Murphy, dean of WKU’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. “Our goal is to ensure all community mentors and leaders understand WKU’s appreciation for their continued contributions to students; however, we also hope to provide a celebratory moment during this time of uncertainty.”

The winners are:

  • Elementary (P-5): Josh Turner, South Green Elementary School.
  • Middle Grades (6-8): Angela Barbour, Cub Run Elementary School.
  • Secondary (9-12): Jeremy Byrn, Allen County-Scottsville High School.
  • Special Education: Savannah Boone, LaRue County High School.
  • Visual Performing Arts: Stephanie Hensley, Cub Run Elementary School.
  • Physical Education: Jamie Neal, Lincoln Elementary School.
  • Innovation: Tina Sharp, North Jackson Elementary School.
  • Diversity: Debbie Wilson, Briarwood Elementary School.
  • Literacy: Amber Barrick, North Warren Elementary School.
  • Teacher Mentor: Neesa Richardson, Natcher Elementary School.

Winners will receive $200 and a commemorative plaque, the release said. The university will also add a plaque in the Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame based at WKU.