KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION – NEWS RELEASE October 18, 2011

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Kimberly Shearer, an English teacher at Boone County High School, has been named Kentucky Teacher of the Year.

The announcement was made today at a ceremony held at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort by Ashland Inc. and the Kentucky Department of Education. Governor Steve Beshear; Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Joseph Meyer; Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday; and Ashland Chairman and CEO Jim O’Brien were on hand to make the presentation.

Elizabeth Ann Fuller, a 3rd-grade reading and writing demonstration site teacher at J.B. Atkinson Academy in Jefferson County, was named 2012 Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Jenni Lou Jackson, an 8th-grade language arts teacher at Corbin Middle School in the Corbin Independent school district, was named 2012 Middle School Teacher of the Year.

The three joined 21 other teachers from across the state honored with 2012 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards. Fuller and Jackson received $3,000 each and a customized, art-glass vase from Ashland Inc., while Shearer received $10,000 and a commemorative crystal-glass bowl. In addition, the Department of Education will provide a sabbatical or suitable alternative for Shearer, who also will represent the state in the 2012 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.

KIMBERLY SHEARER

Kimberly Shearer is a seven-year teaching veteran who teaches English at Boone County High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Georgetown College, a master’s degree at Northern Kentucky University and a second master’s degree at Western Kentucky University. She serves as her school’s writing coordinator and has supervised a pre-service teacher. Shearer has presented at an ACT Summit and a National Council of Teachers of English national conference. She has been published in the Community & Junior College Libraries Journal and is a recipient of the Pulling for Kids and People Who Make a Difference awards. Shearer also was a finalist for Hixson Teacher of the Year. Her professional affiliations include the National Council of Teachers of English, Kentucky Education Association, American Library Association, Boone County Education Association and the Teaching Tolerance Southern Poverty Law Center.

ELIZABETH ANN FULLER

Elizabeth Ann Fuller is an eight-year teaching veteran who has taught reading and writing at her current school for three years. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Bellarmine University and a master’s degree at Indiana University Southeast. Fuller achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification and took Harvard Graduate School of Education Wide World Learning online courses. She serves as an instructional coach and has mentored students and student teachers. Fuller also has presented at Louisville Writing Project and Kentucky Reading Association conferences. She is a Louisville Foundation grant recipient and was nominated for 2011 Gheens Innovation and Outstanding Young Educator awards. Fuller’s professional affiliations include the National and Louisville Writing projects, Kentucky Reading Association, Kentucky Reading Project and the Kentucky and National Education associations.

JINNY LOU JACKSON

Virginia (Jinny Lou) Jackson, a 12-year teaching veteran, has taught language arts at her current school for the past three years. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s degree and teaching certification at Union College, and she’s a candidate for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. Jackson was listed among the Tri-County’s Top 20 Citizens by her local newspaper, in which she also was featured for innovative teaching techniques. She is a recipient of her district’s Most Caring Teacher Award, and her professional affiliations include the Kentucky Association of Professional Educators, National Board for Professional Teachers, First Priority and the Christian Educator’s Association.

This is the 11th year Ashland Inc. and the Kentucky Department of Education have co-sponsored the Kentucky Teacher Achievement Awards. Applications for the program were distributed across the state, and the first tier of the selection process was completed in August, with 24 teachers selected as 2012 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Award winners. To read the bios of the 24 TAA winners, visit the education section of Ashland Inc.’s website.

Nine top scorers – three each from the elementary, middle and high school levels – were selected, and teams of educators visited their classrooms to view them at work and to conduct personal interviews. From those nine, three were selected as 2012 Kentucky Teachers of the Year. The selection of the overall Kentucky Teacher of the Year was based on a compilation of scores from all phases of judging.

Ashland has recognized outstanding Kentucky teachers with its Teacher Achievement Awards since 1988. Approximately $631,500 has been awarded to more than 425 teachers of grades K to 12.

In more than 100 countries, the people of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH) provide the specialty chemicals, technologies and insights to help customers create new and improved products for today and sustainable solutions for tomorrow. Ashland’s chemistry is at work every day in a wide variety of markets and applications, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment. Visit www.ashland.com to see the innovations they offer through four commercial units – Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Ashland Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials and Ashland Consumer Markets (Valvoline).

MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Y. Gross

Office: (502) 564-2015     Cellular: (502) 330-5063   E-mail: lisa.gross@education.ky.gov