Lauren Comer, Henry County Early Childhood Center
Lauren Comer is the speech language pathologist for Henry County Early Childhood Center working with students on speech and language development. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in health sciences and a Master’s degree in speech language pathology, both from the University of Kentucky. Comer has been with Henry County Public Schools since 2010.
“Communication is one of our most important life skills. I love being able to provide early intervention to our children to improve their ability to communicate with others and meet their basic wants and needs,” Comer said. “I take pride in being able to witness individual successes and accomplishments in order for them to become the best versions of themselves.”
Her selection as preschool’s Teacher of the Year makes her feel honored because Comer said she learns so much from each of her peers every day.
“I work with the best group of women,” Comer said of the all-female staff at HCECC. “We are a collective group of diverse individuals who work together to provide a sense of home and family for our students. We love our kids, and do our very best for them every day.”
Julie Powell, Campbellsburg Elementary School
Julie Powell is a reading interventionist at Campbellsburg Elementary School. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching from Bellarmine University and has been teaching for 21 years.
“What I enjoy most about teaching is – teaching! I know that sounds cliche but working with our students every day is the best part of this job,” Powell said. “I have been here long enough now that I have taught siblings and I have gotten to know the families, which makes me work even harder. Each kiddo is a puzzle and I love trying to figure out how to reach them. That is the true reward. Their smiles make it all worthwhile!”
Powell said that being chosen as her school’s Teacher of the Year both surprised and flattered her.
“We have so many wonderful teachers in our building that I was truly shocked,” Powell said. “It has made me reflect on what I do each day, and what I could change to be a better teacher. I will continue to strive to live up to the honor of being Teacher of the Year for Campbellsburg Elementary School.”
Lori Cobb, Eastern Elementary School
Lori Cobb is a classroom teacher at New Castle Elementary, currently tasked with teaching a third/fourth grade class. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in elementary education from the University of Louisville, as well as Rank I certification, also from UofL. This is her 23rd year teaching, 22 of those years at Eastern in either third or fourth grade.
Cobb said she loves working with her students every day.
“I get the opportunity not only to encourage and coach my students to be the best that they can be, but I also get to learn with them and from them. Being in a split classroom offers me many opportunities to plan and implement activities that allow students to work cooperatively with each other and learn from each other across grade levels and abilities,” Cobb said. “Nothing is better than seeing students grow and accomplish goals that they didn’t think they could reach. Seeing the light bulbs pop on in their heads, the excitement in their eyes, the smiles spread across their faces and celebrating their successes is the BEST part of my job.”
Cobb considers her selection as Eastern Elementary School’s Teacher of the year to be quite an honor.
“Every teacher in our building is dedicated to loving, supporting and empowering students and deserves this recognition,” Cobb said. “I’m so fortunate to work with amazing colleagues who continuously challenge each other and learn from each other in order to be the best that we can be as educators.”
Ashley Miller, New Castle Elementary School
Ashley Miller is a special education teacher at New Castle Elementary. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Bluffton University in mild to moderate special education a Master’s degree from the University of Louisville in moderate to severe special education and a Rank 1/Master’s degree in Teacher Leadership and Applied Behavior Analysis, also from UofL.
After college, Miller worked for one year a clinic for students with autism and other developmental disabilities. Afterward, she moved from Ohio to her current classroom at NCES and has been there for nine years.
“The thing I love most about teaching is my STUDENTS. I get to have my students for several years from kindergarten until they leave for middle school. I create a bond with each of them and get to watch them grow,” Miller said. “I have loved them through successes and failures, and they have taught me so much along the way. My students – past and present – are the best individuals in the world, and I'm honored and blessed to be a part of their lives.”
Miller admitted she was shocked when she learned she had been chosen as New Castle Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year.
“I felt undeserving because my colleagues are some of the best teachers. It’s awesome to be surrounded by them every day,” Miller said. “As a special education teacher, being chosen for this type of honor just reassures me that my profession and job is valued.”
Becky Wright, Henry County Middle School
Rebecca (Becky) Wright is a language arts teacher at Henry County Middle School, working with students in the Summit program. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from UK, a Master’s degree in teaching from the University of the Cumberlands, and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, also with University of the Cumberlands.
This is her eighth year at HCMS, having taught both seventh and eighth grade English/language arts as well as various Tier II classes, media arts and yearbook classes.
“One of my favorite things about teaching is finding something challenging to read that kids truly enjoy. It's an exhilarating feeling when a kid is excited about reading in class, especially when that reading summons them to reflect on themselves and on our culture,” Wright said. “Projects are another favorite, too, because kids get to showcase hidden skills and talents that really demonstrate their unique abilities.”
Wright said she was honored to be chosen as HCMS’ Teacher of the Year.
“I truly appreciate that my peers thought of the work and time I put into teaching and found it worthy of our kids and worthy of recognition,” Wright said.
Holli Hunt, Henry County High School
Holli Hunt teaches U.S. history at Henry County High School, her alma mater. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in history from Eastern Kentucky University, a Master’s degree in library media science from Murray State University, a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Ashford University, an Ed. S in instructional leadership – principal from the University of the Cumberlands, and is also a Doctoral candidate in educational leadership, also with University of the Cumberlands.
Hunt spent three years teaching at Jones High School in Trenton, North Carolina, where she specialized in civics, economics and world history, mainly with freshmen and sophomores.
“I loved my students and colleagues at JSHS and will always cherish the time I spent there,” Hunt said. “I give tons of credit to the students and teachers for making me the teacher I am today. They changed my life.”
Hunt has been at Henry County High School since 2011, mostly teaching U.S. history to juniors, but has also taught ninth grade social studies and twelfth grade career development.
“I have also enjoyed working with students outside of the classroom as the pep club, beta, senior sponsor and varsity cheer coach,” Hunt said. “Henry County is home for me, so many of these kiddos remind me of myself as a teenager. My goal is for all of my students to leave HCHS with an amazing overall high school experience and to love Henry County High School as much as I do.”
Hunt said her passion is working with young people, although she admits is somewhat partial to teenagers.
“I love the interaction that I have with my kids; they teach me so much,” Hunt said. “I love seeing students make connections to their everyday lives, and I love helping students realize their potential and seeing them obtain goals they have set for themselves. I love teaching them about diversity and acceptance, and I love pushing them to be the best they can be. I love teaching them about history BUT life as well, and I love seeing them grow into adults right before my eyes. I love everything about teaching.”
Hunt was honored to be chosen as Henry County High School's Teacher of the Year.
“I work alongside so many wonderful people who are just as deserving of the honor, and to know that they hold me in high esteem was extremely touching,” Hunt said. “I am so delighted to represent HCHS, and I hope that I always have the drive and determination to continue to make HCHS such a wonderful place for students.”