Elliott honored for years of service to community

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By Thomas Barr

SHEPHERDSVILLE -- For over 45 years, Barbara Elliott has been a vital part of the Bullitt County education scene.

First as a teacher and then as an administrator. But, over the past 10 years, Elliott has taught a different clientele.

On Tuesday, July 1, Elliott was honored for her work as she retired from her volunteer duties with the Bullitt County Adult Education program.

Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts proclaimed July 1 as Barbara Elliott Day.

Donna Miller, director of the Bullitt County campus for Jefferson Community and Technical College, presented Elliott with a clock in honor of her work.

For Elliott, a simple thank you would have been more than enough.

In a tribute roast without the roast, several individuals spoke about Elliott's work over the years both in the classroom and in the detention center.

Miller recounted Elliott's history, starting with her first job as a teacher in January 1968 in the old Shepherdsville High School.

When Bullitt Central High was built in 1970, Elliott taught English and drama and coached a nationally-known debate program.

She would later serve as assistant principal and then principal when George Valentine went to become superintendent.

She retired in 1997 but Miller said she remained very active.

Throughout the years, Elliott has been heavily involved in the First Baptist Church of Shepherdsville, where several speakers hailed her as a superior Sunday School teacher, Dare to Care and the Kentucky Refuge Ministry.

In 2003, the church started a ministry at the Bullitt County Detention Center. She was one of the three original volunteers working at the jail to help inmates pursue and receive their GED certification.

Miller said Elliott dedicated her life to help educate and to help people in need.

Because of the work of Elliott and other volunteers, Miller said countless number of inmates achieved their GED.

Retired school superintendent Frank Hatfield said Elliott, whom he had the opportunity to hire, was an asset to the community. But, he smiled as he said her golf game might not be as good as she might think.

Fellow volunteer David Wells recalled that Elliott told him that hammering was not his "spiritual gift."

Lisa Raines said Elliott was a role model for her and pastor Dale Raines said he had been blessed during his time at the church by the honoree.

Jailer Martha Knox remembered Elliott as both a teacher and as the GED instructor.

Knox said there are several elected officials who could thank Elliott for her instruction while they attended Bullitt Central.

She said many in government are there today because of the interest peaked by Elliott.

And county attorney Monica Robinson said that although Elliott was an administrator during her time at Bullitt Central, she was like many others who were affected.

She said Elliott provided a great example of how a strong woman could succeed.

"I am overwhelmed," said Elliott. "Thank you is all that's necessary."

She said the past 40 years has been a blessing for her.

"I've enjoyed the time I've spent at the jail," said Elliott. "I've enjoyed the time I've spent teaching."