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Freedom's Wathan selected as one of state's top teachers

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By The Staff

Lisa Wathen of Freedom Elementary School has been named one of three semi-finalists for Kentucky Elementary School Teacher of the Year.

The official announcement of Kentucky Elementary School Teacher of the Year will be made in Frankfort October 22 at ceremonies at the State Capitol Building. Semi-finalists for Kentucky Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher of the Year are in contention for the honor of Kentucky Teacher of the Year who represents the state at the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Mrs. Wathen has already been selected as one of 24 outstanding Kentucky educators selected as recipients of the 2009 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA) by the Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland, Inc.

Representatives of the Kentucky Department of Education, the Governor’s Office and Ashland will be on hand to honor the teachers and to recognize the Kentucky Elementary, Middle and High School Teachers of the Year.

Ashland will present the 24 TAA recipients with cash awards and framed certificates at the awards ceremony in Frankfort. The three Kentucky Teachers of the Year also will receive cash awards and custom-designed glassware commemorating their accomplishments and all 24 educators will be honored at a special luncheon that day.

The Kentucky Teacher Awards program combines the best elements of the Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards and the Kentucky Teacher of the Year programs. This marks the eighth year the Department of Education and Ashland have jointly honored Kentucky educators.

Judging was conducted in August by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators, many of whom have more than 30 years of teaching experience. Applications included information on the nominees’ teaching philosophies, their teaching experiences and involvement in their respective communities, as well as letters of recommendation from peers, students, parents, administrators and others.