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Fayette Co. teacher named Kentucky Teacher of the Year

Donnie Piercey

Kentucky School Advocate
November 2020

Staff report

In its first virtual Teacher of the Year ceremony, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and Valvoline Inc. named Donnie Piercey (left), a fifth grade teacher at Stonewall Elementary School in Fayette County Schools, as the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and Elementary Teacher of the Year.

“I’m never someone who cries. Now I’ve got tears here,” Piercey said during the Oct. 22 virtual ceremony. “I don’t know what to say. My kids are cheering for me downstairs right now.”

Piercey thanked his parents for their encouragement, his wife and children for their support and his many mentors during  his 14 years as a teacher.

KDE also announced the 2021 Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year and 2021 Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year. The Middle School Teacher of the Year is Laura Peavley (right), an eighth grade math teacher at Westport Middle School in Jefferson County Schools. Westport is the only Kentucky public school with a Montessori program, which Peavley was instrumental in shaping.

The High School Teacher of the Year is Christopher McCurry (left), a 12th grade English teacher at Lafayette High School in Fayette County Schools. McCurry, a poet, introduces his students to other Kentucky poets and authors. In response to racial unrest across the country, he developed a course on Black literature in America.Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass thanked the winners and all of the Commonwealth’s teachers for devoting their lives to educating Kentucky students.

“Our most important assets in education are the teachers who bring their classrooms alive with learning. The teachers we recognize today represent some of the best in Kentucky,” Glass said. “No matter what subject area or grade level they teach, these teachers challenge, lead and set good examples for the children in their care.”

Piercey will receive a $10,000 cash award, Peavley and McCurry will get $3,000 each. The remaining 21 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award winners each receive $500. Piercey will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

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