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New state board of education members

New state board

Kentucky School Advocate
January 2020

By Brenna R. Kelly
Staff writer

David Karem, Louisville, 33 years in Kentucky General Assembly, one of the architects of Kentucky Education Reform Act, seven years as Kentucky Board of Education member including three as chairman. 

“I just cannot express how strongly I feel about public education in Kentucky,” he said. 

Sharon Robinson, Louisville, first African American president of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, previous president of the Educational Testing Service’s Educational Policy Leadership Institute in Princeton, N.J., former assistant secretary of education, U.S. Department of Education.  

“I feel as though I have been a teacher or served teachers and learners my entire career,” she said. “This is another opportunity to serve them for which I am very grateful.” 

Holly Bloodworth, Murray, retired teacher, taught kindergarten, first and third grades, Kentucky Teacher of the Year 2014, past president of the Kentucky National Board Certified Teacher Network. She now works with pre-service teachers. 

“I’ve looked at learners from a lot of different perspectives,” she said. “I’m very excited to be a part of this esteemed group.” 

JoAnn Adams, Pleasureville, retired teacher, Kentucky Teacher Intern Program mentor, school-based decision making council member. 

“I spent my lifetime in the classroom,” she said. “I have deep roots in public schools. I have either been a student in a public school or a teacher in a rural public school my whole life.”

Patrice McCrary, Bowling Green, retired kindergarten teacher, 2002 Kentucky Elementary Teacher of the Year, USA Today All-Star Teacher Team member, inducted into the Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame, National Teacher Hall of Fame, KEA Teacher of the Year. 

“Public school in general was my yellow brick road,” she said. “I came from a very humble background. … Getting my education is what opened up a world to me and I want every single child in Kentucky to find that yellow brick road.”

Alvis Johnson, Harrodsburg, former teacher and assistant principal, football coach, first African American to serve as the president of the National Federation of State High School Associations, former assistant athletic director at the University of Kentucky, 1996 runner-up for Walt Disney Teacher of the Year. 

“I am fortunate to have taught and coached for 28 years in the public schools in Kentucky,” he said. 

Cody Pauley Johnson, Pikeville, an office manager and media consultant with Johnson Law Firm, graduated from Pikeville High School. 

“I know firsthand how important a quality public education is, as far as opening doors and opportunities for children who live in extreme rural counties, such as Pike County in the district that I serve,” she said. 

Lu Young, Nicholasville, University of Kentucky College of Education professor, director of UK’s Center for Next Generation Leadership and Professional Development, former chief academic officer of Fayette County Schools, nine years as superintendent of Jessamine County Schools, Kentucky Superintendent of the Year 2012.

“I was a first generation college graduate,” Young said. “Public education was the path for me to a bright future.” 

Mike Bowling, Middlesboro, former Kentucky state representative, 12 years as the Bell County Schools board attorney. Bowling’s father was in the military, so he moved 18 times in 18 years. 

“I’ve been able to see a lot of what happens out there in the world in various countries, in various states, and to see the needs,” he said. 

Claire Batt, Lexington, retired teacher, attorney. As a military child, Batt attended 12 different elementary schools. She has spent the last two years advocating for education in Frankfort. 

“I know that education is the key to the door that opens the world of opportunity,” she said. 

Lee Todd, Lexington, former president of University of Kentucky, engineer, professor, inventor and entrepreneur, former member of the Council on Postsecondary education, first-generation college student. 

“I’m trying to find a way to write something to tell children in Kentucky that they can go further than they are being told,” he said. “We can compete, we’ve just got to believe it and we’ve got to fund it.” 

Three non-voting members:

• Council for Postsecondary Education President: Aaron Thompson 

• Secretary of Education and Workforce Development: Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman

• Elementary or secondary teacher: Allison Slone, Rowan County special education teacher.

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