Layne Allen, a fifth-grade teacher at Peaks Mill Elementary School (PME), has been named the Community Trust Bank/Franklin County Public Schools Teacher of the Year for 2017. She was surprised with the award during a school assembly this afternoon at which she was also given a $1,000 check by Community Trust Bank.
A sixth-year teacher, Mrs. Allen is an alumnus of the “old” Peaks Mill Elementary, Elkhorn Middle and Franklin County High schools. She has expressed delight teaching in the same area where she grew up.
“My love for learning developed during my years at the old PME and I see it as my job to instill that same love for learning in my own students today,” she wrote in a reflective essay submitted as part of her application. “My focus this year has been to create a community of learners that have a growth mindset. I have spent a large part of this year working on real-world word problems with my students which has challenged them….,” she wrote.
In addition to the $1,000 from Community Trust Bank - which has partnered with the school district to recognize outstanding teachers – Mrs. Allen will be nominated by the school district for the Valvoline Inc. Teacher Achievement Award, which is presented annually to one teacher in the state. That program is administered by the Kentucky Department of Education.
Superintendent Chrissy Jones said Mrs. Allen is a stellar representative for Franklin County’s teachers. “Layne is an outstanding teacher. In her six years here, she has built a reputation as a hard-working, solid, student-oriented educator. I have no doubt she will represent Franklin County very well in the statewide program. All of our teachers and staff can take pride in her.”
John Senter, Community Trust’s assistant vice president – who also grew up in Franklin County and is a graduate of the Franklin County schools said, “Our participation in this award program is a great way to give back to our community, but it also serves to highlight and recognize the outstanding work of Franklin County’s teachers. At Community Trust, we recognize that effective teachers are essential to the future of our community. All of us must consistently applaud, recognize and reward their efforts.”
“One of my long-term goals has been to make the Teacher of the Year award more rigorous and meaningful than it has been in the past,” said Superintendent Chrissy Jones.” So we revamped the program this year to make it more strenuous and we asked Community Trust Bank to partner with us by providing a financial award to the three finalists. I’m happy to say that we succeeded in both objectives.“Layne is just one example of the many fine, committed and outstanding teachers throughout our district,” she added. “All of our teachers - but especially those who were nominated for this award - can take pride in the fact that Layne will be representing them on the statewide stage.”
Mrs. Allen was selected for the honor from a pool of candidates representing 12 of the Franklin County public schools, each of which had selected its own Teacher of the Year. The school candidates were observed in their classrooms and interviewed by a committee that included two judges from outside the school district.
Three finalists were selected from that larger pool: one from the seven elementary schools, and one each to represent the middle and high schools. Being named the elementary, middle and high school teachers of the year qualified these teachers to be candidates for the overall District Teacher of the Year award. The two runners up will be announced Monday, Feb. 13 at their respective schools and also will receive checks from Community Trust Bank - in the amount of $500 each. The funds are a personal award to the teachers, meaning they are free to use the money in any way they choose.
The two runners-up will be announced Monday, Feb. 13 at their respective schools, and they will be awarded their $500 checks at that time. They have been selected from the following list of school teachers of the year (in alphabetical order):
- Cara Atha, Elkhorn Elementary School
- Cathryn Carreer, Early Learning Village
- Elizabeth Colley, Bridgeport Elementary School
- Holly Dickert, Collins Lane Elementary School
- Bobbie Fryman, Bondurant Middle School
- David Hughes, Hearn Elementary School
- Christen Jones, Westridge Elementary School
- Tierelee Logan, The Academy
- Greg Pelfrey, Franklin County High School
- Eric Shields, Western Hills High School
- Deana Williams, Elkhorn Middle School