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Teacher Achievement Awards



DCPS educators receive Teacher Achievement Awards

WLES, DCMS teachers honored as outstanding Kentucky educators ...
Olga Payne named state MS ToY semifinalist


Lori Clements, a kindergarten teacher at West Louisville Elementary School, and Olga Payne, a science teacher at Daviess County Middle School, have been selected as two of 24 Kentucky educators to receive the 2018 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award. They now advance in competition for the 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced next month.


Judging was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators and was based on review of nominees’ teaching philosophies, teaching experiences, community involvement and letters of recommendation from administrators, colleagues, students and parents.


Clements and Payne will be honored at May 16 ceremony at the Capitol Building in Frankfort. Gov. Matt Bevin, Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt and Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer of Valvoline, will honor Clements and Payne and other award recipients.


From this field of 24 honorees, Kentucky Elementary, Middle and High School Teachers of the Year will be selected. Olga Payne has been named one of three semifinalists for state Middle School Teacher of the Year honors. One overall winner will also be awarded Kentucky Teacher of the Year honors, and that person will represent the state in the national Teacher of the Year competition.


Olga Payne was named Teacher of the Year at Daviess County Middle School in May 2016 and was selected as the middle school school recipient of the Daviess County Public Schools’ Great Expectations Teaching Excellence Award in August 2016. She has served as a cooperative teacher for the Sky Teach Science program at Western Kentucky University and co-hosted the Middle School Next Generation Science Standards professional development for the DCPS district. She has made numerous presentations at district- and state-level events and is a member of several professional organizations, including the Kentucky and National Science Teacher Associations, the Kentucky Education Association and ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers). She serves as the Professional Learning Community chairperson for science at DCMS.


Payne began her teaching career in her home country of England in 1998, teaching grade levels 6-10. She joined the Daviess County Middle School staff in 2010, teaching science in grades 8 and 7. She is currently working toward National Board Teaching Certification, has a master of arts degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix and earned her post-graduate certificate in education in secondary science and mathematics at the Cheltenham and Gloucester (England) College of Higher Education.

DCMS Principal Kelly Skeens described Payne as “an innovator who leads our school and district in professional learning” and whose classroom is a place of interactive learning. “She personalizes learning for students and has them work on real-world problems,” Skeens said. “She is a master at asking high-level questions to generate thoughtful discussions. Students become scientists when they enter the classroom and she expects them to think like a scientist outside the classroom. She wants students to be curious and creative. In her class, students ask questions, challenge one another’s thinking, conduct investigations and record findings.”


“I am so fortunate to work among the many fantastic teachers in the Daviess County Public Schools district,” Payne said. “These colleagues have motivated and encouraged me to be the best I can be. Every day brings new challenges and new rewards. After nearly 18 years of teaching science, I have never enjoyed teaching and learning as much as I do now.”


Lori Clements was named Teacher of the Year at West Louisville Elementary School in May 2016 and was selected as the elementary school recipient of the Daviess County Public Schools’ Great Expectations Teaching Excellence Award in August 2016. She is a member of the WLES Lighthouse Leader in Me team and represented grade-level colleagues at a district Next Generation Science Standards professional development session, then co-presented the NGSS as part of a team at WLES.


Clements began her teaching career at Cravens Elementary School in 1998 and taught at Foust Elementary School from 2008-2014 before joining the DCPS district at West Louisville Elementary School in 2014. She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1996 and a master’s degree in 2007 from Western Kentucky University.

WLES Principal Nathan Satterly described Clements’ teaching qualities as “genuine, intelligent and compassionate.” “Lori brings out the fun side of teaching,” Satterly said. “She is willing to do whatever is necessary to see ‘her kids’ succeed and flourish. Her classroom is so inviting, and students are engaged in the learning process. She puts kids first, builds lasting relationships, has a vast content knowledge, shares her knowledge with her fellow teachers and is willing to go above and beyond for her students.”


Lori Clements expressed her appreciation for these honors at the school, district and state levels. “To be chosen for such an honorable award is an incredibly touching, yet humbling, experience. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am so thankful to God, my family, my students and my wonderful West Louisville Elementary School family for nominating ad encouraging me with this honor.” 


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