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DCPS Honors 2016 Great Expectations Award Winners

DCPS Honors 2016 Great Expectations Award Winners


DCPS honors outstanding staff members
Great Expectations Teacher of the Year, Customer Service and Office Professional honorees announced


Daviess County Public Schools announced recipients of the fourth annual Great Expectations Teacher of the Year, Customer Service and Office Professional Awards during the district’s Opening Day ceremony at the Sportscenter today.


During the spring, each site selected a school-level Teacher of the Year. These winners received an engraved crystal bowl, $200 for classroom use and a designated parking place for one year. Honorees were evaluated by representatives of the DCPS Office of Teaching and Learning on the basis of classroom observations and nomination materials, and one overall winner was selected for each of three levels – elementary, middle and high school. These winners were awarded a $1,000 purchase order for classroom use and will be nominated by the district as candidates for Kentucky Teacher of the Year honors.



The 2016 DCPS Great Expectations Elementary Teacher of the Year is Lori Clements, a kindergarten teacher at West Louisville Elementary School. Clements goes above and beyond normal expectations for the classroom teacher to ensure that her students are not only having fun, but are also growing to their fullest potential. From the moment students cross her threshold, they are having fun and are actively involved in learning. Clements is continuously striving to learn more about teaching in order to provide the best possible educational experience. She is constantly researching and trying out new ideas, integrating her new learning with her analysis of students’ conference notes, assessment results and other data in order to more highly differentiate instruction during her language arts and math workshops. The West Louisville Elementary School staff feels fortunate to have Clements as one of their own. She is a wonderful team member and is always open to answering questions and give advice on new teaching strategies. She shares countless resources and ideas and builds positive and enduring relationships with staff, students and their families. In all ways, Lori Clements embodies “Excellence in Teaching.”



The 2016 DCPS Great Expectations Middle School Teacher of the Year is Olga Payne, a science teacher at Daviess County Middle School. Olga Payne is dedicated to the pursuit of scientific inquiry in her classroom at Daviess County Middle School, where she is a student of education best practice. The questioning and discussion techniques used in her classroom deepen the levels of understanding for her students. Ms. Payne engages students in the content with carefully planned experiments, applications to the real world, inquiry-based labs and standards mastery. She uses multiple levels of assessment throughout her classroom to allow students to show what they’ve learned while allowing her to ascertain areas that require re-teaching. Her students are encouraged to explore, discover, make mistakes and try again in their pursuit of scientific excellence. Among her colleagues, she has been a catalyst for change, focusing on Next Generation Science Standards rigor, analyzing literacy within the curriculum and building rapport within the teaching team.


The 2016 DCPS Great Expectations High School Teacher of the Year is Emily Harpenau, a special services teacher at Apollo High School. Emily Harpenau is efficient, effective and engaging and brings energy, enthusiasm and optimism into her classroom every day. She works to modify assignments and differentiate in a way that allows students to succeed. She meets all students at their own individual levels. Students know that working with Harpenau may be challenging, but they also recognize the benefits of their academic growth under her guidance. She is at her best when she is working with a student who wants to give up. She has a way of inspiring and motivating students that is truly incredible to witness. Students respond to her; they like her. As a result, she is able to push them to achieve at their highest levels and meet the great expectations she has for each and every one of them. She goes above and beyond in the classroom and around Apollo High School and challenges her students to live up to their full potential. She also pushes her coworkers to be better teachers. As a result of working with Emily Harpenau, her colleagues are better educators as well. 



Candidates for Customer Service and Office Professional Awards were submitted to a district-level committee last spring and were evaluated on the basis of nomination materials. Winners will receive a $1,000 purchase order for professional use; designated parking place for one year; and will represent the district as nominees for statewide honors sponsored by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators.


The 2016 DCPS Great Expectations Customer Service Award was presented today to Donna Richard, a food services manager at Meadow Lands Elementary School. Richard will be nominated by the district for the KASA “Fred” Award. Donna Richard has a true “servant’s heart.” She is always smiling and is kind to everyone she meets. For many of our students, Richard is the first member of the Meadow Lands staff who welcomes them to a new day at school as they go through the breakfast line. Even as the serving line moves quickly and efficiently, somehow Richard always finds time to listen and to share a word of encouragement to start each child’s day on a positive note. She is always responds with kindness and compassion – no matter what. She reaches out beyond the cafeteria to support teachers and school-wide events. She often joins kids out on the walking trail in the morning and mid-day to support their efforts and emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. Donna Richard is the first to volunteer when there is a need anywhere in the district. When other managers have been out on extended medical leaves, she has stepped in to keep those programs running smoothly. She is able to do this because she has provided such excellent support among her own team that they are prepared and confident to step into leadership roles themselves. Richard leads by example in earning and maintaining appropriate job-related certifications, and supports her staff in advancing their own learning and qualifications. In a world of people who are hungry for kindness and starving to know someone cares, Donna Richard provides delicious and nutritious meals, but most of all, she fills hearts with the knowledge that someone truly cares for them.


Debbie Hill was named DCPS Great Expectations Office Professional and will be nominated by the district for the KASA Wanda Luttrell Office Professional Award. Throughout Debbie Hill’s 24 years of service as a school secretary and bookkeeper at Highland Elementary School, she has made a difference each day with compassion and pride. Her service to the Highland family goes far beyond her job: She is an innovator, problem-solver and a dynamic member of the team. She is always ready with a smile and a listening ear. The ways in which Debbie Hill demonstrates her concern for others are numerous, but here are just a few:


Debbie Hill makes sure all students – and teachers – have classroom supplies.

She takes her service as a member of Highland’s Safety Committee seriously.

She takes pride in the appearance of Highland Elementary School, its building and grounds.

She serves on the school’s Leader In Me Lighthouse Team.

When there is a child in need, Hill moves quietly behind the scenes to be sure that need is met.

She cares! When our district says “All means ALL,” Debbie Hill takes that to heart.

She sets a wonderful example for our students by demonstrating the habits we desire in our children: Debbie Hill is dependable, efficient, always on time … she embraces others with a warm, cheerful, positive attitude … she works hard … and she loves people. She is like a second mother to every member of the Highland family. She demonstrates a servant’s heart as she encourages others and inspires them to be the best they can be.


These awards represent the continued commitment of the DCPS district and its staff – certified and support – regarding student achievement. Superintendent Owens Saylor said, “I am so proud of these outstanding individuals, who are setting a powerful example for the students they serve through their positive attitudes, hard work and commitment to excellence.”

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The Daviess County Public Schools district prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, marital or parental status, political affiliations or beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, disability, or limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions in its employment practices, educational programs and activities, and provides equal access to its facilities to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.