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Campbellsville University honors 217 teachers in 76 districts and/or private schools, including teachers in Wayne County

Wayne County Seal


CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University’s 34th annual Excellence in Teaching Award Program Ceremony was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, 217 teachers received the Excellence in Teaching Award from 76 districts and/or private schools in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Twenty-two of the teachers have Campbellsville College or University degrees and nine teachers are National Certified Teachers.

Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said, “The Excellence in Teaching program is one of our most meaningful tributes to Kentucky teachers.

“Teachers deserve recognition for pouring themselves into the lives of our P-12 students. Teachers not only serve students in the classroom, but they make profound impacts in their students’ personal lives and on their future. 

“I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize the best of the best in education!”

Hedgepath, herself a teacher and university professor for several years, would have been present for the ceremony, along with Dr. Lisa Allen, dean of the School of Education.

            Allen said, “During this time of pandemic, teachers have had to be creative and flexible problem solvers in delivering relevant, timely instruction to their students.  

“The teachers who are EIT recipients this year have and will continue to find innovative ways to lead, to teach and to help students succeed regardless of the learning challenges presented by COVID 19. 

“I am sorry that this year, we are unable to have our usual celebration to honor them. I am proud of these teachers who continue to shape the future for all of us regardless of circumstances.”  

A total of 4,163 Kentucky teachers have been honored since the program began in 1987

 with assistance from Earl Aaron and the Ward, Cundiff and Aaron Memorial Fund. The purpose of the program is to recognize the quality teaching and learning taking place in the school systems throughout Kentucky. 

            The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is in partnership with Lexington’s CBS-affiliate, WKYT-TV.

            The teachers are selected by their school districts in each grade level (preschool/elementary, middle and high school).

            The 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award recipients include the following with their superintendent listed first:

Wayne County – Wayne Roberts, superintendent; Leslye Rice, Monticello Elementary School; Lisa Bell, Wayne County Middle School; and George Snyder, Wayne County High School.

Rice, of Monticello, Ky., teaches 4th grade English Language Arts at Monticello Elementary School. She has been employed at Monticello Elementary since 2016.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in Teacher Education from Midway University in 2015. She is a 2001 graduate of Wayne County High School.

She is the daughter of Randall Troxell and the late Connie Troxell. She is married to Noah Rice, and they have three children, Chloye, Addisyn and Charlye Rice.

Bell, of Monticello, Ky., teaches 8th grade social studies at Wayne County Middle School where she has taught since 2000.

She received her bachelor of arts degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 1998. She earned her master of arts degree from Union College in 2003. She is a 1989 graduate of Wayne County High School.

She has two children, Taylor and Shelby Bell.

Snyder, of Somerset, Ky., teaches the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program at Wayne County High School. He has taught at Wayne County High School since 1993.

He received his associate of science degree in 1982 from Georgia Military College. He earned his bachelor of science degree in 1992 from Park College. He is a 1967 graduate of Schley County High School of Ellaville, Ga.

He has one son, David A. Snyder.

The 2020 Excellence in Teaching Committee included: Dr. Lisa Allen, dean of the Campbellsville University School of Education; Elizabeth Franklin, secretary to the dean, School of Education; Lisa Kirtley, data specialist; Natasha Nall, graduate secretary for the School of Education; Dominic Sanfilippo, early childhood program secretary, and Alice Steele, clinic support specialist.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 11,900 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has Kentucky based off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. Out-of-state centers include two in California at Los Angeles and Lathrop, located in the San Francisco Bay region. The website for complete information is

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.

(Article contributed by Scarlett Birge, student news writer, and Joan C. McKinney, director, Office of University Communications)

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