Semifinalists named for 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Nine outstanding teachers from across the state – three elementary, three middle and four high school – are semifinalists for the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and Valvoline Inc. announced on Sept. 1.

Winners of the elementary, middle and high school Teacher of the Year awards, in addition to the overall 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, will be announced in a virtual ceremony later this fall.

Competing for Elementary Teacher of the Year are:
Samuel Northern
Simpson Elementary (Simpson County)
Donnie Piercey
Stonewall Elementary (Fayette County)
Donnie Wilkerson
Jamestown Elementary (Russell County)
The middle school semifinalists are:
Laura Peavley
Westport Middle (Jefferson County)
Jeannette Teater
The Providence School (Jessamine County)
Tia Wood
Ballyshannon Middle (Boone County)
In the high school category, the semifinalists are:
Lori Knapp-Lindsay
Boone County Ignite Academy
Christopher McCurry
Lafayette High (Fayette County)
Scott Wade
Newcomer Academy (Jefferson County)

“Teachers are essential to not only the educational, but the social and emotional well-being of our children. We have witnessed that firsthand this year,” said KDE Interim Commissioner of Education Kevin C. Brown. “These award-winning educators represent more than 42,000 of their colleagues who are doing anything and everything to serve their students and ensure learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. I congratulate them and thank all Kentucky teachers for their outstanding efforts during these challenging times.”

The nine semifinalists are among 24 educators in Kentucky who were named 2021 Valvoline™ Teacher Achievement Award winners. They were chosen based on their scores from the first round of judging, which was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators. Applications included nominees’ teaching philosophies, teaching experiences, involvement in their respective communities and letters of recommendation.

A classroom lesson review and interview with each of the nine semifinalists will result in the selection of the 2021 Elementary School, Middle School and High School Teachers of the Year.

The semifinalist with the highest cumulative score will be named the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. That individual will go on to represent Kentucky in the 2021 National Teacher of the Year competition.

Valvoline will present the 24 recipients of the Teacher Achievement Award with a cash award and certificate during a virtual awards ceremony in October. The three Kentucky Teachers of the Year also will receive custom-designed glassware commemorating their accomplishments.

Valvoline, an independent, publicly-traded company with its world headquarters in Lexington, is a proud sponsor of the Teacher Achievement Awards and the Kentucky Teacher of the Year programs.

About Valvoline™

Valvoline Inc. (NYSE: VVV) is a leading worldwide marketer and supplier of premium branded lubricants and automotive services, with sales in more than 140 countries. Established in 1866, the company's heritage spans over 150 years, during which it has developed powerful brand recognition across multiple product and service channels. Valvoline ranks as the No. 3 passenger car motor oil brand in the DIY market by volume. It operates and franchises more than 1,300 quick-lube locations, including the No. 2 quick-lube chain by number of stores in the United States under the Valvoline Instant Oil ChangeSM brand and the No. 3 quick-lube chain by number of stores in Canada under the Great Canadian Oil Change brand. It also markets Valvoline lubricants and automotive chemicals, including the new Valvoline™ Modern Engine Full Synthetic Motor Oil, which is specifically engineered to protect against carbon build-up in Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), turbo and other engines manufactured since 2012; Valvoline High Mileage with MaxLife technology motor oil for engines over 75,000 miles; Valvoline Synthetic motor oil; and Zerex™ antifreeze. To learn more, visit

TM Trademark, Valvoline or its subsidiaries, registered in various countries
SM Service mark, Valvoline or its subsidiaries, registered in various countries ® Trademark owned by third party

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