KCTCS announces Commonwealth’s Most Outstanding High School Teacher/Counselor

By Cory McCauley, Building Kentucky

Mildred Blank and Judy Eversole were honored by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) at Buckhorn High School’s awards night.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) announced the winners of the first-ever Pathfinder Award today. The award recognizes individuals for their outstanding efforts in assisting students with their college-going and career plans. Each of the system’s 16 colleges selected a local winner from their service areas and an overall statewide award winner was selected from among the college winners. 

The statewide Pathfinder Award honor will be shared by Mildred Blank and Judy Eversole from Buckhorn High School representing Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) service area.  These two individuals had to overcome tremendous odds in assisting students with their college plans due to flood damage at the school and in the local community.  

“We are extremely proud that Judy and Mildred were chosen as the statewide winners,” said HCTC President Dr. Jennifer Lindon. “This award is a token of appreciation for the tireless work they do for their students and the Buckhorn community,” she noted. “Judy and Mildred show every day what it means to foster relationships with students and guide them toward an educational pathway that best suits them,” she added. 

HCTC Admissions Advisor Tammy Duff nominated the two winners. “I am so thrilled for Mildred and Judy to be chosen as the overall state winners of the KCTCS Pathfinder Award! These ladies are very deserving, especially after the school year they just had,” said Duff. “They have worked tirelessly to assist their seniors in being ready for life after high school over the last eight years that I have been HCTC’s recruiter and advisor for Buckhorn.”

The 16 KCTCS individual college winners include:

  • Ashland Community and Technical College – Barbara LeMaster, Greenup County High School
  • Big Sandy Community and Technical College – Amy Moore, East Ridge High School
  • Bluegrass Community and Technical College – Brandy Ashford, Bryan Station High School
  • Elizabethtown Community and Technical College – Diane Harned, Grayson County High School
  • Gateway Community and Technical College – Joel Ford, Connor High School
  • Hazard Community and Technical College – Mildred Blank and Judy Eversole, Buckhorn High School                                  
  • Henderson Community College – Steve Welch, Henderson County High School Career and Technical Education Unit
  • Hopkinsville Community College – Janay Futrell, Trigg County High School
  • Jefferson Community and Technical College – Chrissie Moon, Christian Academy of Louisville
  • Madisonville Community College – Lauren Wood, Hopkins County Career and Technical Center
  • Maysville Community and Technical College – Ashley Hughes, Mason County High School
  • Owensboro Community and Technical College – Amanda Jerome, Daviess County Public Schools
  • Somerset Community College – Kelsey Hargis, Southwestern High School
  • Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College – Melanie Morrison, Bowling Green High School
  • Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College – Cristal Pace, Harlan High School
  • West Kentucky Community and Technical College – Megan Bolin, McCracken County High School

“High school teachers and counselors play a critical role in assisting students with their post-high school education and career plans,” KCTCS President Larry Ferguson said. “We are proud to honor all these ‘unsung heroes’ who provide students with mentoring and support as they make important decisions about their future.”

Any Kentucky high school teacher or counselor was eligible for the Pathfinder Award, with individuals being nominated by current KCTCS students or faculty/staff members. A total of 230 individuals were nominated statewide.

More information about the KCTCS Pathfinder Award and photos of local winners can be found at https://kctcs.edu/pathfinder-award.aspx

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