A 30-year veteran teacher at Bowling Green High School, Ron A. Skillern, is the 2017 Kentucky Teacher of the Year.
Valvoline, Inc.™ and the Kentucky Department of Education made the announcement October 19, at a ceremony held at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. Governor Matt Bevin; Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Deputy Secretary Brad Montell; Commissioner of Education Stephen L. Pruitt; and Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer of Valvoline, were on hand to make the presentation.
“Teachers are our most important asset and these teachers represent the best in the state,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen L. Pruitt. “Teachers are the ones who stand between I can and I can’t, between knowledge and ignorance and between impossible and possible. Each day in the classroom, Kentucky’s teachers prove that students can reach the high levels of achievement that will prepare them for success in college, careers and life.”
Skillern received $10,000 and a commemorative crystal-glass bowl. In addition, the Kentucky Department of Education will provide a sabbatical or suitable alternative for Skillern, who also will represent the state in the 2017 National Teacher of the Year competition.
Skillern has taught social studies at Bowling Green High School for 19 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree and Rank I certification at Western Kentucky University and a master’s degree at Vanderbilt. He has designed/taught an intensive course for verbally and mathematically precocious youth at WKU’s Center for Gifted Studies since 1992. As a center volunteer, Skillern secures scholarships for academically deserving but underprivileged students. He recently helped obtain a professional-development grant from the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. Skillern participates in The College Board Advanced Placement Program and is a member of the Kentucky Association of Professional Educators.
Superintendent Gary Fields said, "To me personally, Ron is a mentor, an inspiration, a friend, and one of the proudest BGHS graduates I know."
Valvoline and the Kentucky Department of Education co-sponsor the Kentucky Teacher Achievement Awards. Applications for the program were distributed across the state, and the first tier of the selection process was completed in August, with 24 teachers selected as 2017 Valvoline Inc. Teacher Achievement Award winners.
Press release provided by the Kentucky Department of Education, photo by Bobby Ellis.