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KEA Members Explain Why They Decided to Run for the Kentucky General Assembly Joy Gray: “We Must Stand Up, Step Out and Make a Difference” I decided to run for office because we can no longer stand quietly by and hope someone will do something to improve public education in the Commonwealth; I decided it was time to do my share. I am a proud member of KEARetired. I have taught every grade level from kindergarten through college. I have a BS in elementary education and special education. I have a masters in elementary education with a reading endorsement and a Rank I in curriculum. I also taught Intro to Education at Apollo High School and at Owensboro Community and Technical College. I believe that my experiences will enable me to make the best decisions for the students and teachers of Kentucky. I also hope KEA-Retired member Joy Gray (right), a longtime to improve our students’ lives. We KEA leader, is running for the Kentucky House of must stand up, step out and make a Representatives in District 7. She posed with Alison difference. Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky Secretary of State, I have been active in the Daviess during a campaign event. County Education Association, KEA and NEA from the day I signed my lobby legislators other than our own. first contract. I even belonged as a student I served as a KEA building representative, member. We were always writing letters as a local officer, as a district officer, on the and making phone calls to our legislators. KEA board of directors and on the KEPAC We used to be able to go to Frankfort and board of directors. I have been a delegate

to the NEA Representative Assembly about 15 times. I served on the NEA Resolutions Committee. I know the importance of being politically involved and aware. When I became active in KEPAC, first as a local leader and then on the state board, I thought I knew politics inside out. I attended the political speeches at the Fancy Farm picnic every year. There, at the Marshall County Bean Supper, a young lady was walking around talking about Emerge Kentucky, a program to train Democratic women to run for office. Several people tried to get me to join for several years. In 2014 I decided to give it a try. I was accepted into the program in December and classes began January 2015. We had a wonderful group of women from across the Commonwealth. Each month we learned about each other and ourselves. As the training went on I was asked, “Where will you do the most good for education?” I originally thought I would get the training and use it to run for the Daviess County Board of Education. But as the reality sunk in that true change comes from the legislature I began to lean toward running for State Representative in District 7. Throughout my years of teaching I watched as the profession became more Please see “Joy Gray” on page 5

Cyndi Skellie: “I Run Because We Are at a Critical Juncture” I am running for the position of State Representative in the 58th District (Shelby County) for my own children, for the children who have come through my classroom, for those who are in my classroom today, and for those who will learn in my classroom in the future. I am concerned about the issues that cause barriers to learning and growing for our children and for our community. As a state representative, I hope to pass legislation to promote public education, to protect the nobility of work, and to keep Kentucky citizens healthy and able. I decided to run because we are at a critical juncture. I am concerned about the prospect of charter school legislation and about the expense and time of excessive testing in our schools. I believe Frankfort needs voices of reason and commitment to our children and their education. I have always been a teacher. After substitute teaching fresh out of college, I was hired in 1993 at Henry County Middle School to teach 8th grade U.S. history. I also directed the musicals there. After four years, I was hired at Shelby County High School to teach 11th grade U.S. history and 9th–12th grade drama and theatre dance classes. I have been here ever since.

I joined KEA when I started teaching. My aunt Sue Ward, my dear friend and former colleague Kenton Cooper and my third grade teacher, Joyce Dotson, encouraged my membership and involvement in KEA. My first experience with KEA at the state level was serving on a membership committee. I served on the scholarship committee at the local level and have served several terms as Shelby County Education Association President. Because of KEA I have been able to testify before legislative committees. Because of KEA I have been able to sit in the House gallery at the State Capitol and hear the State of the State Cyndi Powell Skellie, President of the Shelby County Education address. I am grateful for Association and a candidate for the Kentucky House in District these experiences. 58, works with students Brianna Soard and Tori Hinds during a When Ernie Fletcher social studies class at Shelby County High School. was governor, my superintendent released me for the needs of students and teachers. to go to Frankfort with other KEA leaders The time I spent in Frankfort made me to speak to my legislators about the realize that we need pro-education, prohealth insurance crisis and to advocate student, progressive representatives in Please see “Cyndi Skellie” on page 5


Interested in Attending the 2017 NEA RA in Boston? Nominations Due at KEA by January 17 Active KEA members who are interested in attending the 2017 NEA RA may nominate themselves to be elected as delegates. Active members will elect state delegates in an online election scheduled for March 1-31, 2017. (Retired and student members will choose their delegates to the RA in separate elections.) Nominees will run and be elected in either the “East” or “West” region. Your region is determined by the county where you work. You may run and vote only in the appropriate region. Members who wish to run in the delegate election should complete the nomination form below and return it to KEA. Only the official nomination form (whether the original or a copy) will be accepted. You must limit the biographical information you provide to 25 words or less. KEA reserves the right to edit the information you submit for accuracy, spelling and grammar, and will include on the election ballot only the first 25 words of any submission. You may submit a

photo with your nomination form, but that is not required. If you choose to submit a photo, a regular paper photo is acceptable; a photo submitted electronically should be submitted in jpeg format. Properly completed forms may be submitted any one of three ways: via fax to (502) 696-8915; via e-mail to KEA-NEA-Delegate@; or via regular mail to Kentucky Education Association, ATTN: NEA Delegate Election, 401 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. All nomination forms must be received at KEA by the deadline, 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Tuesday, January 17, 2017. Forms received after the deadline will not be accepted. More information is available at, including the KEA policy on stipends for delegates and an electronic form you can complete in order to nominate yourself online. All Active members of KEA should vote for statewide delegates online at The eleciton will be open March 1-31, 2017.

Counties in the West Region

Counties in the East Region

Allen Anderson Ballard Barren Breckinridge Bullitt Butler Caldwell Calloway Carlisle Carroll Christian Crittenden Cumberland Daviess Edmonson Fulton Graves Grayson Green Hancock Hardin

Hart Henderson Henry Hickman Hopkins Jefferson LaRue Livingston Logan Lyon Marion Marshall McCracken McLean Meade Metcalfe Monroe Muhlenberg Nelson Ohio Oldham Owen

Shelby Simpson Spencer Taylor Todd Trigg Trimble Union Warren Washington Webster

Kentucky Education Association

Adair Bath Bell Boone Bourbon Boyd Boyle Bracken Breathitt Campbell Carter Casey Clark Clay Clinton Elliott Estill Fayette Fleming Floyd Franklin Gallatin

Garrard Grant Greenup Harlan Harrison Jackson Jessamine Johnson Kenton Knott Knox Laurel Lawrence Lee Leslie Letcher Lewis Lincoln Madison Magoffin Martin Mason

November 2016

McCreary Menifee Mercer Montgomery Morgan Nicholas Owsley Pendleton Perry Pike Powell Pulaski Robertson Rockcastle Rowan Russell Scott Wayne Whitley Wolfe Woodford

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Issue No. 2


As Implementation of ESSA Begins, Commissioner’s Steering Committee Already at Work on New Accountability System The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), federal legislation that was signed into law in December 2015, replaces No Child Left Behind. NCLB was the 2002 legislation that relied heavily on standardized testing of students and punishment of schools whose students did not achieve arbitrary measures on those tests. ESSA, like NCLB, is a reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a component of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” The original legislation provided federal funds for public schools in states that met guidelines designed to provide equal opportunity to high quality education for all children . When ESSA became law, the Kentucky Department of Education already was looking


Volume 53, Issue 2 November 2016 Stephanie Winkler President Eddie Campbell Vice President

Charles Main Editor Periodical postage paid at Williamsport, PA. KEA News is published four times a year, in September, November, March and May, by the Kentucky Education Association, 401 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, KY 40601. Phone 800-231-4532. KEA News is the official publi­cation of KEA and reaches all KEA members. The annual subscription rate to members is $1.50, included in annual dues. The subscription rate to others is $5. ISSN 0164-3959

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to the Accountability Steering Committee, which will report its findings to the Kentucky Board of Education. Right now, ESSA requires implementation of a new accountability system by the 2017-18 school year, and this is the timeline under which the commissioner and the committees are currently working. However, because the federal regulations to implement ESSA are not yet final, that timeline could change. Once its provisions are fully implemented ESSA will impact not just accountability but also many other aspects of public education. If you would like more information about KEA’s involvement in the development of the new accountability system or about other aspects of ESSA implementation in Kentucky, contact KEA President Stephanie Winkler at

ESSA Paraeducators Advisory Group to Meet With Commissioner Pruitt November 5

Mary Ruble Executive Director

Postmaster: Send address changes to KEA News, 401 Capitol Avenue Frankfort, KY 40601

at ways to reinvent our state accountability system to better reflect the remarkable progress our schools and students are making. As the first step in that process, Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt held a series of town hall meetings earlier this year. Part of the purpose of those meetings was to begin the process of getting public input on the new accountability system. Since then, Pruitt appointed a 37-member Accountability Steering Committee and charged it with making recommendations about the structure and functions of the new system. KEA President Stephanie Winkler is a member of that committee. As you can see from the graphic above, the Steering Committee is not working alone. There are several committees, each with a different focus, all of which include KEA members, community leaders and other education stakeholders. Ultimately each subcommittee will make recommendations

During his keynote speech at KEA’s 2016 RESPECT Conference, Kentucky Education Commissioner Dr. Stephen Pruitt challenged KEA to be a leader in the efforts to give paraeducators across the state a voice in the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. KEA accepted the challenge and assembled a geographically and demographically diverse group of paraeducators to come to Frankfort for a meeting with Commissioner Pruitt. That meeting will take place on November 5. The committee will discuss ESP impact on student learning, school funding, the accountability dashboard and other ways that ESPs contribute to student success. If you would like more information, contact KEA President Stephanie Winkler at

Issue No. 2

Kentucky Education Association


KEPAC Recommends These Candidates Who Support Public Education in Kentucky KEPAC, the Kentucky Educators’ Political Action Committee, endorsed these education-friendly candidates because their records or stated positions show their support for policies that we believe benefit all public school students and employees. KEA’s highest priorities are to ensure adequate funding and support for a high quality public education for every Kentucky student; to assure that Kentucky’s teachers, ESPs, students and retirees have the resources necessary to thrive in an everchanging educational environment; and to assure

that public school employees can expect a fullyfunded public pension. When you go to your polling place on Tuesday, November 8, remember to “Be an Education Voter.” Cast your ballot for candidates who believe in public education, who support public school employees, and who will work with us to ensure quality public education for every Kentucky student. For more informaton about KEPAC and the KEPAC endorsement process, or to find out how to get involved, go to

Candidates Recommended by KEPAC for the Kentucky House of Representatives 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 19 20 22 23 24 25 27 34

Michael R. Murphy (D) Jesse Wright (D) Gerald Watkins (D) David Ramey (D) Will Coursey (D) Joy Gray (D) Jeffrey Taylor (D) Dean Schamore (D) David Watkins (D) Jim Townsend (D) Jim Glenn (D) Tommy Thompson (D) Brent Yonts (D) Martha Jane King (D) Michael Meredith (R) Jody Richards (D) Wilson Stone (D) Danny Basil (D) Terry Mills (D) Michael Dile (D) Jeff Greer (D) Mary Lou Marzian (D)

(Listed by House District) 35 38 39 40 42 45 47 49 50 51 53 54 55 56 57 58 62 64 66 67 70 72

Jim Wayne (D) McKenzie Cantrell (D) Russ Meyer (D) Dennis Horlander (D) Reggie Meeks (D) Pam Sigler (D) Rick Rand (D) Linda Belcher (D) James DeWeese (D) John “Bam” Carney (R) James Sargent (D) Bill Noelker (D) Tobie Brown (D) James Kay (D) Derrick Graham (D) Cyndi Skellie (D) Chuck Tackett (D) Lucas Deaton (D) Addia Wuchner (R) Dennis Keene (D) John Sims (D) Sannie Overly (D)

75 Kelly Flood (D) 76 Ruth Ann Palumbo (D) 77 George Brown (D) 78 Tom McKee (D) 79 Susan Westrom (D) 80 David Meade (R) 81 Rita Smart (D) 82 Bill Conn (D) 84 Fitz Steele (D) 86 Jim Stewart (R) 87 Rick Nelson (D) 90 Tim Couch (R) 91 Cluster Howard (D) 92 John Short (D) 93 Chris Harris (D) 94 Angie Hatton (D) 95 Greg Stumbo (D) 96 Jill York (R) 97 Hubie Collins (D) 98 Lew Nicholls (D) 99 Rocky Adkins (D) 100 Kevin Sinnette (D)

Candidates Recommended by KEPAC for the Kentucky Senate (Listed by Senate District)

5 7 13 17

Leslie J. Stith (D) Julian Carroll (D) Reggie Thomas (D) Charlie Hoffman (D)

19 29 31 33

Kentucky Education Association

Morgan McGarvey (D) Johnny Ray Turner (D) Ray Jones (D) Gerald Neal (D)

35 Denise Harper Angel (D) 37 Perry Clark (D)

November 2016

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Issue No. 2


Joy Gray, Candidate for KY House District 7 Continued from page 1

paper driven. Paperwork became more important than the students. Education began to feel more like we were a factory producing a product, instead of educators guiding human beings to become a part of society. Testing became the main focus, our students were suffering, and the teachers were stressed to the max with outcome-driven data. Scores were the most important outcome. That is not why I became a teacher. I became a teacher because I love people. I

love it when a student finally grasps an idea and it makes sense to her. I love it when a student wants to learn more and seeks a more in-depth understanding. That is what a great public education is all about. It is up to each one of us to make a difference. We each have to find our level of involvement, but we must be involved. I am running to be an advocate for all Kentucky children and public school educators. I look forward to serving you and supporting your work.

NOTE Harlan County EA Member Emmanuel Anama-Green is Kentucky Spanish Teacher of the Year

Cyndi Skellie, for Kentucky House District 58 Continued from page 1

the legislature. We need to support public education and allow change to occur organically in our public schools. We need to encourage innovation and positive change. When I told a few people that I was considering a run for the House of Representatives because I wanted to be a positive force, Austin Redmon, a former SCHS student, encouraged me. He wrote me a letter detailing why I should run and why I can win. I agreed with every word, and here I am.

In December of 2015, I was accepted to the Emerge Kentucky class of 2016. I would suggest to anyone who is considering running to “just do it!” It is so important to have caring and compassionate individuals in our General Assembly. If you are a Democrat and a woman interested in making a difference in your community or the Commonwealth, please consider applying to Emerge Kentucky. You can find more information at

Bill Conn, Candidate for Kentucky House District 82: “We Must Fight for Students” As we are closing in on Education Association, the end of this election and I served for three cycle, I want to thank my years. I then served as KEA colleagues for all of the alternate for the the support you have Senate Territory 25 given me as I make this seat on the State run to represent the KEPAC Committee, and 82nd District. as county chair for My family has always KEPAC in Whitley supported KEA. We County. helped start the local All those experiences education association at led me to this moment. Williamsburg We have a lot of work Independent. My to do in our state. We grandmother, Doris must fight for our Allison, was a former retirement. We must president of the local. My fight to be mother, Meg Allison Judd, KEA member Bill Conn (left), on the campaign appropriately was also a former compensated. Most trail in his race for the 82nd District of the Kentucky House of Representatives. president of the local. I sat importantly, we must at the kitchen table in my fight for a quality youth hearing of the struggles that come with public education for every Kentucky student. being an educator. I also saw that when a group I will continue to fight for state funded of educators come together, change can happen. preschool and to make sure that Family When I started into the teacher education Resource Centers are funded. I will fight to program at the University of the Cumberlands, I make sure that we give our children the tools knew I would be an active member of KEA. As I necessary for employment in the 21st started my career, I attended all the local century and beyond. association meetings and the school board I am running to make sure these things meetings. I saw how our local president stood up become reality. From special education and spoke out to improve the quality of instructors to general education instructors, education for our students. to the bus driver, custodian, cook, and the I was then elected to serve as the president secretary, I gladly stand with you. of my local, the Williamsburg Independent November 2016

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Issue No. 2

Emmanuel Anama-Green, a KEA member who teaches Spanish II at Harlan County High School, is the Kentucky World Language Association’s Outstanding Spanish Teacher for 2016. Anama-Green was recommended for the award by the Kentucky Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. He holds an associate degree from Southeast Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and an MAT in P-12 Spanish from Morehead State University and a Rank I in Spanish Language and Culture from the Guantanamo, Mexico, campus of Southern Oregon University. He joined KEA while a student at Morehead; he has been an Active member since 2009.

Boone County’s Todd Hanley named PLTW

MS Teacher of the Year

KEA member Todd Hanley of R.A. Jones Middle School in Boone County is the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Middle School Gateway Teacher of the Year. PLTW provides transformative learning experiences for K-12 students across the U.S. through hands-on activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. Hanley was recognized as a Master Teacher for PLTW earlier this year. Hanley teaches design and modeling, robotics, and “Medical Detectives.” Hanley was honored along with the other PLTW award winners at a dinner prior to the beginning of their state conference on October 2nd in Shelbyville.

Kentucky Education Association

6 The K EA Award for Teaching Excellence

Nominations for 2017 Smith-Wilson Award Must be Submitted to KEA by February 3, 2017

The KEA Award for Teaching Excellence, which is presented each year at the KEA Delegate Assembly, recognizes, rewards, and promotes excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession. The award is presented to a member of KEA who has been nominated by her or his local association. The winner receives $1,000 cash and automatically is nominated for the Horace Mann-NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence. All current Active, certified members of KEA are eligible, including higher education faculty and staff. Each KEA local affiliate may submit one nomination per year. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, February 15, 2017. You can find more information about the award, including the nomination form and details about how your local can nominate someone, at, under the “Members” tab.

KEA’s Lucy Harth Smith /Atwood S. Wilson Award for Human and Civil Rights in Education is presented to an individual or group for one or more of the following: continuing work in the area of multicultural education; contributions to the advancement of educational opportunities for minorities; contributions to the availability of multicultural educational materials; contributions in the areas of innovative and creative strategies to advance and develop leadership opportunities for gender equitable and culturally diverse populations; and leadership in the field of human relations. Nominations for the 2017 award will be accepted until February 3, 2017. The Smith-Wilson nomination form can be found at under the “Members” tab. Once the nomination form is complete, it should be submitted by a member of the KEA Diversity Committee. A list of the Diversity Committee members is also available on the KEA website. For more information, contact Rosalind Bryant, toll-free at (800) 231-4532, or by email to

Deadline for Delegate Assembly Submissions is Tuesday, January 17 Delegates to the 145th KEA Delegate Assembly, to be held April 5-8, 2017 in Louisville, will elect a KEA Ethnic Minority Director at Large to serve a three-year term on the KEA Board of Directors, and will also elect an NEA Director to fill the remainder of an unexpired term and a full three-year term. Active KEA members who are interested in running for either of these positions must submit the official candidate declaration form no later than 5:00 pm (EST) on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. The form is available under the “Members” tab at Assembly delegates also will vote on any proposed amendments to the KEA Constitution. Members wishing to propose amendments must submit them to the KEA Compliance/Constitution Committee, c/o Rich Mullins, KEA Assistant Executive Director for Programs, by 5:00 pm (EST) on the same day.

Apply for a $1,000 Read Across America Grant for Your School Is your school library in desperate need of books? If you are a member of KEA/NEA and you work in a school that educates disadvantaged students you should consider applying for a $1,000 Read Across America Library Grant from NEA. For more information, contact Christiana Campos at or by calling 202-822-7261. The application deadline for the 2017 program is November 28, 2016. Only NEA members are eligible to apply.

Kentucky Education Association

Diversity Lesson Plan Contest Four KEA members will each win $200 at the Smith-Wilson Award Breakfast for submitting the winning entries in the KEA Diversity Lesson Plan Contest, administered annually by the KEA Diversity Committee. The deadline for submission of entries is February 3, 2017. All entries must be submitted by email to, or by mail to KEA Diversity Lesson Plan Contest, 401 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. The entry form and format requirements will be available at on December 1, 2016. By entering the KEA Diversity Lesson Plan Contest, you consent to the publication of your lesson plan submission if selected as a winning entry. The winning lesson plan entries will be posted at after the KEA Delegate Assembly.

The K EA ESP of the Year Award The KEA Education Support Professional of the Year Award recognizes the contributions of Education Support Professionals to their schools, their communities and their professions. The award is presented each year at the KEA Delegate Assembly to a member of KEA who demonstrates outstanding accomplishments and reflects the contributions of ESP to public education. The winner receives $1,000 cash and automatically is nominated for the NEA ESP of the Year Award. To be eligible, the nominee must be an education support professional who is a current member of KEA and who has been a member for three years as of January 15. The deadline to submit nominations for the 2017 award is Wednesday February 15, 2017. More information, including the nomination form and instructions, is available at, under the “Members” tab.

November 2016

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Issue No. 2

7 California Casualty Offers Athletics Grants of Up to $3,000 for Middle and High Schools If your high school or middle school is in need of financial help for its sports programs, you can apply for a California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant of up to $3,000. You must apply at by January 15, 2017 in order to be considered for a grant for the 2016/2017 year. Grant winners will be announced in April 2017. The grant is named after California Casualty Chairman Emeritus Tom Brown, who is a firm believer that lessons taught on the playing field – teamwork, confidence and

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sportsmanship – help develop youth who are more engaged in the classroom and the community. Since the inception of this program in 2011, California Casualty has awarded more than $500,000 to more than 400 schools across the nation. Last year, Johnson Central High School and Boone County’s Larry A. Ryle High School each received a $1,000 California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant. Johnson Central High used the grant to defray travel expenses to games and provide new training equipment for the baseball team. The Ryle High soccer team benefited from new equipment, including balls and goalie gloves, which the coach says will enable more students to participate in the program. California Casualty has other initiatives that give back to educators for all their hard work, including the $2,500 Academic Award, www. calcasacademicaward. com, and $200 Help Your Classroom grants, www.

Issue No. 2

Kentucky Education Association

www. KEA .org

Kentucky Education Association 401 Capital Avenue Frankfort, KY 40601

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Ke n t u c k y E d u c a t i o n A s s o c i a t i o n November 2016 Volume 53 Issue 2

KEA News Volume 53, Issue 2  

The November 2016 issue focuses on the upcoming elections, with first-person pieces by three KEA members who are running for seats in the Ke...

KEA News Volume 53, Issue 2  

The November 2016 issue focuses on the upcoming elections, with first-person pieces by three KEA members who are running for seats in the Ke...