Asbury Graduate Reflects on Kentucky Teacher of the Year Honors – Asbury University
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December 15, 2021

With his year of serving as Kentucky Teacher of the Year (KTOY) coming to a close, Asbury University graduate Donnie Piercey ’04 visited his alma mater in November to talk to high schoolers from around the state at Asbury’s Educators Rising College Day.

“It has been the honor of my professional life to be the ambassador for Kentucky’s educators over the past year, said Piercey, reflecting on his time as KTOY. “During my time at Asbury, I experienced the value and impact that a true community can have on its members.” 

He continued, “This year has been a difficult one for teachers across the Commonwealth, and I believe that it’s the strength of the educator community that is holding our profession together during this difficult time.” 

Currently a fifth-grade teacher at Stonewall Elementary School in Fayette County, the Asbury grad is concluding his six-month sabbatical with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) in order to travel the state and the nation advocating for teachers and students across the Commonwealth. This included his visit to Asbury where he passed along advice to Asbury Academy high schoolers at the Asbury School of Education’s first Educators Rising College Day.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Asbury EdRising regional event,” said National Educators Rising High School Ambassador Audrey Gilbert. “From meeting new students and learning about Asbury itself, to the impromptu lesson planning activity, everything was the perfect balance of fun and informative!”

This exciting acknowledgement for Piercey as well as the first hosting of Asbury EdRising also comes in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Education awarding Asbury’s School of Education up to $60,000 in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief I (ESSER I) New Teacher Support funding.

“I am thrilled that we are receiving this funding,” said Dr. Sharon Bixler, dean of the School of Education, “Our education graduates leave Asbury well-equipped for a teaching career, but now we get to come alongside them and offer them more support throughout their first years, which always presents its unique challenges.”

This grant will help the program’s students with career-oriented books, classroom resources, and will even pay for participants to take a course, EDG 510 Culture, Design & Management, in which classroom culture, daily organization, conferencing skills, managing the workload, teaching style, and teacher/student and teacher/parent relationships will be explored.

To learn more about Asbury’s School of Education, visit asbury.edu/academics/departments/education.