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Give me an ‘E’ — for Elmore

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EIS honors ExCEL winner

By Kelly Cantrall

T.K. Stone Middle School usually focuses on the three Rs, but posters displayed Wednesday were bearing the three Es — E’town, ExCEL, Elmore.

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Thad Elmore, a social studies teacher at the school, was honored Wednesday at the annual ExCEL ceremony for Elizabethtown Independent Schools. Elmore’s ability to be a friend to all was noted by his colleagues and students at an afternoon ceremony at the school.

Elmore was selected as the 20th EIS ExCEL winner earlier in the year. The ExCEL award, which stands for Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership, is an award given in several school systems in the region. It’s sponsored by WHAS-TV, LG&E and Kentucky Utilities.

T.K. Stone teacher and Elmore’s sister-in-law, Cindy Carter, read a poem she wrote with eighth-grader Justus Love, calling Elmore a “legend in Panther time.”

Assistant Principal Joe Nepi said Elmore is “a friend to all of us at this school,” and it’s this ability that makes him a favorite among the students.

“The best teachers are the ones who can be a friend to the students when they need it,” Nepi said.

Nepi said many of the students he asked said Elmore made class fun, with one saying, “he makes social studies rock.”

Eighth-grader Conner Kindred is a player on the  T.K. Stone football team, which is coached by Elmore. Kindred said Elmore taught him about responsibility and that he looks to him as a leader.

“I think he’s an amazing man,” Kindred said.

Elmore was visibly emotional when he thanked the students, staff and family, including his mother, father and stepfather, all of whom were in the education field as well.

He said it’s the students who motivate him the most and said he loves speaking with them in the hallways.

“I love each and every moment, even though I may not act like it all the time,” he joked.

He ended with encouraging students to reach what they know to be their full potential, without letting anyone tell them otherwise.

“Take that as a challenge,” he said. “Don’t let others determine what you can and can’t do.”

Along with the ExCEL award, Elmore was given $1,000 by LG&E and KU for his classroom. He was also recognized by Elizabethtown Mayor Tim Walker, Hardin County Judge-Executive Harry Berry, and representatives of Congressman Brett Guthrie, Sen. Dennis Parrett, Rep. Jimmie Lee, D-Elizabethtown, the Lions Club and the T.K. Stone Parent Teacher Organization.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.