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Morningside’s Rogers named EIS' ExCEL winner

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Teaching is all in the family

By Kelly Cantrall

Morningside Elementary School’s gain was Kentucky School Supplies’ loss when Wesley Rogers was hired at the school.

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Rogers, a second-grade teacher at Morningside , has been named the newest ExCEL winner for Elizabethtown Independent Schools.

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.

Rogers has a deep connection to teaching and to Morningside. She attended Morningside and her father and sister taught at the school. She took her sister’s position when her sister decided to become a stay-at-home mom.

Rogers’ mother was an elementary teacher, too.

“I was around it my whole life,” Rogers said.

Rogers spent a lot of time at Kentucky School Supplies when she was younger, and the allure of the stickers and glitter made her want a career as a KSS employee, until she saw how her parents used the supplies and decided she liked that even better.

She decided to become a teacher. Despite a positive experience with a social studies teacher at Elizabethtown High School that made her contemplate teaching older kids, she decided to go into elementary education like her family. She’s been at Morningside for her entire six-year career.

“I was so excited to be back here,” she said.

Rogers was nominated by another ExCEL winner, but was hesitant at first to go through the process when Principal Kelli Bush asked.

“I don’t like all the spotlights and attention,” she said.

Teachers are nominated at the school level. Nominees from each school in the district complete an application, is observed in the classroom and is interviewed before a winner is selected.

But Bush and others who had been through the process encouraged her, telling her it was positive no matter the outcome, because it gives teachers a chance to reflect on their skills.

“As a teacher, you need to grow,” she said.

She learned in the middle of January that she had won, and felt a lot of relief at knowing the outcome. She said she felt like a weight had been lifted from her.

Rogers wrote in her ExCEL application that she was proud to be a part of the teaching profession. She learned the importance of education from her parents, as well as teachers in her past, she said.

“Teaching is not only my career, but more importantly, my calling,” she wrote.

A district-wide celebration for Rogers is March 7.

PAST EIS ExCEL WINNERS

  • 1991-92 Ruth Sorace, Elizabethtown High School
  • 1992-93 Andrea Atcher, EHS, T.K. Stone Middle School, Morningside Elementary
  • 1993-94 Mary Hall, Helmwood Heights Elementary
  • 1994-95 Don Mullins, EHS
  • 1995-96 Ginger Porter, Morningside
  • 1996-97 Preston Bailey, EHS
  • 1997-98 Greg Caplinger, T.K. Stone
  • 1998-99 Mary Stewart, Morningside
  • 1999-00 Barbara Bunch, EHS
  • 2000-01 Kelly Cruze, Morningside
  • 2001-02 Pat Black, T.K. Stone
  • 2002-03 Shannon Keen, Morningside
  • 2003-04 Bridgett Stinson, Helmwood
  • 2004-05 David Grossman, Morningside
  • 2005-06 Jessica Turner, Helmwood
  • 2006-07 Kristin Willett, Morningside
  • 2007-08 Carole Brown, Morningside
  • 2008-09 Holly Walker, EHS
  • 2009-10 Gary Pearman, T.K. Stone
  • 2010-11 Thad Elmore, T.K. Stone

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