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Winning a teaching award in front of students he instructs daily was the most appropriate way for Thad Elmore to learn of his achievement.
Elmore has been selected as the 2010-11 ExCEL winner for the Elizabethtown Independent Schools district. Elmore is a social studies teacher at T.K. Stone Middle School.
Elmore has taught for 13 years, and has taught in three of four schools in the EIS district.
He was asked by Principal Beth Mather to be the T.K. Stone nominee for the ExCEL award, and Elmore joked with her about bringing back another ExCEL win for the school after fellow T.K. Stone teacher Gary Pearman won last year.
Elmore liked that Mather had confidence in him, so he decided to take on the challenge and apply for the award.
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 and E.ON. U.S., a Louisville energy company.
ExCEL nominees have to fill out an application, be observed twice while teaching and complete an interview.
Elmore said the process led him to reflect on his career and the people who have made a difference in his life.
He credits his stepfather, an educator, with making him give education a look as a possible career choice. Elmore has left teaching twice for other opportunities, but always found himself drawn back to the classroom.
He enjoys being with students, which he said keeps him excited to be in education.
“That’s really what keeps me young and keeps me interested,” he said.
It’s the students that made learning he was the ExCEL recipient special as well. His class was interrupted by the announcement from Superintendent Gary French, and Elmore said the students became excited as well when they learned of his accomplishment.
“They were excited for me,” he said. “Which in turn made me more excited.”
Elmore graduated from Elizabethtown High School in 1988. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, and a master’s degree and a Rank I from Western Kentucky University.
The district will hold a celebration for Elmore at 1 p.m. March 2 at the T.K. Stone Performing Arts Center.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous ExCEL winners