May 31 2012

Campbellsville University Honors Teachers for Excellence in Teaching

Campbellsville University honors 167 teachers throughout 63 Kentucky school districts for excellence in teaching

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator, and Ashley Bolton, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. Brenda Priddy, dean of the Campbellsville University School of Education, congratulated 167 teachers from 63 school districts throughout Kentucky as they received the

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Rockcastle County School System teachers receive Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Awards from Dr. Brenda Priddy, dean of the School of Education, far left, and Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs, far right. Teachers, from left, include: Marcus Reppert of Rockcastle County High School and Jamie L. Cornelius of Mount Vernon Elementary School.

Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award Saturday, May 12 at Winters Dining Hall in the E. Bruce Heilman Student Center Complex on the CU campus.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the teachers we are honoring today truly believe that teaching is a ‘calling’ placed on their lives by our Lord Jesus Christ,” she said.

“May God bless each of you and continue to do mighty works through your service to the teaching profession and through the example that you set for students in your classrooms and schools every day.”

She quoted from Ephesians 4:11-12 where the apostle Paul says: “Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, teachers, so that His people would learn to serve and His body would grow strong.”

Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs, said, “Teaching is certainly a calling. I congratulate you for your efforts in the classroom. It’s a hard job.”

Benji Kelly, vice president for development, gave the invocation for the event and thanked the teachers for their hard work.

The opening remarks were in the Ransdell Chapel before the awards were presented at the Winters Dining Hall. An ensemble from the School of Music played during the lunch.

Dr. Donna Hedgepath, associate dean of the School of Education and associate professor of education, read the names of the award winners.

Priddy gave some information about the School of Education including its being national accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The school has 24 teacher preparation programs and one administrator program.


The latest program is early childhood education, which is offered on the main campus and at three off-campus sites in Elizabethtown, Louisville and Somerset.

The newest graduate programs are the Teacher Leaders Master’s degrees – one in education and one in special education. The school also offers Rank I which provides a variety of professional options such as endorsements in gifted education and English as a second language.

She said many of the graduate programs are online and available at a very competitive tuition rate.

She also talked about the first annual Beulah Campbell Children’s Literature Conference April 21 during which several famous authors, including Charles Ghigna (known as “Father Goose”), presented sessions. The next conference will be March 23, 2013.

Campbell has donated her private collection of original illustrations from children’s books to Campbellsville University and Appalachian State University.

Campbellsville University began the Excellence in Teaching Awards Program in 1987 with assistance from Earl Aaron and the Ward, Cundiff and Aaron Memorial Fund. The purpose of the program is to recognize the quality teaching and learning taking place in the school systems throughout Kentucky.

Through the awards program, CU presents certificates to teachers in each grade level [preschool/elementary (P-5), middle grades (6-8) and high school (9-12)] as selected by their school districts.

At this 26th annual program, CU recognized 167 teachers from 63 school districts. A total of 2,854 teachers have been recognized for their teaching excellence throughout the years.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is in partnership with Lexington’s CBS-affiliate, WKYT-TV.

The Excellence in Teaching Award recipients include the following with their superintendent listed first:

Rockcastle County School System – Larry B. Hammond, superintendent; Jamie L. Cornelius, Mount Vernon Elementary School; Serenity Joyce Hopkins, Rockcastle County Middle School; and Marcus Aaron Reppert, Rockcastle County High School.

Cornelius teaches kindergarten through fifth grade music and chorus at Mount Vernon Elementary School. She is a 1986 graduate of Rockcastle County High School.

She received a bachelor of arts in music education from Eastern Kentucky University in 1990. In continuance of her education, she received a master of arts in music in 1996, and a Rank I in supervision/administration in 2002, both from Eastern Kentucky University.

She is the wife of Chris Cornelius, and the mother of John and Amy.

Hopkins teaches seventh grade mathematics at Rockcastle Middle School. She graduated from Southwestern Pulaski High School in 1996.

She received a bachelor of arts in middle school math and science from Eastern Kentucky University in 2003. In continuance of her education, she received her master’s in middle school math in 2008 from Eastern Kentucky University.

She is the wife of Ken Hopkins, and the mother of Abigail and Kennedy.

Reppert teaches eleventh grade A.P. and U.S. History at Rockcastle County High School. He is a 1997 graduate of Rockcastle County High School.

He received a bachelor of arts in history from Eastern Kentucky University in 2002. In continuance of his education, he received a master’s in educational leadership in 2007 from Eastern Kentucky University.

He is the husband of Danielle Reppert, and the father of Landon and Nicholas. Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is

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