Marion C. Moore teacher Matt Kaufmann named 2020 Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year

Kaufmann teaches English to high school students 

By Toni Konz Tatman | JCPS Communications

An English teacher from the Marion C. Moore School was named Kentucky's 2020 High School Teacher of the Year during a ceremony in Frankfort on Monday.

Matthew Kaufmann was one of nine semifinalists selected from a group of 24 teachers who were eligible for the overall 2020 Teacher of the Year Award, as selected by Valvoline and the Kentucky Department of Education. Gilmore Lane Elementary School teacher Lindsay Dotterweich was also a finalist and recognized during the ceremony.

Matthew Kaufmann teaches English at the Marion C. Moore School

Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Secretary Derrick Ramsey, Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis and Sam Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of Valvoline, were on hand to recognize the elementary, middle and high school teachers of the year, as well as the other teachers from across the state who were honored with 2020 Valvoline, Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards.

The top 2020 Teacher of the Year Award went to Erin Ball, a teacher at Georgetown Middle School in Scott County, who was also named Kentucky's Middle School Teacher of the Year. Melanie Callahan, a teacher at London Elementary School in Laurel County was named the 2020 Kentucky Elementary School Teacher of the Year. 

A 12-year teaching veteran, Kaufmann has taught English to high school students at Marion C. Moore for five years. 

"We are so very proud of Matt and for all that he does for our students each and every day," said Rob Fulk, principal of the Marion C. Moore School. "Matt exemplifies inclusivity. Every student has a place in his classroom. Every student has a space to find their voice. He does an amazing job balancing dozens of countries, stories, ethnicities, and needs to create an environment where all feel both welcomed and challenged. I have witnessed firsthand the exceptional environment he creates among his students, one that promotes a strong sense of social justice, togetherness, and uniqueness."

Kaufmann received $3,000 and a customized, art-glass vase from Valvoline, Inc. He came to Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) from Oldham County, which is where he began his career as an educa

Lindsay Dotterweich is a teacher at Gilmore Lane Elementary School

Dotterweich, a five-year teaching veteran, has taught third-grade students at Gilmore Lane Elementary throughout her career. She received a $500 cash prize for being named a semifinalist in the competition.

"As a teacher at Gilmore Lane, Mrs. Dotterweich plays a fundamental role in the academic successes of so many children’s lives," said Sam Cowan, the principal at Gilmore Lane. "She is more than willing to extend the learning processes and adapt instructional strategies of children who both struggle and/or need academic advancements in core subject areas. She always gives 100 percent to each and every student she teaches."

Kaufmann earned his bachelor’s degree at Bellarmine University. He also earned a master’s degree, education specialist certification and 30 hours of graduate work at the University of Louisville.

At Marion C. Moore, Kaufmann assembled the school’s first Aspen Challenge Team, leads Deeper Learning exhibitions at the school and is a member of the mentoring staff. His professional affiliations include the Jefferson County Teachers Association, as well as the Kentucky Education Association and the National Education Association. He is also part of Kentucky's Classroom Teachers Enacting Positive Solutions, a collaborative effort that helps teachers create, research, implement and reflect on a plan to remove barriers to student learning. 

Dotterweich earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Bellarmine University and Gifted and Talented Endorsement at the University of Louisville. She served as a presenter at 2017, 2018 and 2019 Kentucky Association for Gifted Education conferences and has presented at a number of professional-development sessions for her school. She is also a member of JCTA and KEA.

The Kentucky Teacher Achievement Awards have recognized more than 500 teachers and awarded three-quarters of a million dollars since 1988.

Judging was conducted in March by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators commissioned by Valvoline and the Kentucky Department of Education, many of whom have more than 25 years of teaching experience. Applications included information on the nominees’ teaching philosophies, teaching experiences and involvement in their respective communities, as well as letters of recommendation from peers, students, parents, administrators and others.

Each of the nine semi-finalists were selected in mid-April and teams of educators visited their classrooms earlier this month to view them at work and to conduct personal interviews.

A list of all 24 Teacher Achievement Award winners can be found here.

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