Southern High School Teacher Wins ExCEL Award

Matthew Haynes recognized during school ceremony

matthew haynes is speaking to the crowd at his excel award

Matthew Haynes, a teacher at Southern High School, was presented the Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership (ExCEL) Award on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. Representatives from Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and from the award sponsors — LG&E and KU and WHAS11 — honored the teacher Wednesday afternoon during a ceremony at the school.

A graduate of Southern himself, Haynes “represents a new breed of teacher, which is important in moving JCPS forward,” said Assistant Principal Julie Lawrence.  “He pushes his students to apply what they have learned in the classroom with area businesses through various internships and job opportunities.”

Colleagues agree that he is just as committed to his students’ success outside of the classroom as he is to their achievement within it.  “He is a staunch advocate, working tirelessly to find students jobs in the field of machine tool technology after graduation,” said Katherine Grindon, director of instruction at Southern.  “He has fostered meaningful relationships with his students and their families as well as with local employers, and all parties trust his judgement when it comes to co-op opportunities or career advice.”

In addition, Haynes has taken on a variety of leadership roles at the school, including serving as the department/ Professional Learning Community (PLC) lead and mentor for new teachers in his department. He has also been instrumental in increasing the number of students with industry certification in machine tool from four to more than 60, and helped plan a joint award ceremony/ career fair attended by more than 60 students and 20 business partners.

“He helps to lead his department and strives to become better at his craft,” said Southern Principal Tyler Shearon.  “Since arriving at Southern, I have challenged the staff to constantly ‘work better,’ and Mr. Haynes certainly exemplifies this message.  I feel fortunate to get to work with him on a daily basis.”

As part of LG&E and KU’s commitment to supporting education across the communities it serves, Haynes and other ExCEL Award-winning teachers each receive a $1,000 instructional grant from the company.

This story was originally published on February 12, 2020. 

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