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2023 Teacher of the Year Award winners announced

Valvoline Teacher of the Year Awards
L to R: Amber Sergent - High School Teacher of the Year, Mandy Perez - Overall Teacher of the Year and Kelly Gates - Elementary Teacher of the Year

Education Excellence was front and center in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday at the 2023 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Awards. As WUKY’s Alan Lytle reports, one of those honored works in Central Kentucky.

This was the first time in two years the event was held in person and not over zoom. Amber Sergent credited the resilience of students forced to adapt and navigate a global pandemic.

Mandy Perez, from Crittenden County, was named the overall teacher of the year.

Kelly Gates of Hopkins County took home elementary teacher of the year honors.

The top teachers were chosen from 2,000 nominations from all 171 districts. Then, 300 applications were scrutinized and the 24 finalists were named.

Valvoline sponsors the awards and each of the 24 finalists were given $500. The middle, elementary and high school winners were given $3,000 and the overall winner was given $10,000.

Bitten by the radio bug as a teenager, Alan Lytle got his start start more than 30 years ago volunteering in Clermont County, Ohio for WOBO-FM. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Broadcasting from the University of Cincinnati and worked at a variety of radio stations in the Cincinnati market, then made the move to Lexington in the mid-1990s.