Michelle McKelvy, an English teacher at Ballard High School, has been awarded the Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership (ExCEL) Award. Representatives from Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and from the award sponsors — LG&E and KU and WHAS11 — honored the teacher earlier this week during a ceremony at the school.
“Mrs. McKelvy stands out because of the heart and compassion she shows every student,” said Ballard Principal Staci Eddleman. “Every conversation she has with a student is validating and uplifting. If a student is having a hard time, she is the gentle ear they seek. If a student is proud of an accomplishment, she is the one with whom they share. In her words and actions she makes each child feel special.”
Praised by fellow educators for her ability to make an impact on Advanced Placement and Achievement Gap students alike, McKelvy was recognized by the District with a Golden Oar Award in fall 2016. She has presented and facilitated a number of discussions and professional development seminars, including “Building a Classroom Community” in 2015, “Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers” in 2016; and “Reeling in the Reluctant Reader” in 2016.
McKelvy works continuously to improve instruction through professional development opportunities, said Kerri Dixon, assistant principal. “Although she juggles an extremely demanding workload of a myriad of grade levels courses, she volunteers to lead the 11th-grade English Professional Learning Community so that this group can benefit from her expertise and collaborative knowledge.”
“Every school has one of those teachers who everyone knows do a great jobs,” said Library Media Specialist Laura Younkin. “Mrs. McKelvy is one of those teachers at Ballard. She will not teach her students just the basics of English and have them read novels. She will love them and they come out of her class better students and better people.”
As an ExCEL Award winner, McKelvy will receive a $1,000 instructional grant.