Four Owensboro Public Schools teachers and one from the Daviess County Public Schools district have been selected as GoTeachKY teacher ambassadors for 2021.

The Kentucky Department of Education unrolled its GoTeachKY initiative last August to help recruit and retain teachers in the commonwealth.

Thirty-two educators were selected to participate in this class of ambassadors.

They were selected from a pool of applicants, according to KDE, and they have three goals: communicate with and inspire students in high school and college to consider teaching as a career; communicate with potential and current teachers to positively capture the rewards and opportunities associated with a career in teaching; and support and promote central focus areas, programs and organizations of GoTeachKY, such as Educators Rising and the Teaching and Learning career pathway.

Jenny Hudson, Jennifer Scarbrough, Nikki Sims and Richard S. Fowler were chosen from the city schools, and Joshua Scherrer was chosen from DCPS.

Scherrer, U.S. history, government and economics teacher at Heritage Park High School, said the primary responsibilities of a GoTeachKY ambassador is “engaging with potential future teachers, connecting with and sharing the stories of new and veteran teachers, and promoting the mission of the GoTeachKY initiative.”

He said that he is honored to be part of the process and is excited to lend his teaching experience to the “next generation of educators.”

“Although this is my 16th year as a teacher, I’ve been a learner for much, much longer,” he said. “Being an ambassador in this program will allow me to continue my own growth journey, to discover new perspectives from fellow educators and to reflect on my own teaching experience.”

Fowler, Owensboro Innovation Middle School social studies teacher, said he is proud and excited to be selected as one of the 32 ambassadors and considers it an honor to have an opportunity to work with and motive the next generation of teachers.

He has been involved in education for 22 years, with 16 of those as a teacher. He said he loves teaching kids something new every day and he looks forward to instilling that in future educators.

“If there are any students out there considering being a teacher, I would be more than happy to talk to them,” Fowler said, inviting them to email him at steve.fowler@owensboro.kyschools.us. “I would be happy to help them in any way possible, be that choosing a college or recommending a program, or do anything I can to promote them going into the role of teaching.”

Hudson, Owensboro Middle School English language arts teacher, said she also is excited to be an ambassador. She knows the teaching field, especially at this time during a pandemic, can seem daunting, and she wants to help encourage current and future leaders.

With everything educators have to do, especially this year, it’s good to have someone within the profession offering encouraging support to new or potential teachers, she said.

“This is the hardest time to teach,” she said, adding that she hopes to get creative when promoting the profession.

Scarbrough, who has been teaching for 20 years, said she loves her job and hopes to impart the same passion to future teachers. The Seven Hills Preschool teacher said teaching is a “wonderful profession.”

“I’m so excited just to be able to get out there and talk about how important the profession of teaching is,” she said. “I live in Indiana, and I teach in Kentucky, and both states have teacher shortages.”

She hopes being involved in GoTeachKY will help to encourage others to teach.

Sims, who also teaches at Seven Hills Preschool, said she is also excited to participate in the ambassadorship. She also said she loves her job.

“I think that when people think about teaching they think about the teaching that you see right now, where it’s a little crazy, and very hard,” she said. “People don’t understand how fun this job is, and I want to share that with them.”

She said the teaching is rewarding, and that there need to be more people in Kentucky who want to do this “and love to do this.”

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

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