Owensboro High School theatre teacher Carolyn Greer presented Monday morning with the Western Kentucky University Distinguished Educator Award for Visual and Performing Arts.
Greer knew she was a finalist for the award but didn’t believe she would win.
“I’m shocked. I’m truly honored and overwhelmed. This [award] is not why I do what I do. I do it for all of those kids that were on the stage just a few minutes ago, but it’s truly kind,” she said.
The awards are designed to celebrate current Pre-K through 12th grade educators in WKU’s service region who are making significant contributions to the teaching profession.
Greer was nominated by Owensboro Public Schools Director of Fine Arts Tom Stites for her more than 31 years of teaching experience. Greer noted that to receive the honor near the end of her career is something she genuinely was not expecting.
“I was thrilled to be in the top three, I thought that was just lovely and very kind, but to have been this far in my career and to receive this recognition is just truly an honor. It’s something I would never have expected,” she said.
As part of the nomination process, Greer’s colleagues spoke to her excellence as an educator. Stites, Former OHS Principal Anita Burnette, and playwright and friend Lindsay Price all commented on the Greer’s effectiveness.
“I can’t tell you the number of students that have scholarships in the arts because of Carolyn Greer and her work,” Burnette said. “Our program is one of the best in the state, if not the best in the state, and I’m proud to say that because of her and the quality of teaching that she brings to the program and to those children.”
You can find a full video of the comments from Greer's peers who recommended her for this award on the district's YouTube channel.