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3 selected for Teacher Hall of Fame


The newest members of the Gov. Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame are (from left): Artie Johnson Hankins, Patricia J. Morris and Deidra Hylton Patton. They will be inducted March 1 during a ceremony at the State Capitol in Frankfort.

Three outstanding educators have been selected for the fourth class of the Gov. Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame.

The three chosen by a statewide selection committee are the late Artie Johnson Hankins, Patricia J. Morris and Deidra Hylton Patton.

They will be inducted during a ceremony at 1 p.m. (Eastern time) March 1 at the State Capitol in Frankfort.

The Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame was created in 2000 through a gift by former Gov. Nunn, who hoped to recognize the vital role that primary and secondary teachers in Kentucky play in the education of young people and the positive impact education has on the state’s economy. WKU was selected as the home of the Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame because of its more than 100 year history in teacher education.

Artie Johnson Hankins

Hankins, a native of the Big Hill community, taught in Butler County schools for 44 years. Between 1933 and 1954, she taught at rural one-room schools at Limestone, Youngtown, Greenwood, Science Hill, Big Muddy and Hickory Stand. From 1954 to 1977, she taught third grade at Morgantown Elementary.

“Miss Artie” attended WKU between 1932 and 1958. She received a teaching certificate in 1933 and a bachelor’s degree in 1959.

In addition to her teaching career, Hankins and a longtime friend documented the happenings of the Dunbar community for the Butler County newspaper. She was active in professional organizations and was a member of the Butler County Retired Teachers Association.

“She served as a role model for many of her students and others in the community.  She followed her dream and helped others to follow theirs,” said Dr. Sam Evans, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at WKU.  “She wore many different hats as a teacher in a one-room school and was never too busy to help other individuals.”

Hankins died in March 2010.

Patricia J. Morris

Morris, a native of Louisville, has taught history for 30 years.  Since 1986, she has taught American history and Advanced Placement classes at Ballard High School.

She taught at Jeffersontown High from 1967 to 1971 and at Sacred Heart Model School from 1984 to 1986.

Morris is known for making history fascinating for students by using various creative projects. Among her awards and recognitions are the 2009 Organization of American Historians Tachau Teacher of the Year Award, the 2004 Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award for Kentucky and 1999 Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year.

“She makes history come alive,” Dr. Evans said. “She gets students excited about history through engaging learning experiences and is recognized by her peers for her excellence in teaching.”

Morris received her bachelor’s degree (1967), master’s degree (1987) and Rank I (1996) from the University of Louisville.

Deidra Hylton Patton

Patton, a native of Hazard who grew up in Hindman, has been a teacher for 28 years.

Since 1999, Patton has been gifted and talented coordinator at Boyd County schools and K-5 gifted education teacher at Cannonsburg Elementary.

“Ms. Patton is a life-long learner and is committed to helping each student have successful learning experiences by focusing on their individual talents,” Dr. Evans said.   “Through innovative and resourceful ways, she keeps the focus on the students with whom she works and expects the best from each student.”

After serving as fourth-grade teacher at Carr Creek Elementary in 1982, Patton piloted a gifted and talented program for Knott County schools from 1983 to 1987. She taught third and fourth grade at Cannonsburg from 1988 to 1991 and was gifted education teacher for Boyd County schools from 1991 to 1999.

Patton received a bachelor’s degree (1982) from Alice Lloyd College, master’s degree (1984) and Rank I (1985) from Morehead State University, and National Board Certification in 2003.

Her awards include a 2008 Ashland Teacher Achievement Award and the Alice Lloyd College Elementary Education Award.

Contact: Sam Evans, (270) 745-4662

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