Three more outstanding educators were inducted Tuesday into the Gov. Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame.
Eloise Hadden of Auburn, Anne Padilla of Bowling Green and Juanita Park of Rockport were honored as the sixth class of Teacher Hall of Fame inductees during a ceremony at the State Capitol in Frankfort.
“This year’s inductees are indicative of the high quality of Kentucky teachers,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “We’ve all come to expect great things from Kentucky teachers.”
“I think I was predestined to be a teacher,” said Park, who began her teaching career in 1944 in Ohio County.
She spent much of her 67-year career working with student teachers in WKU’s Teacher Education program until retiring in 2012. “It’s been marvelous,” Park said. “I want to thank the university for what they’ve allowed me to do.”
Hadden, who taught Home Economics for 33 years in Logan and Simpson counties, charted the path toward a teaching career as a 3-year-old when she sat on the steps at her family’s home in Texas and taught school for her dolls. “I love teaching,” she said.
“It was the best career anyone could have. Every day was different and I always anticipated a good day and it was a good day most of the time,” Hadden said.
Padilla, who has taught English and Composition for the past 28 years at Bowling Green High School, anticipated being a kindergarten or preschool teacher but changed her mind as a college junior in New York City. Her first job at Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, N.Y., confirmed that she made the right decision. “My first year of teaching was a great year. It was in New York City in a New York City public school and I loved it. I’ve loved it ever since,” Padilla said.
The Capitol Rotunda was filled with family members, friends, legislators, state officials and former students who were on hand to show their appreciation to the three inductees and the lives they’ve impacted.
“I was very surprised,” Padilla said of the Hall of Fame recognition. “It was a nice moment.”
“It’s just unbelievable,” Hadden said of the ceremony. “It was wonderful that so many of the former teachers I taught with are here today.”
Park said she worked with student teachers in about 20 counties and those student teachers have gone onto influence countless other students. “Students are what it’s all about,” she said.
WKU President Gary Ransdell congratulated the newest Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame members and thanked the statewide selection committee for their work in selecting this year’s class.
“Western Kentucky University is honored to be the host of the Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame,” Dr. Ransdell said. “Our roots in teacher education run deep and with great distinction.”
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.
More: Additional photos from the induction are available on the WKU Facebook page.
Here is more information about the 2013 inductees into the Gov. Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame:
A native of Raywood, Texas, Eloise W. Hadden taught Home Economics for 33 years in Logan and Simpson counties. “Very rarely did they call me Eloise or Mrs. Eloise or Mrs. Hadden,” she said of her students. “I’ve been Momma Hadden for many, many years to thousands of kids.”
Hadden taught at Auburn High School from 1954 to 1982, Logan County High School from 1982 to 1985, Logan County High School Homebound Teacher from 1985 to 1987, and Martha Layne Collins Pilot Project Career Ladder in Franklin in 1987. She received her bachelor’s degree in 1956 from WKU.
Hadden, known as “Mrs. Auburn” for work in the Logan County community, wrote grants to start the Auburn Historical Society and Auburn Museum and led the effort to get 136 homes and buildings in Auburn listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She has served on the Auburn City Council and the Logan County Tourism Commission.
Her numerous awards and honors include Logan County’s “Teacher of The Year” and first-runner up in the state competition in 1980, recipient of the 1995 Jefferson Award given by WBKO-TV and Daily News for public service and volunteer work in South Central Kentucky and WBKO’s “Hometown Hero” in 1999 for work with Auburn Library and Museum. Hadden has received several awards from WKU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.
A native of New York, Anne Hardie Padilla has taught English and Composition for 34 years, including the past 28 years at Bowling Green High School.
Padilla taught at Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, N.Y., from 1962 to 1965, North Chicago (Ill.) Community High School from 1966 to 1967, Villa Grove (Ill.) High School from 1968 to 1969, Jefferson Junior High School in Champaign, Ill., from 1969 to 1970, and Bowling Green High School since 1985.
“It’s a very nice honor to take back to Bowling Green High School and to other teachers in the state of Kentucky. Many of whom deserve the same honor,” Padilla said of the Teacher Hall of Fame recognition.
She received her bachelor’s degree in 1962 from Hunter College in New York City, master’s degree in 1966 from University of Illinois and completed her Ed.S. in Secondary Education at WKU in 1987, with a concentration in Applied Linguistics/ESL. She also was an adjunct instructor of Freshman Composition and ESL at WKU from 1976-85.
Her awards include Bowling Green Teacher of the Year in 1976, nominee for DisneyHand Teacher Award (Creativity in Teaching) in 2004 and University of Chicago Outstanding Teacher Award in 1995. In 1992, Padilla was part of the original group trained in implementation of Kentucky Educational Reform Act. She has served as a consultant for Advance Kentucky’s AP English Literature and Composition program and has participated in the WKU Writing Project.
A native of Louisville, Juanita Kennedy Park began her teaching career in 1944 in Ohio County and continued to work with student teachers at WKU until 2012.
Park spent the first 20 years of her 67-year teaching career at Rockport Elementary and High School teaching first through eighth grade from 1944 to 1965. In 1965 she taught first-graders at Western Kentucky State College’s Training School. Park’s career continued in 1966 at WKU’s Jones-Jaggers Laboratory School and then in WKU’s Teacher Education program where she supervised student teachers and conducted student teaching seminars until retiring last year.
She attended WKU where she received a bachelor’s degree in 1957 and a master’s degree in 1959.
Park served as president of the Kentucky Association of Classroom Teachers in the mid-1960s and received several awards for her service with the Kentucky Education Association.
Park, who served in statewide roles while Nunn was governor, expressed her appreciation for his gift that established the Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame. “I applaud him for what he’s done for the hallmark of teachers having never dreamed I’d be one of those,” Park said.
“My husband was an educator, J. Woodrow Park, and he would be happy about it too. He’s up there smiling,” she said.
Other awards include the Kentucky Association of Teacher Educators (KATE) Presidential Award in 1988, Kentucky Federation of Business and Professional Woman’s Club “Young Careerist” Service Award in 1981, Kentucky Federation of Business and Professional Woman’s Club President’s Decathlon Award in 1980 and Kentucky Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (KASCD) President Unit Award in 1978.
Contact: Tammy Spinks, (270) 745-4664.