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KJHS Sponsor of the Year Inspires Students and Parents

Many of us remember a teacher who had a positive impact on us. For me, it was Dr. Gene Hampton, my high school biology teacher. In retrospect, his impact seems even more extraordinary considering I have always been more interested and adept in history than science, but Dr. Hampton made biology fun, interesting and accessible. He gave me the opportunity to attend a science conference at a local college and later compete in the annual science fair. My parents must have appreciated the excitement he generated in me―why else would they have allowed me to bring dozens of live cockroaches into our basement to conduct my science fair experiments? Each year at its annual conference, the Kentucky Junior Historical Society recognizes club members for outstanding achievements. KJHS members nominate these students, teachers and parents for the impact they have made in their local KJHS club, school or community. This year, Chris Workman, a fifth grade social studies teacher from Waco Elementary School in Madison County, received the award for KJHS Sponsor of the Year. KHS staff learned a lot about Chris from the award nominations. He:

  • Drives the school bus
  • Helps students compete in National History Day in Kentucky
  • Has involved his students in the local community by organizing clean-up days and memorials at local cemeteries
  • Partners with a local historic house to host a living history museum

Workman also involves students with the Battle of Richmond Association. In the words of one fifth grader who contributed to the nomination, “How many elementary kids get to do that!?” We also learned that Chris’ students and their parents appreciate his dedication. One of his students wrote a four-page essay explaining why his teacher should receive this honor. A parent wrote in another nomination, “It has been inspiring to watch this group of kids grow as leaders and public servants under the guidance of Mr. Workman…he has made something very special available to our children and we are very grateful.” The great thing is that there are thousands of Kentucky teachers out there being just as awesome as Chris. The sad thing is that we don’t sing their praises enough. So I’d like to thank the people who took the time to brag on one outstanding teacher. And your homework for tonight? Give a shout out to all the Dr. Hamptons and Mr. Workmans out there―they deserve it!


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