UPDATE: Murray Elementary School’s Holly Bloodworth is Kentucky's 2014 Teacher of the Year.
The Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland, Incorporated named the Elementary, Middle and High School Teachers of the Year, as well as the overall Kentucky Teacher of the Year during a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday morning.
Bloodworth said she's grown wiser over the years.
"I feel like it's kind of for my whole body of work," said Bloodworth. "I feel like I'm a better teacher now than I've ever been because I still love going to work everyday. I love the students that I teach and their families. I have that advantage of experience."
Bloodworth is a 26-year veteran educator, and has been teaching third-grade at Murray Independent Elementary School for 13 years. She earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees at Murray State University.
Bloodworth, along with Kelly D. Melton of Muhlenberg North Middle are of the 2014 teacher achievement winners named last month.
Teacher Achievement Award winners receive a cash gift of $500; two of the three Kentucky Teacher of the Year finalists receive a cash gift of $3,000, and the overall Kentucky Teacher of the Year receives a cash prize of $10,000, along with an professional development opportunity. Although she won the professional development time, Bloodworth said she's not ready to take any time off.
"They did mention a sabbatical, but my first, I mean, I do not want to leave my classroom," said Bloodworth. "I think that would be horrible. 'Woo, my teacher is teacher of the year, but she left.' There's no way I would want to leave my classroom at this point, for sure."
Bloodworth plans to donate her award money to a local book club, community theater, and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Bloodworth will also compete for National Teacher of the Year.