A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Excellence in Education: Awards honor community, business volunteers for helping students achieve

Last in a series

The Northern Kentucky Education Council and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce present an annual Celebration of Education event honoring those who make significant achievements in our schools possible.

The event presents awards to top students, teachers and administrators — and to community volunteers and businesses as well.

Links to three earlier stories celebrating winners are provided below.

Here are those community and business leaders recognized for their contributions to quality education:

Rhonda Whitaker

Rhonda Whitaker

A.D. Albright Outstanding Business and Community Leader Award

The award is presented to a business or individual who makes a difference by promoting educational excellence in Northern Kentucky.

The winner: Rhonda Whitaker of Duke Energy, recognized for her understanding of “the important role that business can play in education.

“She has been instrumental in collaborating to grow the workforce talent pipeline. When she sees a need she strategically addresses it and works with partners to find resources to fill gaps . .She is considered a ‘dot connector’ for Northern Kentucky,” said her presenter.

Early Childhood

Early Childhood

Early Childhood Education

Ensuring that all children are prepared for college, career and life begins with the youngest learners. Research shows that that children who have quality early childhood education have an advantage throughout school — and into their future.

The Early Childhood Award winner was Pre-K Works Partners, for its model pre-K program.

Accepting the award were Dr. Kathy Burkhardt, Erlanger-Elsmere School District, and Rick Hulefeld, Children Inc.

Lee and Sue Fleischel

Lee and Sue Fleischel

One to One Literacy Award

One to One provides opportunities for volunteers to have a relevant role that helps the student and the teacher. Practicing Reading with Students is a signature program for our region, involving over 350 volunteer coaches who dedicate their time to coach a student in reading and math. Over 2700 children have been served.

Honored for their ongoing dedication as coaches for children in the Covington schools were Lee and Sue Fleischel.


Roseann Sharon

A.D. Albright Award for Outstanding Government Leadership

This award goes to an individual who is or has been a leader of an educational governance group with policy-making authority.

The award went to Roseann Sharon, for her tireless service to the children of Dayton, first as a teacher, then as an elected official. She currently serves as a board member for the Dayton School District.


Business Engagement of the Year Award

Time Warner Cable was awarded this recognition for “building positive relationships with the students at R.A. Jones Elementary through an after school STEM Bike Program in which students learn how bike systems work and how to build and repair them.

Previous Trib stories in the Excellence in Education series:

Teachers-Administrators honored

Outstanding Achievement awards

Student All-Stars, Against All Odds

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