Baird 2021 Excellence Awards in Recognition of Outstanding EducatorsLOUISVILLE, Sept. 22, 2021 – Baird was pleased to honor 35 Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) teachers and principals at the 8th annual Baird Excellence Awards at Waterfront Botanical Gardens on Tuesday. The awards ceremony, sponsored by Baird, recognizes outstanding teaching and leadership performance from educators across the district. The event was formerly known as the Hilliard Lyons Excellence Awards. Hilliard Lyons became part of Baird in 2019.

Baird Vice Chairman Jim Allen, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio provided remarks at the ceremony.  

“Baird is very pleased to recognize and celebrate the critical role dedicated JCPS teachers and principals play in educating young people in Louisville,” said Baird Vice Chairman Jim Allen. “This well-deserved recognition couldn’t come at a better time given the significant challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has created for our educators and students in our community. We congratulate all of our Baird Excellence Awards honorees and extend our sincere thanks for their tireless hard work, creativity and dedication.”

Principals and students nominate teacher recipients of the Baird Excellence Awards, while assistant superintendents nominate principal recipients. Educators at all grade levels are eligible to be nominated. A panel of business and community leaders reviews the nominations, which are submitted via the JCPS website, and selects the award recipients. In addition to public recognition, honorees receive cash awards of $1,000 to be used in their classrooms.

“The Baird Excellence Awards in Recognition of Outstanding Educators exemplifies the essential work of our city’s educators as they help young people figure out who they are, where they are going and how they are going to get there. There is no way to quantify how much this effort means to our present and our future,” said Mayor Fischer “We want to pay extra tribute this year to our educators because they have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with heroic efforts that probably exceed and defy our understanding. Thank you to Dr. Pollio for his leadership, and thank you to each and every teacher and administrator for taking on these tough challenges and lifting up the future of our city.”

“These educators represent the best of JCPS,” said Dr. Pollio. “They have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and innovative teaching that aligns with our district’s Three Pillars – Racial Equity, Culture and Climate, and Backpack of Success Skills. All of us in JCPS thank them for sharing their passion with students. We also thank Baird for recognizing our educators with this prestigious award.”

Following are the 2020 and 2021 Baird Excellence Awards recipients. The event was not held in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Teacher Awards:

  • Kristen Benner, Elementary, Hite Elementary School
  • Kurron Carmichael, Middle, Ramsey Middle School
  • Kathleen Belanger, High, The Phoenix School of Discovery

Student-Nominated Awards:

  • Student-Nominated Elementary Award: Ariel Bigham, Coleridge-Taylor Montessori
  • Student-Nominated Middle School Award: Allison Scarlett, Thomas Jefferson Middle School
  • Student-Nominated High School Award: Elena Kamenetzky, Eastern High School; Brent Peters, Fern Creek High School

Principal Awards:

  • Danielle Randle, Semple Elementary School


  • Angela Pleasant, Coleridge-Taylor Montessori Elementary School


  • Samantha McGiveney, Churchill Park School


  • Kari Doty, Emily Lane, Jeffrey Harden, Karen Schwartz, Paul Vale, Hillary Boles, Jack Walker, John Tatman, The Phoenix School of Discovery


  • Audwin and Rae Helton Teacher Award: Charity Garnett, Engelhard Elementary School
  • Bellarmine Award: Rachel Segretto, 2020, Newcomer Academy; Anna Gausepohl, 2021, Ramsey Middle School
  • Class Act Federal Credit Union Teacher Award: Kim Bruce, 2020, Moore High School; Ashley Conway, 2021, Jeffersontown High School
  • Unistar/FRYSC Award: Anita Moore, 2020, Foster Traditional Academy; Latascha Craig, 2021, Foster Traditional Academy
  • Fund for the Arts Teacher Award, Shandra Hart, 2020, Atkinson Academy; Laura Roth, 2021, Cochran Elementary School
  • Jefferson Community and Technical College Teacher Award: Jennifer Bean, Ballard High School
  • Junior Achievement Teacher Award: Heather Gray, District; Emily Esarey; Norton Commons Elementary School
  • Kentucky Science Center Teacher Award: Adriana Thornton, Ramsey Middle School
  • Metro United Way Early Care and Education Award: Holli Moore, Dawson Orman Education Center
  • Metro United Way Out-of-School Time Leadership Award: Latonia Bland, Noe Middle School
  • Russell Garth Principal Award: Chris Burba, Highland Middle School
  • YMCA Award for Youth Development: Amy Dennes, Superintendent’s Scholarship

About Baird

Putting clients first since 1919, Baird is an employee-owned, international wealth management, asset management, investment banking/capital markets and private equity firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Baird has approximately 4,600 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients and more than $300 billion in client assets as of December 31, 2019. Baird is the marketing name of Baird Financial Group. Baird’s principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated in the United States and Robert W. Baird Group Ltd. in Europe. Baird also has an operating subsidiary in Asia supporting Baird’s investment banking and private equity operations. For more information, please visit Baird’s website at

For additional information, contact:

Baird Public Relations
(414) 765-7250