LOUISVILLE, Sept. 27, 2022 – Baird was pleased to honor 23 Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) teachers and principals at the 9th annual Baird Excellence Awards at the Waterfront Botanical Gardens on Monday. The awards ceremony, sponsored by Baird, recognizes outstanding teaching and leadership performance from educators across the district.

Baird Vice Chairman Jim Allen and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer 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 Chair Jim Allen. “This well-deserved recognition comes at an opportune time as educators and students continue to deal with the residual effects of the pandemic. 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.

“In addition to the building blocks of the all-important lesson plans, our educators help young people figure out who they are, where they are going and how they are going to get there. And there is no way to quantify how much this effort means to our present and our future,” said Mayor Fischer. “Thank you to Dr. Pollio and each and every teacher and administrator for lifting up the future of our city, and thank you to Baird for sponsoring these awards and for recognizing the importance of educators.”

“These educators represent the best of JCPS,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty 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 2022 Baird Excellence Awards recipients.

Teacher Award:

  • Randi Esarey, Hazelwood Elementary

Student-Nominated Award:

  • Ashley Ogden, Fern Creek High

Principal Award:

  • Jamiera Johnson, Greenwood Elementary

Academic Instructional Coach:

  • Jennifer Connell, Knight Middle

Special Education Teacher:

  • Denise Staples, Blue Lick Elementary

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs):

  • Anne Miller, Severin Barumunungu, Darci Lewis, Rachel Segretto, Newcomer Academy

Health Services Award:

  • Juna Mangar, Newcomer Academy

Financial Literacy Leadership Award:

  • Cathy Jackson, Bowen Elementary

Community Partnership Awards:

  • Audwin and Rae Helton Teacher Award: Dr. Cynthia Eddings-King, Central High Magnet Career Academy
  • Bellarmine University Teaching Award: Sarah Blatz, Gutermuth Elementary
  • Class Act Federal Credit Union Teacher Award: Jade Van Der Elst, Foster Traditional Academy
  • Unistar/FRYSC Award: Elizabeth Johnson, Blue Lick Elementary/Knight Middle School
  • The Barbara Sexton Smith Teacher Award presented by Fund for the Arts: Judy Layne-Banks, Wilkerson Elementary
  • Jefferson Community and Technical College Teacher Award: Severin Barumunungu, Newcomer Academy
  • Junior Achievement Teacher Award: John Gribbins, Noe Middle
  • Kentucky Science Center Teacher Award: Shantel Reed, Central High Magnet Career Academy
  • Metro United Way Early Care and Education Award: Rina Gratz, Executive Director of Early Childhood Programs, JCPS
  • Metro United Way Out-of-School Time Leadership Award: Ian Brandon, Supervisor of Satellite Offices, JCPS
  • Russell Garth Principal Award: Heather Moss, State Agency Schools
  • University of Louisville Teacher Award: Amanda Shaw, Atkinson Elementary
  • YMCA Award for Youth Development: Michelle Dillard, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, JCPS

About Baird

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. Established in 1919, Baird has approximately 4,700 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients. Baird has more than $415 billion in client assets as of Dec. 31, 2021. Committed to being a great workplace, Baird ranked No. 27 on the 2022 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list – its 19th consecutive year on the list. Baird is the marketing name of Baird Financial Group. Baird’s principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated and Baird Trust Company 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 www.rwbaird.com.

About Jefferson County Public Schools

Jefferson County Public Schools is a leading urban school district that provides a high-quality education for 96,00 students (about 1 of every 7 students in Kentucky). Parents can choose the school and the programs that best meet their child’s needs and match his or her learning style. From preschool to adult education, JCPS is known for educational innovation, for dedication to students, and for highly qualified teachers and administrators.

For additional information, contact:

Baird Public Relations
(414) 765-7250