Thom Cochran, Superintendent of the Johnson County School District received an award from the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative for his leadership during the 2020-2021 school year for serving as the KVEC Chairman of the Board for the cooperative's 25 member school districts, according to a statement from the organization.

Over this past year, the statement said, Cochran was the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative Chairman of the Board of Directors. He has worked tirelessly to make sure not only students in his district but, all students in the KVEC Region excelled to their highest level, according to the statement.

He led the cooperative during a year with unprecedented challenges, due to the worldwide pandemic and also led the search to hire a new executive director of KVEC, according to the statement, and under Cochran’s leadership, KVEC expanded with the addition of two new member school districts (Menifee County & Robertson County). Cochran is also responsible for the Rise-Up Program being offered to Johnson County students which focuses on an English/Language Arts Framework for K-8 students in cooperation with KVEC, the statement said.

"The staff of KVEC cannot thank Mr. Cochran enough for his service to our educational cooperative," the statement said. "We are so appreciative of his creative thinking and vision for the students at Johnson County Schools and our region."

Cochran has been the superintendent of Johnson County for 4 years and has served Johnson County for 13 years, as Principal of Highland Elementary from 2008-2014, and Assistant Principal/Athletic Director from 2006 to 2008, according to the statement.

Since Cochran has been superintendent, teachers in Johnson County have received over 50 innovation grants from KVEC, each of which totaled $1,000, meaning $50,000 has been funneled into bringing technology and innovation to each classroom, according to the statement. Johnson County teachers receiving the grants this year included Amanda O'Bryan, Anna Burton, Chalice Slone, David Slone, Latonya Taylor-Rowe and Traci Campbell — for projects varied in scope and, this year, many were linked to improving teachers' ability to provide engaging learning environments for students attending at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.