In keeping with what has become a staple of its monthly meetings, the Johnson County Schools Board of Education selected two new recipients for its Golden Eagle Award in October.

The first of these recipients was Kathy Blair, a classified employee who has worked as a teacher’s assistant at Highland Elementary School for the past 18 years, according to Johnson County Schools Superintendent Thom Cochran.

“(Blair) has taken on many different roles during her career, including classroom assistant, personal needs assistant to special needs students and special education classroom assistant,” Cochran said. “In addition to her school responsibilities, (Blair) also holds down a second, and sometimes third, job outside of the school system. She is a hard worker and always the first to volunteer when extra duties are needed. She works ballgames for teachers and does so with a calm, patient demeanor and a smile on her face.”

The board also selected a certified employee for the award, choosing Gaylena Burchett, a primary teacher at W.R. Castle Memorial Elementary School who Cochran said had served as a cheerleading sponsor and as an academic team coach for a state championship winning team, in addition to being a prominent grant writer for the district.

“(Burchett) works tirelessly with her students to make sure that their educational needs are met. Her classroom is cutting edge in innovation, which can be seen y the many grants she works to receive; the Chromebook lab that was awarded from a KVEC grant, her alternative seating program grant just recently awarded and helping to write the Steele Reese grant that paid for the new playground and walking track,” Cochran said of Burchett. “She is the epitome of what a Tomcat should be, with her tireless work effort, her great attitude an the way she models self-sacrifice. She arrives at school with a smile on her face and is always willing to pitch in with any project. The students and faculty at W.R. Castle Elementary are blessed to have Ms. Gaylena Burchett as a teacher, a co-worker and a friend.”

The Johnson County Schools Board of Education meets on the fourth Monday of each month, usually in the administration building on the Johnson Central High School and Johnson County Middle School campus at 5 p.m. All meetings are open to the public and any changes of venue are announced prior to the meeting.

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