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CIS teachers receive Excellence in Teaching awards

Campbellsville Independent Schools teachers recently received awards recognizing them for their excellent teaching skills.


Campbellsville University’s annual Excellence in Teaching Award Program ceremony was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


However, 217 teachers – including three from CIS – received the Excellence in Teaching Award from 76 districts and/or private schools in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said, “The Excellence in Teaching program is one of our most meaningful tributes to Kentucky teachers.


“Teachers deserve recognition for pouring themselves into the lives of our P-12 students. Teachers not only serve students in the classroom, but they make profound impacts in their students’ personal lives and on their future.


“I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize the best of the best in education.”


A total of 4,163 Kentucky teachers have been honored since the program began in 1987, with help from Earl Aaron and the Ward, Cundiff and Aaron Memorial Fund. The purpose of the program is to recognize the quality teaching and learning taking place in school systems throughout Kentucky.


The teachers are selected by their school districts.


Excellence in Teaching Award recipients include Jena Piekarski from Campbellsville Elementary School, Jan Speer from Campbellsville Middle School and Dale Estes from Campbellsville High School.


Piekarski, of Lebanon, teaches speech for kindergarten through fifth-grade students.


She formerly taught preschool to 12th grade at Bright Horizons in Florida from 2005 to 2011 and at CHARMS Collaborative in Norfolk, Mass. from 1992 to 2005.


Piekarski received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1990 and 1992, respectively. She is a 1986 graduate of Cardinal Spellman High School in Brockton, Mass.


She is married to Michael Piekarski, and they have three children, Christopher, Kaye and Cara.


Jena Piekarski

Jena Piekarski


Speer, of Campbellsville, teaches sixth-grade science at CMS, where she has taught since 2001.


She received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from CU in 1978 and Master of Arts with an emphasis in middle school from Western Kentucky University. She is a 1974 graduate of Parma Senior High School in Parma, Ohio.


Speer is married to Robby Speer, and they have two children, Drew and Robbilyn. Robbilyn Speer is also a teacher at CMS.


Jan Speer

Jan Speer


Estes, of Campbellsville, has taught physical education and health at CHS since 2000.


He received Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Education degrees from CU in 2000 and 2007, respectively. Estes is a 1995 graduate of CHS.


He is married to Erin Estes, and they have two children, Cameron and Cooper.


Dale Estes

Dale Estes


Kirby Smith is superintendent at CIS.

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