Through the Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award, the National Archives and UK Libraries Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center recognize teachers with a marked impact on student success, who display great creativity and innovation in the classroom and show an unflagging enthusiasm and commitment to increasing student awareness of the importance of public service.
View all of our past Clements Award recipients, and learn more about our most recent winners below.
Dion Copeland graduated from the University of Louisville with a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Secondary Education and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Education from Midway University. Copeland began his teaching career in 2021 as an 8th grade US History teacher in Lexington. He is a recipient of the Fayette County Educators Association Teaching Excellence Award and the Kentucky Education Association Diversity Lesson Plan Award. He is a member of the National Education Association's Cohort of Leaders for Just Schools.
“Receiving the Clements Innovation in Education award as an early career educator is truly exceptional. I hope to motivate more men of color to enter careers in education. We bring unique perspectives and innovative approaches to teaching and learning that are truly transformative for students of all backgrounds.”
Cody J. Foster graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Ph.D. in History and began teaching at Sayre School in 2021. He teaches AP US Government and Politics, World History, and other civics and history electives to 9th-12th grade students. He is the director of the school’s KYMCA program where he coaches students on state, national, and international governmental processes and brings them to the Kentucky United Nations Assembly and Kentucky Youth Assembly each year.
“In an age where educators must nervously approach contentious issues, the students, parents, and administrators at Sayre School hold firm that a true study of the past is not only necessary to understanding our present moment, but essential for preparing young minds for what the future can hold. This award demonstrates my commitment to these principles and I am grateful for the recognition."
Rachel Carrier Hubbard holds Bachelor’s degrees in Broadcasting and Secondary Education from Western Kentucky University and completed her Master’s in Educational Administration degree from Murray State in 2020. Over her seven year career she has taught US History, World History, Geography, and AP Psychology and Reading. She taught most recently at Union County Middle School in her hometown of Morganfield.
“Receiving this award is truly humbling, and it serves as a testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion that I have poured into being a social studies educator. I am grateful to the members of the award committee for recognizing my contributions and considering me worthy of this award.”
Brandon Riddle holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Louisville. He has taught in Jefferson County high schools since 2009 and at Seneca High School since 2016. He is a National Board-Certified teacher and in 2020 was named the Kentucky Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year. Riddle serves on Seneca’s Racial Equity Committee and will begin his fifth year as the sponsor for Seneca’s Black Student Union.
“Given the current status of our democracy, our work is certainly more important than ever. Educators need to be committed to providing students with the civic dispositions and knowledge they'll need to continue the never-ending work of protecting and improving our democracy. Being recognized as someone who is engaged in these efforts is something I am extremely proud of.”
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