Dr. Kemaly Parr recognized as postsecondary teacher of the year, Dr. Kimberly Bellah named teacher educator of the year

MURRAY, Ky. — A pair of Murray State University faculty have earned awards from the Kentucky Association for Career and Technical Education (KACTE).

Dr. Kemaly Parr, who serves as an assistant professor and program coordinator of the University’s career and technical education program, was recognized as the KACTE Postsecondary Teacher of the Year. Agriculture education professor Dr. Kimberly Bellah of the Hutson School of Agriculture was named the KACTE Teacher Educator of the Year.

Murray State University’s Dr. Kemaly Parr, who serves as an assistant professor and program coordinator of the University’s career and technical education program, was recognized as the KACTE Postsecondary Teacher of the Year. From left are Kelli Dickson, 2020-2021 Kentucky ACTE president, Parr and Kyle Kelly, director of local activities for Kentucky Farm Bureau.
Murray State University’s Dr. Kemaly Parr, who serves as an assistant professor and program coordinator of the University’s career and technical education program, was recognized as the KACTE Postsecondary Teacher of the Year. From left are Kelli Dickson, 2020-2021 Kentucky ACTE president, Parr and Kyle Kelly, director of local activities for Kentucky Farm Bureau.

Both were honored during a socially-distanced awards presentation held in Louisville, Kentucky, in lieu of a traditional KACTE summer conference.

“I am extremely honored to coordinate the career and technical education program here in the College of Education and Human Services at Murray State University,” Parr said. “My students are an absolute joy to work with. They have a passion for education that is unparalleled as they prepare middle and secondary students for the world of work. I am also very thankful for our administrators who provide unwavering support for Career and Technical Education (CTE) as it is such a vital field in our nation presently.

“Currently, there are over 30 million jobs in our country in the field of CTE that pay very well. However, millions of people in these positions are nearing retirement age, so the timing is critical to prepare the next generation of workers. In CTE classes, students learn the vital employability skills that prepare them to fulfil these positions.” 

Parr, also named one of Murray State’s 2020 Outstanding Collegiate Researchers, has been with the University since 2015. Last year, she received the College of Education and Human Services Outstanding Faculty Research and Creativity Award.

“I am honored that I was selected among all CTE area teacher educators in the state for this award,” said Bellah, who has spent the past 27 years as an agricultural educator. “I have a treasure trove of current and former students and agricultural teaching peers across the country who have blessed me with their spirit, kindness and ability to see that all students are worthy of love and connection.”

Murray State University agriculture education professor Dr. Kimberly Bellah was named the KACTE Teacher Educator of the Year. From left are Kelli Dickson, 2020-2021 Kentucky ACTE president, Bellah and Kyle Kelly, director of local activities for Kentucky Farm Bureau.
Murray State University agriculture education professor Dr. Kimberly Bellah was named the KACTE Teacher Educator of the Year. From left are Kelli Dickson, 2020-2021 Kentucky ACTE president, Bellah and Kyle Kelly, director of local activities for Kentucky Farm Bureau.

Bellah has served Murray State as a teacher educator since 2011. She has served on a number of national committees and is the superintendent for the National FFA Organization’s Creed Leadership Development Event. She was selected as a delegate coordinator for FFA. She has a number of research publications with the American Association of Agricultural Educators, the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists and the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. Additionally, she has been a lead facilitator and mentor for Delta Conferences nationally and in Tennessee and Oregon. 

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