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Teachers may be nominated and recommended by their individual school districts, fellow educators, or former students. The nomination packets should address the nominee’s impact on students and young people in Kentucky. Page limitations are strictly adhered to by the selection committee.



Wendell Worley

Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame Inductee, 2015

A resident of London, Wendell Worley began his teaching career in 1984 at Laurel County High School. Worley has spent his entire 32-year tenure at the school, now named South Laurel High School. There he teaches Advanced Placement (A.P.) American Government & Politics and Honors Civics & Economics. He began the first A.P. class (AP U.S. History) in Laurel County and taught that subject for more than 25 years. He earned his associate’s degree from Sue Bennett College in London (1982), a bachelor’s degree from Cumberland College in Williamsburg (1984), and a master’s degree (1990) and a Rank I (1995) from Union College in Barbourville.

In addition to his classroom teaching responsibilities, Worley has served as the chair of the Social Studies Department, as a member of the Site Based Decision Making Council, and as coach of the school’s Quick Recall Team. A partial list of Worley’s awards include the United States Presidential Scholar Program’s Distinguished Teacher (1993), Laurel County High School Teacher of the Year (1994), South Laurel High School Outstanding Teacher (1996-97), London-Laurel Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year (2011), Campbellsville University/WKYT-TV Excellence in Teaching Award (2002, 2011) and UK Teacher Who Made a Difference (2001, 2014).

Former students commented: “He taught us how to find our own opinion and voice and then use that to debate politics and ensured that we showed each opinion respect”; and “He cares deeply for the well-being of his pupils, both inside and outside the classroom.”

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 Last Modified 12/9/15