2015 Class

Danny C. Adams

A Magoffin County native, Danny Adams worked in the field of education for 33 years spending 26 years as a classroom teacher and high school basketball coach. He served as social studies department chair at Magoffin County High School for seven years.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Pikeville College in 1971 with majors in history and health and physical education then completed his graduate work at Morehead State University.

He spent one year as a teacher and assistant coach before returning to Pikeville College where he served as admissions counselor, director of admissions and financial aid and assistant basketball coach. In 1979, he went back to the classroom spending three years at Pikeville High School before going home to Magoffin County High School where he taught and coached until his retirement in 2004.

Adams has been recognized for his time on the court both as a player and a coach. As a student-athlete, he was named All KIAC team member, MVP of the Pikeville College Basketball team and among the Outstanding College Athletes of America. His coaching honors include multiple coach of the year titles including Cawood Ledford Coach of the Mountains and Big Dipper Sports 15th Region Coach of the Year. Adams is a member of the UPIKE Athletics Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches Court of Honor.

Adams was named an Outstanding Teacher at Magoffin County High School and is a member of the Kentucky Education Association, Kentucky Retired Teachers Association, Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches and the UPIKE Alumni Association Board of Directors.

He and his late wife, Rebecca Ann Sanders, have three children Carl Neil, Jayne Fontana and Hester Hopson, and four grandchildren, Kayla Adams Lyons, Carlee Ann Adams, Gavin Louis Fontana and Danny Dawson Hopson.

Anita Bolt
Anita Bolt has taught 30 years in the Jenkins Independent School District. “As a graduate of Jenkins High School, it was a dream come true,” said Bolt.

She began her teaching career in the first grade classroom before implementing Project Read where she taught first through third grade students who were identified as needing intervention in reading. For the past 16 years, she has taught kindergarten at Jenkins Elementary.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia’s College of Wise and a master’s degree in education from Morehead State University. In 2011, Bolt was named Jenkins Independent Teacher of the Year. She is a member of the Kentucky Education Association and the National Education Association. She is also a member of the Jenkins Christian Church where she sings in the choir and has directed numerous Christmas and Easter cantatas.

Together, with their blended families, she and her husband Ron have five children and 11 grandchildren.

“Mrs. Bolt has remained dedicated to her profession always striving to meet the needs of all students and ensuring they learn and grow. She has a true passion for education and is a prime example of what a teacher is. She is always prepared, organized and eager to conduct daily duties. Her classroom almost appears magical as five-year-old students follow procedures, use manipulatives, hold high expectations, address learning targets and have fun all while learning. Mrs. Bolt has touched the lives of many students and families and I consider myself blessed to be one of those people,” said Stacy Collier, Jenkins Elementary School principal.

Jacqulin Damron
Jacqulin Damron has been teaching in the Pike County School System for 25 years with the majority of that time devoted to teaching primary and intermediate math. She currently teaches at Mullins Elementary.

Damron received Who’s Who Among American College Students Award as well as receiving a presidential scholarship to attend Pikeville College. She recently received the award of the Teacher of the Week by the Pike County School System.

Damron earned an associate’s degree from Prestonsburg Community College before transferring to Pikeville College where she received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She received her master’s degree from Morehead State University. Damron earned her Rank I from the Kentucky Department of Education and was the first person in Eastern Kentucky to obtain this certification through the development of a portfolio investigating the correlation between reading and math.

Her list of contributions to education include: served as KTIP resource teacher for new teachers as well as resource teacher for teacher candidates at UPIKE and Morehead State University, member of school and district task force team, school/district professional development presenter, Title I regional presenter, instructional transformational teacher leader, school leadership team, site-based council, school and district mentorship program, KVEC committee member to develop and implement common core math standards, member of the comprehensive district improvement plan, math district collaborative team and presenter and initiated grant for Reflex math program.

She is a member of Fitzpatrick Baptist Church where she teaches children’s church and nursery. Early in her college career, Damron assisted with the care of children in conjunction with the counseling program for abused children.

Damron is married to Greg Damron, a coal operator, and has three daughters Whitney, Haley and Shelby.

Dr. Jeff Hawkins
Jeff Hawkins, Ed.D., Hawkins has 26 years of service in Kentucky public education including roles as teacher, coach, building and district administrator, KDE regional service center consultant and director of multiple KDE statewide initiatives. Hawkins one of Kentucky’s first distinguished educators and is the co-founder of the Appalachian Media Institute based in Whitesburg. He is currently the executive director for the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative serving 19 public school systems in Eastern Kentucky.

He has worked in the region to grow the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) from nine public school districts to the current 19 districts that serve 45,000 students and 2,800 educators in a geographic region larger than the state of Connecticut.
Through his leadership, KVEC has been recognized as one of the highest performing educational service agencies in the country and has been awarded both a USDE Investing in Innovation Award and a coveted Race to the Top – District Award that led to the development of the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative. He is the co-author of the Perpetuating Excellence in Teaching, Leadership and Learning System. He was instrumental in the creation of the Appalachian Technology Institute, the Appalachian Leadership Laboratory and the Appalachian Innovation Collaborative that brings P-20 educators together with state/local government officials, business, local citizens and other multiple stakeholders to focus on positive systems to improve the rural Appalachian Edu-conomy.

His list of accomplishments and contributions in education is extensive. Hawkins is the recipient of the Kelly Leadership in Literacy Award, Mid-South Educational Research Association Award, Jaycees Young Man of the Year, VA/KY Commonwealths’ Teacher of the Year, LELA Fellow, and Clinton “Coming up Higher” Award.

Hawkins is a member of the ARCC Advisory Board, HPS National Advisory Board, Challenger Learning Center Board, Association of Education Service Agencies, Appalachian Innovations Collaborative, Kentucky Network to Transform Teaching, Youth Build and the University of Pikeville-Patton College of Education Advisory Board.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgetown College, a bachelor’s degree in English from University of Virginia’s College at Wise and a master’s degree in education and doctorate in Education Leadership from Morehead State University.

Hawkins and his wife have two children who are both teachers.

Delphia Ann Lockhart
From working with children at Model City Day Care to teaching kindergarten at Pikeville Elementary, Delphia Ann Lockhart has dedicated her life to helping children.

Lockhart developed and directed the Model City Day Care Center in Pikeville for 19 years prior to entering the public education system where she taught at Pikeville Elementary for 23 years before her retirement in 2015.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Pikeville College and a master’s degree in education from Morehead State University.

She is a member of the Pikeville United Methodist Church and is highly involved in church activities. She is currently co-owner of Above and Beyond in Pikeville, an event planning business and gift shop, where she works each day planning special events.

Lockhart and her husband Howard four children, Elizabeth (Mark) White, Susan Lockhart, Keith (Angela) Lockhart, and Kevin (Jennifer) Lockhart, and 10 grandchildren.

“Watching her teach was a true joy. It was evident that a master was at work. The students would be mesmerized by her as was I,” said Mary Belcher, instructional supervisor in the Pikeville Independent School System. “Mrs. Lockhart impressed me from the start. She never settled. She always had high expectations for herself and all those around her. When she spoke, I listened and still do. I knew that even if we disagreed, there was wisdom in what she said. She was and still is an advocate for children.”

Dr. William J. Loftus
William J. Loftus, Ph.D., has taught psychology at Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) for 25 years. He served advisor and mentor for Phi Theta Kappa, the world’s largest and most prestigious honor society for two-year college students, for two decades working with chapter officers and members to help them attain their goals and be successful. He continues to serve in various leadership roles on BSCTC’s Prestonsburg campus.

He was recognized for his service to Phi Theta Kappa earning several awards including the International Hallmark Distinguished Advisor Award, three Kentucky Regional Advisor of the Year awards, seven Horizon Award for the Kentucky Outstanding Advisor and the prestigious Mosal Award, a personal and professional development research grant.

Loftus has also received numerous awards for his unique and innovative teaching methods during this tenure at BSCTC. Some of these accolades include: the Kentucky Colleges and Universities 2013 Acorn Award for Faculty Excellence, University of Kentucky Alumni Association’s Great Teacher Award, three Big Sandy Community and Technical College Great Teacher Awards and four National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOC) Teaching Excellence Medallion Awards.

Loftus received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and his doctorate degree in adult education from Florida State University.

He and his wife of 42 years, Teresa Apel, have one son, Balin Loftus.

“I teach to awaken the potential within others. The basis of my teaching philosophy is the belief that teaching is rooted in the art of helping an individual reveal to themselves, their aspirations in life, and I accomplish this by establishing the respect and trust that these goals can be achieved,” said Loftus.

Gene Lovel
A native of Carnegie, Okla., Gene Lovel came to Pikeville in 1982, having taught at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Benedictine (Kan.) College and probably would have never believed he would stay in Pikeville until his retirement in 2012.

Lovel provided 30 years of service to Pikeville College and the University of Pikeville. He served the UPIKE campus as professor of economics, chairman for the division of social sciences and business, chairman of the academic affairs committee, acting registrar and faculty athletics representative. He also served as eligibility chair for the Mid-South Conference.

It was his use of fuzzy dice and bad puns that his students most remember. Rick Bentley, former student and current instructor of sport management wrote about Lovel for the university’s alumni magazine stating “It could you remember him for the puns. Make that the bad puns. Often, the really, exceptionally bad puns. Or maybe you remember the fuzzy dice. Always fuzzy dice,” referring to the professor’s product of choice he used for example in the economics classroom.

Lovel earned his bachelor of arts degree with a major in economics and a minor in mathematics and statistics from Oklahoma State University and a master of arts degree in economics from the University of Chicago.

During his time at UPIKE, Lovel received the Walker Teaching Excellence Award, the William B. and Eloise W. Sturgill Distinguished Professorship and the Gary Thrash Outstanding Ambassador Award. He was also inducted him into the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame for his service to UPIKE’s student-athletes.

He is enjoying his retirement in Pikeville as a University of Pikeville professor emeritus.

He also served as associate director of the Kansas Energy Office.

Betsy Davis Thompson
Betsy Davis Thompson taught music at Johns Creek School and Pike Central High School for more than three decades before retiring in 2013.

Thompson received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Pikeville College and her master’s degree from Morehead State University.

Thompson is a member of the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA), Music Educators National Conference, and Kentucky Teachers Retirement Association.

She was named the Pike County Middle School Teacher of the Year and KMEA District nine Secondary Teacher of the Year and received the Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Award and KMEA 25 Year Service Award.

Thompson has given numerous students the opportunity to enhance and showcase their musical talents. Her choruses have sung at Carnegie Hall, Kentucky Legislature, Boys Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena, KMEA conferences and countless school performances.

She and her husband Tommy, have four children, Heath, Ryan, Cory and Hannah.

“Mrs. Thompson was an outstanding educator. I had the privilege of working with her both as a colleague and supervisor at Johns Creek Elementary. She made a difference in the lives of a tremendous number of students,” said Reed Adkins, superintendent of the Pike County School System.

Lois Combs Weinberg
Lois Combs Weinberg’s interest in public education was sparked in the late 1970’s when she learned that her first son was dyslexic. At that time, there were no programs in the public schools to meet her son’s educational needs. Therefore Weinberg started her own program. She and four other parents began tutoring at the Hindman Settlement School. This tutorial program developed into a full-time program at the James Still Learning Center and has helped thousands of dyslexic students and their families throughout Eastern Kentucky.

She is currently the executive director of IDEA: Center for Excellence, a non-profit organization that works with families and children with dyslexic characteristics and provides professional development for teachers and school administrators. She is also a senior consultant for Carnegie IDEA Academy in Lexington.

In recognition of her extensive efforts to assist students with special needs achieve their goals, Weinberg has been appointed to several statewide educational initiatives. In 1990, she was elected chairwoman of the prestigious Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence after serving on the committee since its origin in 1980. She currently serves on the Achievement Gap Study Group sponsored by the Prichard Committee. She was also appointed by Governor Brereton Jones to the University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees in 1992 where she served as secretary until 1997. In 1997, at Governor Paul Patton’s request, Weinberg accepted a seat on the newly created Council on Postsecondary Education, where she formerly served as vice chair.

Weinberg has also been the recipient of several awards including the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation’s Private Citizen’s Service Award and the Berea College Service Award. In 1986, She was named by the State Department of Education as one of the 10 state’s outstanding school volunteers and was named the “Person of the Year” in Knott County in 1987. The Lexington Women’s Center recognized Weinberg’s contributions in1995. She was presented the Earl Wallace Memorial Award in 1997 and Morehead University’s Appalachian Woman of the Year Award in 2000. In 2013, she was given an award by Women Leading Kentucky and the Distinguished Alumnae award by her alma mater, Randolph College.

She and her husband Bill have three sons Jed, Zachary and Tomas, a daughter-in-law, Amber, granddaughters, Carley and Callaway and a grandson, Will. In 1996, Weinberg attended Harvard University’s School of Education where she received a master’s of education degree.

Rosa W. Wolfe
Rosa W. Wolfe has faithfully served the students of Pike County for her entire adult life, and as she will tell you, for some of her adolescent life.

“I remember my first teaching position was when I was in eighth grade,” Wolfe told the Appalachian News-Express following her retirement in 2015. “We had a second grade education who was out-of-state for a week and I was asked to teach the class. So I did, and I got paid $5 and, boy, did I feel rich.”

A lifelong learner, Wolfe received her associate’s degree from Pikeville Junior College and bachelor’s degree, three master’s degrees and Rank I from Morehead State University.

Her 65-year career in education began in 1951 as a teacher at South Williamson Grade School. She taught at several schools before serving as guidance counselor, principal, GED instructor. Wolfe also served as an adjunct professor at Pikeville College and Southern West Virginia Community College.

A leader in rural education, Wolfe whole-heartedly supported field trips that took Appalachian students to New York City and Washington D.C. She worked to include technology in the educational process even when it meant securing private donations to obtain computers for her school in 1980.

She served as principal at Hardy Grade School in 1963 during desegregation and was selected to participate in a summer program that integrated faculty at a school in Charleston, S.C., where white teachers were integrated into the black school. During times of racial tension, she earned the trust of South Carolina elementary and high school students as they selected her to be their mediator with school administration.

Wolfe’s contributions to education have been recognized by earning the Outstanding Title I Program at Runyon Elementary, Title I P.A.I.R. Program for best in district, and the KDE Top Day Attendance for Runyon Elementary School. She is a member of several local, state and national education associations and has served her community in various capacities.

“My family has always valued education. A prime reason for going into education was to better the lives of children and encourage student self-esteem which was always lacking within the Appalachian culture,” said Wolfe.

Wolfe plans to return to the Pike County School System as a volunteer. She and her late husband, George, have a daughter, Beth-Ann Wolfe.

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