UPIKE inducts Distinguished Educators into 2022 Hall of Fame

The University of Pikeville honored the 2022 Distinguished Educators Hall of Fame inductees at a ceremony held on October 4, in Booth Auditorium. 

Since 2010, UPIKE has carried on the yearly tradition of celebrating those educators whose contributions to learning have inspired generations of students, providing them with unwavering support in their life-long commitment to the field of education.

This year’s inductees include Sylvia Bailey of Pikeville, Thom Cochran of Paintsville, Ronald Keith Curry (posthumously), Raquel Stone Goodman of Pikeville, Amy Kincer of Whitesburg, Betty McGuire of Pikeville and Gregory L. Stone of Pikeville.

Sylvia Bailey earned her teaching degree from then Pikeville College (‘59) and went on to dedicate more than 30 years to education before retiring from the Pikeville Independent School System in 1997. She remains very active in the community, serving organizations such as First Baptist Church, the Pike County Retired Teachers and the Pikeville Women’s Club, who awarded her Clubwoman of the Year in 2007. With a heart for service, and continuing to make a difference for others, she volunteers at the Appalachian Pregnancy Center, East Kentucky Strong, Pikeville Nursing Home and Pikeville Rotary. Bailey is a devoted mother to daughters Glenda Adkins and Sherry Lane, and sons Doug and Robert Bailey, and a loving grandmother to her nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. 

Thom Cochran has been in public education for 24 years and is beginning his sixth year as superintendent of the Johnson County School System. He began his career as a special education teacher and later moved on to become assistant principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels, as well as being a high school athletic director. He also served as head principal at two elementary schools and the director of pupil personnel for the district. Currently, Cochran is the president-elect of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents Board of Directors, member of the Local Superintendent’s Advisory Council as well as a member of the Commissioner’s Superintendent’s Advisory Council. During the past several years, he served as Board Chairman of the Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative and on the Kentucky Association of School Administrators Board of Directors Executive Committee. He resides with his wife of 22 years, Cristal, and two children, Ava, who is 19, and Grayson, age 11.

Ronald Keith Curry (deceased) served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After his enlistment, he returned to Eastern Kentucky University to finish the teaching degree he began before the war. Hearing loss due to an illness did not stop Curry from impacting the lives of so many as a coach, teacher and mentor at Dorton High School where he taught social studies, physical education and coached basketball, and later at Virgie Valley High School where he coached football in addition to teaching. Curry was also a member of the National Education Association and the Kentucky Education Association. He and his wife of 53 years, Gloria Ann, were members of the Virgie Baptist Church, where Curry served as deacon for 25 years. They also raised two daughters, Saundra Curry and Rhonda K. Pergrem, and have one grandson, Clark Dale Pergrem II. 

Raquel Stone Goodman received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from then Pikeville College (’99) and her master’s degree in reading and math specialty from Walden University. She later earned her Rank 1 in teacher leadership from the University of the Cumberlands. Serving as an educator for more than two decades, Goodman is a third grade teacher at Pikeville Elementary School, and works with UPIKE’s Patton College of Education with student teaching placement. She is also a member of Pikeville Elementary School Site-Based Decision-Making Committee. Goodman is a member of the Kentucky Education Association, the National Teaching Association and vice president of the Pikeville Education Association. She volunteers in the kid’s ministry program at New Beginnings Fellowship Church where she is also in rotation to teach Sunday school lessons for third/fourth grade students. She resides in Pikeville with her husband Chase, and two sons, Stone Preston and Chaseton.

Amy Kincer has worked as a special education teacher for 29 years in the Letcher County School system. The patience and kindness she shows her students each day has not only made a positive impact on them, but also on other educators. In addition to being a member of the Kentucky Education Association, she devoted much of her free time to extracurricular activities at her school, working sporting events and open houses. Kincer also volunteers for Mercy Chefs, church groups and other civic organizations. Her children are Sharaye Whitaker, Alexis Gibson, Beverly Cook, Gregory Kincer and Karlee Kincer.

Betty McGuire earned her degree in elementary education from then Pikeville College (‘70). She has retired as a certified K-8 teacher, but currently serves as the pre-kindergarten teacher for the First Baptist Church of Pikeville, where she also teaches Sunday school and Bible school. The energy and passion she brings to her work has inspired others to make the preschool atmosphere one that fosters learning in fresh and imaginative ways. She is an active member of the Kiwanis Club, the Kentucky Education Association and the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association. McGuire was elected to the first site-based council as a teacher representative and she was chosen as a Certified Intern Teacher Observer for the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program. McGuire volunteers as assistant academic coach for the Pikeville Elementary academic team where she was recognized as a winning academic team coach with the team winning both district and regional competitions for the past 10 years.

Gregory L. Stone graduated from then Pikeville College with a bachelor’s degree in business and psychology (‘76) and later returned to “the hill” to earn his degree in early elementary education (‘84). He went on to receive his master’s degree from Morehead State University and later his Rank 1. Stone spent 35 years in the Pikeville Independent School system, first becoming a teacher and then principal six years later. Stone leaves a legacy of support, kindness, joy, encouragement and integrity at Pikeville Elementary School. He met his wife, Jeannie, at Pikeville College and raised three children together who are also UPIKE alumni. His daughter, Raquel Stone Goodman, shares in this honor as a distinguished educator.