• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Midway’s Tiffany Marsh named state Teacher of Year


TIFFANY MARSH, a vocal music teacher at Paul Laurence Dunbar in Lexington and a resident of Midway, was named 2019 Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year. Marsh is pictured with her husband, Ryan, and their 6-year-old daughter, Emory, a student at Northside Elementary School. (Courtney Paris Photography)

Midway resident Tiffany Marsh, a vocal music teacher at Paul Laurence Dunbar in Lexington, has been named 2019 Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year.

“I was very surprised, honored. It was a mix of emotions for sure,” said Marsh of her reaction to being recognized during a ceremony in Frankfort on May 15.

She called it “really exciting” to represent the arts and music educators in Kentucky. And she pointed out that recognition was doubly exciting because last year’s overall Teacher of the Year, Kellie Clark, was also an arts teacher.

“It’s nice to show … that arts education does matter,” said Marsh. She said her high school teachers, particularly her choral teacher, inspired her to pursue a career as a music educator because they showed interest in their students and encouraged them to excel in class and beyond.

“I’ve always loved to learn and so teaching was kind of a natural thing to go on with it,” said Marsh. Unlike teachers in core subject areas, the southern Indiana native said she gets to nurture relationships and bonds with students over four years of high school and watch them grow as singers and as people.

Marsh lives in Midway with her husband of nearly 14 years, Ryan, and their 6-year-old daughter, Emory, a student at Northside Elementary School.

Marsh said she plans to set aside a portion of her $3,000 cash award for being named Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year for Emory’s college education. “Just making sure that she has a good future lined up for her to succeed as well in life,” she said. During a ceremony at the Berry Mansion in Frankfort, Valvoline and the Kentucky Department of Education recognized Marsh, Jessica Duenas as its 2019 Middle and Kentucky Teacher of the Year, and NyRee D. Clayton-Taylor as 2019 Elementary Teacher of the Year. Twenty-one other teachers received $500 cash awards for earning Valvoline Teacher Achievement Awards.

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