MSU education alumni named as 2021 GoTeachKY Ambassadors

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Morehead State has always produced qualified teachers capable of improving the lives of Kentuckians through education. Last year, Kentucky recognized MSU education alumni for their passion and contributions to the field.  

Jennifer Emberton
Jennifer Emberton

Jennifer Emberton (18), teacher librarian and technology coordinator at Allen County-Scottsville High School in Scottsville, and Amanda White (03, 07), a first-grade teacher at Straub Elementary School in Maysville, were both named among the state’s 32 GoTeachKy Ambassadors for 2021. Of the 32 named, five other MSU alumni were selected as GoTeachKY Ambassadors this year.

These include: 

  • Dee Anna Albright (07, 16), Heritage Elementary School (reading recovery), Carter County Public Schools 
  • Robert Collins (17), Greenup County High School (English, language arts), Greenup County Public Schools 
  • Kari Cornett (20), Teach for America Appalachia (professional organization) 
  • Theresa McDavid-Dobbins (04), Boyd County Virtual Academy (core content, intermediate), Boyd County Public Schools 
  • Samuel Northern (11), Simpson Elementary School (library media), Simpson County Public Schools 
Amanda White
Amanda White

GoTeachKY is an initiative by the Kentucky Department of Education to recruit future teachers and secure equitable access to qualified educators for every student in the state.  

Last year, White was named one of Kentucky’s 24 Outstanding Educators by the Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc. She moved from Sardinia, Ohio, to attend Morehead State University. During her tour of the school and the Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education, White decided she wanted to become a teacher. She said classroom experience with instructors like Dr. Melinda Willis, associate professor of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education, showed White how to “not just read to my children but immerse them in the story.”    

“I looked forward to her class every single time because it didn’t feel like class, it was learning but it didn’t feel like it,” White said. “I do the same now with my kids. I make sure my lessons are engaging, warm and entertaining.”    

White earned a Bachelor of Arts in Early Elementary, P-5 in 2003, and Master of Arts in Elementary Education, P-5, in 2007. She began working in the Mason County School District right after graduation and has worked at Straub Elementary School for the last 18 years.    

“There are so many dreams that I have for my school, district and state, and my hope is to bring all these pieces and people together,” White said. “I hope to work with colleges, especially my alma mater, to recruit the next generation of amazing teachers. I also hope to help current teachers excel in their field and be continuously upping their game as an educator. Kentucky’s future is so bright, and we are so very blessed to have some of the hardest working and most talented teachers working with our kids.”    

Emberton, a native of Scottsville, decided to leave a career in business to pursue education. After her oldest son was born with sensorineural bilateral hearing loss and started school, she noticed his struggles and admitted she didn’t understand the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. She initially earned a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Grades Education in 2012 from Western Kentucky University (WKU) and started her teaching career at Franklin-Simpson Middle School in Franklin. There, she spent the next eight years teaching language arts, social studies and computer science while also earning a master’s degree in library media science with a technology endorsement in 2015 from WKU.  

“Once I started, I kept going and still feel the need to keep going, which is what led me to Morehead State University,” Emberton said. “You see, not many from my socioeconomic background go into this field. While nearby universities offered many opportunities, I was searching for a university that would provide training on how to empower learners with technology skills to be successful citizens by combining what I learned from the real-world, the workforce, and the classroom. Morehead State offered just that in their educational leadership doctoral program.”  

Emberton went on to earn a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership in Technology from MSU in 2018 and has become an ambassador for MSU’s Ed.D. In Educational Leadership in Technology program. She said the COVID-19 pandemic led to her current position sharing her passion back in her hometown at Allen County-Scottsville High School. Her priorities as a teacher are kindness, compassion and listening to the needs of students and families. She plans to bring this same focus to her position as a GoTeachKy Ambassador.  

“This position has strengthened my passion for the field and what we do as teachers,” Emberton said. “It is truly an honor to be an advocate for the teaching and learning profession.”  

For more information about MSU’s Volgenau College of Education and its programs, call 606-783-2162 or visit www.moreheadstate.edu/education.     

Morehead State University’s Volgenau College of Education offers a reduced tuition rate to all Kentucky schoolteachers and other educators enrolled in courses within our College of Education. For more details on the reduced tuition offer, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/kyeducators.