Kentucky teacher wins $40,000 classroom makeover
By Lucy Bryson and WKTY News Staff
UPDATE 2/2/2024: LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington elementary school teacher has officially won a classroom makeover.
Northern Elementary teacher Ashley Wilkirson was one of 12 finalists in the competition.
Wilkirson will get $40,000 to re-vamp her learning space which she aims to turn into a new-and-improved stem lab for her students.
PREVIOUS 1/29/2024: LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington elementary school teacher is days away from finding out if her classroom will change forever.
Northern Elementary is home to Ashley Wilkirson’s STEM class. Right now, she’s working with what she’s got: tables, chairs, and a TV screen, but she’s looking for more.
“With STEM, there are so many materials that you have to have that a typical teacher wouldn’t necessarily have,” said Ashley Wilkirson, STEM Teacher.
“It started out in about November. My sister shared with me that there was an opportunity on KI’s website for teachers to design their classroom,” said Wilkirson.
The contest grants selected teacher $40,000 worth of materials to re-vamp their classroom. All that’s required is a video pitch stating why materials are needed and a render of what their room would look like with the contribution.
“I would love to see new tables throughout the room. We have a lot of tables, but they do wobble a little bit,” said Wilkirson.
She applied on a whim and continued on life as usual until one phone call gave her hope.
“About mid-January, I get a phone call telling me that I had been selected as a finalist,” said Wilkirson.
She’s one of 12 finalists. Only four will win the grand prize. The outcome will all come down to the classroom with the most votes.
All hands are on deck to help her win.
“Our families are sharing it, our co-workers, our team here at Northern is sharing it.”
For now, all Ashley can do is wait and continue to be hopeful about what *this prize could do for her.
“It’s going to change everything. To give them a space where they can communicate, where they can be creative and have fun and learn and feel safe. That’s a dream come true for me. Because at the end of the day that’s why I did this. I did this for our students here at Northern.”