Mayfield Counselor Wins Top Award While Driving Home

Natalie Crawford of Mayfield Surprised by Honor

Paducah, KY (05/05/2023) — Mayfield Youth Services Center Coordinator Natalie Crawford was returning to Mayfield from Frankfort after taking a Senior Youth Leadership group on a two-day tour of the capitol. She missed attending the Sixth Annual Regional Educators Awards and Scholarship Program at West Kentucky Community and Technical College on March 30.

"My principal was keeping me informed through text," said Crawford, who won the Cornelia Reece Unsung Hero Administrative Staff Award. "I was shocked. I was just honored to be nominated."

More than 400 educators, family, friends, and students were on hand to cheer for and recognize the honorees for the 2023 Regional Educators Awards and Scholarship program at WKCTC's Clemens Fine Arts Center on March 30.

Faculty, administrators, and staff from throughout the Jackson Purchase and southern Illinois area were nominated for awards in five categories: distinguished faculty for grades pre-kindergarten through fifth, distinguished faculty for grades sixth through 12th, distinguished administrators, and the Cornelia Reece Unsung Hero Support Staff and Administrative Staff Awards, named for the wife of Dr. Anton Reece, WKCTC President.

The awards and scholarship program was established in August 2017 by Dr. Reece to recognize pre-kindergarten through high school educators, administrators, and staff members who work tirelessly each day on behalf of students, parents, and the community in WKCTC's service region, which includes Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall, McCracken, Livingston and Lyon counties in Kentucky and Alexander, Hardin, Massac, Pope and Pulaski counties in Illinois.

More than 220 faculty, staff, and administrators received 279 nominations submitted by area students, parents, community members, and colleagues. Each nominee was then asked to apply. More than 125 applications were submitted and reviewed by a selection committee of educators and business and community leaders, who selected two finalists and a winner in each of the four categories.

In addition to Crawford, two other educators working in Graves County were honored. They were Stephenie Wheeler, a music and art teacher at Sedalia Elementary School, who was named a finalist in the Distinguished Faculty Award (preK - 5th grade), and Kara Dowdy, Mayfield High School English teacher and department chair, who was the winner of the Distinguished Faculty Award (6th - 12th grade).

Crawford, who works at Mayfield High School, said she has adopted the I have ado pted the Division of Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSC)'s motto -'Whatever it takes.'

I do what I do because I love my job and helping others," Crawford said. "I don't guess I realized that others might see what I do and find it important."

A colleague brought the plaque and $250 check that she would have received if she had attended the ceremony. "I am just so thankful and grateful to be the winner," Crawford said a few days after the ceremony. "I am still in shock every time I see the award sitting on my desk. I tell everyone who compliments me on a job well done that I couldn't do my job without the help of our community volunteers and my amazing school staff. I play a small role in making sure our families and students are taken care of. So when I won this award, really all my school staff, my assistant, and our amazing community volunteers won this with me because, without them, I couldn't do my job successfully."

Media Attachments

Mayfield High School Principal Billy Edwards congratulates Natalie Crawford on winning the Cornelia Reece Unsung Hero Administrative Staff Award in WKCTC's 2023 Regional Educators Awards and Scholarship Program. Edwards was a finalist in the Distinguished Administrator category in 2022.