Kentucky Jump$tart Honors 2021 Award Winners

Members of the Kentucky Jump$tart Coalition gathered on July 22, 2021 for the “Kentucky Jump$tart Teacher Awards Dinner with the Fed.” Attendees celebrated Kentucky Jump$tart’s 2021 Teacher of the Year and Student of the Year award winners.

The evening marked a series of firsts: the first annual awards dinner, the first time coalition members met in person since early 2020, and recognition of the first Student of the Year. The event took place at the Galt House in Louisville, as part of the 2021 Kentucky Career and Technical Education (CTE) Summer Program.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Louisville Branch, co-hosted the evening, which included a keynote presentation on “The Role of Central Banks in Financial Crises and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” by Vice President Chris Neely, an economist with the St. Louis Fed’s Research Division.

Dr. David Perkis, senior economic education specialist at the St. Louis Fed, described the agency’s resources for teachers and students in pre-K through college classrooms. contains hundreds of free, in-class and virtual lessons in personal finance and economics. Perkis, who works in Louisville, asked attendees to call him “just Dave” and encouraged teachers across the state to contact him for resources.

2021 Teacher of the Year

Kentucky Jump$tart’s Teacher of the Year is Alex R. Claycomb of Ramsey Middle School in Louisville. “She is an outstanding leader whose passion for business and financial literacy is known the minute you walk into her classroom,” said her colleague Brian Sermersheim, who nominated her for the award. Alex is founder of the Claycomb ACCademy, a nonprofit “financial literacy academy educating children and adults on financial skills to help them be successful one goal at a time.” (Twitter: @ACCademylyfe, Facebook: @claycombaccademy).

Tom Anonson, Executive Vice President of Class Act Federal Credit Union, presented the award, which Class Act sponsored. As Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Claycomb will represent Kentucky at the Jump$tart National Educator Conference Nov. 6-8, 2021 in Washington, D.C. In addition to a full scholarship to the conference, she will receive $250 for travel expenses and $300 for classroom materials.

Mr. Anonson also recognized this year’s Runner-Up, Amber Florence, who teaches at the Harrison County Area Technology Center. Ms. Florence will also have the opportunity to attend the National Educator’s Conference.

2021 Student of the Year

The Kentucky Jump$tart Coalition’s Student of the Year is Gracyn Cook of Grayson County High School. This new award honors a current Kentucky graduating senior who demonstrates an exceptional understanding of financial literacy and motivating others to learn about personal finance.

Gracyn is an active member of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). She is passionate about Baking and Pastry Arts, which she plans to study at Sullivan University. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, she ultimately plans to open her own bakery, “Touch of Grace.”

As Student of the Year, Gracyn receives a $500 award, sponsored by the University of Louisville’s College of Education & Human Development. Jodi Adams of U of L, who also serves as Director of Kentucky’s New Teacher Institute, presented the award.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!