FRANKFORT - The Kentucky School Boards Association today recognized Senator Johnny Ray Turner, D-Drift, with the 2008 KIDS First Award.
The award was established to honor local and state leaders who work on behalf of Kentucky's public schools. Given annually to a Kentucky senator, representative, superintendent and school board member, the recipients exemplify the efforts of advancing the needs of children in the public policy arena.
"As an educator for 28 years, education has always been my top priority while serving in Frankfort," said Turner, who taught and coached in Floyd, Johnson and Magoffin counties. "It is an honor to be recognized for the work that I do, but I don't do it for recognition, I do it because education needs a champion. The education of our children is important for our future and it is our teachers who impact them with knowledge."
Floyd County Board of Education Chairman Jeff Stumbo nominated Turner for his work on behalf of schools statewide and particularly in eastern Kentucky. Stumbo said that Turner has sponsored successful legislation that has made schools safer, improved drug abuse prevention and expanded affordable housing opportunities for certified school employees.
"Senator Turner is deserving of this award. He understands the challenges faced by teachers and the needs in the classroom. He is always seeking opportunities where the state can assist local school districts to positively impact education," said Senator Ed Worley, D-Richmond, Senate Democratic Floor Leader.
Turner, who represents Floyd, Breathitt, Letcher and Knott counties, has been a member of the State Senate since 2001. He currently serves on the Appropriations and Revenue, Education, Health and Welfare, State and Local Government, Rules and Committee on Committees.