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Eastern Kentucky University junior Ava Herms, of Alexandria, Kentucky, is one of four Kentucky college students who received the Kentucky Education Association’s Marvin Dodson-Carl Perkins Scholarship at the association’s annual Delegate Assembly in Louisville on April 6.

Herms photoThe scholarships are given to members of the KEA Student Program who are juniors, seniors, MAT candidates or post-baccalaureate students seeking a first-time teaching endorsement in a Kentucky college or university, and who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship, leadership, and community service. Herms serves as president of the KEA Student Program at EKU.

KEA considers the scholarships to be an investment in the future of teacher leadership in the Commonwealth. They are named for Marvin Dodson, who was executive director of KEA for 25 years, and Carl D. Perkins, who represented Kentucky’s 7th Congressional District in Washington from January 1949 until his death in August 1984 and who was a tireless champion for children in poverty and for public education.

In her scholarship application, Herms told the KEA Visibility Committee, which selects the winners, “I know I was meant to teach special education.” She attributes the “gift” of her calling to a friend from kindergarten who is deaf and has an intellectual disability.

Visibility Committee Chair Jessica Page, who presented Herms’ scholarship award check, said that Herms is “precisely the kind of future teacher that these scholarships were created to honor and support.”

More than 42,000 Kentucky educators belong to the Kentucky Education Association. KEA members include teachers, school classified employees, school administrators, pre-service teachers and retired educators in every community in Kentucky. KEA unites, organizes and empowers members to advocate for themselves and to ensure a quality public education for all Kentucky students. For more information about KEA, visit

Inset photo: Ava Herms (right) with KEA Visibility Chair Jessica Page