From Barren County Schools:
Barren County Schools knew they had hired an extraordinary teacher in 1998 when April Willis was selected to join the family at Barren County Middle School teaching language arts and coaching cheerleading. Her enthusiastic approach to teaching and learning graced the BCMS halls for four years, and then she married and moved to another district. Barren County Schools was so thankful for her return in 2005 as the district migrant coordinator. Her dedication to Barren County Schools and the students of the districts she serves shows in every task she attempts.
After taking a pie in the face to raise money for student scholarships, April Harper got an even bigger surprise. Named 2017 Kentucky Migrant Administrator of the Year at the Kentucky Migrant Education State Academy Conference held in Owensboro on November 16, 2017, April Harper accepted the prestigious award. After thirteen years working in the Migrant Education Program, Harper’s work was recognized by her colleagues and their state association.
As the Director of the Central Region of Kentucky, Harper supervises and cares for the migrant students and families of over 20 school districts. Larissa Woodie, Glasgow Independent Schools Migrant Coordinator, stated that it is difficult to put into words how much Harper deserves this award. “She carries her staff and the families we serve in her heart and sees this as a calling, not just a job,” stated Woodie.
Whether it’s answering questions, solving problems, securing donations of thousands of books for children, or the professionalism of her regional meetings, Harper does so much more than takes pies in the face. “Her knowledge and enthusiasm for the Migrant Education Program makes her more than worthy of this recognition,” complimented Wayne Hughes, MEP Coordinator of Adair County Schools.
Staff of the Barren County Migrant Program stated that there were so many tasks Harper does that goes beyond that which is required. Staff also said that Harper takes on extra duties so program staff will be able to give more time to jobs to ensure migrant children are served well. “She does what she does to ensure that everything is done with the kids’ best interests in mind. She has a heart and passion for these children. She makes sure their basic needs are met and that education is a priority,” said Becca Neal, MEP Advocate Assistant.
“On behalf of Barren County Schools, we congratulate Mrs. Harper on winning this very deserving honor and thank her for all she does for the students she serves, and we appreciate the energy she gives to her job, as it is certainly contagious,” stated Bo Matthews, Superintendent of Barren County Schools.
April Willis-Harper is an active member of Calvery Baptist Church. She is the wife of Barren County Schools Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology, Scott Harper. Scott and April have two children: Aleia-Kate in the 7th grade at Barren County Middle School and Grant in the 5th grade at North Jackson Elementary. Completing the family circle of love is their dog Bella and their cats Tucky and Bella.