KY Superintendent, Tommy Floyd, Will Receive National Award for Literacy Leadership

Tommy Floyd

Tommy Floyd, Superintendent of the Madison County Schools in central Kentucky, will receive national recognition for leadership that allows struggling first-grader students to have the best-possible instruction so they can quickly reach proficiency. The Reading Recovery teacher leader award will be presented to Mr. Floyd during the Leadership Academy in North Bethesda, MD on Friday, June 22.

Reading Recovery is a short-term intervention of one-to-one tutoring for first graders who struggle with early reading and writing. Specially trained teachers work with children in half-hour daily lessons lasting 12 to 20 weeks. After a full set of lessons, about 75 percent of these formerly lowest first-graders reach grade level standard. Reading Recovery received high ratings by USDE’s Institute of Education Science What Works Clearinghouse.

Mr. Floyd has been a strong advocate for Reading Recovery teachers and their work with struggling students. He shares his message of student and teacher success with other administrators as well as with Kentucky lawmakers who help fund Reading Recovery using Read to Achieve Funds. Mr. Floyd spoke about the district’s experience in a recent video posted on and you tube the video, Mr. Floyd and teacher leader Amy Smith point with pride to the fact that 35 percent of students who are proficient and distinguished readers on the 4th grade reading achievement test are former Reading Recovery students.

“These students used to be Madison County’s lowest readers and have now joined the ranks of proficiency,” Floyd said. “Think about the lives these children will now lead!”

In supporting Mr. Floyd for the award he will receive in June, Felicia Cumings Smith, Associate Commissioner in the Kentucky Department of Education wrote, “Mr. Floyd’s advocacy efforts are not only driven by his commitment to all learners but are affirmed by the compelling data he shares about the students who have benefited from Reading Recovery. He has a way of bringing the data to life by making sure that various audiences tie a face to the numbers.”

Mr. Floyd is one of three awardees who will receive a Teacher Leader award at the Teacher Leader Institute. Also receiving the award is Robert Williams, Director of Special Projects at Long Beach Unified School District in California, and Julie Olso, Director of Elementary Education for the Rosemount, Apple Valley, Eagan Independent School District, District 196 in Minnesota. Each year, Reading Recovery teacher leaders nominate and recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Reading Recovery beyond their local community. This professional recognition is sponsored by the Reading Recovery Council of North America, an association of Reading Recovery professionals and partners. The Council provides professional development, networking opportunities, and advocacy for Reading Recovery in the United States and Canada. In the U.S. nearly two million children have had Reading Recovery lessons and tens of thousands of teachers have been trained.

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