EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The University of Evansville has presented 4 individuals with Outstanding Educator of the Year awards. The awards are given to educators in various categories, from elementary, to middle and high school, and an administrative level.

Aaron Huff, principal of Bosse High School, received the Principal of the Year award and says he is humbled and elated to see his hard work be recognized. After accepting the award, Huff gave a heartfelt speech in front of students, faculty, staff, and even friends and family members.

“It’s important that they know that persistence and hard work will get you beyond where you are today,” says Huff.

Kenneth Barnett, a fifth grade teacher at Vogel Elementary School, received the Elementary Teacher of the Year award. Barnett began his career as a physical education teacher, then moved to the classroom to further his goal of one day becoming a principal. Barnett says he stresses the importance of building strong relationships in the classroom.

“Not just teaching them the content, but teach them life skills, and get to learn what makes them tick and just tackling some of the tougher issues,” says Barnett. “Not just how to multiply multiple digits, but just figuring out, okay something’s going on at home? How can I be there for you?”

Lori Kassel-Reed, Middle School Teacher of the Year winner, describes Washington Middle School as one large family.

“There are so many people more deserving than I am for this. In my mind, I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do,” explains Reed.

Award winners also received a donation of $1,000 courtesy of the Indiana Teachers Federal Credit Union. Brian Bobbitt, an educator at Evansville North, was the winner of the High School Teacher of the Year award, though he was not in attendance to accept the award.