EKU Announces 2023 “Experience Excellence” Superintendents of the Year

Published on February 17, 2023

By Sarah Bashford

Continuing a commitment to education throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky and building on a rich, foundational history of preparing teachers and educational leaders, Eastern Kentucky University is proud to announce the inaugural recipients of the “Experience Excellence” Superintendents of the Year.

The awards are given in conjunction with the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative (CKEC) and Southeast South-Central Educational Cooperative (SESC). These partnerships demonstrate EKU’s ongoing relationship with the state’s educational cooperatives, further defining a shared mission to transform the Commonwealth through educational practice, investment and leadership.

In this inaugural year, the EKU “Experience Excellence” Superintendent of the Year award employed a competitive process to identify Kentucky public school district superintendents with particularly notable talent and vision in instructional leadership, communication, professionalism and community involvement. Award recipients demonstrate through their practices and daily leadership the advancement of student success. They incorporate innovative thinking and bold action into their vision, and their transformational leadership style embraces guiding values of inclusion and trust.

The EKU “Experience Excellence” Superintendents of the Year are:

  • Sheila Mitchell, superintendent of Anderson County Schools

  • Mike LaFavers, superintendent of Boyle County Schools

  • Dr. Doug Bennett, superintendent of Laurel County Schools

  • Jeff Saylor, superintendent of Estill County Schools

Bennett and Saylor were recognized on Feb. 9, 2023, at the SESC Board of Directors meeting.

Mitchell and LaFavers were recognized on Feb. 15, 2023, at the CKEC Board of Directors meeting.

Additionally, a single, one-time $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to an EKU-bound high school senior in each of their districts.