By Makenzie Winkler
Katina Alami, ’11, was chosen as the 2023 Kentucky Mother of the Year. Katina, a mother to seven adoptive children, is the 70th woman to be honored as Mother of the Year in Kentucky.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the 2023 Kentucky Mother of the Year. Motherhood isn't easy, and this honor brings me a sense of accomplishment,” Katina said. “It affirms that the sacrifice, struggle and strife has been worthwhile. There were many tears shed and faith that was tried before Alan and I were blessed with our children, which makes it more tender to be the recipient of this title.”
Katina authored “Hindsight: A Story of Faith and Family” and actively volunteers with a community outreach program at her church, called Just Serve. As part of the service work, Katina packed meals to help the victims of the war in Ukraine, as well as the victims of flooding in Eastern Kentucky and in Florida.
Katina and her husband, Alan Alami, ’12, have three sons and four daughters who range in age from five to 14. Putting to good use her elementary education degree from EKU, Katina conducts homeschool with all of their children, who have special needs. She sticks to a strict schedule to ensure each child gets one-on-one daily instruction.
“After morning chores are completed, we gather at the table for family scripture study, then breakfast,” Katina said. “A little after nine, we do rotations. The younger kids have online programs they use while the older kids rotate doing work on their own and coming to the table for their one-on-one instructional time. Then we swap, younger children with me while the older children work on their own.”
Katina says she is grateful for the time she and her husband spent at EKU and that her degree has proved itself useful numerous times, both professionally and personally.
“Alan and I got married in 2010 as a young couple─barely in our 20s. We had a hard time juggling the financial strain of tuition and being newlyweds,” Katina said. “EKU gave us a footing for our future by providing the option of marriage housing.”
Katina says she has been able to use her knowledge earned from her degree to help other parents understand their rights regarding their children’s education and to become a published author. Her book tells the story of their family.
Katina said, “My journey to motherhood wasn’t easy—it was a trial of faith.” Struggling with infertility early in their marriage, the Alami family decided to adopt. She hopes sharing her family's story will give others hope.
Katina was recognized as the 2023 Kentucky Mother of the Year in Omaha, Nebraska, at the 88th National Convention of American Mothers in April, along with other mothers who received the honor from their states.
“Katina epitomizes the leadership skills that we hope to inspire among all graduates of our programs. Her accomplishment is a wonderful example of the many career paths a degree in education can support,” said Dr. Nicola Mason, professor and chair of the Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership in the EKU College of Education and Applied Human Sciences.
EKU’s Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership offers various routes to teacher certification—including elementary, middle, high school and special education—boasting 100% job placement. A new online bachelor’s elementary degree launches in Fall 2023, showcasing “the many ways EKU strives toward quality, flexible programs that meet the variety of student needs in Kentucky,” said Mason.