Educator Profile    Educators

Kevin Dailey (KY '21)


Ballyshannon Middle School
Union, KY

Subject(s) taught: Social Studies
Grade(s): 8

At the time of the Award, Kevin Dailey was:

Ballyshannon Middle School
Union, KY

Subject(s) taught: Social Studies
Grade(s): 8

Biographical Information

Kevin Dailey brings U.S. history alive for his eighth graders at Ballyshannon Middle School in Union, Kentucky. During a unit on the origin of goods and services during colonial times, the class invited faculty and staff to join them in a hot chocolate tasting, with different versions incorporating spices, salt and other savory flavors brought to America by colonists from different cultures and growing regions. Students use clues to write journals detailing explorers’ stories and create intricate wall-sized diagrams showing the relationships among neighboring colonies, looking at historical documents to understand how the colonies came together to form our country. Dailey emphasizes writing, speaking, listening and reading skills in his classroom, recognizing their ongoing importance to his charges’ academic, personal and professional success. He collaborates with a science colleague for Project Citizen, a project-based learning program that teaches students about public policy and supports their efforts to press community and government leaders to effect change. Students leave his classroom with a strong foundation that sets them up for positive experiences in high school. The majority of his students take AP Human Geography as ninth graders, and more pupils enroll in AP European History in high school from Ballyshannon than from any other feeder middle school.

Dailey has a reputation as the district’s strongest advocate for fact-based instruction and equity in education, leading the effort to reimagine a multicultural social studies curriculum that addresses bias and includes narratives that support all students. He was one of the first Ballyshannon teachers to promote standards-based learning and has developed multiple rubrics to measure students’ mastery. Dailey is active in professional learning communities for his grade, building and district; participates in the district Aspiring Administrators Program; was elected by his peers to Ballyshannon’s site-based council; and has presented professional development on the flipped classroom at the Kentucky Council for Teachers of Social Studies conference. He hosts teacher interns and is a leader on the school’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team, creating a student-run “spirit store” that rewards positive student behaviors.

A lifelong learner, Dailey has sought out many opportunities to enrich his instruction. He taught in China through the University of Kentucky’s Confucius Institute and has attended the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions Teacher Training Institute and University of Louisville’s McConnell Center for Teaching Scholars. Dailey is certified to teach “We The People,” a program that promotes civic competence and responsibility for middle schoolers. A certified fitness trainer, he began his career as an aerospace and architectural designer, skills he put to use when starting Ballyshannon’s woodworking club and overseeing the construction of a small community library in front of the school.

Dailey earned a bachelor’s in 2011 and a master’s in 2012, both in social studies secondary education, from the University of Kentucky.

Press release: Kevin Dailey of Union, Kentucky, Receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Developing Students into Citizens of the World


Related Connections

Milestone: Kevin Dailey (KY '21) Named Kentucky Teacher of the Year

Article: A ‘Life-Changing Experience’: 2023 Fellows Explore LMC’s Unsung Heroes

Article: Reactions and Takeaways from the 2022 MEA Forum

Educator Quote:

"We take a lot of pride, preparation and studying to make..." (read more)

Kevin Dailey In The News

2024 Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year Kevin Dailey Wants His Students to Feel Supported, Included
Kentucky Teacher  |  Kentucky Department of Education  |  Sep 13, 2023  |  Frankfort, KY

2024 Teacher Achievement Award Winners
Kentucky Department of Education  |  Jul 13, 2023  |  Frankfort, KY

Milken Award winner: 'We must defend public education'
NKY thrives  |  Sep 08, 2022  |  Cincinnati, OH

Kentucky Milken Educator Award Recipient Brings History to Life for Students
Kentucky Teacher  |  Kentucky Department of Education  |  Apr 05, 2022  |  Frankfort, KY

Boone County Teacher Kevin Dailey Named Milken Educator Award Winner, Receives $25k Cash Prize
Northern Kentucky Tribune  |  Feb 24, 2022  |  Edgewood, KY

Kentucky Teacher Receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award
WTVQ-TV  |  ABC  |  Feb 23, 2022  |  Lexington, KY

Boone County’s Kevin Dailey Receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award
Kentucky Teacher  |  Kentucky Department of Education  |  Feb 23, 2022  |  Frankfort, KY

WATCH --> NKY Teacher Earns $25,000 Prize, National Recognition
WXIX-TV  |  FOX  |  Feb 23, 2022  |  Cincinnati, OH

WATCH --> Boone County Teacher Wins Milken Educator Award and $25,000
WKRC-TV  |  CBS  |  Feb 23, 2022  |  Cincinnati, OH

WATCH --> Boone County Teacher Wins National Educator Award and $25,000
WLWT-TV  |  NBC  |  Feb 23, 2022  |  Cincinnati, OH

Middle School Social Studies Teacher Wins Prestigious Milken Educator Award
Link NKY  |  Feb 23, 2022  |  Covington, KY

WATCH --> NKY Teacher Shocked to Receive $25,000 Award for His Commitment to Students
Spectrum News  |  Feb 23, 2022  |  Louisville, KY

'It Means A Lot.' Boone County Teacher Receives National Award - And a $25,000 Check
The Cincinnati Enquirer  |  Feb 23, 2022  |  Cincinnati, OH