Educator Profile    Educators

Laura Cole (KY '19)

Academic Consultant

Scott High School
Taylor Mill, KY

At the time of the Award, Laura Cole was:

Scott High School
Taylor Mill, KY

Subject(s) taught: Mathematics
Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

Biographical Information

Laura Cole, head of the math department at Scott High School in Taylor Mill, Kentucky, knows her students can do anything—and she helps them believe it too. She groups her ninth- and tenth-graders by similar skill levels, adjusting the teams based on individual data, and uses online tutorials and Google Classroom throughout the year. When the district moved toward strategies to engage all students in quality tasks and learn collaboratively while teachers used formative assessments to adjust their instruction, Cole was among the first at Scott to adopt the new learning culture in her classrooms. Committed to reaching every student, Cole searches for details about each pupil’s math abilities, academic interests and outside activities before the year begins to help build rapport. Cole has elevated student performance in numeracy and literacy; her students’ standardized test scores lead the district.

Cole serves on Scott’s decision-making council and runs the math department professional learning community. She spends significant time on professional development, regularly mentoring practicum students, student teachers and colleagues. Through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cole helps teachers across the district implement math standards and teaching strategies through workshops, classroom visits and modeling lessons via video. She has led training at the school, district, regional and state levels and has presented at the Southern Regional Education Board annual meeting. Cole’s willingness to invest in others builds confidence in teachers who work with her and points up their contributions to student and school success, even as they continue to learn and polish their craft. 

Cole’s students see her as a mentor, knowing that she cares about their lives as well as their academic success. On weekends she comes to school to help students prepare for the ACT, encouraging them to aim high as they prepare for college and beyond. In conjunction with Kentucky State University, she co-teaches a distance learning dual credit college algebra class. Parents like the way Cole keeps them informed about how they can help their children succeed. Loved and trusted at Scott and in the community, Cole has a unique talent for collaboration, nudging stakeholders in the right direction while maintaining quality relationships on all sides.

Cole earned a bachelor’s in mathematics in 2006 and a master’s in math education in 2007 from the University of Kentucky.

Press release: Laura Cole's Belief in Her Math Students' Abilities is Unyielding, Leading to Their Success and Her $25,000 Milken Educator Award

Related Connections

Article: Why I Became a Teacher

Article: Spotlight: Laura Cole (KY '19)

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Laura Cole In The News

Milken Award Winner Helping Students, Colleagues Excel
Kentucky Teacher  |  Kentucky Department of Education  |  Mar 31, 2020  |  Louisville, KY

Scott High School’s Laura Cole, a Math Teacher, Receives Prestigious Milken Educator Award
Northern Kentucky Tribune  |  Feb 27, 2020  |  Edgewood, KY

WATCH --> Kentucky Teacher Laura Cole Receives the Milken Educator Award and $25000
Cincinnati Enquirer  |  USA Today  |  Feb 26, 2020  |  Cincinnati, OH

Scott High School Teacher Wins Prestigious National Award
The River City News  |  Feb 26, 2020  |  Covington, KY

'I Did Not See This Coming': Kenton County Teacher Surprised with $25,000 Award
Cincinnati Enquirer  |  USA Today  |  Feb 26, 2020  |  Cincinnati, OH

WATCH --> Northern Kentucky Teacher Wins $25,000 National Milken Educator Award
WLWT-TV  |  NBC  |  Feb 26, 2020  |  Cincinnati, OH