Jerome Named as OCTC's Pathfinder Award Winner

Amanda Jerome


Owensboro Community & Technical College is proud to announce that Amanda Jerome, the College and Career Readiness Coordinator for Daviess County Public Schools has been named as the inaugural OCTC High School Teacher/Counselor Pathfinder Award winner. 

Established by the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS), the Pathfinder Award recognizes high school teachers and counselors for their outstanding efforts in assisting students with their college-going plans. 

OCTC President, Dr. Scott Williams, surprised Jerome at a faculty meeting at DCHS on Wednesday, April 19. “All our high school teachers and counselors are working tirelessly to ensure our young people can succeed in the classroom, workplace and community. It is our honor to be able to salute their efforts and recognize someone annually for all they do to ensure students excel. The Pathfinder Award recognizes those who go above and beyond to empower the next generation,” said Williams.

Jerome’s nomination cited the thousands of students she has worked with over her 22 years of service in the public school system as a teacher and guidance counselor, and in her most recent role has been as the College and Career Readiness Coordinator for the district, since 2015. This position has been highly hands-on in working with the two high schools in the district, the community, OCTC, and students. Over the last 8 years, Jerome has facilitated many dual credit programs and pathways for high school students under the EmpowerU umbrella, partnering with OCTC for students to explore pathways to a career and college credit. These programs include Life Science Academy, Engineering Academy, Ag Academy, expansion of concurrent and dual credit enrollment, and part of the creation of Early College, a program where students earn their associate degree while in high school, which as of May 2023 will be 323 associate graduates. These programs boast a 97% pass rate for students. 

Jerome eagerly shares best practices at statewide meetings, including the CPE Dual Credit webinars, and national conferences. Her desire to see opportunities for student success extends beyond those in her immediate care. Not only has she created dual credit opportunities, but she has also helped develop career-based opportunities. In making many connections with employers across the region, she has worked to place students in appropriate career-based opportunities for students.

Jerome has been with DCPS since 2001, she holds a bachelor's in English Allied Language Arts from Western Kentucky University and a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Western Kentucky University.

Nominations for the OCTC High School Teacher/Counselor Pathfinder Award were made by KCTCS students, faculty and staff. Winners were selected based on the following criteria: encouraged student(s) to attend a KCTCS college; assisted students in identifying a career and postsecondary path; provided mentorship; and/or maintained contact with students.

Nominations from Apollo High School: Mari Stanley, Phil Kopczynski, Bo Phelan, Lauren Goffinet, Jonathan Leohr, and Rebecca Ballard. Daviess County High School nominations included: Kelly Powers, and Trey Pippen. Anne Webb was nominated from Owensboro Innovation Academy and Caitlin West was nominated from McLean County High School. 

“I am honored to receive this award. I truly love what I do, and I am thankful to get to do it with such amazing partners! I can’t say enough good things about the OCTC faculty, and staff-they are all so supportive and always willing to help any student out. I truly feel like a part of the team and am honored to be recognized by the institution I love so much,” Jerome said. 

In addition to Jerome, the Pathfinder Award will be given to one teacher or counselor from each of the other 15 KCTCS colleges. All total, nearly 250 nominations were submitted, representing every KCTCS college.  A statewide winner will be selected from the college winners and announced later this year.