Teacher honored

Floyd County native Nancy Hall Duncan was inducted into the Gov. Louis B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame on March 13. She’s pictured alongside Dr. Corinne Murphy, left, dean of Western Kentucky University’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, and Amanda Ellis, right, deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education.

Wheelwright native Nancy Hall Duncan was inducted into the Gov. Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame last week.

Duncan, who began her teaching career in 1965 and retired in 1998, fell in love with teaching as a youngster. 

“My sixth-grade teacher picked me along with a few others to go and tutor the first grade students,” she said. “I loved it and I knew from the sixth grade on I was going to be a teacher.”

A native of Wheelwright in Floyd County, Duncan was the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. 

She attended Union College and Western Kentucky State College, earning a degree in Home Economics while balancing obligations to her family. She earned her master’s degree in 1975 from WKU and a Rank I Certification in 1993 from the University of Kentucky.

Her teaching career began in 1965 at Auburn High School in Logan County and it continued at Russellville Middle School (1966-1972), Morgantown Elementary School (1975-1978) and Woodford County High School (1978-1998). 

“I have so many wonderful memories,” Duncan said. “I was blessed with wonderful students.”

One of those students was Amanda Ellis, Deputy Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, who said, “Nancy Hall Duncan has greatly impacted students, teachers and our community in each role she has served in the school and outside of it.” 

Ellis, a former teacher and principal, said Duncan was “a wonderful educator who has had a lasting impact on her community and the lives of so many students.”

Duncan’s daughter, Pam, teaches math at Woodford County High School.

“As I became a teacher I realized my mom was almost super woman,” she said. “To be a wonderful wife, to be a wonderful mother, to be a wonderful church member and influence all these lives in education.”

The Governor Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame was created in 2000 through a gift by the former governor who hoped to recognize the vital role that classroom teachers in Kentucky play in the education of young people and the positive impact education has on the state’s economy. Western Kentucky University was selected as the home of the Teacher Hall of Fame because of its more than 100-year history in teacher education.

The inductees are chosen by a statewide selection committee. 

To make a nomination for a future Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame winner, visit the nomination link at, wku.edu.  

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