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2024 Educators Rising Kentucky State Conference Speaker Bios

Dr. Roger Cleveland

Dr. Roger Cleveland

Dr. Roger Cleveland is a transformational leader, groundbreaking educator, and researcher in the fields of diversity, equity, cultural humility, and academic innovation.

He has spent over 20 years in K-12 and higher education. His teaching expertise has allowed him to educate students at Morehead State University, The University of Kentucky (adjunct), Middle Tennessee State University, Kentucky State University, and Eastern Kentucky University.

Cleveland has published several equity, inclusion, and education-related articles. He has hosted numerous nationwide equity, leadership, and organizational workshops and lectures. Cleveland is Chair of the Board of Directors of the nationally known Black Males Working Academy, a program focused on college and career readiness through academics, social-emotional learning, and leadership for African-American males in grades K-12.

Cleveland has partnered with hundreds of school districts, universities, agencies and companies. 

Recognitions for his work include:

  • Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame inductee
  • Professor of the Year by the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education
  • P.G. Peeples Equity and Excellence Achievement Award
  • “Teachers Making a Difference” Award from Eastern Kentucky University
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Research from Kentucky State University
  • Health Disparity and Equity Technical Advisory Committee appointed by Governor Beshear
  • Morehead State University Alumni Hall of Fame

Dr. Cleveland resides in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife Audra and three children, Maya, Taylor, and Dorian.

He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

First Lady

Britainy Beshear

First Lady Britainy Beshear

First Lady of Kentucky Britainy Beshear has long been an advocate for Kentucky’s children and has been there for them and their families during many challenging times. 

Throughout the pandemic, she led efforts to keep kids safe at school through her “Coverings for Kids” program, for which thousands of Kentuckians, as well as businesses like Ford Motor Co., donated more than a million facial coverings directly to local school districts. 

When deadly tornadoes hit Western Kentucky before Christmas in 2021, Mrs. Beshear organized a toy drive for the children who had just lost everything. She did the same to help children in Eastern Kentucky following the devastating floods in the summer of 2022. More than 100,000 toys and $200,000 in gift card donations poured in from around the country to help these children recover. 

From supporting the Purple Star Certified program to visiting Kentucky’s military bases, the First Lady has worked to support and lift up military children who make sacrifices daily so that their loved ones can serve and protect our country.

The First Lady has also been dedicated to the safety of Kentucky’s children and families through her work raising awareness around human trafficking as a member of the National Coalition for the Prevention of Human Sex Trafficking.

Mrs. Beshear knows that Kentucky students are our future, and she enjoys spending time reading to and visiting with young leaders in their classrooms.

Each year, the First Lady has also supported domestic violence victims through the annual Shop & Share program. The effort directly helps domestic violence shelters located across our state have the resources and supplies they need to help survivors and their children be safe and to help them rebuild their lives. 

Mrs. Beshear is actively involved in her children’s education and volunteers in their classrooms and after-school programs. The family enjoys many volunteer activities with Family Scholar House and Dare to Care Food Bank, both in Louisville, and God’s Pantry in Lexington

Interim Commissioner of Education

Robin Fields Kinney

Interim Commissioner of Education, Robin Fields Kinney

Kinney has served as an associate commissioner in the Office of Finance and Operations for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). She assumed her role as interim commissioner on Sept. 30, 2023.

Kinney first joined KDE from 2003 to 2008, and then rejoined in 2015. She previously served as interim commissioner for a short period in December of 2019 following the departure of former Commissioner Wayne Lewis.

Kinney’s prior work experience also includes legal practice in Kentucky and Florida, and public service as general counsel of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and deputy secretary of the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet.

Kinney received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Kentucky (UK) and a juris doctorate from UK’s College of Law. She is a licensed attorney in Kentucky and Florida.

Kinney and her husband, Scott, reside in Frankfort. Her daughter, Megan, is a teacher in Shelby County Public Schools. 

2024 Kentucky Teacher of the Year

Kevin Dailey

2024 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, Kevin Dailey

Kevin Dailey, an 8th-grade teacher at Ballyshannon Middle School (Boone County), serves as the 2024 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year. Dailey began his career in 2012 teaching social studies at Gallatin County High School and has taught in Boone County since 2019. The desire to shape the world around him led to a career in architectural design, but despite fulfilling his childhood dream, Dailey said something was missing. He realized his dreams to make a positive impact on his community would come not from his efforts alone but through his ability to help others discover their passion to be part of their community. As it turns out, Dailey was born to be a teacher.