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Kentucky's Teacher of the Year

Kentucky's Teacher of the Year

Renee's guest is Ashley Lamb-Sinclair, 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Lamb-Sinclair is an English and creative writing teacher in the Oldham County school district. She is the founder and CEO of Curiolearning.com, a desktop app for teachers, and her education articles have appeared in national publications: The Atlantic and The Washington Post.
S12 E12 Length 27:22 Premiere: 12.9.16

Kentucky’s Teacher of the Year

Being named Kentucky’s Teacher of the Year for 2016 gave Ashley Lamb-Sinclair a unique opportunity to take a break from her classroom duties and travel across the state and nation to meet other education professionals. She says the experience has reminded her how powerful and influential teachers can be.

“It doesn’t matter what policies come down from Frankfort, nationally, [or] from even the administrative office in each school building,” Lamb-Sinclair says. “I’m the one who closes that door and works with kids, and I’m the one who looks at a parent in her face or his face and tells them, here’s what I’m seeing with your child. I’m the final decision-maker on everything education.”

The North Oldham High School English and creative writing instructor appeared on KET’s Connections to discuss her views on teaching and education policy in the commonwealth.

Helping All Students Find Success
Lamb-Sinclair says she’s a prime example of how education can change the life of a young person. She grew up in Boyle County in a lower-class family with parents who weren’t involved with her school activities. What they did do, however, was cultivate in her a sense of independence, curiosity, and motivation to learn. Ultimately, she says, that’s more important for any parent to do rather than help with specific homework assignments or attend PTA meetings.

Lamb-Sinclair credits her academic success and desire to become a teacher to her experiences attending the Danville independent school district. There, she was exposed to students of diverse backgrounds and teachers who inspired her curiosity and desire to learn.

“I’m a huge advocate for all kinds of kids to be exposed to multiple perspectives,” says Lamb-Sinclair. “Our world is changing quickly and it’s really important for kids to have those different perspectives.”

After a bachelor and master’s degrees at the University of Kentucky, Lamb-Sinclair taught at Lexington’s Bryan Station High School and Louisville’s Myers Middle School before landing in Oldham County in 2012. Her time in high- and low-performing schools convinced her of the ability of teachers to change the lives of students.

“At the end of the day the difference between success and failure, if you want to call it that, is the classroom teacher – period,” Lamb-Sinclair says.

It’s not just any teacher, though.

“If you have an empowered classroom teacher, who is granted autonomy, who is given professional development that is of quality, who has experience in the classroom, is able to collaborate authentically with his or her peers, you can make a difference in any kid’s life regardless of where they come from,” she says.

Students also need to learn from teachers of color, says Lamb-Sinclair. She says the black teachers she had in school were some of her most inspirational instructors. And since society is growing more diverse, Lamb-Sinclair says students need the opportunity to interact with and learn from a wide range of teachers. She adds that teachers of color can also serve as important role models for minority students.

Engaging Teachers in Policy Debates
Despite what test scores may indicate, Lamb-Sinclair argues that public education is not broken in the commonwealth. She says an end-of-year multiple-choice test simply can’t measure the entirety of a child’s educational experience. To see the good things that are happening in Kentucky schools, she says you have to spend time in the classroom.

That’s one reason why she encourages her fellow educators to be more active in the legislative process. She says most lawmakers simply don’t have the proper background to adequately assess education policies.

“Just because you went to public school does not mean you know how to teach, does not mean that you know how to run a school,” Lamb-Sinclair says. “If you want to talk about improving public education, then you have to leverage those people who know what they’re doing, and the people who know what they’re doing are the classroom teachers… You have to give them a true voice.”

Lamb-Sinclair created a website called EdPolicy.org where teachers can learn about pending education legislation and share their opinions and questions about those bills. She says lawmakers need to hear immediate feedback from classroom teachers to better inform their policy debates. And she hopes more educators will run for school boards and other public offices so they can more directly influence education bills.

She also hopes the business community and educators can collaborate more on shaping school experiences that can lead to career opportunities. She says it’s not enough for young people to simply get a job, but they need to be able to secure meaningful work enables them to contribute to the world. Lamb-Sinclair advocates for every school to offer all students vocational, home economics, and other classes that give them hands-on experiences that can be useful throughout their lives.

Web App to Foster Creativity
As if being a full-time, award-winning teacher wasn’t enough, Lamb-Sinclair is also an entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Curio Learning, a desktop application that will allow teachers around the world to collaborate on projects, inspire one another, and foster innovation in the classroom.

The idea germinated last year when Lamb-Sinclair participated in a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation initiative for educators called the Redesign Challenge. She was selected to go to Washington, D.C., to go through a guided process of developing and prototyping her idea. Thanks to seed funding from the Vogt Awards program in Louisville, Lamb-Sinclair says she hopes to launch a beta version of the app in February.

“Teachers deserve the opportunity to be passionate and creative,” Lamb-Sinclar writes on the Curio Learning website. “This is about being part of a creative revolution, one teacher at a time.”

Program Details

Connections

About Connections

Each week, host Renee Shaw and a variety of interesting and engaging people - including business leaders, entertainers, authors, celebrities, and more - explore a broad array of topics impacting Kentucky and the world.

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Kevin Chapman - S10 E28

Clinical psychologist Kevin Chapman of Louisville discusses anxiety disorders and an innovative approach called virtual reality exposure therapy to help ease those conditions.

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Renee Shaw talks with filmmaker Sarah Burns about her new documentary Muhammad Ali, a six-year project that offers viewers a multifaceted look at Louisville's most famous son who went on to become heavyweight champion of the world as well as one of the world's most charismatic and controversial figures.

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Connections - S17 E4

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Kiley Lane Parker - S10 E29

Filmmaker Kiley Lane Parker discusses her film, Raising Ms. President, about raising the next generation of female political leaders.

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Pellom McDaniels - S10 E30

Pellom McDaniels, faculty curator of African-American collections and assistant professor of African-American studies at Emory University in Atlanta, talks about his book, The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy.

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Jay Williams - S10 E33

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams is a former mayor of Youngstown, Ohio. From the recent SOAR summit in Pikeville, he talks about how Youngstown recovered from the decline of the steel industry and how those lessons can apply to Eastern Kentucky areas distressed by the sharp downturn in coal jobs.

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Susan and Morgan Guess - S10 E34

Susan Guess and her daughter, Morgan, began the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation nearly four years ago after Morgan experienced bullying. They have raised $50,000 to bring a variety of anti-bullying programs to the region. Susan Guess was appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear in 2014 to serve on the Kentucky Bully Prevention Task Force, which will make recommendations to the governor in fall 2015.

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Diabetes Epidemic - S10 E20

Gilbert Friedell, MD, and J. Isaac Joyner, MPH, discuss their book, The Great Diabetes Epidemic: A Manifesto for Control and Prevention. The book advocates taking a public health approach to addressing diabetes, emphasizes prevention of diabetes-related complications, and encourages more community responsiveness.

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Cathy Zion - Zion Publications LLC - S10 E38

Cathy Zion became owner and publisher of Zion Publications in 1996, after a long career in banking. Her company publishes Today's Woman, and added new magazines, Today's Transitions and Today's Family.

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Gigi Butler - Gigi's Cupcakes - S10 E39

Gigi Butler opened her first Gigi's Cupcakes location just off of music row in Nashville, Tennessee in 2008 and in six short years, with 98 locations and counting, Gigi's is now the largest cupcake franchise in the world.

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Cathe Dykstra - Family Scholar House - S10 E41

Cathe Dykstra, chief possibility officer, president & CEO of Family Scholar House, discusses the Louisville organization and its impact on families and communities. Family Scholar House's mission is to end the cycle of poverty by providing housing and educational support to single-parent students and their families.

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Infant Nutrition and Breastfeeding - S10 E42

Renee and her guests discuss the health benefits of breastfeeding in recognition of national breastfeeding week, as well as provide tips on proper infant nutrition. Scheduled guests include: Doraine Bailey, MA, IBCLC, Breastfeeding Support Services with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Dept.; Ana Maria Linares, an associate professor in the UK College of Nursing and a Lactation Consultant who has conducted research on attitudes and practices around breastfeeding among Latinas in Lexington; and Nicole Peritore, program coordinator for the Health Education through Extension Leadership (HEEL) Office at the University of Kentucky.

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Connections

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Connections

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Andre Taylor - S10 E43

Andre Taylor has a distinguished 35-year career, building and advising businesses. He's the author of You Can Still Win! and a half-dozen other books, a frequent guest expert on ABC News, and an international authority on winning and leadership. Mr. Taylor was a speaker at the 13th Annual Lexington Bluegrass Area Minority Business Expo.

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JoAnne Wheeler Bland - S10 E44

Renee talks with transgender activist JoAnne Wheeler Bland, who in her sixties transitioned from male to female. A practicing attorney for more than 40 years, she is a former Special Justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court, former Vice-President of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, current member of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's Committee on Equal Opportunity (the Diversity Committee), and guest speaker at Women's and Gender Studies programs at Kentucky universities.

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Faith Politics - S10 E45

Renee and her guests talk about the role of religion in politics and public policy decision-making. Guests: Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper, pastor of New Union Christian Church, and Rev. D. Anthony Everett, pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church.

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Kinship Care - S10 E46

Kentucky has one of the highest rates in the nation of children being raised by grandparents and other relatives, also known as kinship care. Renee and her guests discuss what research tells us about the financial, emotional, and legal challenges that kinship care poses. Guests: Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, and Jeanne Miller-Jacobs, a kinship care provider.

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Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk - S11 E2

Renee Shaw interviews new Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk, who talks about his experiences in public education and his goals for the district.

  • Friday October 15, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections

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The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia - Gerald Smith - S11 E3

Renee's guest is Dr. Gerald Smith, an author and history professor at the University of Kentucky, and co-editor of The Kentucky African-American Encyclopedia: Life and Culture in the Commonwealth. The reference book contains entries on the individuals, events, places, organizations, movements, and institutions that helped shape the state's history and cultural diversity.

  • Monday October 18, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Childhood Cancer - S11 E4

September is childhood cancer awareness month. Renee talks with survivors and parents about their experiences and the research on the rare maladies striking youth.

  • Tuesday October 19, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Kellie Blair Hardt - S11 E5

Renee speaks with special education teacher Kellie Blair Hardt, who overcame homelessness, an absent mother, an alcoholic father and school expulsion to earn her GED. She received the National Education Association Foundation's 2013 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence as one of the nation's top educators. Hardt is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education at George Mason University. She was featured in KET's series Dropping Back In.

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Jacinda Townsend - S11 E6

Author Jacinda Townsend discusses her critically acclaimed novel, Saint Monkey, a coming-of-age story set in 1950's Eastern Kentucky. The book won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction. Townsend is a former Hurston-Wright Award finalist and currently teaches creative writing at Indiana University.

  • Thursday October 21, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Dorothy Butler Gilliam - S11 E7

Renee speaks with journalist Dorothy Butler Gilliam, who was the first African-American female reporter at The Washington Post. She retired in 2003 after a 35-year career with the paper.

  • Friday October 22, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections - S17 E8

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Allison Joseph - S11 E8

Allison Joseph is the author of six poetry books. She teaches at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where she helped found {Crab Orchard Review}, a literary journal, and the Young Writers Workshop, a co-ed residential summer program for teen writers.

  • Monday October 25, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Kendell Nash - ECHO - S10 E27

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Dorothy Edwards and Diane Fleet - S10 E26

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Lois Combs Weinberg - S10 E25

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Elaine Chao - S10 E23

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Filmmaker Sarah Burns - S17 E3

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Diabetes Epidemic - S10 E20

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Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees - S10 E16

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15K Degrees Initiative - S10 E13

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Sister Helen Prejean - S10 E12

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Jefferson County Veterans Treatment Court - S10 E11

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Charlene Buckles and Dan Wu - S17 E2

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Cynthia Knapek - Leadership Louisville Center

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Bill Farmer - S10 E8

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  • Friday September 10, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 10, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 10, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Diane Follingstad - UK Women's Circle Endowment Chair - S10 E6

  • Thursday September 9, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 9, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kevin Chapman - S10 E5

  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 2:20 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 1:20 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Soreyda Benedit Begley and Chris Begley - S10 E3

  • Tuesday September 7, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 7, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 7, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Chris Rabb - S10 E1

  • Friday September 3, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 3, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 3, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 3, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 3, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 3, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Tanya Torp and Holly Houston - S9 E46

  • Thursday September 2, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 2, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 2, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 2, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Frontier Nursing University - S9 E45

  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

SWAG - Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence - S9 E44

  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Marta Miranda - S9 E43

  • Monday August 30, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 30, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday August 30, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 30, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday August 30, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 30, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Sarah Taylor Vanover - Early Childhood Education

  • Sunday September 5, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 5, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 4, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 4, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 11:00 am CT on KET

The Rise of Anti-Asian Violence

  • Sunday August 29, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday August 28, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday August 28, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET

Judi Jennings - S9 E42

  • Friday August 27, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday August 27, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday August 27, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday August 27, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday August 27, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday August 27, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dr. Robert Hilgers - S9 E41

  • Thursday August 26, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday August 26, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday August 26, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday August 26, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday August 26, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday August 26, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Wil James - S9 E40

  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

African Americans and Mental Health - S9 E39

  • Tuesday August 24, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 24, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 24, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 24, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 24, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Charisse Gillett - Lexington Theological Seminary - S9 E38

  • Monday August 23, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 23, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday August 23, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 23, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday August 23, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 23, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY
Top

Season 12 Episodes

Kinship Care Activist Katie Okumu

S12 E46 Length 26:27 Premiere Date 8.25.17

Photographer Carol Peachee

S12 E45 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 8.18.17

Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative

S12 E44 Length 28:28 Premiere Date 8.11.17

Sec. Vickie Yates Brown Glisson

S12 E43 Length 29:17 Premiere Date 8.4.17

Criminal Justice Reform

S12 E42 Length 28:08 Premiere Date 7.28.17

Kayla Rae Whitaker

S12 E41 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 7.14.17

Uncovering Bias in Preschool Education

S12 E40 Length 29:01 Premiere Date 7.7.17

The Latest Data on Kentucky's Kids

S12 E39 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 6.30.17

Building Leadership Skills

S12 E38 Length 29:01 Premiere Date 6.23.17

The Ali Center's Donald Lassere

S12 E37 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 6.16.17

Improving Nutrition in the Daily Diet

S12 E36 Length 27:06 Premiere Date 6.9.17

Alzheimer's Disease

S12 E35 Length 28:19 Premiere Date 6.2.17

Innovation at the Alltech Conference

S12 E34 Length 28:33 Premiere Date 5.26.17

Political Journalist Cokie Roberts

S12 E33 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 5.22.17

2017 Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

S12 E32 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 5.12.17

Alison Lundergan Grimes

S12 E31 Length 28:37 Premiere Date 5.9.17

Sexual Trauma in the Military

S12 E30 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 5.2.17

Foster Care

S12 E29 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 4.24.17

Justice Secretary John Tilley

S12 E23 Length 29:36 Premiere Date 4.14.17

Job Training in Kentucky

S12 E22 Length 29:31 Premiere Date 3.24.17

Kentucky Tourism

S12 E21 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 2.24.17

Reducing Youth Violence

S12 E20 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 2.17.17

State Treasurer Allison Ball

S12 E19 Length 28:51 Premiere Date 2.10.17

Poverty in America

S12 E18 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 2.3.17

Homelessness in Kentucky

S12 E17 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 1.27.17

Sadiqa Reynolds

S12 E16 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 1.20.17

Cory Jewell Jensen

S12 E15 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 1.13.17

Bill Goodman

S12 E14 Length 28:37 Premiere Date 1.6.17

Promoting Health Equity

S12 E13 Length 29:01 Premiere Date 12.16.16

Kentucky's Teacher of the Year

S12 E12 Length 27:22 Premiere Date 12.9.16

Important Issues for Seniors

S12 E11 Length 28:20 Premiere Date 11.18.16

Nonprofit Organizations

S12 E10 Length 28:22 Premiere Date 11.11.16

Iris Wilbur and Colmon Elridge

S12 E9 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 11.4.16

Alzheimer's Disease

S12 E8 Length 28:32 Premiere Date 10.28.16

Activism Through Music and Art

S12 E7 Length 28:31 Premiere Date 10.21.16

Paducah's Merryman House

S12 E6 Length 28:07 Premiere Date 10.14.16

The Achievement Gap

S12 E5 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 10.7.16

Discussing Domestic Violence

S12 E4 Length 28:32 Premiere Date 9.30.16

Musician Jon Secada

S12 E3 Length 29:13 Premiere Date 9.23.16

Playwright Mitzi Sinnott

S12 E2 Length 27:12 Premiere Date 9.15.16

FDA Chief Dr. Robert Califf

S12 E1 Length 26:26 Premiere Date 9.9.16

Smoking Cessation and Pregnancy

Preview Length 29:32 Premiere Date 9.8.17

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