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Oldham County preschool teacher 'honored' to win ExCel Award

The only preschool teacher awarded this ExCel season, Karen Putlak has a way of drawing students' attention and keeping it.

LA GRANGE, Ky. — The WHAS11, LG&E and KU ExCel Award recognizes teachers who go above and beyond in their classrooms. 

Students and staff at Oldham County Preschool celebrated Karen Putlak in the classroom on Wednesday.

Some teachers always knew the classroom was for them. Others take a little longer to find their calling. 

Putlak didn't get a teaching degree until she was in her late 40s. 

"I knew what I wanted to do because I had aided and subbed in my children's classes and at their school and I loved it," Putlak said. "I jumped back in and was introduced to early childhood, special ed, regular ed...I loved it."

Described by her colleagues as innovative and engaging, the preschool teacher focuses on getting her kids independent, connecting technology and in-class items to keep her students focused and learning. 

"I'm just so honored," she said. "I love that I'm the representative from the preschool. A lot of people think preschool is just games and play and drop-in and we're not. We're a real school with real skills."

During an intimate award ceremony in the classroom, colleagues, students and her family celebrated the award. 

As for the $1,000 check awarded to her by LG&E and KU for use in the classroom, Putlak has big plans. 

"I think right now my plan is just to get more learning activities, enhance what I got," she said.  "Just spend it that way. Don't settle for one thing, just do a lot."

Again, congratulations to this week's ExCel Award winner, Mrs. Karen Putlak from Oldham County Preschool.

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