Deanese Jameson named winner of 2024 David Karem Award for Excellence in Education Policy

Meeting notice graphic featuring the Kentucky Department of Education and United We Learn logos

News Release

Media Contact: Jennifer Ginn

Director of Communications

Office: (502) 564-2000, ext. 4601

Advisory 24-152


June 6, 2024

Sharon Porter Robinson, Deanese Jameson and Interim Commissioner of Education Robin Fields Kinney pose for a photo.

Longtime educator Deanese Jameson, center, was named recipient of the eighth-annual David Karem Award for Excellence in Education Policy during the Kentucky Board of Education’s (KBE’s) regular meeting on June 6. Presenting the award were, from left, KBE Chair Sharon Porter Robinson and Interim Commissioner of Education Robin Fields Kinney. Photo by Joe Ragusa, Kentucky Department of Education, June 6, 2024

Deanese Jameson named winner of 2024 David Karem Award for Excellence in Education Policy

(FRANKFORT, KY) – Longtime educator Deanese Jameson was named recipient of the eighth-annual David Karem Award for Excellence in Education Policy during the Kentucky Board of Education’s (KBE’s) regular meeting on June 6.

Jameson, a teacher at Greenwood High School (Warren County), was recognized for her leadership role in policy development at the local and state level.

The Karem Award for Excellence in Education Policy – which honors former KBE member and state legislator David Karem – is given annually to state policymakers, education leaders or citizens who have contributed to the improvement of education by serving on national commissions, task forces or other significant boards and organizations. Recipients demonstrate outstanding leadership and have made an impact on education policy and the educational system. They also exhibit a commitment to collaborate with different stakeholders.

Jameson said she was surprised and honored to be chosen for the recognition.

“Education, policy development and the law have always been passions of mine,” she said. “I enjoy working with people from all walks of life and continuously challenge myself to do more so that I can, in turn, better serve my community. I recently was accepted to the Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law, which I hope to put to good use advocating for our students.”

During her 20 years in education, Jameson has demonstrated her leadership skills in policy development by assuming roles designed to help increase educational opportunities for students, such as serving as a delegate for the Warren Education Association and the Kentucky Education Association (KEA). She is a member of the KEA Constitutional Compliance Committee and one of two KEA representatives at Greenwood.

At the school level, Jameson submitted a proposal to the school-based decision making council in 2007 to build up the law enforcement curriculum and provide opportunities for students to positively interact with law enforcement. She proposed and has taught Criminology, Law and Justice, and Popular Culture and Law classes.

“My law classes have become extremely popular among students, ranging from high-performing to low-functioning students,” she said.

A few years ago, Jameson turned a personal tragedy into a catalyst to reach other students. After the 2014 death of her son due to a drunken driver, she formed her school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) club.

“I wanted to help my students understand that no one starts out saying they want to become a drunk driver and kill someone,” Jameson said.

Taking that message to another step, she became a motivational speaker. Jameson has spoken at mock crash events before prom to help students realize the impact drunk driving has on families, both those who have lost loved ones due to injuries and those who lost loved ones because of incarceration.

Jameson has been involved in establishing and coaching the first Warren County Mock Trial Team at Greenwood High School. She also collaborated with the Western Kentucky University Mock Trial team and local judicial leaders – like Warren County District Court Judge Kim Geoghegan and the Commonwealth attorney's office – to provide students enrichment activities, such as attending court, touring the jail and bringing in community leaders for guest speaking events.

Many of Jameson’s former students have pursued careers in law as lawyers and police officers.

That work has not gone unnoticed. She was recognized for helping students make informed choices for career opportunities with the 2023 U.S. Navy Influencer Impact Award.

In 2017, Jameson decided she wanted to help her students become better readers and writers, so she enrolled in the Literacy Program at Murray State University, graduating with her doctorate in 2020. She has since revamped her classes to help promote reading and conducted professional development opportunities to address reading across the content areas.

After finishing her doctorate, Jameson finished writing a young adult science fiction novel, “Mirror Image: Gemini Wars,” to help encourage her students to read more.

“One of my most cherished memories is when a refugee student told me my book was the first book he had ever owned,” she said. “I knew then I was helping change my student's lives.”

Robin Fields Kinney, Kentucky’s interim commissioner of education, said Jameson encompasses the spirit and intent of the award.

“Dr. Jameson advocates for all students to ensure they have the educational opportunities to move forward and be successful,” said Kinney. “She uses her skills as an educator and her personal experiences to show students the life-changing impact decisions can make in their lives and the lives of others.”