Hazard teacher’s passion leads to award nomination

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Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 6:04 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Growing up outside of the region, Hazard High School Assistant Principal and math teacher Luke Glaser sometimes heard negative stereotypes about Eastern Kentucky.

After graduating college, Glaser came to the region on a two-year contract with Teach for America, and those beliefs started to shift.

“All of those ideas are turned up on their head. You just got people that have a tremendous passion for this area. There is so much potential here that people don’t know about,” said Luke Glaser.

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That passion quickly became a shared quality between Glaser, administrators and other teachers at the school.

“He’s as good of a teacher as I’ve seen at that age, but also he has tons of energy. He brought a lot of different ideas to the table,” said former Hazard High School Principal Happy Mobelini.

With enough ideas and energy, a decade of teaching at the school quickly zoomed by.

Now in his 11th year, Glaser was just hired as the assistant principal. He also coaches soccer and is a Hazard city commissioner.

Glaser’s efforts led to someone nominating him for the 2024 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award, and he was named one of 22 finalists by the Kentucky Board of Education.

”We had to write five essays about your teaching and your philosophy, and what it means to be a teacher in this day and age, and then from that pool of applicants, they selected 21 or 22 finalists. So, it’s honor to be named among those 22 finalists in the state of Kentucky,” said Luke Glaser.

Potentially winning an award is not the ceiling for Glaser’s time in the mountains. Now, recently having gotten married and bought a house, he has no plans to leave.

“I got married. I bought a house. So, I’m doing the thing. I’m here. These are the roots, and the good work that I’ve been lucky to be a part of is going to continue for as long as people allow me the privilege of doing so,” said Luke Glaser.

Glaser also thanked administrators and other teachers for their help in guiding him to being nominated for the award.