Breckinridge’s Lead Custodian Receives State Honor
The lead custodian at Breckinridge Elementary, Judy Edens, has received the 2024 Kentucky Education Support Staff Professional Award. After setting up the gym for an assembly Friday morning, she was stunned to learn the fanfare was all for her!
“No matter your job, the one thing that makes a difference is the hugs and the love,” 10-year-old Michael Dante Lyles told a tearful Edens as they embraced after the program. “He came up and kept thanking me for all I do for the kids,” she said later.
In the surprise ceremony, Interim Education Commissioner Robin Fields Kinney and Principal Michael Price praised Edens’ service and dedication – noting especially how she engages with the community to benefit her students. Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman and Superintendent Demetrus Liggins also participated. Several members of Edens’ family were in the audience, along with classes of fourth graders in the bleachers. “The children in your building clearly appreciate your efforts,” Kinney said as the students cheered.
Edens, who has worked at Breckinridge for 17 years, thanked everyone for their support. “I have a very good relationship with all the teachers, staff, and students here. They’re like my second family,” she said.
The award was created in 2020 at the state level to annually recognize two of Kentucky’s more than 46,000 classified school employees. This group includes bus drivers, custodians, nurses, computer technicians and programmers, clerical staff, food service workers, maintenance workers, and more.
Edens’ name will be forwarded to U.S. Department of Education for consideration for the national Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award this spring, along with Kentucky’s second honoree from another county.