Barbourville native to be inducted in teacher hall of fame

Members of the 10th class of the Governor Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame have been selected and one Barbourville native has made the cut.

Gloria K. Compton spent thirty years (1962-1992) teaching health and physical education at Bryan Station Senior High School (BSSH) in Lexington. During her tenure, she served as department chair for seventeen years and athletic director. She is being honored for her contribution to the teaching profession, including noteworthy contributions made to the lives of children across the Commonwealth.

“She used her caring personality plus ‘homespun’ humor to make her classroom inviting for all students…regardless of their personality, background, or changing mood,” said Jon Akers, former BSSH principal.

Compton’s achievements far surpassed the classroom, though. She served as BSSH cheerleading coach (1962-80) during which the varsity cheerleading team won two Sweet 16 championships (1972 and 1974).  She started the Girls Track and Field Team in 1962 and coached it until 1974 and also started a tumbling team in 1962. Compton was the co-founder of Kentucky Girls Sports Association and the Bryan Station Alumni Association. She served as the Kentucky Association of Pep Organizations Sponsors (KAPOS) president, vice president, regional chairperson (seventeen years) and advisory board member for more than thirty years.

She is a past winner of the National Federation of High School (NFHS) Spirit Award and was the 2004 recipient of the University of Kentucky College of Education’s Teacher Who Made a Difference Award. Additionally, Compton is a 2008 Dawahares Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Hall of Fame inductee.

“She always had a smile and a word of encouragement to offer all of her students, and on many days we would not have been able to make it without her being in our lives,” remembers former student Jack L. “Goose” Givens.

Compton is the daughter of Sampson Beverly Knuckles, former Circuit Court Judge of Knox and Laurel Counties, and Jean Pitzer Owens, daughter of Hiram Owens and Clarice George “Georgia” Black, and the granddaughter of Governor James Black. Compton’s paternal grandfather, George Matt Knuckles, served in the Kentucky State House of Representatives. Compton is married to Attorney John Morgan Compton.

Members of the 2018 Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame will be inducted during a ceremony on Feb. 6 in Frankfort. The induction ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. EST in the Capitol Rotunda.

Some information in this article was obtained from Western Kentucky University College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.