“Oh sure, they’re gonna pick the big gay Appalachian” was Willie Carver’s first thought when he learned he had been nominated as 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. It was a crowning achievement after fifteen years. Guided by the credo “fear has armor, love has none,” Willie supported students, especially LGBTQIA+ students, in being themselves and building a deeper understanding of their identities. Despite being warned by a school leader that being out and advocating for his community “you will be crucified, and no one will protect you, including me,” Willie continued to fight for his students.
The homophobia and hate reached a boiling point, and Willie Carver, the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, resigned his teaching position.
Hear his thoughts here. Support marginalized and minoritized teachers, students, and communities.
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