Dr. Jeff Hawkins is the Executive Director at the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative serving twenty-two school districts in eastern Kentucky. Through his leadership, KVEC has been recognized as one of the highest performing educational service agencies in the country and has been awarded three significant USDE awards within the last five years: an Investing in Innovation Award, a Project Prevent Award and a coveted Race to the Top – District Award that led to the development of the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative.

The Cooperative is a member of the national Future Ready Initiative, was identified by the congressionally authorized Digital Promise organization as one of six national Education Innovation Clusters, was awarded a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant and this year received a W.K. Kellogg Foundation award to launch a nationally recognized project to increase student achievement and community prosperity in eastern Kentucky.

Hawkins is the co-author of the Perpetuating Excellence in Teaching, Leadership and Learning Framework, was the founding director of the Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute and was instrumental in the development of the Appalachian Innovation Collaborative that brings P-20 educators together with state/local government officials, business, local citizens, and multiple stakeholders to focus on positive systems to improve the rural Appalachian Edu-conomy.