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Sickling named ASAP Star Award winner
Kelly Wray, Kristin Sickling, and Dr. Casey Allen
Kristin Sickling (center right) was named this year’s Star Award winner by the Ballard County Agency for Substance Abuse Prevention. Shown from left are Ballard ASAP and Family Focus Director Kelly Wray, Sickling, and Ballard Superintendent Dr. Casey Allen.
      The Ballard County Agency for Substance Abuse Prevention has recognized outstanding community members and/or businesses that have made contributions to the prevention of alcohol, tobacco and other drug usage for several years. This year, the Star award is being presented to Ballard County Middle-Ballard Memorial High School media specialist Kristin Sickling for her efforts in promoting a drug-free community through her work with the Purchase District Health Department.

Sickling and her family moved to Ballard County in 2009. After one year as a teacher’s aide at the preschool, she became the BCMS-BMHS media specialist. In that position, she has worn many different hats including that of advisor to the Students Taking A New Direction (STAND) club. This club focuses on encouraging students and their families to be drug-, alcohol-, and tobacco-free. Members actively seek to encourage others to live their best life drug-free by making posters, sponsoring speakers and holding each other accountable. Sickling believes that the path to freedom from substance abuse is paved with relationships, support, encouragement, education, and hard work. “It takes families, educators, churches, law enforcement, and the community, all working together, to fight substance abuse,” she said.

Sickling grew up on military bases all over the world and graduated from Murray State University with a bachelor’s degree in home economics and elementary education. After college, she worked in day care management, and went on to teach kindergarten for six years. After earning her master’s degree in education in instructional technology from Valdosta (Ga.) State University, she served as librarian at Worth County Primary School for eight years. 

She and her husband Mark have worked together to mentor Ballard County students and help them through difficult situations, including substance abuse. The Sicklings have two grown children: Sarah Beth, in Raleigh, N.C., and Brandon and his wife, Taylor. They have one granddaughter, Leah Grace. 

The Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Prevention was formed to promote a Commonwealth of healthy communities, by reducing the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, as well as related consequences, through comprehensive research-based state and county strategies. Ballard County ASAP was formed in 2004. The vision of the Ballard County ASAP is to strive to adequately meet the treatment needs of our citizens with all available resources in the area of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD). The Ballard County ASAP Board consists of members from Ballard County Schools, the faith-based community, health and mental health agencies, and Ballard County community members.