Meet Carolyn

Carolyn is a proud resident of Jessamine County where she lives with her husband, Greg. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Carolyn has taught American history at Eastern Kentucky University for 14 years.

Carolyn understands the struggles most Kentucky families face. While her children were toddlers, she was a single mom without health insurance. With her husband Greg, she raised three children while earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees, and built a successful career as an educator. Carolyn knows first-hand the hard choices and difficult balance that Kentuckians have in caring for and succeeding for their families.

A firm believer in turning experience into action, Carolyn has been a passionate advocate for working families. In January 2016, newspapers across Kentucky published her piece condemning legislation that lowered the wages of working families. This essay grew from her other writing that includes an award-winning book on American religious history and essays that have appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Huffington Post, and other outlets.

A dedicated educator, Carolyn enjoys challenging students and bringing historical perspective to present-day issues. Her experience with EKU students inspires her passion for investing in young Kentuckians. She knows that young Kentuckians want to create bright futures for themselves, but face great challenges—rising educational costs, declining state support for public education and public educators, a changing employment outlook, and an opiod crisis that takes the lives of more than 3 Kentuckians every day.

A proven leader and a pro-active advocate for public education, Carolyn serves on the Faculty Senate at EKU. She has served as president of the Kentucky Association of Teachers of History and worked as an education consultant and leader of teacher workshops. Many of her former students now teach in Kentucky’s public schools.

Carolyn loves spending time with her family. Her husband, best friend, and biggest supporter is Greg Partain, who teaches music at Transylvania University and performs widely as a concert pianist. They have been married for 22 years and have raised three children, Julianne, Daniel, and Elise. The family loves the outdoors and enjoy hiking, biking, and running together.