Last modified: Monday, May 10, 2010
State schools superintendent honors alumni as top teachers
FOR IMMEDATE RELEASE
May 10, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Four graduates from Indiana University received honors as "Outstanding Hoosier Educators" in a ceremony on Thursday, May 6, at the Indiana Statehouse. The recognition of six teachers overall came from Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett as part of National Teacher Appreciation Week.
Charles Woods, BS'04, a physical education teacher at Moorhead Elementary, and Aimee Harvey, BS'00, MS'09, an English/language arts teacher at Brownsburg East Middle School, are among the honorees selected for demonstrating outstanding teaching. Harvey earned her English education degree and master's degree in educational leadership from the IU School of Education at IUPUI. Woods earned a physical education/ teacher education degree from the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, also at IUPUI. Also honored for outstanding teaching were Bobbi Speicher, BS'74 in elementary education, a second grade science teacher at Shenandoah Elementary in Middletown, and Jackie Macal, BS'08 in English education, an English teacher at Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington, both of whom attended the IU School of Education in Bloomington.
"I join students, parents and administrators across this state in saying thank you to the many teachers working to improve education each day and applaud them for their dedication to preparing our next generation of Hoosier leaders," said Bennett.
"These teachers have been selected because of their commitment to innovative teaching and their impact on student learning," said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the Indiana University School of Education. "This is exactly what we strive to do in all of our teacher and school leadership programs."
As Gonzalez recognized more than 600 School of Education graduates during weekend ceremonies at IU Bloomington and IUPUI, he honored these Outstanding Hoosier Educators, remarking they are exemplars of the deep subject knowledge, teaching skills and passion characteristic of IU education graduates. He noted a recent School of Education survey in which Indiana principals said IU beginning teacher graduates were excellently prepared.
"It's kind of overwhelming to feel like I was chosen from what I know is thousands of wonderful teachers in the state of Indiana," Harvey said. "Overwhelming in a good way and I'm proud that I can represent our profession in this way."
Harvey said she has twice returned to teaching after a family leave, realizing that teaching is her life's work. Bennett said the extra time Harvey spends with students who lag behind on reading skills is making a difference.
"I am greatly humbled by this honor and amazing recognition," Woods said. "I am also extremely thankful to those who have paved the way for me as a teacher and a professional."
Bennett noted Woods' innovative integration of other subjects, including reading, into his physical education curriculum.
"I am aware that every time physical education can receive positive accolades, especially in the time of budget cuts, it is appreciated by all who have chosen this profession," Woods added.
"I am incredibly honored to have been selected for this recognition," Macal said. "I know that there are hundreds of other deserving teachers working tirelessly in their classrooms and improving the lives of children all over the state."
Macal's excitement over being selected was tempered by how current school budget cuts are affecting her.
"Having received a RIF (reduction in force) notice, I know that next year I won't have the opportunity to come back to Batchelor Middle School," she said. "Regardless, it is truly an honor to be recognized for my work and my contributions."
Batchelor administrators said Macal's focus on the student learning process in writing has helped raise the achievement of her students.
Bennett also recognized the 35-year career of Speicher, whom Bennett said is setting an example for all Indiana science educators.
"Bobbi Speicher is one of the most innovative, dedicated teachers I know," school principal Linda McGalliard said in an Indiana Department of Education news release. "She uses inquiry-based science to integrate all content areas and has transformed her classroom into a living lab where children are daily challenged to explore, observe, collect data, write and problem solve."
"We're very proud of these outstanding teachers and the work they are doing under very difficult circumstances," Gonzalez said. "Economic conditions have never been more challenging for education in the state and yet they persevere in their quest for excellence. All of us in Indiana are fortunate to have such highly qualified and effective teachers teaching Hoosier children in our classrooms."
The Indiana Department of Education's news release on the recognition is posted at http://www.doe.in.gov/news/2010/05-May/BennettRecognizesOutstanding.html.