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Chuck Carney
IU School of Education

Last modified: Friday, October 8, 2010

Indiana's Teacher of the Year, runner-up, both IU School of Education alumni

Oct. 8, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Department of Education announced alumni of the Indiana University School of Education as the 2011 Indiana Teacher of the Year and runner-up on Thursday (Oct. 7).

Stacy McCormack, a 1999 graduate with a B.S. in science education from the Indiana University School of Education in Bloomington, has earned the honor of 2011 Indiana Teacher of the Year. The IU School of Education also named McCormack, a physics teacher at Penn High School in Mishawaka, an Armstrong Teacher Educator earlier this year.

In addition, the runner-up for Teacher of the Year is an IU School of Education alumnus. Jamil Odom of Mary Bryan Elementary in Metropolitan School District of Perry Township, who received a Master of Science degree in elementary education from the IU School of Education in Bloomington in 2005, earned that honor.

Stacy McCormack

Stacy McCormack

Print-Quality Photo

McCormack is now the state's nominee for National Teacher of the Year. McCormack and Odom will be honored at a December banquet.

IU School of Education graduates made up most of the finalists for Indiana Teacher of the year. Eight of the 10 finalists announced in September are alumni of the IU School of Education core campuses of Bloomington and Indianapolis.

"The IU School of Education has had a long history of preparing excellent teachers," said IU School of Education Dean Gerardo Gonzalez. "We are very proud of our graduates and the difference they're making in Indiana classrooms. McCormack and Odom richly deserve the Teacher of the Year honors for which they have been selected. I extend them my heartfelt congratulations."

An Indiana Department of Education committee composed of department personnel and external community and education leaders -- including former Teachers of the Year award winners -- selected McCormack as the Teacher of the Year after interviewing 10 finalists last month.

"I'm absolutely honored and delighted to represent the phenomenal teachers of the state of Indiana," McCormack said. "In all grade levels and in all schools Indiana educators exemplify dedication and passion. No other group of people work harder than teachers, and it's my joy to share with others the amazing work being done in every school across our state."

The selection of McCormack came as little surprise to Pete Kloosterman, Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Chair for Teacher Education. As head of the privately-funded Armstrong Teacher Educator program, which selects teachers based on patterns of outstanding teaching and school leadership, Kloosterman knew McCormack's nomination was a good one.

"Stacy's application stood out when we selected Armstrong teachers last spring," Kloosterman said. "Her selection for this award reflects the same characteristics of innovation and enthusiasm that earned her the Armstrong honor."

Armstrong Teacher Educators work with and lend their expertise to IU students studying to be teachers. The Armstrong Teacher Educators also have the opportunity to participate in professional development activities to advance individual goals and those of their schools and corporations.

"Ms. McCormack is a dynamic teacher," Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said in an Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) news release. "Her creativity in the classroom captures students' attention and allows for increased academic achievement. I applaud her for her work and thank her for her many years of dedication to Indiana students."

Jamil Odom

Jamil Odom

Odom earned his initial teacher license after completing the IU School of Education's "Transition to Teaching" program, also completing his master's degree. The third-grade teacher at Mary Bryan Elementary is well remembered by the faculty at the IU School of Education.

"Receiving this honor feels surreal, and it is wholeheartedly amazing," Odom said. "Like numerous Indiana educators, I'm just a teacher who strives to do, give and be my best for the students I'm fortunate to teach. To get recognized for what I love to do makes this honor that much more welcoming."

"I remember Jamil as a confident, thoughtful, and hard-working graduate student, who became a very caring and nurturing teacher," said Professor Diana Lambdin, who co-directs the Elementary Transition-to-Teaching (T2T) Program at IU Bloomington. "So I was certainly not surprised to hear of his award. Because T2T students are career changers, they generally are quite mature. In addition, Jamil stands out in my mind as an outstanding role model for young children."

The IU School of Education's Transition to Teaching program is an alternative route to teacher certification designed to meet the needs of individuals who have previously earned a college degree in a content area and who want to teach in schools from kindergarten through high school.

"Jamil demonstrates the core values of our district: integrity, dedication, collegiality, compassion and open-mindedness," Perry Township Superintendent Thomas Little said in the IDOE release. "He engages students utilizing 21st Century technology and creates a life-long love of learning in each of his students."

The Indiana Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Education. The National Teacher of the Year Program, presented by the ING Foundation, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers.