IU School of Education honors eight Indiana teachers as Armstrong Teacher Educators

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Indiana University School of Education has named eight Indiana public school teachers as the Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Teacher Educators for the 2013-14 school year.

In earning the prestigious honor, these teachers have an opportunity over the next year to participate in professional development opportunities and work with IU faculty and students studying to be teachers. The School of Education honored the new Armstrong teachers during the annual Celebration of Teaching ceremony this afternoon (April 23).

Since 1997, superintendents and principals from around Indiana have nominated teachers for the Armstrong Teacher Educator Award based on patterns of outstanding teaching and school leadership. The nominees must also demonstrate a potential to work effectively as mentors and role models for pre-service teachers. A committee of IU faculty, students and former recipients chooses the Armstrong teachers.

"We are delighted to have another very strong cohort of teachers for the Armstrong Program," said Pete Kloosterman, Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Chair in Teacher Education. "These individuals are leaders in their schools and exemplify the enthusiasm and professionalism that every parent and school administrator wants to see."

The awards are made possible through the Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Fund in Teacher Education, which also supports the Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Chair in Teacher Education. Since the program started, more than 140 Indiana teachers have been selected as Armstrong Teacher Educators. The select group has included many teachers recognized as outstanding in the field, including 2011 Indiana Teacher of the Year Stacy McCormack, who was named an Armstrong Teacher Educator just before earning the statewide honor.

"As always, our group of Armstrong Teacher Educators includes some of the most innovative teachers from around the state," said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the IU School of Education. "Their participation in this program not only builds upon their own talents but allows them to share their methods with our students preparing to enter the classroom."

The Armstrong Teacher Educators for 2013-14 are:

Dominic Day

A seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher at Lynhurst 7th and 8th Grade Center in Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, Day is a secondary education graduate of IU Bloomington (B.S., '07) and the current Teacher of the Year at Lynhurst.

Day is the founder of "Brothers of Another Color," a leadership group at Lynhurst aimed at African American and Latino boys to bridge cultural misunderstandings and create a brotherhood of leaders. He's presented at various local, national and international education conferences on his use of hip-hop pedagogy.

Day says he is empowered and driven by the words of his late mentor and IU School of Education faculty member Kipchoge Kirkland: "It is my hope that I will touch the minds and hearts of future teachers and students with my passion and commitment to education, freedom and social justice. I do it because others have done it for me."

Jodi Dubovich

A fourth-grade teacher at Shamrock Springs Elementary School in Westfield Washington Schools in Westfield, Dubovich is in her sixth year of teaching.

She is known for implementing technology into her daily classroom curriculum. She successfully implemented a schoolwide Lego Education "WeDo" robotics program for kindergarten through fourth-grade students and has served as a product tester for Lego for the past two years. She's received three grants from the Westfield Education Foundation to introduce multiple enhanced applications of technology into the classroom.

Dubovich's most recent grant helped fund the school's green screen room, where students learn editing skills using iMovie. She has presented her classroom technology approaches at the National STEMtech conference and the Indiana Computer Educators Conference.

Amy Haywood

A physics and chemistry teacher with Vincennes University at Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis, Haywood is runner-up for 2013 Indiana Teacher of the Year. She was recently named to the Teach Plus Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellows 2013 Cohort, a highly selective national program that allow participants to study education policy, research and best practices as well as interact with education leaders. Haywood is committed to mentoring young teachers and is in her fourth year as a Cooperating Mentor Teacher for the University of Indianapolis Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship Program.

Katie Isch

An English teacher at Adams Central High School in Monroe, Isch is a strong advocate of problem-based learning. She received training through the New Tech Network and has worked in a problem-based learning environment for the past three years.

Isch co-teaches an integrated course of English 9 and biology (BioLit), which engages students in cooperative learning groups that answer questions through inquiry and critical thinking. Through professional development in the New Tech Network, Isch has become a New Tech Network certified teacher, certified trainer and certified literacy coach, allowing her to help other teachers explore problem-based learning both at her school and at the New Tech Annual Conference. She now serves on a teacher design group for New Tech developing high-quality projects that can be used in problem-based learning classrooms nationwide.

Barbara Lynn

A fifth-grade teacher at Highland Elementary School in Evansville, Lynn is an experienced teacher in Grades 1 through 5 as well as in music education classes and computer classes. She serves on the school's leadership team and faculty cabinet, and she is grade-level coordinator/professional learning club leader.

Lynn has supervised 10 student teachers and piloted the co-teacher model of student teaching through the University of Southern Indiana. She has been a member of the Indiana Reading Textbook selection committee and attended professional development trainings at the Indiana Reading Convention. She is an alumna of the IU School of Education, with a degree in elementary education (B.S. '90).

Janice Mitchener

A mathematics teacher at Carmel High School in Carmel for the past 22 years, Mitchener has been an educator for 29 years. She is also an instructor with Indiana Online Academy and is an adjunct teacher for Indiana University's Advance College Project.

Mitchener was a 2009 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 2007 Carmel Clay Schools Teacher of the Year and a 2008 finalist for Indiana Teacher of the Year. She received the MathMovesU Math Hero Award and the Indianapolis Power and Light Golden Apple Award.

Mitchener is a certified Teaching With Technology regional instructor and provides professional development on using technology in the classroom to teachers, presenting at several state and national conferences. She holds a master's degree in secondary education from the IU School of Education at IUPUI (M.S. '87).

Lucas Schroeder

A Spanish teacher and varsity assistant football coach at Bloomington High School South in Bloomington, Schroeder has worked to bring new cultures to his students through coordination of visits to Spain. He's currently planning a trip to Costa Rica.

In addition to coordinating international student experiences, Schroeder has coached four sports and worked with many student organizations. His 11 years of experience include working with learners of all ages, from pre-K to AP Spanish in high school and adult English learners in Spain. Schroeder earned his degree in Spanish from Indiana University (B.A., '01), where he was a Wells Scholar and participated in the WIP (Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue) study abroad program in Madrid, Spain.

James Small

A sixth-grade teacher at Fayette Central Elementary School in Connersville, Small has been an elementary teacher for 12 years, teaching a wide array of students and serving in various capacities. Currently a general education teacher, he's also been a special education teacher for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Small incorporates a classroom blog to teach writing and technical skills and help his students reach out to the world beyond their small community. He says he strives to help his students learn in ways that transcend the curriculum, helping them develop skills useful beyond the classroom. Small earned his elementary degree from IU East (B.S., '01) and a master's in special education from IU Bloomington (M.S., '04).

The Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Fund in Teacher Education was established through a gift from the Cook Group Cos. of Bloomington. In 1996, Bill and Gayle Cook designated a $1 million gift to honor longtime IU Foundation President Bill Armstrong and his wife, Martha Lea. The Armstrongs asked that the gift support Indiana's teachers and worked with the Cooks and the School of Education to develop the program. In memory of Bill Cook, who died April 15, 2011, the Cook family designated memorial donations be directed to the Armstrong Fund.