Local teachers receive awards

Staff Reports

A pair of co-teachers and a principal who does double duty as a math teacher are this year’s winners of the Reams Family Award for Teaching.

The recipients are co-teachers Nikki Crawford and Laura Donovan, of ABC-Stewart School; and Jan Buss, principal and math teacher at White Creek Lutheran School, according to Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, which administers the award.

The award, established by former Bartholomew County residents Fred and Karen Reams, recognizes outstanding educators teaching in the private schools that serve the county.

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Each teacher received a monetary award during surprise presentations at their respective schools.

Recipients are nominated by their schools’ principals/directors based on criteria including the educator’s exceptional skills and dedication to teaching, exemplary initiative and contributions to the school and its environment.

Crawford, a teacher of 17 years, has been at ABC-Stewart since 2000 and is responsible for teaching the school’s youngest students, preschoolers who are age 2 and older. Crawford was nominated as a valued and respected staff member “who is kind to everyone and loved by so many for her many years of service to the youth of this community,” according to her nomination.

She is credited with helping to establish the educational framework necessary for young learners by creating a “nurturing, beautiful educational environment that is filled with age-appropriate learning materials that children can explore,” the nomination said.

Donovan, a teacher of 14 years at ABC-Stewart, was nominated as an outstanding teacher who helps young learners through “her confident, enthusiastic and creative approach to their school activities,” according to her nomination. She also teaches preschool students who are 2 and older.

Donovan was praised for her insight into how to effectively help students to progress through the various developmental stages and motivate them in an environment designed to foster a child’s natural inclination to learn.

Crawford and Donovan each received $3,500, Heritage Fund scholarship manager Amy Laker said.

Buss has been with White Creek Lutheran for 27 years. Her colleagues tout her service to the school not only as an administrator but as a seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher. Buss was complimented for an enthusiasm for mathematics that is contagious to her students in class and in her popular after-school Math Club, according to her nomination.

“She truly believes that all students can succeed. As administrator and teacher, she has everyone’s best interest at heart,” the nomination said.

Buss received $5,000, Laker said.

About the award

The Reams Family Award for Excellence in Teaching was established by Fred and Karen Reams, former residents of Bartholomew County, to recognize outstanding educators teaching in the private schools serving Bartholomew County. This is the 12th year for the awards, which have granted more than $105,000 to area private school teachers.