Former Columbus resident Theresa Elaine (Murphy) Rouse was named 2013 Educator of the Year at the annual state conference this summer for Drug Abuse Resistance Education Indiana Inc.
Rouse, a 1971 Columbus High School graduate, lives in Freetown and is a fifth-grade teacher at Brownstown Elementary School.
She was nominated by Brownstown Police D.A.R.E. Officer Tom Wright, who cited her 30-plus years of fifth-grade teaching, starting at Vallonia, then Freetown and now in Brownstown. Rouse proudly claims herself as the remaining “charter D.A.R.E. teacher” when D.A.R.E. was started 21 years ago by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Wright said.
“By now she is teaching her third generation of some families. They are not only being taught math, English and social studies, but how to treat others fairly, to be respectful, and how to succeed in life,” Wright said.
Brownstown Elementary Principal Tom McCool and Assistant Principal Trent Shelton submitted letters of recommendation, citing her character, enthusiasm, dedication and care for her students.
Rouse was presented with an Educator of the Year plaque, which currently resides in her classroom.