BCSC nominee makes top 25 in teacher of the year

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.’s first ever “Teacher of the Year” is one of 25 finalists for the same award at the state level.

Central Middle School teacher and 2020 district winner Mindy Summers has made it to the top 25 for the 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year award. The list of finalists was released by the Indiana Department of Education on July 30.

BCSC Communications Coordinator Josh Burnett said that almost 300 districts in the state are eligible to enter teachers for the award.

School districts were able to nominate their 2019-20 and 2020-21 district winners for a total of up to four entries (two from the elementary level and two from the secondary).

“It’s a rigorous process that Mrs. Summers has been working on for months,” Burnett said.

The application for the state award included writing essays on a number of education-related topics, Summers said. She was also required to have recommendation letters from individuals such as parents, administrators and students.

The next step in the award process will be a selection of the top 10 finalists from the 25 that remain.

“I feel very humbled to be recognized in the Top 25,” Summers said. “When I work with my students, teacher recognition is the furthest thing from my mind. In fact, one of my greatest joys is the recognition of student achievement.”

The BCSC Teacher of the Year Award was given for the first time in 2020. Eighteen nominees for the 2021 award were announced in April, including 17 teachers from different schools and one from the Pre-K level. Nominees were given the opportunity to apply for the district award or opt out.

According to the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Teacher of the Year Program “works to inspire, rejuvenate, and celebrate the teaching profession by recognizing outstanding teachers from across the state.”

The Indiana Teacher of the Year is also selected to represent the state’s teachers through the Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year program.

The 2020 Indiana Teacher of the Year was Katheryn Pourcho of the Danville Community School Corp.

In May of 2020, the department of education announced that, since the state’s teachers were “a force supporting, guiding and educating Hoosier students” even amid challenging times, all Indiana teachers were collectively named 2021 Teachers of the Year.