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3 Indy educators among 10 Indiana Teacher of the Year finalists

A pale blue poster proclaiming “Excellent!!!” with four yellow stars in the corners hangs on a wall.
Indiana has named 10 finalists for its annual Teacher of the Year award.
Alan Petersime for Chalkbeat

Three Indianapolis-area educators are among the finalists for the 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year, the Indiana Department of Education announced Monday.

Sarah TeKolste of Indianapolis Public Schools, Daniel Jones of Perry Township Schools, and Brayton Mendenhall of MSD Wayne Township are among 10 finalists selected by a committee made up of former top teachers, education department staff, and community and higher education representatives, according to a department statement.

The list of finalists, chosen from a pool of district nominees, also includes:

  • Lisa Clegg, Fort Wayne Community Schools
  • Susan Davis, South Bend Community School Corporation
  • Robert DeRuntz, Duneland School Corporation
  • Jaime Lamkin, Clarksville Community Schools
  • Gwyn Skrobul, Kankakee Valley School Corporation
  • Sharita Ware, Tippecanoe School Corporation
  • Jennifer Yoder, Goshen Community Schools

The state’s Teacher of the Year will be announced in October.

The honoree will spend a year representing Hoosier teachers at the national level through state-supported release time from the classroom.

Last year, the department named all the state’s teachers collectively as the 2021 Teachers of the Year in recognition of their role shepherding students and families through the COVID-19 pandemic.

To make the list of finalists is an accomplishment in and of itself, Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner said in a statement.

“When you ask most people, they can point back in their life to their favorite teacher,” Jenner said. “Typically, that is someone who not only taught them knowledge and skills but also someone who cared about and believed in them as an individual.”

“I’m thankful for the leadership of these educators who have positively impacted so many Hoosier students and set such a great example of what it means to help our students achieve their greatest potential.”

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