The Teacher of the Year award has been re-established for the staff at Mt. Vernon and is sponsored by the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation (MVEF). Each of the five schools nominated two teachers to be recognized for their outstanding commitment to their students, being an exemplary leader as well as for their dedication to the teaching profession.
The MVEF developed a committee comprised of community members from the business and education sectors, none of which are Mt. Vernon employees. The committee graded each nominee using the same rubric the Indiana Department of Education uses to select the Indiana Teacher of the Year. This rubric has the following categories: Educational History and Ongoing Professional Development Activities, Student Engagement, Impact on School Culture, Community Learning and Involvement, Education Issues and Trends, Inspiring Message to Improve Education, and Principals Letter of Support.
Mrs. Renee Oldham, Executive Director of the MVEF, shared, “With great respect for the many teachers and staff at Mt. Vernon, it is my honor to share that this process was quite challenging. The committee looked at each criteria thoroughly for each nominee. It is my honor to present the nominees and two winners an award and recognition of their commendable dedication to their profession and Mt. Vernon students.”
Fortville Elementary School: Jennifer Strantz & Kelsey Sager
McCordsville Elementary School: Terry Trowbridge & Shona Kelly
Mt. Comfort Elementary School: Cathy Ringham & Amy McCleery
Mt. Vernon Middle School: Debbie Thomas & Amanda Hill
Mt. Vernon High School: Tom Shaver & Trista Hurst
The primary Teacher of the Year is Terry Trowbridge, Art Teacher at McCordsville Elementary School (MES). Trowbridge previously worked three years at an IPS school and has been at MES for three years.
He states, “My teaching style starts with my own passion for art. I believe a teacher needs to exhibit the environment and behavior they want their students to model. My students pick up on my own enthusiasm for learning, and it becomes contagious.”
Trowbridge produces engaging Youtube videos teaching kids how they can continue practicing art at home, produces the Pirate News videos, as well as several other district videos.
The secondary Teacher of the Year is Tom Shaver, Technology Education Teacher at Mt. Vernon High School (MVHS). Shaver has worked 31 years at MVHS teaching various classes including welding, small engine repair, metalworking, drafting and Computer-Aided Design (CAD). He has also held various athletic coaching positions and taught adult classes.
Shaver shared, “To be the best teacher I can be requires me to communicate to ALL of my students that I genuinely care about them and would help them succeed in any way I could. I tell them that being challenged with a problem is okay, not understanding is okay and life in and out of the classroom is full of obstacles that can be overcome.”
To keep up with the ever changing technology industry, Shaver spends many hours on the weekends at Mt. Vernon researching new technology processes and techniques that he will eventually share with his students.
Both the Mt. Vernon Community and the MVEF are exceptionally proud of all of the Teacher of the Year nominees and winners, as well as the commitment of countless other staff members that help provide the academic excellence Mt. Vernon provides.