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Teacher of the Year & Staff of the Year Winners Announced!

Teacher of the Year & Staff of the Year Winners Announced!

Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation is proud to share this year’s district winners for Teacher of the Year (TOY), Mrs. Kelsey Rusk, First Grade Teacher at Fortville Elementary, and Staff of the Year (SOY), Mrs.Tonya Brown, Behavior Tech at Mt. Comfort Elementary! Both winners were recognized at the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation’s Black and Gold Gala in early April.

Kelsey Rusk receiving the district TOY award from Dr. Jack Parker

Kelsey Rusk receiving the district TOY award from Dr. Jack Parker

The Mt. Vernon Education Foundation (MVEF) hosts and sponsors the TOY and SOY awards. The selection process begins with the building staff nominating their colleagues. Next, the top three nominated teachers and staff members were rated by their peers, based on the following values: dedication, teamwork, caring demeanor, student-centered, life-long learner, and innovation. The top-rated candidate became the building winner and then submitted an application to the MVEF TOY/SOY committee. The committee used the Indiana Department of Education’s TOY scoring rubric to evaluate each building winner and determine the overall MVCSC TOY and SOY. Mrs. Rusk, the district TOY will next compete in the Indiana Department of Education’s TOY.

Kelsey Rusk has worked at Mt. Vernon Schools for nine years, shared she was very surprised and humbled to receive the district Teacher of the Year award. She shared, “I have seen a lot of growth in the nine years I have taught at Mt. Vernon and we continue to grow. People are moving to this community because of our amazing school district. I am very proud to not only teach in the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation, but to live in the community as well!”

Both district winners will receive a $2,500 stipend and building winners receive $500 through the Ryan Fry Excellence in Education Award, thanks to the generosity of MVEF donors, Jill and Kevin Prefontaine. In 2018, Jill and Kevin Prefontaine established the Ryan Fry Excellence in Education Award to recognize MVCSC district TOY and SOY and honor Jill’s brother, Ryan. Jill wanted to create this monetary award and honor to “combine the love that she has for her brother and great teachers.” Both Ryan and Jill were MV graduates and Jill’s father, Kenneth, was a math teacher at Mt. Vernon for over 30 years.  This award aligns itself and supports the MVEF’s Strategic Plan in “encouraging and recognizing excellence and ingenuity among our educators and staff.” 


Tonya Brown receiving the district SOY award from Dr. Jack Parker

Mrs. Renee Oldham, Executive Director of the MVEF, shared, “With great respect for the many teachers and staff at Mt. Vernon, this process was quite competitive. It is my honor to present an award to the winners and recognize their commendable dedication to their profession and Mt. Vernon students.”

Tonya Brown, who has been with Mt. Vernon Schools for a total of 22 years and 5 years in her current position, shares, “I was honored to be recognized by my colleagues at MCE. I was completely shocked to have won for the corporation because I work among so many talented people who want the best for the children in our schools.”
Both of this year’s winners are incredibly deserving of these honors. Congratulations to Mrs. Rusk and Mrs. Brown, as well as all building TOY and SOY winners! 




Building TOY Winners:  Liz Jenkins (MCE), Abby Kern (MES), Michelle Dunahee (MVMS), Laura Hannah (MVHS) and Krista Weber (Admin). 
Building SOY Winners: Beth Thomas (FES), Trudy Cole (MES), Kelley Flemming (MVHS), Cathay Womack (MVMS) and Tori Wisker (Admin)