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

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

Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation is proud to share this year’s district winners of Teacher of the Year (TOY) Mrs. Karen Riesterer, Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher at Mt. Vernon High School, and Staff of the Year (SOY) Mrs. Wendy Mayo, Instructional Assistant at Mt. Comfort Elementary!  Both winners were recognized at the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation’s Black and Gold Gala in early April.

Karen Reisterer

Karen Reisterer

The Mt. Vernon Education Foundation (MVEF) hosts and sponsors the TOY and SOY awards. The selection process starts with the staff in each building nominating their colleagues. The top three nominated teachers and top three nominated staff members were then rated by their peers based on the district values (dedication, teamwork, caring demeanor, student-centered, life-long learner, and innovation). The building winners then each 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.

Both district winners receive a $2,500 stipend through the Ryan Fry Excellence in Education Award," thanks to the generosity of MVEF donors, Jill and Kevin Prefontaine. The cash award was created in honor of Jill’s brother Ryan. Both Ryan and Jill were MV graduates and their father Kenneth was a math teacher at Mt. Vernon for over 30 years. This award aligns itself and supports the MVEF Strategic Plan "in encouraging and recognizing excellence and ingenuity among our educators and staff.” 

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.”

Both of this year’s winners are incredibly deserving of these honors. 

Wendy Mayo

Karen Riesterer, who has been with Mt. Vernon Schools for 18 years, says, “I enjoy the day-to-day interaction with students and staff.  It is a wonderful moment in teaching when students apply what they have learned in the classroom to their life. Those "ah-ha" moments are the best! It is such an honor to be nominated by your colleagues and then to be named Teacher of Year is a next level of excitement!”

Wendy Mayo, on the other hand, is only in her first year at Mt. Vernon. She shares, “I was shocked! I have been in this position for such a short time and it was hard to wrap my mind around how I could deserve such an honor. There are so many other deserving people. I know the work I do is hard and isn't for everyone. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to share about our room and students, and bring light to how much joy can come from working with students who learn differently than their peers. It's truly an honor to work for Mt. Vernon."


Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation congratulates both ladies for their hard work and perseverance, and is proud to employ so many wonderful staff members. 

Congratulations to the building TOY/SOY winners as well! 

TOY: Jill Chastain (FES), Kayla Negley (MES), Liz Moan (MCE), Karen Riesterer (MVHS), Courtney Stroup (MVMS) and Dana Hochstedler (Multiple buildings)

SOY: Dawn Teschendorf (FES), Emily Snider (MES), Wendy Mayo (MCE), Jennifer Hohnbaum (MVHS), Julie Wilson (MVMS) and Lisa Heitman (Admin)

TOY & SOY Winners