Finalists Announced For 'Life-Changing' Teacher Award

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United Way of Central Indiana has named 10 finalists for a new award honoring top educators in one of the state's largest school districts. Later this month, four winners of the Hubbard Life-Changing Teacher Award will be announced. May 14, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Ten Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) teachers have been chosen as finalists from a field of 230 nominated for the first Hubbard Life-Changing Teacher Award, announced United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) today. The award recognizes IPS teachers who make a tremendous difference in the classroom and in the lives of their students.

On May 28, four teachers will be announced from among those finalists to receive $25,000 each at a dinner in their honor at the Eiteljorg Museum. Julian Grace, a reporter with WISH-TV 8 and a graduate of Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, will emcee the event. The remaining six finalists will receive $1,000 each.

Finalists are:

-Tina Ahlgren, math teacher at Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy;

-Elizabeth Althardt, second- and third-grade teacher at ROOTS Satellite program;

-Nicole Fama, Title 1 teacher and dean of student behavior at Arlington Woods School 99;

-Cynthia Hartshorn, choir and drama director at Arsenal Technical High School;

-Erin Lizer, Spanish teacher at John Marshall Community High School;

-Rhonda Pierre, pre-Algebra and Algebra teacher at Harshman Magnet School;

-Jeffrey Powell, architecture and construction engineering teacher at Arsenal Technical High School;

-Antonia Powell-Brown, math and sixth-grade teacher at Arlington Woods School 99;

-Apple Quick, Project SITE creator and teacher; and,

-Deb Wolinsky, math and resource teacher at Broad Ripple Magnet High School.

Jamie Kalb, an IPS teacher, was the inspiration for the award. Indianapolis residents and longtime education champions Al and Kathy Hubbard created it after reading an Indianapolis Star column by Matthew Tully describing how Kalb turned around the life of a student. The Hubbard Family Foundation has committed to invest up to $400,000 over three years.

"It is clear that all 10 finalists are worthy recipients," said Al Hubbard, who serves as chairman of E & A Companies, an Indianapolis-based business, and was director of the National Economic Council under President George W. Bush. "The caliber of these educators and how far they have gone to transform lives is stunning. It validates what we had hoped for when the idea first came to us to honor these remarkable professionals so that we can all learn by their example."

United Way of Central Indiana managed the selection process. The 10 finalists announced today were chosen by six volunteer review panelists with education expertise. They considered how nominees invested in their students' entire well being along with their instructional excellence as evidenced by student achievement results.

In addition to reviewing 561 nominations, the selection process included videos of each finalist in their classroom and personal interviews with semi-finalists to select the four awardees.

Ann D. Murtlow, United Way's president and CEO, said “United Way of Central Indiana is proud to partner with the Hubbards to pay tribute to these amazing teachers. This award celebrates those who, through dedication, perseverance, skill and compassion, have meaningfully changed the lives of their students for the better. They are heroes in every sense of the word, and we are grateful for the roles they play in helping our children achieve self-sufficiency as adults."

United Way of Central Indiana helps people learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives. United Way gets things done by mobilizing people and community partners in six Central Indiana counties to identify, advance and advocate the best solutions. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to be part of the change. Visit uwci.org to learn more.

Source: United Way of Central Indiana