Teachers from the Brownsburg Community School Corporation, Plainfield Community School Corporation, Danville Community School Corporation and Mill Creek Community School Corporation have been nominated to receive the 2020 Indiana Teacher of the Year Award.
The nominees from Hendricks County are:
Adam Ferguson, Plainfield Community School Corporation
Mr. Ferguson teaches CHAP, We the People, Dual Credit U.S. History, and AP Government at Plainfield High School (PHS). He has been a PHS teacher for six years. The Ball State University graduate holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies Education, a Bachelor of Science in History, and is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the Ball State Honors College. He will begin work this July on his Master’s Degree in History. Mr. Ferguson is actively engaged in student activities at PHS, serving on several committees, and sponsors three organizations at PHS: National Honor Society, student government, and Riley Dance Marathon. Mr. Ferguson also serves as the assistant varsity wrestling coach.
Kelsey Long, Danville Community School Corporation
Ms. Long is in her sixth year as an educator, and her fourth year at Danville Community High School. Ms. Long is proud to work in the same school from which she graduated, and to serve the community in which she was raised. Ms. Long currently teaches English 10, 11, and 12, and has previously taught English nine, Yearbook, and Reading Intervention Lap. She has served as advisor for Student Council, Spell Bowl, and English Academic Team. She is also actively involved in a number of committees within her school. Ms. Long lives in Danville with her husband Cody, their son Weston, and their dogs Zoey and Reggie. Kelsey and Cody are expecting the arrival of their second son in December. As a teacher, she believes that a focus on student empowerment and individuality will cultivate a confidence and respect for learning and education that will last her students a lifetime.
Beth Oburn, Brownsburg Community School Corporation
Ms. Oburn earned her Bachelor of Arts in Family & Consumer Sciences Education from Indiana State University, and Master’s in Child, Youth and Family Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Ms. Oburn has taught Family & Consumer Sciences for 18 years. She started her career in Florida, before returning to Indiana. She has taught Housing & Interior Design, Nutrition & Wellness, Advanced Nutrition & Foods, and Culinary Arts & Hospitality. Ms. Oburn has written $30,000 in grants to expand students’ educational opportunities in Brownsburg. Ms. Oburn is the building representative for the Brownsburg Education Foundation and the Staff Representative on the BEF Board of Directors. Beyond her teaching, she and her husband serve on the Executive Board of Shop For Kids, Inc.
Allyson Smith, Brownsburg Community School Corporation
Ms. Smith attended Indiana University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in both Kindergarten and Gifted and Talented. She has taught at Brownsburg Community School Corporation for the past 17 years. Ms. Smith helped pioneer the multigrade high ability program in Brownsburg and has remained a core part of that team for 15 years. She has served as a Mentor Teacher, serving on various curriculum, building, and corporation committees, coaching athletics, and serving as a delegate with the China Exchange Initiative to help implement an elementary foreign language program. Ms. Smith is an outgoing and devoted member of her community, and she has a passion for building relationships with the students and families.
David Winters, Mill Creek Community School Corporation
Mr. Winters has taught 7th grade English at Cascade Middle School for the last 14 years. Before that time, he was a graduate of Anderson University and Plainfield High School. In addition to teaching, Mr. Winters is an aspiring novelist who is currently shopping his first completed manuscript to prospective agents. When not teaching, Mr. Winters is an avid adventure traveler who uses his summer vacations to see the world (e.g. surf school in Costa Rica, volcano climbing in Bali, living in Ernest Hemingway’s Paris room, etc.). In his free time, he enjoys reading, online gaming, and playing guitar with a group of life-long friends. David has no plans to leave Cascade and will likely remain at his current position until retirement.
Katie Pourcho, Danville Community School Corporation
Ms. Pourcho is an imaginative, animated, and inspiring educator who infuses her experience as a professional artist into her classroom. Ms. Pourcho is a recipient of the 2016 Lilly Endowment, LLC. Teacher Creativity Fellowship, and a graduate of Ball State University Honors College. She teaches art to K-2 students at Danville North Elementary School.