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ISTA Honored Educators and Public Education Supporters

The Indiana State Teachers Association honored educators and public education supporters at an awards ceremony with more than 350 in attendance. 

“Our honorees have demonstrated a commitment to public education that has positively impacted kids, educators, public schools and Indiana communities,” said ISTA President Teresa Meredith. “I’m pleased to recognize the dedication of all the awardees.” 

Community Service Award
Jennifer Hartup, Fort Wayne Education Association member, was honored with the Community Service Award for her involvement in the Guns ‘N Hoses Golf Outing in Fort Wayne. This event supports law enforcement and first responders when unexpected expenses are not covered by insurance. 

J.D. Miller Young Activist Award
Sam Jones, Cloverdale Education Association member, and Amber Seibert, Washington Township Education Association member, were both honored with the J.D. Miller Young Activist Award. This award recognizes involvement and commitment to Association activities. Jones and Seibert have both been active in their local association and in statewide efforts to advance public education.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Dan Haskell and Mary Puntney, both current members of ISTA-Retired, were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Haskell served as local association president of North Harrison Classroom Teachers Association, was involved in his community and dedicated time to advocating for public schools. Puntney, previously a member of White River Valley School Corporation, has served her local and state associations in several capacities, but her largest contribution was her involvement in the Indiana Political Action Committee for Education. Her work helped elect pro-public education candidates. 

N. Robert Montfort Communications Award
Four honorees were recognized for their stellar communications with local association members. The awardees included the Fort Wayne Education Association, Hamilton Southeastern Education Association, New Albany Floyd County Bus Drivers Association and Brooke Stanley, Whitley County Teachers Association member.

School Bell Award
Sue Loughlin with the Terre Haute Tribune Star was recognized with the School Bell Award. This honor is awarded to a member of the media who diligently and accurately covers public education in Indiana. Loughlin’s article on the teacher shortage and pay inequities brought the concerns of teachers and educators to the forefront. 

ISTA Friend of Education Award
The Indiana PTA was honored with the ISTA Friend of Education Award. The Indiana PTA has been a partner with teachers, educators and schools across the state. For more than 100 years, Indiana PTA has been integral to the collaborative advancement of our public schools. 

ESP of the Year Award
Janet McEvoy, East Allen County Schools Transportation Association member, was recognized as the education support professional (ESP) of the year. McEvoy has been a full-time school bus driver since 1994. Her involvement in her local association and community has elevated the awareness of issues facing school bus drivers. 

ISTA Hoosier Educator of the Year Award
Steve Wilson, Northwestern Classroom Education Association member, was named the ISTA Hoosier Educator of the Year. Wilson has dedicated his career to his students and public education. For more than 30 years, he has demonstrated a commitment that surpasses many and makes him stand apart from others. He has taught all levels of high school Spanish, was selected as an Armstrong Teacher Educator Fellow and twice received the Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship. 

The ISTA Hoosier Educator of the Year Award is supported by Horace Mann.