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Education students honored as among best in state

Aug 3, 2021
red background with words outstanding future educators
red background with words outstanding future educators

KOKOMO, Ind. — Five Indiana University Kokomo education graduates earned recognition for being among the best new teachers in the state, receiving Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) Outstanding Future Educator awards.

Those honored included Autumn Bundy, Sheridan; Cordell Ford, Frankfort; Vicky Mattucci, Gaston; Rachel Moore, Tipton; and Kassie Silvers, Peru.

“It’s nice to be recognized for doing something I love,” Ford said of the award. “It made me feel  good that my host teacher suggested I apply. It was a difficult year because of the pandemic, but it all worked out at the end. I love teaching.”

Ford will continue teaching at Frankfort’s Suncrest Elementary School, where he did his student teaching as part of a year-long teacher residency program. In fact, he completed the school year teaching a third-grade class, after the job opened up midway through the spring semester, and also taught summer school.

Silvers also participated in the year-long student teaching program, as a math teacher at Maconaquah High School.

 “It’s a great honor,” she said. “I worked hard for it, and I feel like I made my professors proud. It was a lot of work to create assignments and lessons plans, and projects and games for the students. I’m glad to take a moment to enjoy the hard work I put into my teaching.”

 She will teach math at Peru Junior High School.

Leah Nellis, dean of the School of Education, congratulated them on their accomplishments and their persistence, noting they demonstrated resilience and commitment by student teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They supported their students and worked alongside their host teachers to provide meaningful learning experiences, despite the many restrictions, shifts, and challenges associated with the pandemic,” she said. “They did so with professionalism, grace, and compassion, characteristics that will take them into their first year of teaching as they continue to grow as professional educators.”

Mattucci completed her student teaching in Alexandria, and will teach third-graders at Blackford County Schools.

“This award is validation to me that I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing,” she said, adding that the award is especially sweet to her because she gave birth to her daughter shortly after completing her student teaching.

Autumn Bundy accepted a job as a pre-kindergarten teacher at Carroll Elementary School in Flora.

Outstanding Future Educator recipients excel academically and in student teaching, and show professional promise. They also show a range of inspiring work in leadership and working with student by modeling the commitment and dedication all educators require. Supervising teachers and faculty supervisors nominated candidates who go above and beyond what is expected of them as student teachers.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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