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Newly-minted teachers lauded in annual recognition ceremony

May 6, 2021
The words honors recognition ceremony School of Education on a taupe background
The words honors recognition ceremony School of Education on a taupe background

KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo School of Education celebrated its newest graduates, in a virtual recognition ceremony Wednesday (May 5).

Seventeen future educators — 13 in elementary education, two in secondary education, and two Transition to Teaching graduates — received commemorative School of Education pins from family and friends during the ceremony, welcoming them into the teaching profession.

Dean Leah Nellis congratulated students, saying they overcame challenges nobody could have foreseen.

“During the unprecedented times of the past year, we have seen you rise to the challenge of serving your students amidst a pandemic, and all the uncertainty that brings, while growing yourself as an educator,” she said, listing quarantines, virtual learning, hybrid teaching, sadness, fear, and loneliness among the challenges.

“You have provided your students with a sense of normalcy, security and connection,” Nellis continued. “You are ready to begin your career equipped with knowledge, skills, and most importantly, the heart and compassion of a teacher.”

Faculty also highlighted outstanding student award winners Chelsea Glenn, Kokomo; elementary education; and Ashley Fauble, Burlington, secondary education.

Additionally, Nellis presented  Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) outstanding future educator awards to Autumn Bundy, Sheridan; Cordell Ford, Frankfort; Vicky Mattucci, Gaston; Rachel Moore, Tipton; and Kassie Silvers, Peru.

Mark Canada, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, read names of each graduating student, along with his or her student teaching placement site, while Nellis introduced the family members or friends presenting their pins.

Elizabeth Douglass, B.S. ’95, who teaches at Western Intermediate School, welcomed the graduates to the IU alumni family.

“I first want to congratulate you on all that you have accomplished. It’s no easy feat to graduate from the university,” she said. “It’s a huge accomplishment, and I am so honored to celebrate this with you. I also want to welcome you to the teaching profession. Teachers are a great group of people, who put their heart and soul into their work.”

Honorees are listed by degree and hometown. They include:

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

Amboy: Marlee Francois (minor in early childhood)

Fishers: Kaytlynn Pitts (minor in psychology)

Galveston: Clarice Slater (minor in early childhood)

Kokomo: Abbagail Burns (minor in early childhood), Brooke Castleberry (minor in mild intervention), Chelsea Glenn (minor in mild intervention), Sydney Stoerger (minor in music)

Michigantown: Ashley Ragan (minor in early childhood)

Seymour: Celina Alexander (minor in mild intervention)

Sheridan: Autumn Bundy (minor in early childhood)

Tipton: Rachel Moore, Kaylee Stearnes-Moore (minor in biology)

Urbana: Jacob Watkins (minor in biology)

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education

Noblesville: Katie Burris (concentration in English/language arts)

Muncie: Calvin Rausch (concentration in social studies)

Transition to Teaching

Kokomo: Carly Bogue (concentration in business)

Plymouth: Christina Burcham (concentration in English/language arts)

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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