Avon High School Technology Education Teacher Chris Hill is a recipient of the Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant. “One Man, One Machine, Two Oceans” is the title of his project. Chris will take a once-in-a-lifetime trip, traveling from the Atlantic to the Pacific, completely by bicycle. He will bring with him an ocean of questions to ask experts all along the route, focusing on improving my schools pre-engineering program and robotics club. Along his route he has scheduled 20 or so meetings with professionals that work within STEM, ranging from college deans to technicians at alternate energy sites. He will use these meetings as a means of collaboration and inspiration of how to improve the program here at Avon. The trip is just over 4000 miles, so he will be averaging around 75 miles a day, and will go from Richmond Virginia to Florence Oregon.
Avon High School Spanish Teacher Jared Emmons is also a recipient of the Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant. His project is entitled “No Spain, No Gain: Revitalizing the Phrase, ‘Soy yo.’” The project is designed to enrich his understanding of the Spanish culture and people. Jared will travel to Spain and immerse himself in their language, lifestyle, and cultural treasures. The Spain that has existed only in books and photographs will finally become his reality, which he will share electronically with his students.
Avon Community Schools-Purdue University Collaboration Results in $250,000 Grant
Avon Community School Corporation has been selected to receive a federal Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Grant beginning in 2015. In collaboration with Purdue University, this three-year grant will support teachers in grades 5-7 with significant professional development in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines with an interdisciplinary approach to learning.
The grant will provide $250,000 in funds to support expert instructors to work with our teachers. The STEM disciplines further expand the meaningful, real-world context of learning while building student access to 21st Century interdisciplinary themes and skills.
“Receiving the MSP Grant is a fantastic boost to our efforts in bringing STEM education into our intermediate programming,” stated Dr. Maryanne McMahon, Assistant Superintendent at Avon Community Schools. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to integrate STEM pedagogy into our classrooms for our students.”
The partnership with Purdue University professors will support professional development for 26 staff members. Avon’s teaching staff expressed excitement regarding the announcement:
“When I think of STEM I think of career opportunities for the future. An education enriched with STEM gives the children of Avon a chance to be competitive with the rest of world. The opportunity with Purdue is a chance for me learn a way of teaching that I did not have in my undergrad experience.” –Mandy Giles (5th Grade Teacher)
“Avon Community Schools is very fortunate to have earned the opportunity to work in partnership with Purdue University to integrate STEM instruction. The conglomeration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math into our instruction taps into the creative minds of so many of our students. We (teachers) are excited to be given the professional development and resources to implement STEM into our curriculum delivery.” –Lori Taylor (6th Grade Teacher)
“The STEM model is the ultimate goal in teaching science. It incorporates math, reading and ALL of the science skills needed for students in the 21st century. I hope that students will increase their love of science and inquiry. I also hope that it continues to close the gap between boys and girls in the STEM fields as a career.” –Michelle Hadley (6th Grade Teacher)
The MSP Program is a federal formula grant program that funds collaborative partnerships between science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments at institutions of higher education (IHEs), and high-need school districts. These partnerships provide intensive, content-rich professional development to teachers and other educators, with the goal of improving classroom instruction and, ultimately, student achievement in math and science.
The MSP grant-writing team included: Angela Rasor, Michele Frossard, Michelle Hadley, Dr. Brian Scott, Dustin LeMay, Jenny Shayotovich, Jason Brames, Dr. Maryanne McMahon and Dr. Carla Johnson (Purdue University).
Efficiency Task Force 2015
Four ACSC teachers have been awarded 2015 Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowships. These $10,000 incredibly competitive fellowships are awarded to educators for personal/professional renewal.
Jared Emmons (AHS) will be traveling to Spain this summer to complete a project entitled, “No Spain, No Gain: Revitalizing the Phrase “¡Soy yo!”
Chris Hill (AHS) will be traveling by bicycle from Richmond, Virginia to Florence, Oregon—approximately 4,000 miles as part of his One Man, One Machine, Two Oceans project. He will be meeting with 20+ professionals who work in STEM fields, ranging from college deans to technicians at alternate energy sites in order to improve the pre-engineering program and robotics club.
Lori Taylor (AIS West) will be writing a memoir entitled Dragonfly: A Mother's Memoir about a Challenging Journey with the Emergence of a Daughter.
Joe Risch (AIS East) was funded for his project entitled “Woodworking in the Old World.” He will be traveling to Milan, Italy to study in a traditional woodworking shop. In addition to creating a blog/photo journal of his experiences, Joe hopes to implement a Fall and Spring Enrichment Camp teaching woodworking for Avon students.
These outstanding educators join other ACSC teachers who have been honored:
Previous Recipients of the Lilly Endowment
2005/Mollie Gregory/AHS/Language Arts
2009/Paul Haiducu (2 times)/AHS/Physics
2011/Gwynn Wills/District/Autism Consultant
“I am incredibly honored to announce that Laurie Davies has earned this incredible award,” said Ritz. “She is a true example of how one teacher’s dedication can impact her students and her school community. She works with parents to build personal connections to strengthen her teaching and in her classroom, she focuses on literacy and its importance in all aspects of education. She is incredibly well-deserving of this recognition.”
The Milken Educator Awards, conceived by the Milken Family Foundation to attract, retain and motivate outstanding talent to the teaching profession, is the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program, dubbed the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher magazine. Since 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has devoted more than $137 million in funding to the Milken Educator Awards, including over $65 million in individual Awards to more than 2,600 recipients plus powerful professional development opportunities and networking with leading education stakeholders.
Davies teaches fourth grade at Pine Tree Elementary School in Avon. She teaches Language Arts, Math, Science and Social studies and has focused on the use of data to improve student performance. She also regularly develops creative ways to present curriculum to her students and provides professional development opportunities for her fellow educators.
Each entity signed resolutions stating the following:
WHEREAS: Our local public schools are a significant source of quality of life, community spirit, and economic attraction, and
WHEREAS: Quality local public schools are of significant importance to business and home values, community safety, college and workforce preparedness, and
WHEREAS: Avon Schools’ General Fund is among the lowest funded on a per pupil basis in the entire state, and
WHEREAS: Avon Schools are among the highest performing schools yet among the lowest in per student funding, and
WHEREAS: The state’s school funding formula has left behind school communities like ours that are the first versions of school choice in Indiana, and
WHEREAS: Only legislative change to the funding formula can save our local residents from receiving an outlier-low share of the state funding formula to which they contribute through sales and income taxes, and
WHEREAS: Only change of the legislated funding formula can supply local per pupil funding at or near average levels for the state of Indiana without additional taxation foisted upon local business and residential taxpayers, and
WHEREAS: Only change to the legislated school funding formula can stem the tide of higher class sizes and loss of programs due to teacher and other layoffs in communities where per pupil funding is inequitably below the state average, and
THEREFORE: BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Avon Community Schools Board of Trustees supports a legislated recalibration of the state’s school funding formula to serve our local students on par with other Indiana school children.
Copies of the resolution have been shared with local legislative leaders. The school funding formula is a top priority in the current Indiana legislative session.
“We believe that strong schools are critical to the area’s growth and success,” said John Sparzo who serves as a facilitator for the Oriole Advocates. The newly formed Oriole Advocates added community support in promoting and coordinating the resolutions with the various entities. “The Oriole Advocates desire to produce an aligned vision among the public at-large to promote a stronger community,” Sparzo concluded. Members of the community who are interested in learning more or joining the Advocates can email the group at OrioleAdvocates1@gmail.com.
Weather Delay/Closure Information
7:00 PM School Board Meeting
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM ZAPS ACT test seminar
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM ZAPS ACT test seminar