Shawnee teacher among top three state finalists - September 26, 2011

Record Number: 7927
Displayed from: Sep 26, 2011 , until: Oct 26, 2011

Shawnee Middle School Teacher Carolyn Bookmyer is among the top three finalists for Indiana Teacher of the Year. Bookmyer, an English Language Learners teacher with 16 years of experience, was selected as the Fort Wayne Community Schools Teacher of the Year because of her overwhelming commitment to her students, who come to her speaking little or no English. Bookmyer is known for not only helping her students learn English but become more assimilated into the American culture. She has coordinated ELL career days to show students careers toward which they can aspire, and she has encouraged students to get involved in school activities, even serving as a chauffer for students whose parents cannot take them to a choir concert or soccer practice. In her time with FWCS, Bookmyer has established ELL programs in two middle schools Miami and Shawnee. She offers training and support to teachers throughout Shawnee to make sure they know how best to work with ELL students and how to communicate with non-English speaking parents. She frequently touts the richness of multiculturalism. Last week, Bookmyer traveled to Indianapolis to interview with the Indiana Teacher of the Year Committee as one of 10 semi-finalists for the state award. The committee then narrowed the list down to three finalists who will meet with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett and have a classroom visit from a representative of the Indiana Teacher of the Year program.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.