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2016 Franklin Initiative Educators of the Year Announced

Franklin Initiative Announces 2016 Educators of the Year Awardees

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Plans

15th Annual Educators of the Year Awards Event

The recipients of the 15th Annual Educators of the Year awards were announced today by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s Franklin Initiative. Eight individuals and one educational program will be honored at the community celebration which recognizes the top educators and educational programs in accredited schools across Monroe County. The awardees were nominated by their fellow educators, school administration and individuals within Monroe County. The awards dinner is scheduled for February 24 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Presidents Hall in Indiana University’s Franklin Hall.
Since 2001 The Chamber’s Franklin Initiative, along with the business community, has supported excellence in education with Educators of the Year awards ceremony. In addition to seven educators who will receive an Outstanding Educator Award, Monroe County Community School Corporation’s (MCCSC) Superintendent, Dr. Judith DeMuth, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding longtime commitment to education.
“To have the opportunity to honor Dr. DeMuth with the Lifetime Achievement Award is such a fitting tribute to her far-reaching influence on education – not just in Monroe County but throughout our state. She is deeply passionate about creating schools that foster life-long learning and allow our young people to find success. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate her long record of academic and administrative excellence,” said Jeb Conrad, President & C.E.O. of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.
The following individuals will be honored with 2016 Outstanding Educator Awards:
Steve Brewer, Edgewood High School
Joe Donnelly, Jackson Creek Middle School
Alissa Drewes, Edgewood Primary School
Helen Melwid, Marlin Elementary School
Amy Morwick, Hoosier Hills Career Center
Jenny Noble-Kuchera, Binford and Rogers Elementary Schools
Gwen Witten Upchurch, Bloomington High School South

Leading Light Awards are given to innovative programs that enhance our education community and serve our county’s young people. This year the Prism Youth Community will receive a Leading Light Award. Prism is an inclusive social group for youth celebrating all sexual orientations and gender identity expressions. It is a program of Bloomington PRIDE, the organization that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied community of Bloomington and south-central Indiana.
To register for the 15th Annual Educators of the Year Dinner and Awards, please contact the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce at 812.336.6381, or email Carol Kelly, Event Coordinator, at Tickets are $35 per person; children in grades K-12 are $20 and there is no charge for Pre-K.
For more information about The Chamber’s Franklin Initiative, visit
About The Chamber’s Franklin Initiative
For more than a decade, the Chamber's Franklin Initiative (FI) has helped to facilitate career awareness while helping students develop the skills necessary to succeed in employment or in continuing education. FI programs such as Classroom Speakers, Reality Store, and Job Shadowing increase student engagement through real-world connections, as well as provide the critical link between the education and business communities. The Franklin Initiative’s Graduation Coach Initiative provides individualized counseling and career preparation for struggling students to increase the graduation rate in Monroe County students.
Kelsie Holt, Director of Talent, Education & Workforce
Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
(812) 336‐6381