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Franklin Initiative Announces 2017 Educator of the Year Awards

Chamber FI  

Franklin Initiative Announces 2017 Educators of the Year Awardees  
The recipients of the 16th Annual Educators of the Year awards were announced by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce's Franklin Initiative.

Nine individuals and three educational programs 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, students and individuals within Monroe County. The awards dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 6:30 8:00 p.m. at the Monroe Convention Center.


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 eight educators who will receive an Outstanding Educator Award, Monroe County Community School Corporation’s (MCCSC), Director of Secondary Education Janice L. Bergeson will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding longtime commitment to education.


Jan Bergeson began her career at Hardin County Schools in Kentucky before going on to become a Science teacher in Hobart Township Schools. Along the way, she was also an administrator at Valparaiso High School. She later became principal at Chesterton High School before moving to New Palestine High School, and joined the Monroe County Community School Corporation eight years ago.


At each stop, Jan has built relationships that have lasted even as she moved to other positions. Her vast experiences in the classroom, at the building level, and at the central administration level have been critical in the development of standards and practices for teachers, administrators, and colleagues alike. Today, in additional to overseeing the Curriculum and Instruction Department, she is responsible for supporting schools in the standardized testing process, relationships with higher education, and an in-depth knowledge of the services and resources available to our district with the state department of education.


To have the opportunity to honor Jan Bergeson 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 MCCSC individuals will be honored with 2017 Outstanding Educator Awards:


Mitch Bratton, Assistant Director of Special Education for MCCSC
Luke Chanley, Business/Technology Teacher at Jackson Creek Middle School
Bryan Ford, Bridges Teacher at Batchelor Middle School
Adam Terwilliger, Math Department Chair at Bloomington High School North
Whitney Thomas, Student and Family Advocate at Fairview Elementary


Bloomington-based company Solution Tree will again donate $500 to the school of each Outstanding Educator. In addition, Solution Tree will pay all expenses for each awardee to attend a Solution Tree Institute, or one of the company’s two-day workshops anywhere in the country.


“Solution Tree is committed to education. By providing the opportunity for our Outstanding Educator recipients to take part in a Solution Tree Institute, our awardees bring back a wealth of knowledge to both their classrooms and to our community,” said Conrad. Other sponsors who support the event include Smithville, Cook Group, Markey’s Rental and Staging, IU Credit Union, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana – Bloomington, Bunger & Robertson, Nature’s Way, Mallor Grodner, LLP, First Financial Bank, JPMorgan Chase and the Herald-Times.


Leading Light Awards are given to innovative programs that enhance our education community and serve our county’s young people. This year The Chamber is honoring these two MCCSC programs with a Leading Light Award:


Binford Elementary 6th Grade Mock Middle School Team
Fairview Performing Arts School


We hope you’ll join us to celebrate these amazing educators and programs! To register for the 16th 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. Sponsored tables may be purchased for $500.


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.