“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in
creative expression and knowledge.” —Albert Einstein
as National Teacher Day, many are extending their celebration throughout the
entire week to show gratitude for the dedicated staff that molds the minds of
The origin of National Teacher
Day is unclear, but the movement is thought to have been sparked after a major
push from Eleanor Roosevelt to observe and celebrate our teachers in 1953.
Congress declared National Teacher Day in 1980.
IPS is proudly among the largest
districts within Indiana with more than 2,000 teachers in our schools. With a
vast pool of excellent educators, it’s challenging to recognize every teacher,
but here’s a snapshot of some of the committed staff throughout our district
(chosen by school principals and vice principals).
Join us in celebration as we
recognize the amazing educators throughout our district.
Rachelle Phifer, Art Teacher at Elder W.
Diggs School 42
her 17 years within IPS, Mrs. Phifer has dedicated her life to the families and
students of Elder W. Diggs School 42. She is a key player in student success in
and out of the classroom.
serves as the baseball, softball, basketball and Gospel Dancers coach; she
manages the “It Takes a Village” school mentoring program; organizes
afterschool clubs and activities; and serves as a sponsor for the Art Club.
“As a mentor and
coach, Mrs. Phifer plays an important role in the lives of our scholars. Her
passion and ability to motivate our scholars and support them in the learning
process is invaluable.” — Jean Ely, assistant principal, Elder W. Diggs
Grade Teacher at Center for Inquiry School 2
“This summer, Ms. Damin will celebrate her zest for
life by hiking the El Camino Trail in Spain. She has inspired open-mindedness
and risk-taking across the staff and students by living her life to the
fullest, so much so that our Spanish teacher is going on the trip, too!” — Andrea
Hunley, principal, Center for Inquiry School 2
Phalen Leadership Academy
what it means to do whatever it takes for our scholars. She runs a
well-managed classroom with high academic expectations; even the scholars that
struggle are able to make gains in her classroom. Mrs. Newburn has
enlisted the support of her in-laws, who both spend two days a week
volunteering in her classroom.” — Agnes Aleobue, principal, Phalen Leadership
Teacher at Wendell Phillips School 63
One of the latest additions to the Wendell Phillips
family, Mrs. Sweet joined the team in January and immediately began to build
lasting relationships with her students. After a student was involved in a
major house fire with sustained injuries, Mrs. Sweet coordinated a school-wide
donation drive for the family and built connections with Riley Children’s
Hospital to ensure that the student received the academic and social support she
“Mrs. Sweet is consistently reaching out to students
and parents, providing all levels of support including school supplies,
clothing etc. She goes above and beyond the scope of her position as a 6th-grade
teacher.” — Paul M. Wirth, principal, Wendell Phillips School 63.
Ways to Celebrate
National Teacher Day
throughout the district have coordinated with parents and community supporters
to create an ultra special week for their dedicated educators. Some schools
will treat their teachers with special lunches and snacks, while others will show
appreciation through letters of support and gratitude.
those last-minute planners, you still have time to organize an inexpensive but
thoughtful way to say thank you to an educator who has touched your life.
Here are some gift ideas:
- Snacks, treats or candy
- Art! A handmade creation
is always appreciated
- A special letter or note
- A small gift card to a
local coffee shop
- An inexpensive gift, such
as a mug, hand lotion or candle