Five Indianapolis Public Schools teachers have been awarded Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowships for this summer. Over 500 applied for the fellowships, and the IPS teachers earned five of only 100 fellowships awarded. Only one other school district in the state received as many grants! The $10,000 grants give the teachers financial support and encouragement for a personal or professional project to help revitalize and nurture their commitment to education. As you might expect, the fellows plan some diverse activities with the grants:

  • Gregory Nowling, Media Specialist at Arsenal Technical High School, is fulfilling a student’s challenge by going to England, documenting the remaining 11 or so police call boxes and building a replica (or a TARDIS, if you’re a Dr. Who fan). “This will … refresh the well of knowledge and experiences that I have to share with my students,” Nowling said. “I hope that my students get to live this experience with me in some small measure.”
  • Karen Kober, a teacher at Carl Wilde School 79, plans to investigate fairy tales and their origins and attend the Children’s Literature Summer Institute at Simmons College. “Twenty-eight years ago, I won a Lilly grant to explore the roots of nursery rhymes in England and that experience has enriched my teaching ever since. I know this grant will also have a lasting impact!” she said.
  • Katie Knutson of Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School plans to travel to historical and pop cultural locations in London and document the journey with tweets and YouTube videos.
  • Theodore Potter School 74 music teacher Patricia Clark plans on more Spanish language training and travel to Costa Rica. “I plan to return to Theodore Potter 74 Spanish Immersion Magnet renewed by the many adventures Costa Rica offers, and with an ability to utilize my developing Spanish-speaking skills in the music classroom to more fully support our dual language curriculum,” Clark said.
  • Bridget Swinney, also from Theodore Potter, is using her grant to travel to Scotland and Ireland to study traditional spinning, weaving and local textiles there. “As a creative person, I can think of nothing more thrilling than learning a skill from an expert in their field,” Swinney said. “By being placed in the role of a student, I will also have the chance to develop a stronger understanding of challenges and successes my students might face when learning new material.”

We’re proud so many IPS teachers secured the Lilly grants this year, and look forward to the experiences and education they will bring back into the classroom with them next year!