SURPRISE!! — IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, left, offers congratualtions and a bouquet of flowers to Alexandria Stewart, the district’s 2019 IPS Teacher of the Year. Stewart, a teacher at Center for Inquiry School 70, was surprised with the announcement by the entire school staff and student body, along with other well-wishers, on Friday, June 1, 2018, at CFI 70. Stewart will begin her duties at IPS Teacher of the year during the 2018-19 school year.
Indianapolis Public Schools is pleased to announce its 2019 Teacher of the Year. Alexandria Stewart is a middle school teacher at Center for Inquiry School 70, 510 E. 46th St. Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee surprised Stewart with the exciting news in front of her math class before she was escorted to the gymnasium for a school-wide celebration with students, teachers, school commissioners and district officials.
Stewart has been a teacher for nearly five years. She joined IPS and CFI 70 in 2016. Since then, she’s helped develop and implement the middle school program. She worked with the school administration to create class schedules, overall middle school expectations and an advisory program.
“Learning is social and best stimulated when students question, experiment, bounce ideas off one another, and become confident taking risks,” said Stewart.
Stewart is also passionate about the effect of school discipline on low student achievement, advocating for educators to receive more focused training to effectively deal with students’ mental health issues.
“Teachers are often the most influential adults in a child’s life and are in a good position to effect positive changes in a child’s behavior,” said Stewart. “Training outside of school ensures that teachers are able to create a supportive environment in which struggling students learn coping strategies, feel safe and are motivated to work towards long-term changes.”
In addition to teaching, Stewart keeps busy with community service. She volunteers with TeenWorks and Indy Urban Acres. The mission of both organizations is focused on preparing high school students from low-income families for college, offering them community service and employment opportunities.
“My greatest accomplishments center around building strong relationships and providing students I teach in the classroom and mentor through the summer with the tools they need to form emotional and intellectual attitudes such as empathy and problem-solving,” said Stewart. “With these skills, students are better prepared to meet and respond to life’s challenges.”
To select the district’s 2019 Teacher of the Year, each IPS principal was invited to nominate their building’s top educator for consideration. The selection committee, made up of a group of fellow educators, reviewed each nominee’s portfolio, which included the candidate’s teaching philosophy, professional accomplishments and instructional practices.