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IPS Educator Named 2024 National Teacher of the Year by Teachers of Tomorrow

Several years ago, Delaney Schad was a young college graduate looking to make an impact. Now she is a rising educator at Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), thanks to a chance meeting with a former teacher and the discovery of the Teachers of Tomorrow program, the nation’s leading alternative teacher certification program. 

Schad has been named the 2024 National Teacher of the Year by Teachers for Tomorrow. Last month, she claimed the top honor for the state of Indiana from the organization.

“Graduating in May 2021 from Indiana University-Indianapolis left me uncertain about my professional path, despite my academic achievements and adherence to the traditional college route,” Schad said. “However, a chance encounter with my second-grade teacher sparked a revelation. Her casual remark, envisioning me as a teacher, initially surprised me, considering my disdain for school during my youth. 

“Nonetheless, her words lingered, leading me to shadow a friend’s fourth-grade classroom for a week. The experience was transformative, igniting a sense of joy and fulfillment in me that I couldn’t ignore.”

Fast-forward to 2024, and Schad is a fourth-grade teacher at Clarence Farrington School 61.

Schad admits that given her prior investment in a bachelor’s degree, she sought a cost-effective route, ultimately discovering the Teachers of Tomorrow program. This innovative program provided the opportunity to pursue her passion for teaching without immediate financial constraints, offering a supportive environment as I embarked on this new chapter.

“Winning the National and Indiana Teacher of the Year award from Teachers of Tomorrow is an immense honor for me,” said Schad, who will receive classroom supplies and professional development. “As a teacher now, I find profound fulfillment in the classroom—a sentiment I once thought unimaginable. My own experiences of struggling to find joy in education have deeply informed my approach to teaching.”

Schad’s journey into the world of education has proven to be nothing short of amazing, said School 61 Principal Jona Atkins. 

“Ms. Schad’s acknowledgment by Teachers for Tomorrow underscores the dedication to students and families exhibited daily by the staff at Clarence Farrington 61,” Principal  Atkins said. “Described as an outstanding educator, she consistently endeavors to impact her students’ lives through both academic instruction and emotional support.” 

Schad is driven to create a supportive and engaging environment where students feel valued, inspired, and empowered. 

“By sharing my journey and understanding their apprehensions, I strive to alleviate any fears or negative perceptions they may harbor towards learning. My ultimate goal is to instill in them a love for learning and to transform the classroom into a place of joy and growth for each student.”