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IPS Honors Top Educators in the Classroom

INDIANAPOLIS – Ashley Hogan from Emma Donnan Elementary School and Linda Thomson of Shortridge High School have been recognized by Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) as the district’s 2025 Teachers of the Year.

The educators were honored in ceremonies at their respective schools during a surprise announcement made in front of administrators, staff, and students.

“We are incredibly proud to recognize Ashley Hogan from Emma Donnan Elementary School and Linda Thomson of Shortridge High School as IPS’s Teachers of the Year,” IPS Supt. Dr. Aleesia Johnson said. “Their dedication to excellence in teaching, exemplary instruction, and remarkable achievements in the classroom truly embody the values and standards we uphold at Indianapolis Public Schools. Ashley and Linda serve as shining examples of the impactful difference educators can make in the lives of their students, and we are honored to celebrate their outstanding contributions to our district.” 

Hogan, a sixth-grade teacher at Emma Donnan (an IPS Innovation school), represents the elementary school category (Grades K–6). Thompson, who teaches IB Spanish, Levels 3 and 4 at Shortridge High School (an International Baccalaureate school), represents the secondary school category (Grades 7–12). Both Hogan and Thomson were among the six finalists named in April.

To select the district’s top teachers, each IPS principal was invited to nominate their building’s top educator for consideration. The selection committee, consisting of peers, reviewed each nominee’s portfolio, including their teaching philosophy, professional accomplishments, and instructional practices.  

Hogan, a multilingual sixth-year general education teacher at Emma Donnan, holds dual bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education and special education from Ball State University, and a master’s in education in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University.

Her passion for teaching was ignited by her late grandmother, a seasoned educator of over 25 years, and her father, a former school principal. Inspired by her own challenges with an IEP during her school years, Hogan empowers her students by sharing her journey of overcoming obstacles to achieve her goals.

She fosters student success through differentiated teaching and reflective practices, cultivating a positive learning environment.

Thomson, a Spanish teacher, and World Languages Department lead at Shortridge High School, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish education from Ball State University in 2012.

Growing up in a bilingual household, she developed a passion for Spanish language and culture, motivating her to pursue a career in teaching. Prior to joining Shortridge, Thomson owned and operated a dance studio, gaining valuable experience in inspiring students of all ages and levels to collaborate towards shared goals.

At Shortridge, Thomson has coached the majorette dance team, conducted professional development sessions on classroom technology, and contributed to the growth of the world languages department.