Indiana

Lisa Johnson

Position: AP Art History, AP Studio, Painting, Digital Design Teacher

School: Bishop Chatard High School

School District: Private

City, State: Indianapolis, Indiana

About the Nominee: Lisa Johnson was nominated by a former student, Jack Blanchard. Jack states that although he didn't attend Bishop Chatard High School, he attended Herron High School in Indianapolis, Ind., while Mrs. Johnson was a faculty member there. At Herron High, she taught AP Art History (APARTH), Art History DC and Painting. Jack states that without a doubt, Mrs. Johnson's APARTH course was the most impactful class he had ever taken. It's not because that was where he received his best grades, but because that's where he learned an entirely new way of thinking about the world in which we all live.

Mrs. Johnson's teaching abilities are almost magical. They helped each student understand why Art History is relevant to all of our lives and why, no matter what career path students followed as adults, they could use the skills they learned in APARTH to better comprehend the most pressing challenges faced by our society, whether those were economic, social, environmental, etc. The class taught Jack to be an interdisciplinary thinker with a broad toolkit with which to strive for success.

[nominee_videos nominee_email="ljohnson@bishopchatard.org"]

Maribeth Brash

Position: Physical Education Teacher

School: Caston Elementary School

School District: Caston School Corporation

City, State: Fulton, Indiana

About the Nominee: Maribeth Brash has been the physical education teacher at Caston Elementary School since 1978. A proud graduate of Michigan State University, she brings enthusiasm and excitement to every facet of her school. During her tenure at Caston, Mrs. Brash has been a beloved teacher and supporter of students. Caston is a kindergarten through twelfth grade school corporation of 715 students, all under one roof. Mrs. Brash impacts children of all ages, from five years old through graduation. She never misses an opportunity to give someone a kind word of encouragement or a high five in the hallway.

Mrs. Brash sponsors the Elementary Student Council and the Elementary Spell Bowl Team. She tirelessly runs the elementary concession stand, purchasing items and supplying treats for sale at all of her school's home games, including sixth grade girls’ volleyball, sixth grade girls’ basketball and boys’ basketball for fifth and sixth grade. She is also the long-term treasurer of the Caston Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization.

Mrs. Brash is an avid collector of Box Tops for Education, Aunt Millie's bread labels and Campbell's Soup labels. Through her efforts, she has added well over $20,000 to Caston's student activities funds to support any student needs that may arise.

Mrs. Brash regularly uses money from these collections to support field trips, team shirts, team uniforms and Caston's student behavior incentive program.

During the spring of 2015 and 2016, Mrs. Brash offered every fifth grade student at Caston Elementary School the opportunity to participate in the Indianapolis 500 Mini-Marathon at no costs. The students excitedly board the bus and leave for Indianapolis at 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday to run in the event. This is just a glimpse into Mrs. Brash's nature and character. It’s who she is. She will do anything to get students excited about fitness and movement, and her zeal for meeting the needs of students goes way beyond her classroom.

The most important factor aspect of Mrs. Brash is her unrivaled passion for making sure Caston students feel valued and appreciated. Her excellence in the classroom and throughout the building is only exceeded by her personal devotion to making the world a better place, one student at a time.

[nominee_videos nominee_email="brashm@caston.k12.in.us"]

Katrina Skirvin

Position: Agriscience Teacher

School: North Putnam High School

School District: North Putnam Community School Corporation

City, State: Roachdale, Indiana

About the Nominee: Katrina Skirvin was nominated by her principal, Jason Chew. Mrs. Skirvin exemplifies what it means to be a LifeChanger for students within her program. Also known as "Mama Skirv" or "MeMaw," she goes out of her way to build relationships with her students. These relationships allow Mrs. Skirvin to push her students beyond their comfort zone and to pathways they once thought were impossible.

Mrs. Skirvin leads an FFA (Future Farmers of America) Chapter at North Putnam High School. Through her leadership, the program has grown from 20-30 high school students, to now having over 120 students in grades 6-12. She has been able to grow her program so much that her school needed to hire an additional agriculture education teacher for her program. Students flock to her program because of how engaging her class is, and how the students feel when they are around her.

While in Mrs. Skirvin's FFA program, students complete service projects throughout the community and county. Mrs. Skirvin, along with her partner agriculture educator and students, are often seen at the local Tractor Supply Center holding petting zoos and collecting donations for local charities. This fall, she spearheaded a fundraising campaign and held a pumpkin carving contest to help support Riley Children's Hospital. The FFA Program is currently gearing up for their Trunk-or-Treat at the end of October, where they will provide a safe trick or treating atmosphere for local children. During Christmas, they are instrumental in collecting money and presents for local families in need of support. Through these activities, Mrs. Skirvin and her program greatly impact the local community, but more importantly, she is teaching her students the importance of philanthropy. There is little doubt that these lessons will have a dramatic impact on the Roachdale community for generations to come.

Most of Mrs. Skirvin's students successfully leave North Putnam High School and continue on into post secondary education. Many of her students continue into careers within the agriculture industry. Mrs. Skirvin maintains relationships with her students as they head down these pathways. She will often invite and pay for meals (out of her own pocket) for current and former students to eat in fellowship. She also uses former students as mentors to current students. This not only helps her current students, but affords Mrs. Skirvin the opportunity to continue her relationships with former students. These students know that they can always reach out to Mrs. Skirvin for help, even though they are no longer at NPHS. Many former students visit Mrs. Skirvin's classroom for a pep talk, or a little help from Mama Skirv.

Through Mrs. Skirvin's mentorship, many students succeed and prosper, even if they have been written off by others. She is a LifeChanger because of her mindset. Her belief is that every student has value, and every life is worth impacting. Mrs. Skirvin has made a dramatic impact on the lives of so many students. It would be easy to share dozens of stories where she has done this, but to sum it up, she is a LifeChanger for her students.

[nominee_videos nominee_email="kskirvin@nputnam.k12.in.us"]

Lloyd Jones

Position: Fourth Grade Teacher

School: Elberfeld Elementary School

School District: Warrick County School Corporation

City, State: Elberfeld, Indiana

About the Nominee: Lloyd Jones was nominated by his principal, Holly Arnold. Mr. Jones is an icon in his community! He has been a teacher for over 35 years, and has taught many of the parents of his current students. Most of his career has been spent as a sixth grade teacher. This year, Elberfeld Elementary became a K-5 school, so Mr. Jones moved to fourth grade. He spent his earlier years coaching and continues to volunteer at our home athletic events throughout the year.

Mr. Jones has always been a popular teacher and loved by all. The students at the high school still talk about their beloved teacher and often stop by to visit him at school or at his home. He has a knack for storytelling and knows exactly how to draw the attention of his students. Each year, his students do well above average on state standardized tests. He is also an excellent role model for the students in his building because he is polite, respectful, and sincere. He expects this same conduct from his students.

Mr. Jones is always willing to go the extra mile for students. Sometimes, he will give up his lunch time or stay after school to work with struggling learners. Most importantly, he believes in students and their ability to succeed. He makes everyone feel special and valued, and for that reason, the students put forth 100% of their efforts to please him. He is an outstanding educator and a valued member of the Elberfeld Elementary staff and community!

Linda Bevil

Position: Principal

School: James B. Eads Elementary School

School District: School Town of Munster

City, State: Munster, Indiana

About the Nominee: Linda Bevil was nominated by her superintendent, Jeff Hendrix. Mrs. Bevil has provided great leadership for many years as the principal of James B. Eads Elementary School. She has developed strong partnerships with her students, parents, school community and local businesses. She has led students and teachers in the following initiatives:

1. Community Readers- Each month, community members come in to read a book on the life skill students and staff are learning for the month. 2. Character development programs- Respect/Superheros. 3. Yearlong educational programs that recognize, honor and celebrate Indiana’s Bicentennial. This includes honoring a famous Indiana Hoosier along with a skill. 4. Monthly assemblies honoring student successes. 5. Established a Wellness Committee for staff focusing on ways to improve their health and wellness. 6. A community health fair held at Eads featuring numerous health and wellness vendors 7. Fitness Walks for charity with staff and students. This year, the Fitness Walk benefited Planting Possibilities, an organization that supports people with autism and other developmental disabilities. 8. A collaboration with Purdue University-Calumet to host Family Nights for Math and STEM. These programs promote the importance of math and the field of STEM for future college and career paths. 9. Buddy Bench- Eads purchased a bench for their playground to give students who struggle to make friends a place to sit. Other students can see that they need a friend to play or talk with during recess. Through the Buddy Bench, students learn about caring for others through kindness, respect and being a true friend.

There are many more programs that Mrs. Bevil is involved with. She is a true LifeChanger because of her unselfishness, servant leader approach, and caring nature as principal!

[nominee_videos nominee_email="lmbevil@munster.us"]