Carmel Middle School science teacher named Teacher of the Year
Erin Clevenger-Kay has been named the 2014 Teacher of the Year for Carmel schools.
“This was a complete surprise,” said the science teacher from Carmel Middle School. “I feel pretty honored and overwhelmed.”
Clevenger-Kay, along with her colleagues, received the surprise announcement from Superintendent Nicholas Wahl and members of the Stephen A. Backer family – the award’s namesake – at a staff meeting at Carmel Middle School on May 5.
Clevenger-Kay credits the collaborative nature of the teaching network at Carmel Middle School for helping develop into the educator she is today.
“I work with some incredible people, and I’m humbled everyday,” she said.
The students in her classrooms were excited, too. They all got cookies because of the announcement. But they also recognize the ways Clevenger-Kay worked to help them grow.
“Helping students to realize their own potential is the reason why teachers have chosen this profession, and it’s the reason I get up each morning,” she said. “Occasionally, I will hear from former students who are doing amazing things, and they thank me for being their teacher. When you see your kids and they’ve found their niche and their own success, that’s an amazing feeling.”
Clevenger-Kay will now represent Carmel schools in the Indiana Teacher of the Year competition.
“Erin exemplifies the excellence of our teachers through her tireless effort, her commitment to student success and her willingness to work collaboratively with her peers. Erin truly provides for those with whom she works, students and staff alike, to explore excellence, explore opportunities and realize potential,” Wahl said in a statement.
Clevenger-Kay has been teaching in Carmel schools since 2004. In addition to her current position at Carmel Middle School, Clevenger-Kay taught three years in Chicago Public Schools and one year in Muncie Community Schools.
She also has held many leadership positions focused on student activities, technology and mentoring student teachers.