NA is awarded $172,790 grant for its teachers

    North Adams Community Schools is among 28 Indiana school corporations that will share $6 million in grant funding awarded to recognize and award the state's best teachers.
    State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett on Thursday announced the first-ever recipients of Indiana’s “Excellence in Performance for Teachers” grant at a Statehouse ceremony featuring more than 100 school leaders and teachers from participating school corporations. Among those in attendance was North Adams Superintendent Dr. Wylie Sirk and a team of North Adams educators, who brought home $172,790 in grant funding on behalf of the school district.
    The “Excellence in Performance for Teachers” grant was established by the Indiana General Assembly during the 2011 legislative session in an effort help school corporations and charter schools recruit and retain effective educators. Grant applications outlined performance and compensation systems in accordance with new state laws which require schools to differentiate teacher performance, provide meaningful feedback to help all teachers improve, and financially reward their best teachers.
    "It was a good day," Sirk said early this morning of Thursday's Statehouse ceremony. "I am excited that we will have the opportunity to demonstrate to our teachers in a monetary way just how excellent they are. I'm extremely proud of the high caliber of teachers we have."
    Sirk said grant funds will be distributed among teachers at the end of the 2012-13 school year to teachers in the North Adams district who receive ratings of "highly effective" or "effective." Evaluations will be performed by principals and assistant principals at each of the buildings throughout the school district. Compensation to be awarded to qualifying teachers will be based on a performance model that is still being developed, said Sirk.
    “Great teachers change lives,” Bennett said at Thursday's event. “This grant program lets us support schools in their efforts to identify, develop, recruit and retain highly effective teachers. There is a dramatic culture shift happening in our schools. Teachers and school leaders are working together to build evaluation and compensation systems that reflect our unwavering commitment to excellent instruction for Indiana’s students. This program lets us highlight those who are leading this charge.”
    State Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, offered his congratulations to the North Adams teachers and the school district as a whole.
    “This was a collaborative effort. I am pleased that the teachers and administrators are being recognized for their hard work and dedication to prepare and educate future generations of Hoosiers,” said Lehman. “These educators make a positive impact on our children every day, and we should all be proud of what they have accomplished.”
    Lehman said teachers deserve to be rewarded and recognized for the exemplary contribution to the future know-how of your students. “We want to continue to make a difference in the lives of our teachers, who are making a profound impact on the lives of our students,” he said.