Share your story | Indiana’s Bi-Centennial Heritage Educators Initiative


As part of Indiana’s bi-centennial celebration and in partnership with George K. Baum & Company, Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents (IAPSS) is sponsoring the Heritage Educators initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to recognize and honor Hoosier educators, especially those who have a family tradition of teaching and administration in Indiana schools. You can view the website at Educators who register on the web site will receive a certificate of recognition signed by Governor Pence, Superintendent Ritz and their local superintendent. Use #BUCOEImpact hashtag so that we can find your story too!  They have received dozens of stories thus far and it is fascinating to see the legacy of educators and the passion for education that exists within families of Hoosier Educators.

Stories can be submitted through the website or directly to J.T. Coopman at Special thanks to Board of Visitors member, Trish Whitcomb, for sharing this amazing opportunity.

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Horizons: 8th Grade and a Force for Good

This summer, our 8th graders are exploring how to be a force for good in their communities.  Nick Stewart, the 8th grade lead teacher, has focused that exploration around creating proposals for non-profits that the students see a need for in their neighborhood.  Mr. Stewart shared his thoughts behind the project, and his goal for what his students will take away from their work creating non-profit proposals.  “My purpose is for them to see that they have the power to change things, and to take a real chance at making it happen.  We use this as an opportunity to practice academic skills and to practice formal communication.  My hope is that they walk away from this project more aware of the community around them, and feeling like they are able to walk into any room and conduct business.  They naturally want to help their community.  I think by giving them the tools and the process to do so, we are empowering them to carry out their own ideas and to improve where they live.”

8th grade

Each student has developed a plan for a non-profit that addresses a community need that is close to home for them, and that plan will be publicly shared during an end-of-summer proposal presentation.  Three of our 8th graders shared the early stages of their proposals, and their hopes for where their ideas will go.



“I’m planning on making gardens, and giving the food to local food banks and restaurants to people who need them.  I hope that the places give to people who can’t get food for themselves and give it to them for no pay.  It will help local people in the community, so they won’t starve.  They can eat and end up getting back on their feet, they can start getting jobs, be rehabilitated.”



“My idea is to open up a rehabilitation center for people who abuse drugs.  It will feature a job fair and job training, give people a place to stay for a while, a temporary place, and make sure that they stop their habits.  I hope it gets approved, that it actually happens.”



“I’m trying to make a food truck.  It would provide jobs for people who can’t get them.  It will help fight hunger, and every meal that is sold will give a meal to the homeless.  And since it’s on the go, transportation is the issue with restaurants, we will come to them.  Right now I’m hoping it gets off the ground, I’m just trying to make a difference.”

Allison also shared her thoughts on the project as a whole.  “This is to make our community better, take initiative and try to help our community.  Not just think about ourselves, try to get everyone involved with problems that are just getting overlooked.”

Be on the lookout for more news on the progress of this project in 8th grade, as well as the other projects our middle school students are focusing on at Butler this summer!

Horizons: First Week on Campus

Horizons is so excited to be a part of Butler’s campus this summer!  Horizons is a national program that works with low-income students in helping to close the achievement gap during a summer-intensive program.  There are 51 sites across the country and one site is currently located in Indianapolis at St. Richard’s Episcopal School, the only site in Indiana.  Each program focuses on academics as well as enrichment opportunities, such as a foreign language, art classes, yoga, dance, sports, etc.  All Horizons students will also take swimming lessons to help boost self-confidence in and out of the classroom and provide life-saving skills that the children will take with them throughout their lives.  The students also have field experiences out in the city where they can explore and learn from the opportunities that Indianapolis has to offer.

This summer, Horizons at SRES has become a multi-site program, and Butler has partnered with us to house all middle school students (6th, 7th, and 8th grade).  We are thrilled to be able to partner with Butler in this new and exciting way, and the kids have been loving their first week being a part of a university.

6th grade       8th grade

Our Horizons middle school students will be working with a curriculum this summer that was developed by two students in the METL graduate program here at Butler and COE professor Dr. Shelley Furuness.  Each grade will focus on a particular unit of study, and each unit was designed to allow for the children to explore a guiding question related to building and sustaining a healthy community.  Our 6th graders this summer will be exploring sustainability and how to prepare healthy food while also caring for the environment.  Our 7th grade class will be focusing on how to create healthy communities at home, at school, and also online.  Finally, our 8th graders will be working toward being a force for good in the community, and will focus on ways that they can contribute to a positive and stable community.
8th grade

A big part of our goal at Horizons is for our students to see themselves as life-long learners, and to see college as an attainable goal. We are so excited to be able to partner with Butler this summer so that our kids can start seeing themselves in this way!

You can learn more about Horizons and the work that we do in the following video:

AACTE’s Day on the Hill | Teacher Advocacy

Shawn Sriver, Dr. Sharon Robinson, and Dr. Ena Shelley at the AACTE Day on the Hill 2016.

Each year, Dr. Ena Shelley travels to Washington, D.C. for AACTE’s Day on the Hill where she visits our state’s Senators and House Representatives to discuss education, education policy and the impact that those policies have on education in our state.




Dr. Sharon Robinson preparing 120 AACTE attendees for Day on the Hill.

This year, Dr. Shelley, Shawn Sriver, and Ben Hunter, Butler University’s Chief of Staff, Met with Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly and House Representatives Susan Brooks, Luke Messer, Larry Buschon, and Todd Young.  They also attended workshops guiding them on providing journalistic access to education reporters. Providing access to classrooms opens up opportunities for these stories to be told. AACTE workshops also provided guidance on how to talk to the press and the best practices of interacting with senators and representatives.  They had successful meetings and we thank Dr. Shelley for her continued work to improving education policy!