At the first-ever Indiana Educational Excellence Awards Gala in Indianapolis last Friday, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) awarded up to $4.21 million to schools across the state to celebrate their progress and achievement in supporting student excellence and growth.

The gala brought together nearly 400 educators and guests from across the state. The event recognized the 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year top 10 finalists, Indiana’s 2021 Milken Educator and also awarded the school corporation and teacher who engaged most with the Indiana Learning Lab, a professional development resource for Indiana educators.

Additionally, IDOE awarded school corporations with up to $500,000 awards for excellence in areas including STEM, early reading, work-based learning and postsecondary credential completion, including CTE credentials. The event also presented financial award grants to school corporations that are making significant progress toward improving achievement among Indiana’s Black and Hispanic students, students in special education, students whose primary language is not English and students from low-income households. The size of each financial award grant is based on the respective school or school corporation’s total student population.

Locally, Indiana Educational Excellence Awards Gala awardees include –
An ‘Excellence in Early Literacy Award’ was given to Tri-Township Consolidated School Corporation, which is located in Wanatah, for $160,000.
This award focuses on ensuring all students demonstrate proficiency in foundational reading skills by recognizing a school corporation (Tri-Township) that has achieved a 100% district-wide passing rate on the 2022 IREAD-3 assessment.

School City of Hammond was a recipient of ‘Excellence in Crossing the Finish Line’ for $500,000.
Specifically for School City of Hammond, the award recognizes the high school with the greatest access and credential completion rates for students through the Crossing the Finish Line initiative through Vincennes University. Crossing the Finish Line prioritizes the completion of high-value post-secondary credentials for graduating seniors by providing free tuition, fees, books and certain other expenses.

School awards are funded through the state’s federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief grant.