On Friday, I had the opportunity to go to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital with Suzanne Whitton, the newly named Indiana Teacher of the Year. Suzanne’s decision to spend the day of her Teacher of the Year Banquet doing community service exemplifies the characteristics that make her a wonderful representative for Hoosier educators. Suzanne is a visual arts teacher at Delaware Trail Elementary School in Brownsburg. She shows students how to use their artistic talents to touch the lives of others. For example, she has worked with her students to knit hats to give to cancer patients and preemies at local hospitals. She never allows cost to be an obstacle because she knows how to enlist the help of businesses and community organizations to achieve her goals.
While at the hospital, Suzanne worked diligently to sort and distribute art supplies for children who need distractions from their daily medical challenges. I was honored to have the opportunity to spend the day with an educator who not only encourages students to give of themselves, but also models that message in her own life. Indiana’s educators are being well-represented by a teacher who uses her artistic talents to teach children how to make a difference in their communities. Thank you, Suzanne, for representing our profession. Today, we celebrate you!