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Teach For America Indianapolis Honors Local Teacher with Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

Education nonprofit and leadership development organization Teach For America Indianapolis (TFA Indy) today announces that Keith Thomas, Jr. has been awarded the 2020 Lisa M. Sablosky Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.

INDIANAPOLIS – Education nonprofit and leadership development organization Teach For America Indianapolis (TFA Indy) today announces that Keith Thomas, Jr. has been awarded the 2020 Lisa M. Sablosky Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching. The annual award recognizes outstanding TFA Indy alumni teachers in Indianapolis who demonstrate extraordinary leadership, a commitment to teaching as a powerful force in the fight for educational equity, and an unwavering belief in the potential for all children to succeed.

Keith Thomas, Jr. began his career in the classroom as a 2011 TFA Indy corp member and is a middle school math teacher at Paramount Brookside, a K-8 school on the eastside of Indianapolis. TFA Indy recognizes the many facets of Keith’s leadership and commitment to his students, including his strong student relationships, meaningful and differentiated support, his students’ significant academic progress, and helping foster a lifelong learning environment for his students in and outside of the classroom.

Millions of teachers across Indiana and the country have had to quickly pivot and sharply adjust their plans when schools closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Since the onset of these changes to the education system, Keith has developed and implemented new systems that have already shown early success. He has used these systems to track student participation, grades, and parent communications. He shared these tracking systems with his team, school, and chief academic officer, and led a virtual professional development session for these systems to be implemented district-wide.

The TFA Indy Alumni Board who selected the winners received a number of other strong nominations and applications and named two finalists, Ashley Sciacca, English teacher at Victory College Prep, and Ronak Shah, science teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep.

Mark Branigan, TFA Indy Alumni Board member and co-founder of One Million Readers, served in the TFA Indy corps together in 2011. Branigan shared the following in a video message to Thomas: “Whether it’s been early mornings, late nights, taking trips to Ghana, you’ve proven you’d do anything for your students to succeed, not just in the classroom but in life. Getting middle schoolers excited about math is often an impossible task. What your students have accomplished is awe-inspiring, and you’ve made that possible.”

The Lisa M. Sablosky Excellence in Teaching Award is endowed in honor of Lisa M. Sablosky, long-time TFA Indy board member (and former board chair), who started her career as a special education teacher at Indianapolis Public Schools. During her career, Lisa established a college and career resource program, was an active PTA member, and served on a district board education association. Her dedication to students, and passion for all children to receive an excellent education, is evident in the lasting impact she has had on our Indianapolis community. The award annually recognizes outstanding alumni teachers in Indianapolis, and the winner is selected by a committee of Alumni Board members and staff from a pool of nominations.

For more information on Teach For America Indianapolis, visit teachforamerica.org/indianapolis. Read more on the winner and finalists of the Lisa M. Sablosky Excellence in Teaching Award here.

About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with urban and rural communities in more than 50 regions across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today Teach For America is a force of nearly 60,000 alumni and corps members committed to profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they’re reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to grow, to influence, and to lead. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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