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Recognizing Excellence in Teaching and Leadership: 2019 Indianapolis Award Recipients

At our Alumni Induction and Impact Night, we welcomed our 2017 corps members into a network of alumni changemakers and honored several outstanding alumni leaders.

Corps member Amanda Agdeppa receives her induction certificate

May 13, 2019

At our annual Alumni Induction on May 10, we recognized the collective impact of our full community in Indianapolis as we celebrated the impact of our 2017 corps members and welcomed them into a network of alumni who are helping to shape the future of this community and country.

During the event, we celebrated several of the outstanding alumni who are making an outsized impact through their leadership and contributions to the community.



The first annual Lisa M. Sablosky Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes teachers 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. The 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. Recipients of this award will each receive $1,000.

Rahul Jyoti, Indy ‘09

Rahul teaches 8th grade math at Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter School, where he is also the Math Department Head and Athletic Director. Rahul is completing his 10th year at ILCS, his original placement school. He truly enjoys being data-driven and even has an excel tracker used to track individual student data for the entire year. Rahul is most proud of being a part of a team at ILCS that has gone from starting a new high school from scratch to having above a 90% graduation rate five years running.

Sarah TeKolste, Indy ‘15

Sarah teaches International Baccalaureate Spanish at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis Public Schools. As a teacher and the faculty sponsor of the International Club, she is devoted to exposing students to cultural and linguistic diversity in the world outside the classroom. Prior to her transition to Shortridge this year, Sarah was the world languages team lead at Emmerich Manual High School, her placement school. She is a senior alumni fellow for Teach Plus, an adjunct methods instructor at the University of Indianapolis, and a linguistics instructor for the Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages.



The Marian Aspiring School Leader Award was established to recognize exceptional talent among TFA alumni who desire to become transformational leaders in a K-12 school. Recipients of this award will receive fully paid tuition associated with Marian University's Master’s in Educational Leadership program.

Michael Smith, Indy ‘16

Michael is a 9th grade ELA teacher at George Washington Community High School. Michael was selected as Teacher of the Year at Arlington High School, his corps school placement, and recognized as an Indianapolis Public Schools Teacher of the Year Top 10 Finalist in 2018. He looks forward to “extend[ing] my impact beyond the classroom and to make changes in the school I am working in currently.”

Candice Washington, Indy ‘14

Candice is a 1st grade lead teacher at Kindezi Academy at Joyce Kilmer 69. Through the master’s program, Candice aims to “help push the needle forward to closing the gaps we may see for our students. I also dream that as a school leader, I can help create a safe place for students to come and know they are loved, they are unique, and they belong in a place special for them.”



The Alumni Impact Award is an award given to an alum who has had a meaningful impact on the corps experience of our 2017 corps members. 

Joe Zwiebel, Indy ‘15

Joe is an English teacher and academic specialist at T.C. Howe Community High School, where he has taught for six years. Speaking to his impact on the school community and TFA network, 2017 corps member Makayla Imrie shared:

“Thank you for listening when we had rough days, and for pushing us to think past those difficult times and find innovative solutions. Thank you for showing us the importance of stepping up and pushing the envelope when giving up and giving in were the easier option. Thank you for the endless words of support, the constructive feedback, and the Sunday-morning Hubbard and Cravens work-sessions. Most importantly, thank you for caring so deeply about us, about our students, and about the world of education.”

Congratulations to our alumni award winners, and to our 2017 corps members for completing your corps commitment and entering alumnihood!