Teacher of the Year

Stephen A. Backer Teacher of the Year

Each year, the Indiana Department of Education conducts this special program to recognize outstanding classroom teachers from across the state. Carmel Clay Schools (CCS) is invited to share in this recognition program by honoring and nominating one teacher to be a representative at the state level of the program. 

The Carmel Clay Schools Teacher of the Year award is endowed by the Stephen A. Backer Memorial. Throughout his life, Backer was an advocate and supporter of the Carmel Clay Schools. He served on the Carmel Clay School Board of Trustees from 1994 to 1998 and from 2006 until his passing in March 2009.  Stephen held the position of school board president for five of those years.  The Stephen A. Backer Memorial was started shortly after his passing and continues to receive donations.  Donations in support of the Stephen A. Backer Teacher of the Year award can be made through the Carmel Education Foundation.  

Nominations are made by students, parents, and other staff members to the CCS administration starting in February. A selection committee of administrators and a representative from the Carmel Education Foundation then evaluates each nominee and selects a winner in April. This person will then compete against teachers across the state to represent Indiana in the national Teacher of the Year competition.

Nomination deadline for 2016 has passed. Please check back next year for 2017 nominations!


The Stephen A. Backer Teacher of the Year is announced at a surprise ceremony at the teacher's school each spring.

2016 Teacher of the Year

2008 Lisa Sullivan
Music Teacher
Mohawk Trails Elementary

2007 Janice Mitchener
Math Teacher
Carmel High School

2006 Robb Hedges
Science Teacher
Creekside Middle School

2005 Janet Howe
Media Specialist
Carmel Elementary

2004 Michele Satchwell
English Teacher
Carmel High School

2003 Mark Weaver
Science Teacher
Clay Middle School

2002 Lynn Lorton
Elementary Teacher
Cherry Tree Elementary

2001 Jeannie Wilson
Elementary Teacher
Woodbrook Elementary

2000 Linda Thompson
G/T Elementary Teacher
Prairie Trace Elementary

1999 Ina Van Duyn
Kindergarten Teacher
Cherry Tree Elementary