Teachers Association chooses alumnus as top educator

September 14, 2012

Indiana State Teachers Association awarded Don Prusz as the Horace Mann Hoosier Educator of the Year.

He is now the Indiana nominee for the National Education Association Foundation Award, which will be given out in February 2013 in Washington D.C.

Prusz, from Holland, Ind. and a 1981 Indiana State University graduate, has been teaching for 31 years. He is currently a math and science teacher at Forest Park Junior-Senior High School and also the math department chair for the school. He is the member of the Southeast Dubois Classroom Teacher Association. 

“I wanted to become a teacher when I was putting the pieces together, since I had to run a farm during the summer and I enjoyed working with kids. I thought this was a perfect fit,” Prusz said.

Others seem to think he made the right choice.

At Forest Park High School the principal implemented a “Positive Educator” award nine years ago. This award is for seniors with qualifying GPA’s to give to bus drivers, teachers, or coaches who have impacted students’ lives. Prusz has received the award all nine years.

“I take pride in my teaching. I work hard. I put the students' needs first. I use some technology. I use old school techniques. I pour a lot of energy into my instruction. I feel all these things help me reach students,” said Prusz. “But, I do know that being selected makes me want to be even better in the classroom.” 

The Horace Mann Hoosier Educator of the Year Award has been awarded for almost a decade. The purpose of this award is to recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the education profession.

 “What is so great about Don is that he has been doing this for so long and is involved in other activities since he is a rural district teacher” said Mark Shoup, ISTA spokesman. “It just shows teachers still matter.”

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-X6LqZPn/0/L/i-X6LqZPn-L.jpg

ISTA President Nate Schnellenberger and Hoosier Educator of the Year Don Prusz

Writer: Beth Pickerill, Indiana State University, media relations assistant, at bpickerill1@sycamores.indstate.edu or 812-237-3773