University of Evansville

University of Evansville

AceNotes Today

Thursday, April 8, 2021

* Recorded Session for Benefit Open Enrollment is Now Available

If you were unable to attend either of the Open Enrollment Zoom meetings, you can view the entire benefit presentation in the Open Enrollment section of the MyUE portal at: https://bit.ly/2GcdKph. You can also view all of the relevant documents beginning with the open enrollment memo for important announcements, reminders, and changes which will occur June 1 to the University’s benefits.

During the period of April 5 through April 16, benefit-eligible employees may enroll or make changes in the University’s health, life, long term disability, and dental insurance, and ACES flexible spending account benefit plans. It is the only chance for benefit-eligible employees to enroll or make changes until the next open enrollment period unless you have a qualifying change in status.

We will once again utilize an on-line enrollment process, eliminating all paper enrollment forms for health, life, dental, and long term disability insurance, as well as the ACES flexible spending account. This will ensure the accuracy of your enrollment elections and maintain records electronically regarding your current and future participation. Enrollment/changes to your TIAA and Emeriti VEBA Trust retirement plan salary deferrals will continue to be processed on paper forms available in the Office of Human Resources. Therefore, you do not need to re-enroll in the TIAA or Emeriti retirement plans. ALL benefit eligible employees (including those who do not want to make any changes to their current coverage) must enter their elections by April 16. Please review the open enrollment memo and On-Line Benefit Enrollment Documents on the HR Area of the MyUE portal, which should answer many of the questions you might have about this system.

Please contact the Office of Human Resources at ext. 2943 with any questions.

* Help Recognize the Many UE Donors

Did you know UE has about 7,000 donors? Join us Sunday, April 11 from 10 till noon to put out purple flags to recognize our amazing donors. For each donor, we are placing one flag in front of Olmstead. Sign up at the following link to take part in this event!

Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/805094EAEA62F4-uedonor

COVID-19 Corner

* Vaccine Mythbuster

MYTH: One vaccine (Pfizer/BioNtech, Modera, Johnson & Johnson) is better than the other.

FACT: The Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines are very similar and based on the same mRNA technology. Both of these vaccines require two doses for full protection. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine (not live virus) and has been shown to prevent COVID-19 in a single dose. The duration of immunity is unknown.

Upcoming Events

* University of Evansville Theatre's ZOOMBOX Series Presents CRY IT OUT

The University of Evansville Theatre presents CRY IT OUT, by Molly Smith Metzler at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Apr. 9, and Saturday, Apr. 10, as part of ZOOMBOX, a student-directed play series on the online platform Zoom.

Two “postpartum survivors” find themselves becoming fast friends, as they slog through the day-to-day trials of raising newborn babies. Pushing the boundaries of reception for their baby monitors, they find solace over naptime-coffee-breaks in their adjoining backyards. When a new couple joins their ranks, they bring a different and disturbing socio-economic energy that shakes them out of their reverie and forces them to acknowledge and examine the effect class has on parenthood in America. This bittersweet comedy delves into the absurdity of those first months of parenting and serves as a reminder to not squander those precious moments and truly let the tenderness of life linger.

Sally Walker, a senior theatre management major, from Bettendorf Iowa, directs CRY IT OUT; Madeline Smith, a first-year theatre management major, from Clarksville, Ind., is the zoom environmental designer; Leila Bowman, a senior design and technology major, from Buford, GA., is the costume designer/stylist; Hannah Tarr, a sophomore theatre studies major, from Floyds Knobs, Ind., is the dramaturg; and Jamey Pearson, a first-year stage management major, from Temple, Texas, is the stage manager. The cast features Aivelyn Karsten, a sophomore theatre studies major, from Clackamas Ore., as Jessie; Riley Miller, a sophomore performance major, from Crown Point, Ind., as Lina; Garrett Hale, a first-year performance major, from Haslet, Texas, as Mitchell; and Beverly Buchanan, a freshman performance major, from Tomball, Texas, as Adrienne.

CRY IT OUT was commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville where it made its world premiere at the 2017 Humana Festival of New American Plays. Les Walters, Artistic Director; Kevin E. Moore, Managing Director. CRY IT OUT is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois.

Tickets are FREE, but registration is required. To secure your spot, visit www.uealumnionline.com.

* Yom HaShoah ("Day of the Catastrophe")

Each year, Yom HaShoah ("Day of the Catastrophe") honors the victims of the Holocaust. On Thursday, April 8, at 11AM, meet at the Interfaith Peace Bell outside Ridgeway for a brief ceremony to remember those who perished and to commit to the work of justice today.

* Pep and Vim 5K

sample t-shirts.

Calling all Aces!

Pep and Vim, UE's day of giving, is on Friday, April 16, and we’re excited to celebrate UE's Spirit Week with you with an opportunity to participate in our Pep & Vim 5K Run.

This year, the UE Alumni Association is hosting a virtual 5K run/walk to promote a healthy lifestyle while we are all separated during this pandemic. And, by participating in Pep and Vim's Virtual 5K, you'll also be giving back to our beloved university.

The 5K can be completed indoors or outdoors between April 9 and April 16. Participants will enter their times online. All participates will receive an exclusive Pep and Vim T-shirt if registered by April 1*.

We have special pricing for students to make the opportunity more affordable while you run for UE! Your fee includes a gift to the UEvansville Fund and will also count towards the 1,854 gifts needed to unlock the Alumni Board’s $25,000 Pep & Vim Challenge Gift!

On Friday, April 16, Pep and Vim, post a video or picture wearing your Pep and Vim t-shirt on social media using #UEPepandVim and #AcesGiveBack to help spread the word.

Be sure to stay tuned – Pep & Vim is all about inspiring change, so we will be rolling out many different philanthropic opportunities that may ignite your UE passion. Together, with Pep and Vim, we can make an impact while being active and connected across the globe.

If you have any questions, please contact alumni@evansville.edu.

Go Aces!

The Pep and Vim Committee

*Racers who register after April 1 will still get a T-shirt as long as supplies last, but you may not receive it before the April 16.

Register: www.uealumnionline.com/pepandvim5K

Info You Should Know

* Seniors Can Win iPad by Participating In Collegiate Learning Assessment On Tuesday, April 13

Seniors who volunteer to participate in the Collegiate Learning Assessment on Tuesday, April 13 (7-9 pm) will be registered to win an iPad. The assessment measures critical thinking and writing, and takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. It may be taken remotely or in person.

As the University of Evansville’s core values attest, UE values “the liberal arts, sciences, and professional programs as paths to intellectual and personal growth,” and Enduring Foundations courses are an important part of that commitment. For this reason, we seek feedback from our students as part of an assessment plan to ensure that we maintain high standards and excellent quality in this program. We’ll use the results to help measure how student learning across the four years at UE. As a senior, your input is central to this effort. You will also receive access to your personal results later this semester.

If you would like to participate in the CLA+ on April 13, please email Dr Kristina Hochwender at kh125@evansville.edu to register. Seniors who have taken the CLA+ on previous test dates are automatically entered in the iPad drawing.

* Center for DEI Presents Religion of the Day #3

event flyer.

The religion of the day is Judaism! Today is Yom HaShoah otherwise known as Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yom HaShoah serves as a day to commemorate the millions of Jewish people who perished during the Holocaust. Yom HaShoah serves as a global reminder of the impact of hate speech and segregation, highlighting why these traits shouldn't have a place in our society.

April is Religious Exploration Month! For the next 9 days in the month of April, the Center for Diversity Equity and Inclusion will send out religious profiles highlighting some interesting information about different religions! Please check Acenotes and our social media for the daily profile posted! These profiles are aimed at presenting our campus community with information to allow a better understanding of UE's diverse religious representation and background.

*Please note that the information in our profile is a summary and not exhaustive of everything encompassed in this specific religion and for more information please do not hesitate to reach out to the Director of Religious Life at jk383@evansville.edu.

* Champion Ballroom Dance Teacher is Back

event flyer.

Champion Ballroom Dance Teacher is Back! Saturday, April 17th, Jonah Schneider returns to teach ballroom dance lessons to anyone interested! Ever wanted to learn Waltz, Swing, Cha Cha, Rumba, Fox Trot, Tango or more? He’s teaching starting at 10am and going through 5:30pm in 45 minute blocks. First come, first serve. To sign up, text 812-449-1044 or email EL131. Private or group lessons available, masks required. All levels are welcome, no experience necessary! Final details sent upon RSVP.

* UE Theatre Salon Series Welcomed Actor Nemuna Ceesay for Discussion on the Audition Process and Experience of an MFA Program

Nemuna Ceesay.

Another installment of the UET Salon Series was held on Wednesday, Mar. 31, featuring Nemuna Ceesay.

Ceesay is currently an actor, coach, and teacher based out of New York. Her regional credits include work with the American Conservatory Theater, PlayMakers Repertory Company, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has also worked with Theatre Calgary and Moscow Art Theatre internationally. Her TV credits include roles on YOUNGER for TV Land, BROAD CITY for Comedy Central, and MADAM SECRETARY for CBS. She currently teaches acting at both Hunter College and Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City, and works as an acting coach as well. She received her BA in drama from the University of California, Irvine, and her MFA in acting from the American Conservatory Theater. Ceesay is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).

This semester, UE Theatre students will have the opportunity to experience over 25 workshops and salons with various professionals from the entertainment industry.

* UE Realignment and Perceived Classroom Performance

We are inviting you to participate in a research study. You are eligible to participate if you are 18 years old or older and are currently affiliated with the University of Evansville as either a student or employee. Your participation in this online survey is completely voluntary. If you decide to participate in the survey, you are free to withdraw at any time without any negative effect on your relations with the University or the Department of Psychology. This consent form will give you information about the study to help you decide whether this is of interest to you. This study aims to investigate and understand whether or not a relationship exists between perceived student and teacher performance and the rollout and ramifications of the University of Evansville’s realignment.

We are asking you to participate because you are a student or teacher at the University. Although the results of this study may be published, no information that could identify you will be included. This study is low in risk, but may carry some risk of emotional or psychological stress for those most affected by the realignment. This risk is likely no greater than what you have naturally experienced due to the plan itself. Eligible students may receive compensation for their participation in the form of extra credit for courses in the Department of Psychology at the discretion of their professors. Those professors will also offer alternative means of earning extra credit in their classes besides participation in this study. Data will be stored electronically in a way that includes no personal identifiers. No identifying information will be collected. That is, your participation will be entirely anonymous.

Questions regarding this study should be directed to:

Marissa Kiessling mk308@evansville.edu

Nicholas Galloway ng94@evansville.edu

Kienan Corcoran kc313@evansville.edu

Here is the anonymous link: https://uoebusiness.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8J3X7brpYza4Rvg

* #OnlyYESmeansYES: Take the Pledge to Get Consent

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Do your part to reduce instances of sexual violence by taking the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion's pledge against sexual violence. Pledge to always get consent from your partners, be an active bystander in dangerous situations, and to help UE create a safe campus environment.

Sign the pledge.

Encourage your student groups to participate in the pledge. The Student group with the most pledges by April 30th will be featured on the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion's social media pages (Instagram: @uediversity, Facebook: UE Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion).

* Summer Housing

Are you staying in Evansville over the summer? If so, Residence Life is offering summer housing in Jones Hall and the Weinbach Apartments. You can find more information about summer housing online.

* HEERF II Grant Distribution Authorization Now Open

HEERF II Emergency Grant funding is now available. All educationally related expenses are eligible for HEERF II funding and may be applied to current and/or future student account balances. Please be aware that funding is limited, and a valid 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submission is required for grant consideration. Grant recipients requesting a refund must have bank information on file as refunds will only be issued electronically via direct deposit.

Eligible students wishing to claim a portion of HEERF II grant funds are required to submit the HEERF II Grant Authorization and confirm bank account information. The deadline to accept these funds is April 15, 2021.

* Financial Aid for Summer Courses

If you are an undergraduate or graduate student seeking financial aid or intending to use loan funds for summer courses at UE, please complete a Summer Financial Aid Application and return to the Office of Student Financial Services (Olmsted 105) however is most convenient. The application will allow our office to assess your aid and loan eligibility. 

Work-Study:
On-campus jobs are available for continuing UE students during the summer. You do not need to be eligible for need-based Federal Work-Study during the academic year in order to apply. You may also apply regardless of your enrollment in summer courses. Applications are available within the Student Employment area of WebAdvisor.

* Health Risk Assessment for 2020-2021 Medical Plan Year

UE Health Risk Assessments Update:

For those enrolled in the University's HRA Medical Plan, due to the pandemic and current COVID restrictions, offering onsite health screenings has not been a possibility during the 2020-2021 plan year. Due to these circumstances, medical premiums in 2021-2022 will not be affected by your health screening status. If you wish to complete your health risk assessment in order to earn HRA credits for the current plan year, please schedule your appointment with the onsite medical clinic no later than May 1 at 888-492-8722 or message your clinic nurse through the Ascension Patient Portal. Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Ashley Chipps at ac375@evansville.edu.

* Submit your 2021-2022 FAFSA

File the 2021-22 FAFSA by April 15 at https://www.fafsa.ed.gov

Continuing students should file the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal, state and University need-based financial aid, including all federal student loans. UE's FAFSA code is 001795.

Filing by April 15 is essential for Indiana residents to receive state aid, and highly recommended for all.

Questions regarding the FAFSA should be directed to the Student Financial Services (Olmsted Administration Hall, Room 105) at 812-488-2364.

Congratulations

* 59th Annual Student Exhibition Award Winners

The Department of Art would like to recognize the award winners from this year's exhibition. Please congratulate the following artists:

AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE

BEST IN SHOW PURCHASE AWARD
Sponsored by UE Friends of Art

DINAH FERGUSON Somewhere Beyond the C

This piece will become the property of the UE Permanent Collection.

1ST PLACE AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
For any media
TESSA CHANLEY Nudist Beach

2ND PLACE AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
For any media
MICHAELA KUNKLER Blue and White Teapot Set

3RD PLACE AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
For any media
EVAN BARNETT Dysphoria

AWARDS OF RECOGNITION

DOROTHEA SCHLECHTE AWARD, two awards this year
For a senior art major
ROHAN KARANJIT
MICHAELA KUNKLER

DEAN LONG AWARD
For any media
EVAN BARNETT What Hath Been Pruned

LES MILEY AWARD
For any media
EVAN BOOK Mamo Teapot

PUND AWARD
Funded and chosen by Yvonne Pund
For any media
HANAH GIRTEN Entire Portfolio

MERIT AWARDS
Any Media Category

MERIT AWARD
EVAN BOOK Gold Platter

MERIT AWARD
ANNA BROUGH Bremen

MERIT AWARD
JENNA ZIRKELBACH A Grandmother’s Touch

MERIT AWARD
CHLOE FERGUSON Golden Hour

MERIT AWARD
XINUE BI Coffee?

MERIT AWARD
EVERIN CASEY No Rest

MELVIN PETERSON AWARD
Purchase Award funded and chosen by Dr. Melvin Peterson, two winners this year

ALAYNA ACREE Another Still Life
Michale Kunkler Blue and White Teapot and Teacup Set

GUMBERTS’ AWARD
The winner of the Gumberts Award must be a junior or senior art major. A committee of three members selected from campus and community chooses the recipient. This prestigious award is based upon quality of work, consistency of work and academic excellence.

2021 Winner: ROHAN KARANJIT

EMERITI FACULTY AWARD
For any media
DINAH FERGUSON Elizabethon Fowls

PRESIDENTIAL COLLECTION
Purchase Award chosen by President Pietruszkiewicz

ANNA BROUGH Bremen
This piece will be displayed in the office of the president.

* UE Theatre Receives Grant from the Hitz Foundation to Support Work with Play On! Shakespeare

The University of Evansville Department of Theatre received a $5000 grant from the Hitz Foundation, underwriting this semesters’ partnership with Play On! Shakespeare.  The mission of Play On! Shakespeare is to enhance the understanding of Shakespeare’s plays in performance for theatre professionals, students, and audiences by engaging with contemporary translations and adaptations.

This grant allowed for Play On! artists to work directly with theatre students, via Zoom, to explore three plays by William Shakespeare:  PERICLES, EDWARD III, and RICHARD II.  All three plays were presented to virtual audiences this semester.

PERICLES was translated by Ellen McLaughlin and directed by UE Theatre alumnus Taylor Bailey ’09.  EDWARD II was translated into modern verse by Octavio Solis and directed by Amelia Acosta Powell.  RICHARD II was translated by Naomi Iizuka and directed by UET 2020–21 Virtual-Artist-in-Residence Lavina Jadhwani.

In addition, a follow-up workshop was presented with an impressive array of panelists that included:  Taylor Bailey ’09, Associate Producer of Play On! Shakespeare; Kamilah Long, Managing Director of Play On! Shakespeare; Lou Morgan Douthit, CEO and Creative Director of Play On! Shakespeare; award-winning playwright Naomi Iizuka, and professional dramaturg Joy Meads.

“UE Theatre is grateful for the support from the Hitz Foundation and looks forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Play On! Shakespeare and future opportunities to provide students and audiences with a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s plays,” says Eric Renschler, Department Chair.

* DPT Alumni and Professors Collaborate on a Publication in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy department is proud to congratulate a team of professors and former students for their publication titled, "The Dorsiflexion Range of Motion Screen: A Validation Study" that was recently published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, Volume 16, Issue 2, 2021. As students, Dr. Mary Beth Garner ('19), Dr. Risa Ricard ('19), and Dr. Josh Hayden ('19), collaborated with DPT professors, Dr. Phil Plisky, Dr. Kate Schwartzkopf-Phifer, Dr. Bethany Huebner, and Dr. Kyle Kiesel, to collect, analyze and publish a validation study of a novel ankle dorsiflexion screen. Publishing reliability and validity reports is an important step in advancing the field of physical therapy in evidence based practice. We are proud of how our students and faculty embrace the value of collaboration and the spirit of the University of Evansville as changemakers. See the article here: https://ijspt.scholasticahq.com/article/21253-the-dorsiflexion-range-of-motion-screen-a-validation-study

Harlaxton Happenings

* Harlaxton Update

Harlaxton College has experienced a surge in applications for Spring 2022. While we are grateful that so many students are ready to come and study with us again, we will have more applications than spaces available. Please speak with your academic advisor to see if another Harlaxton semester may be a possibility if you receive a waitlist message. The entire Harlaxton team will work with you on options for studying at Harlaxton. If you have any questions, please contact harlaxton@evansville.edu.

Athletics

* Women's Soccer Drops Regular Season Finale

The University of Evansville women’s soccer team fell 1-0 to Indiana State on the final day of the regular season, at Arad McCutchan Stadium.

An early goal by the Sycamores was the difference in the match, with Indiana State’s Sidney Ewing taking the ball all the way into goal, two minutes into the match.

The Aces put up a fight the rest of the match, outshooting Indiana State 12-9, including a penalty kick attempt at the 23-minute mark taken by Nicole Benati, which was saved by the Sycamores goalkeeper. Benati followed that attempt up with a rebound shot that still was not able to find goal.

Kristen Harvey, Jayme-Lee Hunter and Emily Wolak also added shots at goal for the Aces.

Evansville will play in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on Sunday, April 11, time, location and opponent to be determined.

* Men's Swimming & Diving Set for MAC Championship

The University of Evansville men’s swimming and diving team travels to the 2021 Mid-American Conference Championship, hosted at Miami Ohio.

  • The three-day meet will start at 9:30 a.m. CT each day with prelim races, followed by finals starting at 5:30 p.m. CT Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
  • Last year at the MAC Championship UE finished in fifth place with 356 combined points.
  • Riccardo Domenico holds the 7th fastest 200-yard freestyle in the conference this season. Domenico also holds the 10th fastest 50-yard fly and 6th fastest 100-yard fly.
  • Jackson Caudill posted the new school record in the 1000-yard freestyle against Bellarmine this season, which also ranks as the 6th fastest time in the MAC.
  • Last season at the MAC Championship Credence Pattinson broke the school record in the 100-yard butterfly. He enters this year’s championship with the 5th fastest 50-yard backstroke and the 7th fastest 100-yard backstroke.

In The News

* UE Presents Outstanding Educators of the Year Awards

On Wednesday, April 7, the University of Evansville presented four individuals in Vanderburgh County with Outstanding Educator Awards. Each educator received a surprise announcement within their school as part of UE’s 30th annual presentation of awards.

The competition, which is specific to Vanderburgh County, recognizes current classroom teachers and building principals in grades K-12 with at least three years of experience. The Outstanding Educator Awards are sponsored by UE, Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union, and the Evansville Courier & Press.

The following awards were presented on Wednesday:

Outstanding Elementary Educator of the Year: Cathy Hoffman, fifth grade teacher at Delaware Elementary School

Cathy has been an educator for 16 years, nine of which have been in her current role. 

As a teacher, Cathy believes building relationships with students and their families is essential to the profession. She always strives to make her students feel “safe and secure” in the knowledge that she is there to support them in every situation.

“My motto in the classroom is, ‘We don’t do easy. We make easy happen through hard work,’” says Cathy. “Many students want to give up if something is hard. But the relationships I have built with them allow me to show them they can achieve these things.”

When schools suddenly closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) asked many teachers to create lessons that could be aired on WNIN for local students without cable or internet access. Cathy carried out this strategy the rest of the semester for her fifth graders so they could feel like they were still part of the classroom.

When summer arrived, she created new lessons for third grade summer school sessions. Cathy knew that her work created a lasting impact when students throughout the community would approach her in public, sharing that they recognized her from the educational lessons on WNIN. “During a time when there were many unknowns about the upcoming school year, this experience gave me the extra push I needed to mentally prepare for my classes,” she said.

Cathy says one of her main goals is to be in tune with her students each day, which allows her to build trust and encourage them.

“In my classroom, I make it a priority to have a conversation with each student, each day,” she said. “Whether it’s about their family, sports, or even favorite foods, I listen to anything they want to share. In return, I tell them about my own life outside of teaching. This reminds students that I’m not just their teacher, but I am also someone who is in their corner and cheering them on.”

Outstanding Middle School Educator of the Year: Gayle Mooney, sixth grade teacher at Scott School

Gayle Mooney has been a teacher for 28 years, and for the last nine, she has taught sixth grade math and science.

Over the last two decades, Gayle has served as a sponsor and coordinator for several organizations, including student council, cheerleading, technology, and book fairs.

Gayle’s teaching philosophy is based upon building relationships with each of her students. “I want my students to know that I care about them, respect them, and want the best for them,” she said. “Students want to feel respected and valued, and I believe my success depends on the success of my students.”

On top of their personal success, Gayle also strives to make learning enjoyable for her classes. She encourages her students to always ask for help when it is needed so they will learn to enjoy coming to school each day.

“I feel like I am fortunate to be in the classroom and learn with my students as they learn from me,” Gayle said. 

Outstanding High School Educator of the Year: Peter Barringer, English teacher at Harrison High School

Peter Barringer has been a teacher for seven years, and he has been teaching English at Harrison High School for the last five years.

Teaching the full spectrum of English classes, Peter says that each class demands a different skill set and unique approach. He also teaches in the Shepard Leadership and Law Academy, a rigorous four-year program that combine social studies and English. “This program has stretched my abilities as a teacher, and it has provided an additional opportunity for growth in my skill set,” he said.

Peter says his educational philosophy is very simple: “I believe all students are capable of learning and succeeding.” This principle guides his daily instruction, although he says that is just one aspect of his job. “I relish the opportunity to talk with my students on a personal level, because students often apply themselves in class more regularly when I engage with them about hobbies or extracurricular activities,” Peter said.

To put his philosophy into practice, Peter uses three strategies: 1) build both academic and personal relationships with students, especially those who have not experienced much academic success in the past; 2) respond quickly to student struggles through constant feedback and conversations; and 3) provide quality instruction that reaches the needs of all students.

In addition to teaching English, Peter serves as a coach for the speech team and recorder for the Harrison Social-Emotional Learning Team. He also established the Harrison Board Game Club to further engage with students.

Outstanding Building Principal of the Year: Susie Masterson, Principal of Evansville Christian School

Susie Masterson has been an educator for 44 years. This is her 34th year as principal for Evansville Christian School, where she oversees pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

Throughout her career, Susie has been an elementary school teacher, principal, adjunct faculty member at the graduate level, and a professional development trainer. She has also served overseas in Afghanistan and Uganda, training teachers and planting schools. 

“In every situation, I have been challenged and equipped for the next opportunity,” said Susie, “And that’s what it means to be a lifelong learner.”

Since 1988, Susie has served in various roles with ECS. This year is a bittersweet one for her, as the elementary school campus prepares to say goodbye to its Bethel Church location and move to a new, freestanding location in Warrick County (near Crossroads Christian Church).  “I have loved working on the design and building of this new space as well as planning for new procedures and programming,” said Susie. “This will create a positive school culture for our K-6 students, where our school’s mission will thrive.” 

Susie wrote a life mission statement to guide her both professionally and personally. It reads, “Commit to serving God by continuing a spiritual legacy to my children and grandchildren; using my God-gifts of teaching and leading; and pursuing connections that serve as an outreach for the Gospel.” Susie has always aspired to be the leader that she needed at various seasons in her life. Today, she invests in teachers so they can invest in their students. 

In nominating Susie for an Outstanding Educator Award, an individual said that she is “the epitome of a selfless leader who is teacher-focused and believes in partnering with parents to positively impact each student’s learning.” 

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