By JEROD CLAPP
NEW ALBANY —
Celebrating their successes as a school corporation, American Education Week and the win of a new head of public instruction at the state level, the New Albany-Floyd County Teachers Association departed from regular business a little at their meeting on Tuesday and had more fun than usual.
Teachers and administrators from the district attended to celebrate the corporation’s victories from the last year.
Rhonda Mull, director of middle schools, said the district had achieved a lot in the way of academics in the last four years. She said the district got an A from the Indiana Department of Education. Mull and Sally Jensen, director of assessment and student information, said there are still problems with the state’s grade system.
“We definitely have concerns about the A through F grades,” Mull said. “We had schools that earned 90 percent, but still got a B. But we look at that with a grain of salt because we know what’s important and that’s the hard work done by our teachers.”
New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan presented Joy Lohmeyer, president of the teachers association, with a plaque commemorating American Education Week.
He said he knew teachers had a lot of pressure put on them last year, but he’s glad to see they’ve come through it and will continue to do so.
“We come in contact with a lot of people who are products of public education every day,” Gahan said. “I’m one of them.”
Lohmeyer also showed the group the results of this year’s Great Receipt Project, in which teachers turn in receipts to the teachers association for materials they’ve purchased from their classrooms out of their own pockets. This year’s amount totaled $52,363.08.
She said not every teacher in the district participated, but that amount shows how much teachers are willing to give of themselves to make sure their students get a good education.
The group also watched the victory speech of Indiana Superintendent of Public Education-elect Glenda Ritz. Lohmeyer said teachers all across the state helped make her election happen, but they need to keep going with their campaign to help her. She urged teachers to get in touch with local elected officials to let them know where they stand on education issues.
“This is no time to rest,” Lohmeyer said. “Glenda is the new Superintendent of Public Instruction, but you need to stay mobilized.. Especially, we need to talk to our republican legislators.”