Thursday, September 29, 2016
Samantha Hart
Press Secretary
(317) 232-0550
hart@doe.in.gov

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz named Jitka Nelson Indiana’s 2017 Teacher of the Year during a celebration at Logansport Community High School today. Nelson is a high school English Language Arts, Developmental Reading and English Learner teacher in Logansport Community Schools. She has been an educator for more than 25 years.

“Since taking office, I have had the distinct honor to travel the state and meet the great educators who are working in our schools,” said Ritz. “Today, I am honored to recognize another outstanding teacher who has dedicated her career to improving outcomes for English Learners. During her career, Nelson has demonstrated a commitment to high standards and individualized instruction that produces results for her students. It is with great pleasure that I announce that Jitka Nelson is Indiana’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.”

Nelson is a graduate of the University of Southern Bohemia with a B.A. in Pedagogy and a dual M.A in Russian as a Foreign Language and Music. Nelson has been an instructional assistant and classroom teacher in three countries, including the Czech Republic and Canada in addition to the United States. She has been a teacher at Logansport Community High School since 2006. As Indiana’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, Nelson will represent Indiana in the National Teacher of the Year competition. A selection of her career awards is listed below.

Honors and Awards

  • 2016 Crystal Berry Award – Logansport District Teacher of the Year Award
  • 2015 Woman of Distinction Award – Alpha Epsilon Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International
  • 2014 Pillar of the Logansport Community School Corporation Award

About the Indiana Teacher of the Year Program

The Indiana Teacher of the Year program began in 1957 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious state honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching. The Indiana Teacher of the Year award recognizes and utilizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. Its mission is to build and utilize a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the improvement of schools, student performance, and the teaching profession.

The Indiana Teacher of the Year is chosen from among the current Indiana District Teachers of the Year who complete and submit an Indiana Teacher of the Year Portfolio to the Indiana Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Coordinator. A selection committee comprised of past Teachers of the Year reviews and ranks each portfolio following the rubric and portfolio guidelines. The selection committee determines the top ten candidates based on this evaluation system. The selection committee then conducts interviews with the finalists and conducts classroom observations with the top three candidates.

Additional information can be found at www.doe.in.gov/toy.