Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is excited to announce Ethan Hoffman as the 2020 IPS Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made Monday night at the annual Teacher of the Year dinner inside the Indiana Historical Society’s Eli Lilly Hall. The winner will hold the title during the 2019-20 school year.
Hoffman teaches math to students in grades 9-11 at the Newcomer Program. This program serves immigrant and refugee students who are new to the United States and, in some cases, have never attended school.
“Because all of my students are just beginning to learn English, there can be a sense of confusion and despair when looking ahead toward the challenges they face in the future as a result of their lack of language knowledge,” said Hoffman. “Through mathematics, my students are able to see the incredible progress they can make through a steady and consistent effort in English language learning.”
Hoffman was unanimously voted by his peers as Newcomer’s top teacher. Phrases such as “great colleague,” “a spirit of positivity,” and “loved and respected,” were used to describe him.
“When you ask students here what their favorite subject is, they don’t say math, they say Hoffman,” said Arturo Rodriguez, Newcomer’s principal. “That speaks volumes about the kind of impact he’s had on our school. He’s not only dedicated in the classroom, but routinely spends his lunch period and time before or after school giving students extra help.”
“Ethan Hoffman embodies what our Teacher of the Year program is all about,” said Interim Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. “His love for his students and enthusiasm for teaching inspires everyone around him and we couldn’t be happier about him representing IPS in the coming school year.”
Hoffman has been a teacher for three years, all of them at the IPS Newcomer Program. He received his Bachelor of Science in from Michigan Technological University and a Master of Arts in teaching from Marian University.
Principals at 51 IPS schools nominated a diverse group of educators as building-level teachers of the year. All of them were recognized and honored during the awards dinner. Using portfolio submissions, including nomination letters and supporting materials, the building-level teachers were narrowed down to the Top 10 finalists by a selection committee. Those teachers were further evaluated through a more extensive process that included a classroom observation to determine the winner.