Ethan Hoffman wasn’t even through a full day of the first day of school when he learned he had been selected to the Top 30 Nominees for the 2020 Indiana Teacher of the Year (INTOY) program. He received word via email on Monday, August 5.

In May, Hoffman, a beloved math teacher at the Newcomer Program, was named IPS’ Teacher of the Year for 2020. With that designation came the opportunity to also be included in the statewide Teacher of the Year program through the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE).

Each year, the IDOE conducts the INTOY program to recognize outstanding classroom teachers throughout the state. One person is chosen to represent Indiana teachers at the national level.

The Top 30 were chosen from the original 61 nominees and will eventually be whittled down to the Top 10 finalists.

Hoffman is flattered.

“I generally tend not to think in terms of my chances. My outlook, as with teaching, is always to faithfully serve in the moment and in whatever capacity I’m able to,” said Hoffman. “I faithfully submitted my application and spoke truth to the work that I do, and I leave it at that and look forward to seeing whichever results come out for Teacher of the Year.”

While he waits for the Top 10 finalists for INTOY to be released, Hoffman is teaching his math classes at the Newcomer Program — an IPS alternative “school” for students new to the country — and preparing for his duties as the 2020 IPS Teacher of the Year.

He will start his monthly blog in September, which will be housed online and run in The Achiever newsletter, and is hoping to use his yearlong platform within the district to inspire others.

It’s a role he’s become more comfortable with since winning the title in May.

“It’s hard not to be more comfortable with it. I’m really thankful for the ways I’ve been able to grow through this process,” said Hoffman. “It’s one thing to look back on the work that you’ve done and celebrate the growth yourself, but to be encouraged through other people’s celebrations is really important. And it reminded me how important it is to encourage others and celebrate them and their growth as well.”

For a complete list of the Top 30 educators, click here.