April Recognitions

At the April 13, 2022 Regular Meeting of the Board of Education the following individuals were recognized for helping to make Washington Township a Superior School District.

NCHS Publications

Congratulations to North Central Publications who received the First Amendment Press Freedom Award.  The award recognizes private and public high schools that actively support, teach and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media where students make all final decisions of content. We are still the only Indiana school in the last 20 years to win (and have done so three times).   Tom Gayda is the Director of Publications and is here with us this evening to accept the recognition.  Also, with Mr. Gayda, a few student editors – Gus Osborn, Libby Ochs, Sawyer Husain, Davis Olson and Carsyn Christoffel. Again, congratulations on this amazing recognition!!  http://jea.org/wp/blog/2022/02/24/18-schools-awarded-first-amendment-press-freedom-award-for-honoring-free-expression/



Ms. Rashieta Woods & Dr. Erica Buchanan-Rivera

Congratulations to  Buchanan-Rivera, Director of Equity and Inclusion on her nomination and we also celebrate Ms. Rashieta Woods, teacher at AV, who was the award winner in the Education category for the Minority Achievers Award with Center for Leadership Development.  The 42nd Annual Minority Achievers Awards & Scholarship Gala pays tribute to the city’s top minority leaders and achievers who have performed outstanding service in their profession and for the community. At this signature fundraising event, local corporations, organizations and educational institutions realize the opportunity to honor talented minority men and women who demonstrate excellence. Additionally, the annual awards have developed into a showcase of the significant academic talents and successes of “CLD Scholars” — CLD youth participants who have achieved distinction by being awarded scholarships from educational institutions for reaching their intellectual and academic potential. Again, congratulations to both Dr. Buchanan-Rivera for her nomination and Ms. Rashieta Woods for her recognition and we appreciate your support of our students, staff and community!

Continuing the celebration for Rashieta Woods, we would like to extend additional recognition as she was just selected as one of the 2022-2023 Armstrong Teacher Educator Awardees. The Armstrong Teacher Educator Award is more than a “teacher of the year” award. In addition to recognizing educator excellence, the award provides financial support for top Indiana educators to work with current IU faculty and undergraduates in the classroom and early field experiences. Armstrong Teacher Educators take an active role in shaping the next generation of teachers.  We are extremely excited for this opportunity for Ms. Woods and look forward to your successful future!



Mrs. Switalski & Mrs. Adams

Two of our Third Grade classrooms were finalist in the I Love To Read Challenge in March.  This is the first time in the 31 years of the Challenge that the finalist were from the same school, so we were all very excited – especially leading up to IREAD. Congratulations to  Adam’s class and Mrs. Switalski’s class at Allisonville Elementary!  The I Love to Read Challenge is a partnership between WISH-TV and the N-C-A-A’s Readers Are Leaders program, which started with over 100 3rd grade classrooms from all over central Indiana 8 weeks ago, is now down to our two finalists! We are extremely proud of our students!  Congratulations and best to both classes and Allisonville Elementary!  https://www.wishtv.com/news/mrs-switalskis-3rd-grade-class-at-allisonville-elementary-wins-i-love-to-read-challenge/   



Congratulations to North Central English Teacher, Mackenzie Taylor

Mackenzie Taylor

as she has recently be selected as the New Coach of the Year for the Hoosier Crossroads District, National Speech and Debate Association. Mackenzie was selected based on her outstanding work with the Speech & Debate team at North Central High School this year. She came in as a new teacher and a rookie to forensics. Mackenzie worked very hard to recruit, and train her students. This year North Central participated in the State Debate Finals, the Hoosier Crossroads District Congressional Debate qualifier and the  District Speech Qualifier. Congratulations Ms. Taylor, we are extremely proud to have you as part of our WT team!




Jocelyn Sisson

Congratulations to North Central High School AP literature, language and composition teacher  Jocelyn Sisson for receiving WISH-TV’s Golden Apple Award in March. The Golden Apple Award honors Central Indiana Teachers who make a crucial difference in our children’s lives.  The prize comes with a check for $500, a trophy and a big surprise. Mrs. Sisson has spent decades helping students write their own stories. She demands kids be their best and is known for “yelping,” a term her students use to describe her yelling and helping method of teaching. Sisson’s spent more than 20 years of her 32-year teaching career at North Central. In that time, Sisson has built a reputation. “She definitely dives in deep and she will not accept, will not accept, mediocrity,” Principal, Mr. Branigan said. As principal, Branigan says he has learned many lessons from Sisson over the years. Sisson also gives her time. She helps run a 10th grade “Panther Exploration Project” where students explore careers. Sisson also keeps open time slots before, during and after school to meet with students one-on-one. Congratulations again and thank you for everything you do to go above and beyond for our students, staff and community! https://www.wishtv.com/golden-apple/legendary-literature-teacher-yelps-students-to-success/



Troy Miller, Suzanne Bentley, Anna Marie Burrell

The Advancement Center for Washington Township Schools and North Central Alumni is on track to facilitate over a Million dollars of private support for our schools this year. Sponsors of the organization serve as an incredibly important part of making that support possible. The page provided in your board materials shares the full list of business partners infusing over $60,000 into our classrooms as sponsors in 2022. Tonight, MSDWT is recognizing the four companies who are supporting The Advancement Center at the highest, Graduate Level of sponsorship:   

Bose McKinney & Evans is represented by Troy Miller. Bose has provided pivotal support to the foundation as a sponsor for over 25 years.

Business Furniture is represented by Suzanne Bentley. The Advancement Center is honored to have Business Furniture join as a brand new sponsor this year!

Schmidt Associates is represented by Anna Marie Burrell, a Principal with the firm. Schmidt has been a loyal and consistent partner of the Advancement Center since 2018.

Stifel Endeavor investment Group Steve Pratt, the Senior Vice President of the Endeavor investment Group had hoped to join us this evening but had something added to his schedule today that he had to attend. While not here tonight, he has been a strong supporter of the District for over 25 years and continues that support on many fronts. In addition to being a sponsor, he is also currently coordinating a gift from his North Central Class of 1972 in honor of their upcoming fifty year reunion.

Thank you to these four Graduate level sponsorships and to the other 26 businesses for prioritizing MSDWT in their annual support. Our students are benefiting greatly from their generosity.


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