BBF Announces Judging Panel, Call for Teacher Nominations



BBF Announces Judging Panel, Call for Teacher Nominations

MUNCIE—Ball Brothers Foundation will again honor Delaware County teachers in 2017 through the Foundation’s Excellence in Teaching Award. This will be the fifth year that the award will recognize teachers who bring innovation, enthusiasm, and 21st century skills to their classrooms.

The Excellence in Teaching grants program is open to teachers with at least three years of experience who are currently teaching in a K-12 classroom in any of Delaware County’s public school systems. Each district develops its own selection process and can submit two nominations. Nominations from districts are due Wednesday, February 1.

An expert panel of judges considers the nominations. The top honor includes a $15,000 grant to promote innovation in the winning teacher’s district, school, and classroom. Judges for the 2017 award include Dr. Patricia Clark, chair of Ball State University’s Department of Elementary Education; Gary Pavlechko, director of teaching technology in the Office of Educational Excellence at Ball State University; Kate Love-Jacobson, coordinator with the City of Fort Wayne and consultant with High Performance Government Network; Dale Basham, veteran educator, school administrator; and Dr. Neil Schmottlach, who retired from Ball Brothers Foundation in 2014.

“For the past four years, BBF has been honored to review nominations, meet, and observe incredible teachers from school districts across the county. As we look to present this award for the fifth year in a row, I am heartened by the tireless dedication of public school teachers who are challenging students in our communities to learn and grow,” commented Jud Fisher, President and COO of Ball Brothers Foundation. “Our intention in creating this award was to highlight the creativity and innovation that takes place in 21st century classrooms. We have been very impressed by what we have seen over the past four years, and we are excited to review the nominations submitted by school districts in the coming weeks. Our county is fortunate to have a cadre of teachers who are simply outstanding. We should all be proud of what is happening inside classrooms in Delaware County.”

The 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Steve Spradlin, a math and science teacher at Muncie Community School’s Northside Middle School. Renee Huffman, a kindergarten teacher at Burris Laboratory School was awarded the 2015 honor while the 2014 award was presented to Julian Ravenscroft, an algebra and calculus teacher at Daleville Jr.-Sr. High School in Daleville. The inaugural award was presented in 2013 to Holly Stachler, an elementary school teacher in Yorktown who now leads the district’s technology integration efforts.

Nominations can be submitted electronically by school districts via Ball Brothers Foundation’s website. Details about other Ball Brothers Foundation funding opportunities are available on the foundation’s website at

Ball Brothers Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. Last year, Ball Brothers Foundation celebrated its 90th anniversary, awarding $7.25 million in grants supporting arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services and public affairs. The Muncie-based private foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county and state.