Ball Brothers Foundation Announces Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient

Contact: Jud Fisher

May 6, 2013



Yorktown educator earns ‘Excellence in Teaching Award’

MUNCIE—Holly Stachler, a first grade educator at Pleasant View Elementary School, Yorktown, has earned Ball Brothers Foundation’s first Excellence in Teaching Award, an honor that includes a $15,000 grant to her school. Two finalists—Tammy Brant, a physical education teacher at Selma Middle School, and Stephen Merkle, an English teacher at Muncie Central High School—received $1,000 grants to be applied to their classrooms through their respective schools.

“The field was extremely competitive,” said Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of the Muncie-based foundation. “We established the award to call attention to the innovation that teachers bring to classrooms throughout Delaware County. This year’s candidates certainly illustrated that innovation.”

A five-member panel reviewed the applications and selected the three finalists. The judges included Patricia Clark, associate professor in Ball State University’s Department of Elementary Education; Gary Pavlechko, director of teaching technology, in the Office of Educational Excellence, at BSU; Kate Love-Jacobson, vice president for training at High Performance Government Network, Fort Wayne; Dale Basham, former board member, Muncie Community Schools and retired teacher and school administrator; and Chris LaMothe, chairman and CEO of Sherry Labs in Daleville, member of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and former president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

The Excellence in Teaching grants program was open to K-12 classroom educators with at least three years of experience in any of the county’s school systems. Each district developed its own selection process and had the opportunity to nominate two candidates. Fisher describes the annual award as the “missing piece” in his organization’s 86-year history of supporting education in East Central Indiana.

“In the past six years alone our education grants have totaled more than $4.5 million,” says Fisher, “but we’ve never earmarked funds to honor the efforts of specific classroom teachers. Our board felt the time was right to begin that tradition.”