Teacher in the running for $100,000 grant

INDIANAPOLIS — A Mt. Vernon High School graduate is the only Hoosier teacher being considered as a finalist for a $100,000 grant.

Susan Thomas of Greenfield, a teacher at Homecroft Kindergarten Academy in the Perry Township Schools district, was named one of 15 finalists in the Thank America’s Teachers Dream Big Teacher Challenge. If she receives the grant, she will split it among the four new kindergarten academies in Perry Township, to be used for literacy kits and books to use during reading groups.

Perry Township has the largest Burmese population in the world outside of southeast Asia, with some 15,000 Burmese (Chin) refugees settling in the township, Thomas said in an email. Perry Township schools have nearly 5,000 students who are learning English as a second language; about 3,000 of those are refugees, Thomas said.

The public may vote for Thomas by visiting thankamericasteachers.com daily until Oct. 30. The five grants with the most votes will be funded.

Thomas is a Mt. Vernon High School graduate and a graduate of Purdue and Butler universities. She was recognized in 1991 as one of Purdue’s outstanding young women in education.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.