FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon schools hosted an End-of-the-Year Celebration honoring staff and their achievements.

The event took place at Mt. Vernon High School May 24.

The celebration began with a breakfast in the MVHS cafeteria, followed by a recognition ceremony in the auditorium. Superintendent Dr. Jack Parker welcomed attendees before the school board was introduced. The Board of Trustees then recognized staff members for years of service at Mt. Vernon schools.

Staff who achieved a professional growth accolade this year were also recognized with Outstanding Career Achievement Awards. The initiative behind the award was aimed at supporting staff who actively seek professional development opportunities and celebrating their achievements.

The Teacher of the Year and Staff of the Year awards were presented by Dr. Scott Shipley. These building and district winners were also recognized at the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation Gala in early April.

Finally, this year’s MV retirees were recognized. In order to receive retirement designation, a staff member must be 55 years of age or older and have worked a minimum of ten years (at least 120 days each) in the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation.

Here is a list of all staff members who received recognition at the event:

Retirees: Phil Deardorf (27 years, teacher at Mt. Vernon High School); Laurie Gwaltney (28 years, teacher at Mt. Vernon Middle School); Dwayne Jones (18 years, transportation); Jill Schuyler (17 years, teacher at Mt. Vernon Middle School); Jenny Stoner (23 years, food service at Fortville Elementary).

Teacher of the year building winners were Kelsey Rusk, Fortville Elementary School; Abby Kern, McCordsville Elementary School; Liz Jenkins, Mt. Comfort Elementary School; Laura Hannah, Mt. Vernon High School; Michelle Dunahee, Mt. Vernon Middle School; and Krista Weber, multiple buildings, administration and preschool. The district winner for TOY was Kelsey Rusk.

Building winners for staff of the year were Beth Thomas (FES); Trudy Cole (MES); Tonya Brown (MCE); Kelly Fleming (MVHS); Cathay Womack (MVMS) and Tori Wisker (administration/preschool). The district SOY winner was Tonya Brown.

Outstanding career achievements honored at the event included Jessica Buell, high ability license; Jeff Crague, The David M. Rubenstein Master Teacher for Middle School at the White House Historical Association; Caitlin Crecelius, master of science in education/ counseling and counselor education; Kyra Davis, master of arts in curriculum and instruction; Suzanne Digby, added intense intervention to special education license through the ASSET program; Jordan Gerbsch, master’s in school counseling; Troy Guthrie, master of arts in teaching United States history; Seth Hamilton, completion of CTO2B Mentoring Program; Brandon Hayes, Mt. Vernon tech team member of the year; Teresa Heckman, master degree in curriculum and instruction; Corrie Herron, high ability license; Ryan Kern, recipient of the “Together We Illuminate Futures” grant from the Mt Vernon Education Foundation; Amy Lovell, elementary STEM certification; Kris Maynard, International Aviation & Aeronautics Award; Wendy Mayo, added intense intervention to special education license through the ASSET program; Amy McCleery, Indiana Teacher of English Learners License; Kristi Norton, elementary STEM certification; Renee Oldham, certified education foundation leader, Bill and Linda Hoffman Education in Leadership Award and the Hancock County Working Women of the Year Award; Nancy Price, library media endorsement; Jennifer Pummill, special education PK-12 mild to moderate; Amy Reeves, received a two-book deal from Canary Street Press; Dr. Scott Shipley, MVEF Impact Legacy Grant; Lisa Terrell, master’s in English, certification to teach dual credit English courses; Noelle Truex, high ability license; Stacy Webber, one of ten finalists by The Reading League Indiana for the Science of Reading Champion Award; Alyson Zelencik, Hoosier Heritage Conference Spell Bowl coach of the year; Meghan Britt, Kellie Freeman, Phil Edwards, Chad Gray and Shannon Walls, Indiana School Board Association exemplary governance award.

 Dean Falkenberg received an award for 35 years at Mt. Vernon schools Submitted photo

Years of service awards went to Dean Falkenberg, 35 years. The awards for 30 years went to Elizabeth Moan and Shana Wolfenberger. Serving 25 years were Tambra Bauchert, Elizabeth Chaplin, Teresa Limbach, Amy Lovell and Kittie Masters. The awards for 20 years were Lauren Brewer, Amanda Hill, Scott Shipley, Garrie Woods, Lisa Decker, Lisa Pluckebaum, Danielle Stindle, Alyson Zelencik, Stephanie Evans, Karen Riesterer, Mary Wade and Caleb Zelencik. Awards for 15 years went to Kelly Brown, Nancy Fentz, Angela Griffin and Laura Lyons. The 10-year awards went to Joseph Anderson, Ryan Carr, Brian Evans, Corrie Herron, Vera Kimmel, Christi O’Connor, Derek Sumpter, Steven Wheeler, Emily Arnold, Kyra Davis, Michael Friedman, Sherrie Hughes, Patricia Lorsung, Michelle Perr, Tracy Tolliver, Leah Barrow, Margarita Dwyer, Kristin Gray, Shona Kelly, Patricia McNeely, Robert Robinson and Jennifer Tucker. Awards for five years went to Jeffrey Brandes, Gregory Elkins, Anita Erkmanis, Haley Friskchkorn, Carla Hammett, Jay Jones, Brittany Lenk, Jack Parker, Anya Stover, Brittany Webber, Jessica Buell, Melissa Ellerman, Denise Floyd, Tessa Globerger, Tracey Hudson, Heidi Kensinger, Jennifer Lentz, Ashley Ridenour, Courtney Stroup, Rose Dowden, Marissa Ellsworth, Franklin Foland, Joana-Marie Goff, Patricia Hunt, Matthew Lacy, Kristan Maynard, Joshua Sanchez and Cynthia Thompson.