News release from Fort Wayne Community Schools:
FWCS honored Teacher of the Year – Laura McCoy
(September 11, 2015) – Fort Wayne Community Schools held a reception for Teacher of the Year Laura McCoy September 14, 2015, in the cafeteria at the Grile Administrative Center.
McCoy is a St. Joseph Central Elementary School Music Teacher who began her teaching career 35 years ago. She was selected as FWCS Teacher of the Year in the spring because of her passion for teaching students at all levels, from those with special needs to high achievers, and for her ability to connect various disciplines through the arts. This week, the Indiana Department of Education announced that McCoy was among the top ten finalists for State Teacher of the Year.
McCoy believes every child should have the opportunity to study music.
“Many of my colleagues around the country share horror stories about deep cuts of the arts in their elementary schools. I am proud that FWCS has prioritized music, art and physical education for elementary learners,” she said. FWCS not only provides music instruction for general education students but also special education students, who McCoy appreciates having in class.
“I strive each and every day to raise students up and have music be a joy in their lives,” she said. “From the special needs learner to the student chosen for All-State Honors Choir, each individual has different desires and needs in regards to his or her music education.”
In addition to being a music teacher, McCoy has also been a driver education instructor for 35 years and now oversees the FWCS program.
“We have kept driver education as an option for those that live and work in our community,” she said. “Often, we are training the first driver in a family who is new to our country. I am committed to doing what it takes to help all of these students succeed and have the driving skills to support their entry into higher education or the workforce.”
Candidates for Teacher of the Year are nominated by building principals with finalists chosen by a committee of administrators. In addition to McCoy, five finalists for FWCS Teacher of the Year will also be honored at Monday’s reception. Finalists are: Rachel Achenbach, eighth-grade language arts teacher at Kekionga Middle School; Stephanie Martin-Jordan, fourth-grade teacher at Weisser Park Elementary; Mary Vendrely, sixth-grade language arts teacher at Lane Middle School; Amy Warren, fifth-grade teacher at Scott Academy; and Victoria Williams, special education teacher at Indian Village Elementary.
Following the reception, McCoy and the finalists were honored at the FWCS Board of School Trustees meeting.