Perry Township superintendent receives national award

Perry Township Schools is proud to announce it has named the first recipient of the National Award of Excellence for Educator Effectiveness by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET).

On Saturday, March 23, during the NIET annual conference in New Orleans, superintendent Pat Mapes – surrounded by 1,100 educators and education advocates from across the country – officially accepted the inaugural award on behalf of the district.

Superintendent of Perry Township Schools, Pat Mapes. (Submitted photos)

During a video presentation, NIET showcased many of Perry Township Schools’ practices that have led to educator effectiveness and student success. The video highlighted how teachers embrace the diverse population – 16,300 students representing 73 countries and 67 languages – and grow student academic achievement.

“Twenty-seven percent of our students are English Learners,” explained Pat Mapes, Perry Township Schools superintendent. “We are committed to giving our immigrant scholars an immersive high-quality education, equal to their peers.”

Through the district’s 10-year partnership with NIET, Perry Township Schools is emerging as a leader in educator effectiveness through the implementation of NIET’s framework, which focuses on weekly teacher professional development, as well as individual student growth. Teachers collaborate regularly to discuss their success and challenges and to fine-tune their strategies, while students are empowered to influence instruction by reviewing the scoring guide of what is expected from teachers. Teachers are evaluated by their ability to academically grow kids. Monthly assessments help teachers determine whether students are growing in a particular subject or whether the teacher will need to revise their instruction techniques to help students learn.

Pictured, in front row: Craig Hendrick, Perry Meridian sixth grade Academy teacher; Whitney Wilkowski, English Learner director; Vickie Carpenter, assistant superintendent for elementary education; Pat Mapes, superintendent; Lowell Milken, NIET chairman & founder; Candice McQueen, CEO; Bob Bohannon, assistant superintendent for secondary education; Jane Pollard, director of elementary education/Title I; and Chris Sampson, associate superintendent. Middle row, Liz Price, Clinton Young, master teacher; Nicole Jewell; Douglas MacArthur Kindergarten Academy principal; Cherie Ramos, Southport sixth grade Academy; Tim Cooper, Homecroft Kindergarten Academy master teacher; Jackie Miller, Southport Middle master teacher; Dana DeHart, Mary Bryan Elementary principal; Star Hardimon, Douglas MacArthur principal; Jennifer Dishman, Mary Bryan master teacher; Julie Tennell, Perry Meridian High master teacher; and Lora Hansell, Jeremiah Gray Kindergarten Academy principal. Back row: Jen Oliver, NIET Sr. Program Specialist; Stephanie Quinlan, Southport Middle School principal; Jennifer Pleak, Rosa Gray Kindergarten Academy principal; Natalie Bohannon, Winchester Village principal; Dave Rohl, Glenns Valley principal; Brian Knight, Southport High principal; Doug Smith, Jeremiah Gray Elementary principal; and David Henriott, Rosa Parks principal.

“Perry Township is an example of what is possible when we focus on having an effective teacher in every classroom every day,” says Dr. Candice McQueen, NIET chief executive officer.

To learn more about the NIET partnership or to view the conference video, visit