Bethel Graduate Receives Indiana's Teacher of the Year Award

Bethel graduate, Tania L. Harman (Collins), a bilingual teacher at Warren Primary Center in South Bend was named the 2009 Indiana Teacher of the Year at an assembly held at her school. Each of the 32 schools in the corporation nominates a teacher. Harman had received the honor of being South Bend Community School Corporation’s Teacher of the Year in 2008 before being recognized by the State of Indiana.

Harman graduated from Bethel College in 1984. She continued her education, finishing her M.A. in Elementary Education at Indiana University South Bend in 1996 and receiving an English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement from IUSB in 2006.

As an English as New Language (ENL) teacher, Harman serves students whose families are both new to the area and unfamiliar with the English language.

“They came to this country seeking a better way of life, and I hold the key to that door,” said Harman.

Harman has served the South Bend Community Corporation for 21 years. Before teaching at Warren she also held positions at Kennedy, Monroe, Lafayette and Wilson Primary Centers. In his letter of recommendation, South Bend Community School Corporation Interim Superintendent James Kapsa cited Harman’s dedication to helping all students reach their academic and social potential as a reason for her success.

Harman will be rewarded with a $5,000 technology package from the SMARTer Kids foundation, scholarship opportunities from Ball State University, Indiana State University and Indiana University. In addition she will receive $1,000 and a portfolio from Indiana Farm Bureau Inc. Harman will also be given the option to become a Teacher in Residence for one year with the IDOE and will represent Indiana at the national competition in Washington, D.C. next spring.

The Indiana Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc., the Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Companies and the SMARTer Kids Foundation. The National Teacher of the Year Program, presented by the ING Foundation, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers.