Two local teachers receive Distinguished Education Alumni Award
INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Sheila Klinker (D-Lafayette) was one of two teachers from Tippecanoe County who were honored as Distinguished Education Alumni during a recent awards ceremony.
Klinker and Sarah Powley, former English teacher at McCutcheon High School, were joined in receiving the award by West Virginia University Vice Provost John Campbell, Harvard History professor Patricia Albjerg Graham, and Vanderbilt University Director of Graduate Studies for African American and Diaspora Studies Gilman Whiting. Powley currently serves as an instructional coach for secondary teachers of all disciplines in the Tippecanoe School Corporation.
“I am humbled to be in the company of such distinguished alumni,” said Klinker. “This award is one of the most important honors of my life. I am gratified that my work was recognized along with the accomplishments of these other remarkable Purdue alumni.”
Klinker, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree and her two Master of Science degrees as well as her Principal Licenses from Purdue, taught at Miami Elementary School and Tecumseh Middle School, which is now Tecumseh Jr. High School. Later in her career, Kilnker became the outreach liaison for Purdue University.
During her legislative career, Klinker has been an advocate for education at all levels. This Democratic leader on the House Ways and Means Committee has been integral in the passage of laws benefiting the mentally disabled and developmentally challenged as well as in helping secure funding for home and community-based services for people with mental disabilities.
Klinker’s other numerous accomplishments include creation of the 529 College Savings Plan in Indiana and the Lifelong Learning Accounts for low-income, working adults who want to pursue educational opportunities or job training. In addition, she has authored, sponsored and actively supported legislation for First Steps, guardianship issues, prenatal substance abuse initiatives, and veterans’ issues.