Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State to host Sycamore Educators Day on Nov. 2

October 16, 2013

An Indiana State University graduate who is an award-winning elementary school teacher will give the keynote speech during Sycamore Educators Day on Nov. 2.

Melanie Beaver, who teaches language arts at West Vigo Middle School and online courses at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, will talk about her experiences during the annual event hosted by the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State. Beaver, who graduated from Indiana State in 1993 with an elementary education degree, in 1998 with a master's in education and in 2012 with her doctorate in curriculum, instruction, and media technology, will be one of several speakers at the event that will feature a variety of presentations and speakers covering diverse topics. The 17th annual Sycamore Educators Day features a theme of "A celebration of teaching."

"It is a day of renewal and new ideas, particularly focused on classroom teachers," said Denise Collins, associate dean of the Bayh College of Education. "We are celebrating teachers as our theme and we want them to come share their best practices, learn from each other and bring back ideas that they can then implement immediately into their classrooms."

Beaver won the 2012 WTHI-TV Golden Apple Award, 2012 Indiana VFW Middle School Teacher of the Year Award and a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity grant in 2010. She is a highly decorated and well-recognized teacher in the Wabash Valley, Collins said.

"She has the kind of energy and enthusiasm for teaching that we know is infectious and will provide motivation and excitement for other teachers," Collins added.

The daylong event will feature 16 concurrent sessions during two time blocks that will cover different aspects of teaching. Jodi Southard, who won the teacher of the year award from the Vigo County School Corp., will present "Teaching Resources for Today's Teachers." Susan Gubelman, a graduate research assistant at Indiana State, and Janelle Oxford of Robinson High School will discuss "Online Learning Communities: The Social Nature of Learning Through Writing."

"We have a good mix of Bayh College of Education faculty and practicing teachers who will be presenting the sessions," Collins said. "The topics are focused on the classroom level, but they bring in all kinds of different aspects of teaching."

Sycamore Educators Day is free for Indiana State graduates and costs $25 for the general public. For more information and to register, visit the Bayh College of Education website at

Photo: Indiana State University alumna Melanie Beaver keeps her students attention at West Vigo Middle School. Beaver will be the keynote speaker at the 17th annual Sycamore Educators Day on Nov. 2. The theme for this year's event is "A celebration of teaching." (ISU/Tony Campbelll)

Contact: Denise Collins, associate dean, Bayh College of Education, Indiana State University, 812-237-2918 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or

Story Highlights

The 17th annual Sycamore Educators Day features a theme of "A celebration of teaching" and will feature a keynote presentation from Melanie Beaver, an award-winning elementary school teacher who earned three degrees - including her doctorate - from ISU.

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