United Way Invites Nominations for IPS Life-Changing Educator Awards

Three teachers and one principal from Indianapolis Public School system will each be presented with a $25,000 prize from Al and Kathy Hubbard in the spring; nominations due January 27, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – What’s it like to be singled out as a “life-changing teacher” and handed a prize check for $25,000? Daphne Draa, a teacher from the IPS Center for Inquiry School 2, can tell you in one word – exhilarating.

“I heard my name called at the awards ceremony, and I was overcome with pride for everyone seated with me at my table – my mom, husband, three students and a parent of one of my students,” said Draa, who teaches art and design at CFI 2. “This is my calling. I consider my ability to teach and build relationships with young people my greatest gift, and it was exhilarating to be honored in this public way.”

Now is the time to nominate an exceptional Indianapolis Public School teacher (IPS) and a principal for the 2017 Hubbard Life-Changing Educator Award, named after philanthropists Al and Kathy Hubbard, who have been funding this awards program through United Way since 2014.  Nominations can be submitted online at www.hubbardaward.org until January 27, 2017.  Three teachers and one principal will be awarded the top prize and will receive $25,000 each; and up to six finalists will be awarded $1,000 each. All IPS schools – innovation, district or magnet programs – are eligible.

“We’re honored to once again to recognize those IPS teachers and principals who make an enormous impact on children’s lives and on our schools,” said Al Hubbard, who serves as Chairman of E&A Companies, an Indianapolis-based business. “Especially now, all students need to be surrounded by positive role models in our education system who can guide them on a path to success. Kathy and I are honored to shine the light on those talented teachers and principals who make a big difference in our community.”

History of Hubbard Life-Changing Educator Award
Al and Kathy Hubbard have been involved in school reform for more than 20 years, supporting school choice, charter schools, and special programs in IPS.  They were inspired to create the prize after reading the story by the Indianapolis Star’s Matthew Tully about a John Marshall Community High School student whose life was turned around by the caring influence of his reading teacher.

In 2014, Indiana Pacer and IPS alumnus George Hill helped launch the Life-Changing Educator Award program after an emotional reunion with his Broad Ripple High School English teacher, Susan Avery, who helped him make his education a priority.

Since its inception, the Hubbard Award has presented $25,000 each to: Tina Ahlgren, Julie Bakehorn, Daphne Draa, Cynthia Hartshorn, Margi Higgs, Ann Mennonno, Rhonda Pierre, Donna Pope-Green, Antonia Powell, Marleen Signer, Roslyn Stradford, Stella Vandivier, Deb Wolinsky and Doris Young.

Overall, 586 teachers have been nominated from 67 schools.


Ty Spisak
c. 317-517-8867

Jessica Di Santo


Kristin Cutler