Homestead, Bluffton teaches 2 of 3 finalists for Indiana Teacher of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — High school teachers in Homestead and Bluffton are two of the top three finalists for Indiana Teacher of the Year, the Department of Education announced Monday.

Jason Beer teaches English at Homestead High School and has been involved in education for 14 years. According to the press release, he has been with Homestead for seven years, teaching a variety of courses and helping students cross the finish line to graduation.

Tara Cocanower teaches world history and AP US history at Bluffton High School and has been teaching for 11 years. Her students — whom she describes as “world changers” — achieved an 85% pass rate on the 2022 AP US history exam, where the state average is 45%, according to the press release.

“The top three finalists for this year’s Teacher of the Year serve as incredible examples of the hard work and dedication that benefits students in classrooms across Indiana every day,” said Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner. “Great teachers change lives, and we are grateful that these educators are leaders in their communities to ensure our students have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful throughout life.”

Beer and Cocanower are finalists along with Joshua DeBeard, a teacher at Lebanon High School. The winner is expected to be announced in October. Homestead, Bluffton teaches 2 of 3 finalists for Indiana Teacher of the Year

Tom Vazquez

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