Indiana's 2012 Teacher of the Year Melanie Park has joined the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) as a Teacher in Residence for the 2012-2013 school year.
Park will take a yearlong sabbatical from teaching at Riverview Middle School in Huntington Community School Corporation to focus on statewide educator outreach initiatives. IDOE offers each new Indiana Teacher of the Year a yearlong sabbatical.
"After extensive conversations with Indiana teachers, I am left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for their commitment to student success," Park said.
"Now, it is my turn to express my thanks to our teachers. I intend to use this year to serve Hoosier students by supporting and celebrating the teachers that impact their lives. I am looking forward to a year of celebration!"
In her new role, Park will travel around the state to support teachers through Indiana's Celebrate Teaching initiative. She will also be a guest speaker for school corporations, universities, businesses and civic organizations to share important information on new initiatives, such as educator evaluations and Indiana's Common Core Standards. Park says her mission is to celebrate the teaching profession and encourage education professionals to embrace change as an opportunity for growth.
Park, a teacher for 19 years, has started a blog about her experiences traveling the state as a Teacher in Residence. It can be found on the Celebrate Teaching webpage, www.doe.in.gov/cele  brateteaching.
The Celebrate Teaching outreach initiative was created by IDOE to engage and recognize Indiana's teaching professionals. Visit the Celebrate Teaching webpage for videos of classroom teachers and updates on teacher outreach and recognition opportunities.