UE Presents Outstanding Educators of the Year Award for 2015


Four educators in Vanderburgh County were recognized by surprise announcements as Outstanding Educators of the Year on Wednesday, April 1, during the University of Evansville’s 24th annual presentation in the Vanderburgh County schools. The competition recognizes current classroom teachers and building principals in grades K-12 with at least three years of experience.


The four winners will be formally recognized Friday, May 1, during the University’s annual banquet. This recognition program is sponsored by UE and the Evansville Courier & Press. For additional information, call the UE School of Education at 812-488-2360 or 812-488-2368.


Presented with awards at their schools were:

  • Middle School Teacher of the Year: Angela Greenwell, Helfrich Park STEM Academy
  • High School Teacher of the Year: Mark Schoenbaum, Memorial High School
  • Building Principal of the Year: Bryan Perry, Thompkins Middle School


Outstanding Elementary Educator of the Year:

Carolyn Bennett, third grade teacher, Highland Elementary School

Carolyn Bennett has been an educator for 22 years. She currently teaches at Highland Elementary School.


Bennett is passionate about teaching third graders. “I love the minds of eight and nine year olds,” she explains. “They are enthusiastic learners who are beginning to understand their strengths and weaknesses.”


She says that her teaching philosophy can be stated in one sentence:  “Each child gets what they need.” Bennett believes that third graders are the perfect age to understand that philosophy.


“They know I will help when they need it,” she says, “but if they are able to fix a problem on their own, they do it.’”


Bennett served on EVSC’s first Math Mapping Committee, was part of the Oak Hill Elementary School Planning Committee, and is a member of the Response to Intervention Team. She has had extensive training in the Leader in Me Program.

Outstanding Middle School Educator of the Year:

Angela Greenwood, seventh grade social studies, English and literature and eighth grade English and literature teacher, Helfrich Park STEM Academy

Angela Greenwell has been a teacher for seven years. She currently teaches 7th and 8th graders at Helfrich Park STEM Academy, where her subject areas are social studies, English and literature.


Greenwood feels that educators should prepare students for the 21st century. Therefore she sets high expectations in her classroom. Her teaching strategies encourage research, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and problem solving. Her students publish essays to their classroom portfolios, relying on research to validate their arguments.

“All students have valuable ideas and can make academic gains when provided a stimulating learning environment,” says Greenwell.


Greenwell is working on a doctoral degree in literacy and leadership. She is a member of the ISTEP review board in Indianapolis, and the seventh grade ELA textbook adoption committee. She is a national seventh grader language facilitator for National Education Association’s Greater Public School Network, and has taken part in service based community learning projects.


Outstanding High School Educator of the Year:

Mark Schoenbaum, art teacher, Memorial High School

Mark Schoenbaum has been an art teacher at Memorial High School for 27 years. His teaching areas include art history, photography, painting, advanced painting, drawing, ceramics, advanced ceramics and digital photography

Schoenbaum notes that his philosophy of education is reflected in a quote from Pablo Picasso: “Inspiration Exists, but it must find us working.”


He believes successful teaching involves three strengths: a positive learning environment, creating enthusiasm for learning and creativity, and quality customer (student) service.


“Promoting a supportive and challenging learning environment for my students is fundamental,” he says, “so that they may question their ideas, and develop essential skills and a strong work ethic.”


Schoenbaum is a member of National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts. He has participated in the Don Reitz Retrospective Invitational, and the East/West/North Art Show at the Evansville Museum. He received the Pro-Operis Award for 20 plus years of service, and has been nominated for Arts Council Art Teacher of the Year

Outstanding Administrator of the Year:

Bryan Perry, principal of Thompkins Middle School

Bryan Perry has been principal at Thompkins Middle School for six years. He has been involved in education for 22 years.


Perry says that his educational beliefs continually change as the field of education evolves. One thing that remains constant is his goal to do the right thing for his students and staff and ensure that they progress as people and professionals.


“I want to develop students that succeed at their chosen field of study,” he says. While he doesn’t feel it is necessary for them all to pursue a four year college degree, he does want each to understand the importance of post-secondary training.


In his role as an administrator, Perry encourages leadership skills in his staff. He does not believe in micromanaging, saying that “the best thing that I can do is to get out of their way!”


Perry was named Indiana Association of School Principals District 11 Middle School Principal of the Year in 2012. He has been an Indiana Principal Leadership Institute Mentor Principal since 2014.


*If you are in need of photos for part of your story – let me know.  I have some decent ones.