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Tippecanoe County teacher named Indiana Teacher of the Year

Sharita Ware teaches engineering and technology at East Tipp Middle School.

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. — Tonight on 13News at 6, hear from her students and colleagues and watch Ware’s reaction as she learns the news.

The Indiana Department of Education surprised a Tippecanoe County teacher Tuesday with the state’s 2022 Teacher of the Year award.

Sharita Ware was summoned to the multipurpose room at East Tipp Middle School where Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner was waiting, along with the entire eighth-grade class, to break the big news.

"Definitely surprised …. But I am grateful, like anybody else, to be seen and recognized for the effort you put in," Ware said. "The purpose is bigger than you. sometimes you have to sacrifice, maybe sometimes money ... sometimes time and effort and energy because there's a calling that's bigger than you."

Credit: WTHR
Students congratulate Sharita Ware on being named Indiana's 2022 Teacher of the Year.

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Ware is a 10-year educator who transitioned to teaching after a career in engineering. She teaches engineering and technology, and her coworkers and students say she makes those subjects come alive.

Inside her classroom, seventh and eighth graders learn problem-solving and critical thinking skills through hands-on, real-world projects.

“She’s really inspirational,” said Sara, an eighth-grade student in Ware’s class.

“She really cares about us, and she does some really great projects,” said Luke, another student in Ware's class.

Ware also launched several after-school activities, including the 'Maker Monday Hour,' in which students develop creative projects with help from Purdue University students.

“By building an active learning environment, she challenges middle school students daily to explore and engage in STEM, bringing excitement into her classroom through innovative activities. Through hands-on projects both in class and after school, Mrs. Ware’s students are learning to solve real-world problems, while building important life skills like creativity, innovation and teamwork,” Jenner said.

Ware has also taught classes through Purdue University’s Gifted Education Research and Resource Institute’s Super Saturday Program.

“She is an exceptional teacher who has transformed the technology classroom and lab space into an engaging, inspiring workspace for students,” said Dr. Scott Hanback, superintendent of Tippecanoe School Corporation. “We’re honored to have her teaching our students and thrilled to have her be officially named as Indiana’s 2022 Teacher of the Year!”

"Mrs. Ware, a decade of colleagues, families and students will forever be thankful that you found your calling in teaching," said Jenner.

Now, she'll be able to use that calling to continue improving teaching in Indiana and across the country. 

According to the Indiana Department of Education, “As Indiana Teacher of the Year, Ware will work to help elevate the teaching profession in Indiana, as well as represent Hoosier teachers at the national level.”

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