Language Translation
  Close Menu

Indiana Educator Fellowship for Creative Teaching

Teachers are some of our state’s best creative problem solvers and innovators. Great educators take risks, learn, reflect, and collaborate. Those same attributes are the building blocks of creativity. The Indiana Educator Fellowship for Creative Teaching is here to celebrate and support outstanding non-arts educators as they expand classroom teaching through creativity!

The Indiana Educator Fellowship for Creative Teaching is a partnership between the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana Department of Education. The Fellowship for Creative Teaching supports non-arts educators with robust training, funding, and a community of experts to inspire and implement creativity-centered innovation in the classroom.

Research shows creative teaching strategies, also known as arts integration, improves student engagement, student learning retention, and student literacy skills.

Integrating the arts into core subjects like reading, math, and science is a highly effective and rewarding approach to meeting standards while reaching diverse learners, engaging students, and making a memorable and enjoyable experience for all.

Selected Creative Teaching Fellows will gather with their like-minded educator peers who are also looking to grow their teaching practice in innovative ways. After exploring what creativity in education can be in theory during the summer training, all Creative Teaching Fellows will collaborate with their Community Arts Partner to bring a professional, in-person artist residency in their classroom in the Fall semester to see the work in a real classroom setting.

Creative Teaching Fellows Receive:

  • Two days of immersive training in creativity and connections to standards
  • Access to a fully funded in-school creative arts residency
  • Support from community creative partners, experts, and professionals
  • Membership in a statewide community of energetic, innovative educators
  • A $1,000 honoraria

Access the 2024 guidelines.

Creative Educator Fellows Timeline
Applications Due February 22, 2024
Notification of SelectionMarch 21, 2024
Online Welcome Session (Required)May 11, 2024 
Online Learning Session (Required)June 8, 2024
In-person Summer Institute (Required)July 10-12, 2024
Implement Arts Integration Residency ProjectFall 2024

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a licensed educator employed to teach any grade K – 12 during the 2023/2024 school year. (Special exceptions may be made through an IAC staff approval process)
  • Must be employed by a school operating in Indiana during the 2023/2024 school year.
  • Must be employed by a public school, public charter school, or accredited nonpublic school
  • Be an Indiana resident and remain a full time Indiana resident through the end of the fellowship period.
  • Must be over 18 years of age
  • Must be a US citizen

*This program is not as beneficial for teachers who primarily teach arts classes

Unfortunately, this opportunity excludes:

  • Educators who teach exclusively at Colleges, Universities, or Higher education institutions
  • Non-licensed educators (unless approved by IAC staff)
  • Pre-k educators
  • Substitute educators not contracted for a full school year
  • Educators with temporary or emergency licenses
  • Educators who work exclusively out-of-school time (afterschool, summer)

Access the 2024 guidelines.

    Stephanie Haines
    Arts Education and Accessibility Manager
    Indiana Arts Commission

    (317) 450-9973

Image of woman 

Amber Sims

Central Middle School (Bartholomew County)

7th grade Mathematics and Pre-Algebra

Mrs. Amber Sims is a middle school math and pre-algebra teacher in Columbus. Mrs. Sims is going on her tenth year in her current district and enjoys bringing creativity and energy into the classroom. Her passions include being a lifelong learner, painting and gardening.

Image of woman 

Amelia Shaw

Columbus North High School (Bartholomew County)

9th-12th grade German

Amelia Shaw teaches German at North and East High Schools in Columbus. Frau Shaw has been a public school educator for 12 years and is passionate about bringing language learning to life for her students. She enjoys running half marathons and spending time outside with her husband and two children.

Image of Woman 

Brooke Hamlett

Hornet Park Elementary (Marion County)

K-2 essential skills and special education

Brooke Hamlett is a K-2 self-contained special education teacher in Beech Grove. Mrs. Hamlett has been teaching for 24 years and loves to partner with kids, families, and the community to help little ones learn and grow. She and her husband went to elementary school together and used to carpool to school. They have two sons – an EMT and a future teacher – and a black lab named Scout who likes to hike with the family.

Image of woman 

Christine Gauer

Saint Patrick School of the Terre Haute Deanery (Vigo County)

3rd grade general education

Christine Gauer a third grade teacher at a Catholic school in Terre Haute, Indiana. Ms. Gauer has worked in education for twenty years. She started out as a teacher's aid and then became a braille teacher for four years when she decided to return to college and get her teaching degree at the age of 51. She is a mother, soon to be new grandmother, and currently planning her own wedding.

Image of woman 

Denise Wampler

Southside Elementary School (Bartholomew County)

1st grade general education

Ms. Denise Wampler is a first grade teacher at Southside Elementary School in Columbus. Ms. Wampler has taught for the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation for the past 36 years. She enjoys seeing the immense growth her first graders make throughout the school year. She also works weekends at Target where her daughter is her boss! She loves going to concerts to listen and dance to live music with her son and daughter. She also loves to travel to tropical islands for vacations where she purchases native percussion instruments and decorative masks to add to her collections. Listening to music, dancing, and playing hand drums are her favorite hobbies.

Image of man in front of a brick wall 

Duane Curry

Christel House Academy West (Marion County)

5th and 6th grade general education

Duane L. Curry Jr. is an elementary educator in Indianapolis. Mr. Curry has been an educator for the last 5 years. Prior to joining the education field, he worked in the mental health field. He is passionate about motivating and inspiring students and other teachers. He enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 children. Also, he loves DJ’ing and collecting records.

Image of woman 

Emily Thien

Eastwood Middle School (Marion County)

8th grade English language arts

Emily Thien is a middle school ELA teacher in Indianapolis. Mrs. Thien has been in education for 14 years and attempts to bring creativity and cultural relevance to her daily practice. She loves being a champion for her students. In her free time, she enjoys going on adventures with her family, whether it be hiking, kayaking, relaxing on a beach, or finding a new favorite restaurant.

Image of a man in a classroom 

Gregg Nowling

Purdue Polytechnic High School Englewood (Marion County)

9th-12th grade engineering and design, entrepreneurship

Gregg Nowling is Design and Engineering coach at Purdue Polytechnic High School at Englewood in Indianapolis. A 16 year veteran teacher, he has also been a professional maker for over 25 years working alongside the film industry by creating movie props for collectors all over the world. When not making things he travels with his wife, so far visiting 49 states, four continents and 25 different countries.

Image of woman 

Joscilyn Acosta

Premier Arts Academy (Elkhart County)

4th grade general education

Joscilyn Acosta is a fourth grade teacher at Premier Arts Academy, a brand new arts integrated public school located in Elkhart. Miss Acosta has been teaching for nine years in grades four through six. She loves seeing the joy that art integrated lessons bring her students. She enjoys spending her weekends with friends, family, and her ten year old doggie, Prada!

Image of woman outside

Kathie Kenworthy

York Elementary School (Elkhart County)

2nd grade general education

Kathie Kenworthy is a second grade teacher at York Elementary School, a Middlebury Community School. Mrs. Kenworthy has been an elementary teacher for 20 years. She enjoys incorporating creativity into her daily lessons.  She has three grown children and enjoys spending time with her family, especially her two grandchildren.

Image of woman in front of a brick wall 

Laurisa LeSure

Wilson Elementary School (St. Joseph County)

K-5 autism resource, general education and Social and Emotional Learning

Laurisa LeSure is an educator and artist in South Bend, Indiana. Currently working at Wilson Elementary School and Indiana University South Bend, Miss Risa has had the pleasure to work with students of all ages in schools and on the stage.

Image of woman wearing glasses 

MacKenzie Cox

Centerville-Abington Junior High School (Wayne County)

8th grade mathematics and algebra

MacKenzie Cox is an eighth grade math teacher at Centerville-Abington Junior High School. Ms. Cox is committed to improving mathematics education and enhancing opportunities for all students. With a focus on educational equity and excellence, she seeks to make a meaningful impact on the field of mathematics education. In her free time, she enjoys building Legos and watching the Reds play.

Image of woman 

Maria Edwards

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School (Lawrence County)

6th-8th grade English

Maria Edwards is a middle school teacher at St. Vincent de Paul Middle School in Bedford. Mrs. Edwards retired from the public school system in 2021, but soon found she missed the classroom and students. In 2023, she was very happy to take an English teaching position with St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School. When not teaching, she enjoys gardening in and around her greenhouse and reading.

Image of woman 

Mary Dinkel

Fayette Elementary School (Vigo County)

5th grade general education

Mrs. Dinkel is a fifth grade teacher in Terre Haute, Indiana. She has taught for six years and also has her administrator license. She loves working with students and helping them find success in their education. In her free time she loves to read and volunteer in her community.

Image of woman 

Mickie Magnuson

Jonathan Jennings, Northaven, Thomas Jefferson, and Pleasant Ridge elementary schools (Vigo County)

2nd-5th grade English language arts and mathematics

Ms. Magnuson is a high-ability teacher in Jeffersonville. She has been an educator for 26 years. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and practicing yoga, in which she finds a great source of relaxation and creativity.

Image of woman 

Molly Oros

Valparaiso High School (Valparaiso County)

9th-12th Advanced English 9, AP English Language & Composition

Molly Oros has been teaching high school English in Valparaiso for ten years. During that time she has also directed and choreographed many drama club productions and has served as Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) coordinator for the school's International Baccalaureate diploma program. She devotes her time outside of school to teaching dance, running, reading, and spending quality time with her husband and dog Baxter.

Image of woman  

Nicole Schadek

Purdue Polytechnic High School Englewood (Marion County)

9th-12th special education

Nicole Schadek is a Mentor Special Education Coordinator in Indianapolis. Coach Schadek has been a special education teacher for 11 years and has been a track and field coach for 6 years. Her favorite things about teaching and coaching are trying new – sometimes unconventional – things and building lasting relationships with students, parents, and staff to encourage all of her students and athletes to be the best versions of themselves. She and her family enjoy quality outdoor time, sun, sports, and spending time with family and friends.

Image of woman 

Raeanne Yatska 

New Castle High School (Henry County)

9th-12th family and consumer sciences

Mrs. Yatska is a high school Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher in New Castle. She has taught a variety of family and consumer sciences classes for ten years. She enjoys reading, cooking, yoga, and traveling with her husband.

Image of woman standing in a classroom 

Sarah Elrhanjaoui

William Tell Elementary School (Perry County)

3rd grade general education

Sarah Elrhanjaoui is a third-grade teacher at William Tell Elementary School in Tell City. Ms. E has been an educator for nine years and loves helping students meet their personal goals, and build confidence. She loves spending time with her family and learning about the latest literacy research through journals, blogs, and podcasts. She also enjoys playing soccer, swimming, kayaking, and running.

Image of man wearing glasses 

Shawn Charlton

Bartholomew County Youth Services Center (Bartholomew County)

4th-12th grade general education, remediation

Shawn Charlton has been an educator in secure detention at the Bartholomew County Youth Services Center in Columbus for 17 years. He works with students who range in age from 10-19, and covers multiple subject areas. He is a certified facilitator and trainer in a handful of different cognitive programs and professional development topics. Shawn continues to be active in two community theatre organizations, where he has served as a director for youth performances and a leader of an annual week-long summer camp for young actors. Shawn also manages his own entertainment company that allows him to travel the state as a live musician and DJ. He enjoys traveling and spending time with his three favorite people: his wife, son, and daughter.

Interested in learning more or getting involved, but not a member of the fellowship for this year?

The Summer Institute for Creative Teaching is a training workshop for Indiana educators. Through hands-on experience and collaboration with peers, participants will learn effective and innovative teaching strategies to implement in their classrooms. The program includes engaging artistic activities and opportunities to explore how creative teaching can enhance curriculum. This training will occur in conjunction with the training for the Indiana Educator Fellowship for Creative Teaching.

July 10-12, 2024

Herman B. Wells Community Center at Lebanon High School (510 Tiger Way, Lebanon IN, 46052).

Learn more about the Summer Institute for Creative Teaching.