FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) First, Jean Russell was named Teacher of the Year. Now, the Southwest Allen County Schools educator is the recipient of the state’s highest honor.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Wednesday honored Russell with a Sagamore of the Wabash award in a ceremony at Haverhill Elementary School.
Russell, a literacy specialist at Haverhill and a 25-year veteran teacher, was named Indiana’s 2016 Teacher of the Year earlier this month by state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz.
Wednesday, it was Pence’s turn to honor her.
“With more than 25 years of experience and numerous awards and recognitions to her credit, Jean Russell has dedicated her career to our kids,” said Pence. “I was pleased to learn that she has been named Indiana’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, and I’m honored today to recognize her further with a Sagamore of the Wabash, a tribute to Hoosiers who have rendered distinguished service to the state and contributed greatly to our Hoosier heritage. Like the many dedicated teachers in our state, Jean Russell does Indiana a great service in the classroom each and every day to ensure that our kids get the education they deserve.”
Russell talked to NewsChannel 15 after the ceremony about her new honor.
“I’m overwhelmed and so privileged and mostly just so honored and happy to represent the teachers of Indiana who are working so hard for boys and girls every day, and I just really appreciate that being recognized, and I share this with all of my colleagues around the state who I know right now are in classrooms doing great things for boys and girls.”