Carmel, IN – Katie Biltimier, Special Education Teacher at Carmel Elementary, has been awarded the 2020 Stephen A. Backer Teacher of the Year for Carmel Clay Schools.
This year’s Teacher of the Year presentation took some skill and creativity, with school buildings closed and virtual learning taking place. Biltimier received the surprise announcement at her home, complete with decorative yard signs, flowers, balloons and a car parade led by School Resource Officer Matthew Broadnax. Carmel Elementary Principal Megan Klinginsmith, Assistant Principal Rebecca Nickless, Superintendent Dr. Michael Beresford and other school administrators celebrated her achievement from a safe distance. Biltimier will now represent Carmel Clay Schools at the Indiana Teacher of the Year competition which will be held in the fall.
An educator of 24 years, Biltimier began her career at Carmel Clay Schools in 2012 as a Special Education Instructional Assistant at Prairie Trace Elementary. In 2013, she joined Carmel Elementary as a Special Education Teacher. In her time at CE, she has served as a Lead Teacher and on numerous school and district committees. Biltimier earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication & Theatre with a minor in Special Education from Indiana University. She earned her Masters of Education from Olivet Nazarene University.
One nomination described Biltimier as a dedicated educator who is patient, kind and an advocate for all students. “Katie models patience, engagement and supportive strategies to help all kids,” read one nomination. “She easily forms relationships with students and families making them feel safe and loved. She fiercely advocates for students while still holding them to a high standard, consistently looking at the big picture, helping set them up for success now and for the future. Katie sees the best in everyone; sees the potential in everyone and is highly respected by her peers because of her initiative, excitement, ingenuity and hard work.”
Carmel Elementary Principal Megan Klinginsmith was honored to recognize Biltimier. Klinginsmith said, “I’m thrilled for Katie to receive this award and be able to celebrate her work as a special educator. It is a privilege to work alongside Katie each day. She inspires educators around her with her devotion to students, eagerness to collaborate, and incredible work ethic. Katie always puts children first, and we all love working with her.”
Dr. Michael Beresford, Superintendent of Schools, extended his congratulations to Biltimier on earning the achievement. “I am so happy for Katie and offer my congratulations and gratitude for her service to our students,” he said. “She has committed her life’s work to helping students who learn differently and need a creative and caring teacher to help them tap into their strengths and to engage in all that school has to offer. We are thankful for her work and proud to have Katie represent Carmel Clay Schools!”
About Stephen A. Backer Teacher of the Year
Stephen A. Backer Teacher of the Year nominations are made by students, parents, and colleagues each spring. A selection committee consisting of teachers and administrators thoroughly reviews the nominations, conducts interviews with both the candidate’s principal and nominator, and then selects a recipient in April. The CCS Teacher of the Year is endowed by the Stephen A. Backer Teacher of the Year Award through the Carmel Education Foundation. This award was created in memory of Mr. Backer, who served on the CCS Board of Trustees from 1994 to 1998 and from 2006 until his passing in March of 2009. Mr. Backer held the position of school board president for five of those years and is remembered as an advocate and supporter of Carmel Clay Schools. Donations in support of the award can be made through the Car
mel Education Foundation at http://www1.ccs.k12.in.us/foundation/home.
To read about previous CCS Teacher of the Year winners, please visit the Carmel Clay School website at http://www1.ccs.k12.in.us/private/current-employees/teacher-of-the-year.