Multicultural News

Indiana teachers’ association names Minority Educator of the Year

INDIDANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indiana educator has taken home a major honor.

Anthony Dean is the Indiana State Teachers Association Minority Educator of the Year. He is a special education teacher at Greenbrier Elementary. His colleagues nominated him for the recognition because of the work he puts in every day to inspire the students and his co-workers.

Dean says the need for more Black educators is not lost on him, but the focus is making sure his students know their futures are bright.

If you ever had any doubt on the impact Dean has on his students, just listen to them cheer him on. The honor was quite the surprise for someone who doesn’t really like surprises.

Dean said, “I do what I do because I love my kids. I love working in the school district, and I love working with teachers.”

His colleagues the honor was his time to shine, and for people outside Greenbriar Elementary’s walls to see it.

Keith Gamble, president of teachers’ association, said, “It’s important now more than ever we are lifting up our educators of color, and making sure that folks know about the great work that they are doing.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on teachers, but Gamble says Dean continues to show up and do the work, and is an inspiration for others to follow his lead.

Dean said, “I have a big task and I have a big job, and I take that very seriously.”

For most of the kids at Greenbriar, Dean may be one of very few Black male teachers they’ll ever have.

Gamble said, “Too often in Indiana we have students who will go through their entire education system without ever seeing an educator who looks like them. So we want to change that dynamic.”

Dean says the state and country has room to help build that diversity, but his key characteristic is his commitment and care for these students. “I want them to become our future leaders because they are all smart students.”