Our March 3 Dream Big event featured one of the highlights of our year--the Teacher of the Year awards. This week we're introducing all three award recipients on our blog.
Francita McMichel, a Sixth Grade Mathematics Teacher at Raymond Park Intermediate School, received our Teach Like a Champion Award. With this honor she received a $1250 cash prize to be used as a personal reward (courtesy of the Slaughter family) and a $2000 scholarship from the American College of Education. Congratulations!
Francita McMichel has established herself as one of Warren Township’s most passionate and dedicated educators, helping her students, fellow staff members, and the Warren Township community.
Raymond Park Intermediate Academy’s principal, Stephen Gainey, writes that McMichel compassionately and selflessly “leads the charge to meet the needs of those lacking school supplies, those in poverty, those who hunger, and those who have a general uncertainty about what life will bring tomorrow.”
In her 19 years of teaching she has strived to remove the intimidation from learning, making it both fun and applicable to the real world. This is a tall order for a math teacher who confesses to have not been the best math student herself. But it is overcoming this personal shortfall that enabled her to understand the struggles and challenges her students have with the subject. It is this empathy that, through her encouragement and guidance, 80-90% of once struggling students are passing and achieving in math--many at an accelerated level.
In the classroom she sets high expectations for success while making sure they are supported to the extent that failure is a rare possibility. In her school she champions the success of her colleagues, frequently providing professional development information and, more importantly, supplies from Teachers’ Treasures.
Outside of the classroom she is deeply committed to improving the lives of her students as well as the lives of those who live, work, and pursue their education on Indianapolis’s predominantly disadvantaged east side. Knowing that her kids and other east side students can’t learn if basic needs are not being met, she volunteers at Warren Food Pantry to see that her students and their families are nourished and clothed.
At school she assures that all incoming students flowing into Raymond Park are stocked with basic school supplies. Fearful that the students who exit her classroom at the end of the year will lack what they need the next year, she sends students off well-equipped with supplies.
McMichel’s expressions of compassion, her professional dedication, and her selfless service to the education and the community at large are just some of the many reasons we’re proud to honor her as a Teach Like a Champion award recipient! Congratulations!
Teachers' Treasures supports Indianapolis area teachers and students in need by distributing free school supplies through our teacher store. Learn more here.