Thieme and Webb named as HCCSC’s Teachers of the Year

Thieme and Webb named as HCCSC’s Teachers of the Year
Posted on 05/26/2023
2023 Teachers of the YearAndrews Elementary School third grade teacher Debbie Thieme and Riverview Middle School choir teacher Danielle Webb have been named as HCCSC’s Primary and Secondary Teachers of the Year for the 2022–23 school year, the district announced during the annual end-of-year awards program on Friday morning.

Thieme holds a bachelor’s degree from Huntington University and master’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University and has spent the last 27 years teaching at Andrews across second, third and fifth grade. Thieme has also served Andrews as a literacy coach, new-teacher mentor and as a member of the crisis prevention and intervention team, in addition to coaching both basketball and cross country.

Thieme particularly enjoys teaching about science, saying she loves teaching units about plants, the solar system and rocks and minerals. Perhaps most notably, Thieme especially enjoys the Star Lab project, something she has led for over 15 years. The Star Lab is a large inflatable portable planetarium. Once students climb into the dome, Thieme turns the lights off and turns the stars on, then showing the students various constellations and how to find some of the most well-known groups of stars, as well as telling various stories associated with the stars.

“Running the Star Lab for my school each year is not only exciting for the students, but it also ties in academic standards in a fun way,” Thieme said. “When I tell the constellation stories, I explain that these stories are myths and legends, which is a special genre of reading and writing. I encourage the students to look in the library for these stories about constellations or write one of their own. The Star Lab also brings science standards to life. It is hard to comprehend how the Earth is rotating and revolving throughout the year. Seeing the constellations and explaining how ancient people used these pictures in the sky to determine the seasons helps to better understand how Earth moves.”

Thieme also cherishes the opportunities that various field trips provide for students and enjoys getting to share these hands-on experiences with her students.

“Debbie Thieme exemplifies a servant teacher’s best characteristics and deserves the 2023 HCCSC Elementary Teacher of the Year award,” said Lynn Brown, who leads the teacher of the year selection committee. “Mrs. Thieme’s love of her students, community and science shapes the opportunities she develops for her students. She extends the learning that begins in the classroom to encompass learning in the Star Lab, at Ag Day and on various field trips around our community. Students do not learn what scientists do; they become scientists in her classroom and during field experiences. Mrs. Thieme consistently supports new and student teachers, serves on a series of committees and supports her peers as a literacy coach. Her commitment to her students, school and community demonstrates the best of HCCSC.”

Webb holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ball State University and has taught within HCCSC for 25 years. Webb has served the district in countless ways in both the music and vocal realms and has also served on leadership teams, been a student-teacher mentor and cadet-teacher mentor and STEAM co-teacher.

Webb believes in each student’s ability to connect with and grow through music. Webb’s strategy of helping students along at their own pace provides a unique and individualized experience allowing students to maximize their engagement and interaction.

Providing a variety of activities is something Webb takes pride in, as her goal is for every student who walks into her classroom to want to be a part of a program in the music department. Webb enjoys creating an environment of excitement and loves showing students that they are more talented than they realize, something she hopes her students take with them as they move throughout their lives after school.

“Danielle Webb works tirelessly to support and develop the talent of HCCSC students in performing arts,” Brown said. “She has not only produced outstanding programming for her students at Riverview; she has worked with Mr. Aaron Childress, Huntington North High School choir director, to include all HCCSC middle school students in performance opportunities. Her love for her students and performing has been channeled into opportunities for students to grow as performers but equally as essential to developing their leadership skills, confidence, the ability to work as a team member and a servant mentality. Mrs. Webb is an excellent example of the effort the HCCSC teachers put forth to support every student and is very deserving of the HCCSC 2023 Secondary Teacher of the Year award.”

Thieme and Webb will represent HCCSC in the 2024 Indiana Teacher of the Year nomination pool.
2023 Teachers of the Year
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