Carmel High School English teacher wins highest annual honor Current Editions

Katie Overbeck, an English teacher at Carmel High School, holds her Teacher of the Year sign. (Photo courtesy of CCS)

Katie Overbeck, an English teacher at Carmel High School, admitted that she got bored easily if she did the same thing for very long.

But that was not the case when it came to his 20-year career at the CHS.

“Every teaching year is a different year,” Overbeck said. “The work does not get old and does not get bored, because the year is not the same from one year to another. Every year we welcome a new group of students, so that’s 100 new faces and 100 new life experiences.

Overbeck’s enthusiasm for her work helped her win the 2022 Stephen A. Backer Teacher of the Year Award for Carmel Clay Schools, presented May 5 at an annual banquet.

Overbeck, a 1993 CHS graduate, said she knew she was one of eight high school teachers who had been selected to attend the banquet.

“I was surprised they chose me as the district teacher,” said Overbeck, who is completing her 20th year of teaching at the CHS. “It’s a great honor now that he’s able to sink in a bit.”

Although every year is different, nothing has been like what teachers and students have faced since the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close in March 2020.

“Over the past two years, there has only been a series of adjustments as we dealt with different schedules and the pandemic,” Overbeck said. “It has made us all aware of meeting the children where they are and adapting even more than we do in a typical year to what they need. The past two years have shown that those of us who can adapt and adapt can continue to have a positive impact on children. We are all aware that it was more difficult in the formative years for teenagers and young children than it was for us, the adults who have come back.

Overbeck is the coordinator of the International Baccalaureate program and volunteers to work with various student and staff committees and extracurricular activities.

Overbeck earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in 1997. She previously taught English at Forest Park High School in Georgia before joining Carmel Clay Schools.

“Katie Overbeck is remarkable to watch in the classroom,” said CHS Director Tom Harmas. “The level of commitment and leadership she provides is what makes Carmel High School a special place for our students.”

Overbeck said it was nice to receive recognition from parents, colleagues, administrators and, most importantly, students at the banquet.

“It’s nice to know that the work you do every day has meaning in their lives,” she said. “That’s what we all seek to do, but we don’t always hear it directly. In this forum, we could hear it directly, so it’s reassuring about the work we do on a daily basis.

As the district winner, Overbeck is entered into the Indiana Teacher of the Year contest.

Overbeck and her husband, Dan, a graduate of North Central High School, have three children. Steven, a 2021 CHS graduate, recently completed his freshman year at the University of Miami (Ohio). Ellie will be a senior at CHS this fall and Emily will be in eighth grade at Clay Middle School.

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