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Northpoint Teacher Named 2024 Elementary Teacher of the Year

Dr. Thacker surprises Nichol Mondy with news that she's been chosen as PHM's 2024 Elementary Teacher of the Year


National Teacher Appreciation Week kicked off with Penn-Harris-Madison Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker Monday surprising 3rd grade Northpoint teacher Nichol Mondy that she had won the district’s Elementary Teacher of the Year!


With the help of Northpoint Principal Lorraine White, a handful of P-H-M district administrators, and news crews, Dr. Thacker surprised Mrs. Mondy she had won this year’s award. Click to watch the video below. You can also click here to see the photo gallery on Northpoint’s website.


Mrs. Mondy is in her 12th year with P-H-M and all at Northpoint; she started as a Teacher’s Aide at Walt Disney. Mrs. Mondy started out as a kindergarten teacher, but has chosen to stay a 3rd grade teacher so she can continue to coach Northpoint’s 3rd grade Spell Bowl Team, which has quite the record!


The joy of teaching is different for every teacher. For Mrs. Mondy, her joy comes when a “huge guitar shaped package arrives;” she gets “giddy!” Every year in time for Arbor Day, Mrs. Mondy orders 100+ free trees for every student in 3rd grade to take home and plant.


“I want my students to see that they can do great things,” says Mrs. Mondy. “Just knowing the correct answers to their weekly test will not change our world for the better.” 


Prior to the P-H-M Education Foundation purchasing Spheros for all 11 elementary schools, Mrs. Mondy was already hard at work helping to build this new culture of robotics integration at Northpoint. She worked with the PTO to purchase a set of Sphero Bolts and Interactive Game Balls for the school. By helping her fellow teachers learn code and how to utilize the new resources in their classrooms, she in turn was instrumental in helping all Northpoint students learn coding. She then used the bots for after school learning clubs, as well as school day projects and learning experiences.


Mrs. Mondy put her creativity to work and organized Norhpoint’s own “Macy's Day Parade.” Third graders programmed their Sphero Bolt to hold a balloon and make it go a specific distance down the hallways. She was the perfect person to help organize Northpoint’s first STEM night this past April. The hope is that this is the first step that will lead to the IDOE naming Northpoint a STEM Certified School. 


Whether it’s with trees or robots, Mrs. Mondy continues to help her students grow, learn and try new things. 


Mrs. Mondy also serves as Northpoint’s High Ability and Academic Coordinator and leads the school’s Teacher Leadership Team (TLT). In her TLT role, she leads discussions with her fellow teachers on how to make lasting impacts on student learning, solving problems and finding solutions, and advocating for the learning potential of every student.


When it comes to her students, Mrs. Mondy says she always tries to remember that children grow up to be adults and that teachers, and others have lasting impacts, “There are always times to show the sweet kids love, but what the class will notice most is when you show love to ones that push away that love. You show that you care when it is hard to love.”


Northpoint Principal Lorraine White says of Mrs. Mondy, “She is one of those people who brings joy to all those around her. She has a contagious joy about her that makes people laugh—students, staff and community members alike.”  


During the week of May 6, Dr. Thacker will also surprise the winners of the Secondary Teacher of the Year and Classified Employee of the Year. All winners will be officially recognized at P-H-M’s Employee Recognition & Retiree Dinner on Wednesday, May 22nd. Along with a plaque, the two Teachers of the Year will also receive a grant from the P-H-M Education Foundation to use in their classroom. Both TOY winners will go on to compete for Indiana’s Teacher of the Year, which will be announced in early Fall 2024 by the IDOE.