(STATEHOUSE) – State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) honored the 2018 Indiana Rural Teacher of the Year John Harkness with a resolution on Tuesday, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.
The Indiana Small and Rural School Association annually awards a Hoosier teacher who collaborates with the rural community to provide life-long educational opportunities, takes a leadership role in the academic community and leaves a lasting impact on their students.
Harkness has been teaching since 2003 and has taught at West Washington High School in Campbellsburg, since 2005. He teaches a variety of subjects including physics, calculus, trigonometry and more.
Before he got his teaching license, he worked as an interpreter for the deaf for the state of Indiana, spent some time as a receiving supervisor at Kimball Piano and served as a preacher at local churches. Harkness said after those experiences he felt a calling to become a teacher.
“I came to the realization that that’s where I could make the greatest impact, working with young people,” said Harkness.
“I try to give them the skills they need to go out into the community to contribute and make it a better place,” Harkness said. “That just benefits our community if I’m helping students become better adults.”
Harkness said he could hardly believe that he won when he got the email notification. He joked that he had his wife read the email to him and confirm that he had indeed been selected as the Rural Teacher of the Year.
“I’m humbled by it as much as anything,” Harkness added. “I know there are a lot of amazing teachers in our rural communities, and I hope I’m just a good representative of all the other great teachers that are out there.”
INFB is a sponsor of the Indiana Rural Teacher of the Year Award and provides a $1,000 prize to the recipient.
State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) (right) honors 2018 Indiana Rural Teacher of the Year John Harkness (left)
Indiana Farm Bureau contributed to this story.