Andrew Todd of Mary Castle Elementary Named Teacher of the Year
Writer / Matt Keating
Photography Provided by Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township
Andrew Todd, a sixth-grade teacher at Mary Castle Elementary School, is proud that he won the Teacher of the Year award for the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, and says he enjoys teaching his students to be leaders.
“I just finished my ninth year at Mary Castle, all of which have been in the sixth grade, where I teach all sixth-grade subjects,” Todd says. “I hope a few things that others saw when they visited my classroom were high expectations for all students, rigorous learning tasks, and a genuine love for my students and my position at Mary Castle. I want my students to be leaders in the building, and we strive for a classroom environment where students collaborate on virtually everything and play an important role in deciding how they’re going to practice a particular standard.”
One of the many reasons Todd won the award is that he goes out of his way to help his students.
“I think I go the extra mile to build relationships with my students, whether that’s inviting a small group back to the room for lunch, spending my prep time talking through a concern with a student, or attending a sporting event or performance for a student,” Todd says.
Todd loves teaching the sixth grade at Mary Castle, and doesn’t miss an opportunity to let his students, families or administration know it.
“I think Lawrence Township teachers are some of the hardest-working teachers in the city, so to be selected to represent our district as the Teacher of the Year is a huge honor,” Todd says.
Teaching and coaching are the only two things Todd ever wanted to do professionally, and he considers himself fortunate to be able to pursue both passions.
“I was in the fifth grade the first time that I realized I wanted to be a teacher,” Todd says. “I always thought I’d be a high school social studies teacher, but I decided not to major in education as an undergraduate at Wabash College. Instead, I studied history and religion, knowing there were alternate paths to the classroom if that’s what I ultimately wanted to do.”
After graduating, Todd stayed a fifth year to earn a high school teaching license, but he never ended up teaching at the high school level. He was offered a sixth-grade teaching position at Mary Castle in the summer of 2013, and he has been there ever since.
Todd loves the career choice he made.
“My parents raised my siblings and me with a service mindset,” Todd says. “We teach kids that they have to do their part to ensure that the classroom runs smoothly. Our work is no different. Being a teacher provides me an opportunity to serve the community the best way that I know how. We are doing our part to ensure that this next generation of Hoosiers are socially, emotionally and academically fit to carry the torch when their time comes.”
Todd believes his students made the school year special.
“I’m a pretty competitive person, and this particular group of 30 students really responded to the high expectations and collaborative environment that I try to establish in my classroom,” Todd says. “They let me push them all year, we built great relationships along the way, and at the end of it all, many showed a ton of growth when it mattered most.”
In addition to a great group of students, Todd says he worked with an awesome team of sixth-grade teachers.
“Everyone brought something different to the table and we achieved a lot of success as a grade level,” he says. “The people I spent the majority of my time with this year made the year so special. My class and my team brought out the best in me daily and I couldn’t have reached this milestone in my career without them. I am honored to represent all of the hard-working teachers of our district whose thankless effort is making the world a better place, one day at a time.”