Wideman honored as Teacher of the Year nominee

Krislyn Horton, Reporter

The Teacher of the Year award is an award given each year to recognize a teacher who has gone above and beyond.. This year, 18  teachers from Indiana were chosen and nominated for the award. Deanne Wideman, a teacher at McKinley, was one of the nominees. 

This year, nominees were invited to attend the College Football Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The weekend leading up to Monday’s game was full of professional development opportunities and events. 

“This experience was like no other experience. I wish all teachers could experience this at some point,” Wideman said. “We were pampered. We had gear that we wore every day to distinguish us as Indiana teachers.”

At the start of the game, the teachers took the field holding flags representing different conferences. 

“I was extremely nervous. I did not want to fall and trip on national TV. Words cannot describe what it felt like to be part of such a huge opening production,” she said.    

Wideman has been working in education for 27 years. She started teaching color/winter guard at KHS in 1999 and started as a business education teacher two years later. She made the move to McKinley 11 years ago. 

“In 2011 I became the Graduation Facilitator at McKinley while continuing to direct the color/winter guard.  Kokomo Schools is my home,” she said. 

But for Wideman, one highlight of the weekend was having the chance to represent Kokomo. 

“I just want to say how very proud I was to represent Kokomo School Corporation.  I was the only teacher from an alternative school so to represent Simon Academy at McKinley Alternative School as well as Kokomo High School was a true honor and blessing,” Wideman said. “ To be able to share the different academies, programs, AP classes, Career Center, fine arts, etc. that are offered at Kokomo Schools with a group of educators was a true gift.  I had a teacher ask me why I thought our school was able to offer so many options.  My response was forward thinking leaders, teachers, school board, and community.  I loved being able to share all the great things our school system has to offer.”