Teachers from three Indianapolis metropolitan school districts (MSD), plus a Butler faculty member, will be honored when the College of Education presented the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards on May 11.

Nominated by fellow alumni and COE staff, award recipients include:

  • Linda B. Watkins B.S. ’03Director of Exceptional Learners, MSD Decatur Township.
  • Sharon McCarthy M.S. ’81Reading Specialist/Remediation Coordinator, North Central H.S., MSD Washington Twp.
  • Courtney Curts Pflugner ’06Grades 2 & 3 Special Needs Teacher, Liberty Park Elementary, MSD Warren Twp.
  • Angela Lupton ’92, M.S. Counseling ’01Assistant Dean/Instructor in Elementary Education, Butler University.

The awards recognize the recipients’ ongoing commitment and service to elevating the field of education, outstanding leadership, and contributions toward the vision of the college.

Linda WatkinsLinda Watkins

Watkins oversees all special education programs and Section 504 plans for Preschool–12th grade for Decatur Townships nine schools. A district administrator praised Watkins for her self-direction, willingness to find solutions to difficult situations, and decision-making always “based on what is best for students.”

She provides ongoing professional development for all special education staff, supervises nursing staff and actively participates on the Superintendent’s cabinet, the curriculum and instruction team, and administrative team.

Sharon McCarthySharon McCarthy

A teacher since 1976, McCarthy has worked with struggling students at NCHS for more than a decade. Under her leadership and advocacy of educational equity, the school has developed numerous socio-culturally appropriate programs to support English language learners.

Through her work with Butler College of Education’s Project Alianza, McCarthy lead creation of NCHS’s Bridge Program, which supports English learners as they enroll in and complete advanced placement courses. Under her direction, the program expanded, resulting in English learners graduating at higher rates; many are now college-bound.

Courtney PflugnerCourtney Pflugner

A primary resource teacher at Liberty Park since 2006, Pflugner works with students who have special needs, ranging from learning and emotional disabilities to mild mentally disabled to autism. Her nominator said Pflugner “goes above and beyond to be creative, innovative and inspiring in her classroom,” enabling all her students to make academic gains. Her peers selected her as her school and district’s Teacher of the Year for 2009.

The Butler men’s basketball team’s run to the NCAA 2010 national finals inspired Pflugner to incorporate principles of “The Butler Way” into lessons for her students on personal character and citizenship. Students focus on the team’s commitments to be responsible, caring, respectful and cooperative.

Angela LuptonAngela Lupton

Lupton has more than 20 years of experience in education as an elementary classroom teacher, middle school nonprofit director, consultant and teacher educator. She has frequently written and presented at conferences on Asset-Based Thinking in education and teacher leadership.

A student said of Lupton: “She is not only concerned with students’ academic achievements; she is also personally invested in every student, regardless if they are in the College of Education.”

Lupton serves as a member of the COE administration team, chair of the Recruitment, Retention and Recognition Committee, co-chair of the NCATE Standard 3 committee, and editor of the college’s annual Year in Review.