Gov. Mike Pence visited Northeast Indiana today, and one of his stops was to Haverhill Elementary in Fort Wayne.
The governor honored the state’s teacher of the year during his visit to the school. He also answered questions about the dip in the state’s 2015 ISTEP scores and their effect on teacher evaluations.
Pence gave the Sagamore of the Wabash award to Jean Russell for her accomplishments in education, saying a sagamore is a Native American term used to describe a member of the tribe filled with wisdom and advice.
“It is the highest civilian honor that I as governor can bestow on any citizen, and today it is my high honor to award the Sagamore of the Wabash to Indiana’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, Jean Russell,” Pence said.
His trip to Haverhill Elementary comes a day after he sent a letter to the State Board of Education saying he doesn’t want the state’s lower ISTEP test scores to affect teacher evaluations or performance pay.
“I think you saw here today in Jean Russell the kind of dedication that our teachers have,” he said.
Pence says the the lower scores are because of the transition to new testing standards after the state dropped the Common Core in 2014.