Warsaw teacher wins AFA’s Teacher of the Year award

A local teacher has won a national award for his role as an educator.

Benjamin Barkey of Warsaw Community Schools is the recipient of the 2017 National Teacher of the Year award from the Air Force Association (AFA).

Rolls-Royce President of Defense Aerospace Phil Burkholder says the Teacher of the Year program ensures America’s aerospace excellence by supporting the teachers that carry out that mission in the classroom.

“We congratulate Mr. Benjamin Barkey on his recognition by the Air Force Association for exemplary efforts to further Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education,” said Burkholder. “STEM is crucial not only to the future of the US Air Force, but also to RollsRoyce, as we design and manufacture some of the most advanced propulsion systems in the world. We are proud to sponsor the AFA National Teacher of the Year program and offer our sincere thanks to all the teachers around the US who work every day to educate the engineers of tomorrow.”

A press release from the AFA credits Barkey’s enthusiastic efforts for STEM opportunities available at Warsaw Community Schools, including its mobile STEM Laboratory that takes STEM learning to all elementary schools in the district.

Warsaw Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert says Barkey has made contributions as a leader and a teacher both within the schools and the community.

“BAs the educational environment continues to respond to new challenges, Mr. Barkey develops creative approaches so that students continue to achieve excellence in the years ahead. His service to our schools has led to the creation of a roadmap of K-12 STEM education through the Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Institute, which will impact many future generations,” explained Hoffert.

Barkey’s influence has meant so much that Dr. Hoffert calls the growth of STEM education in the school system “the Ben factor”.

Ben Barkey started teaching middle school science and math. He was a lead facilitator at Indiana’s first STEM certified School, Washington STEM Academy.

STEM programs have defined Barkey’s philosophy throughout his 15-year teaching career.

“ STEM is not just a four-letter acronym—it is an educational style; the tool for today to prepare for tomorrow,” said Barkey.