The standards and expectations for teachers are high in Plainfield. We hire the best of the best, and hold everyone accountable. So when it comes time for the Teacher of the Year process, there is no question that the person selected is truly an outstanding educator.
Earlier today, Superintendent Scott Olinger visited a classroom to share the news that PHS English teacher, Liza Payton, has earned the title of Plainfield Schools 2022 Teacher of the Year. From the reaction of her students, it’s clear that they appreciate the significance of the honor and agree with her selection.
Liza left Pike Township for Plainfield in 2004. With wide-ranging courses that include Freshman Honors English, an English remediation course, to courses that focus on novels and etymology, and two AP courses plus a Dual-Credit Composition course (offered through Indiana University), Liza’s strong, but quiet personality reaches many students every day.
With a philosophy that serious learning should be grounded in fun, interesting and engaging work, it’s no surprise that her students look forward to class. Whether it’s the annual March Madness Literature tradition, her creation of games to introduce problem solving, repetition and communication skills to the learning process, or her focus on communication and collaboration in the daily class experience, Liza shares her own love of learning with students.
Of course, classroom instruction and impact is a significant part of the Teacher of the Year consideration, but community service is also considered. Liza is the founding sponsor of the PHS Interact Club, which is related to the International Rotary program, and affiliated with Plainfield's Rotary chapter. Interact chapters must serve their local community, while also taking on an international service project. As the club sponsor, Liza’s role is to allow club members to learn about leadership while making their own decisions, at the same time helping them understand the importance of scope and reality. Along the way, students and Liza have discovered that their capacity to meet big goals should never be underestimated.
Over the summer, Liza will complete the in-depth application to the Indiana Department of Education’s state Teacher of the Year program, and all who know her have no doubt that she is an excellent candidate for the state's highest educator award.