PCSC Teacher of the Year logo

For a teacher, the respect of your students, their parents, and your colleagues is hard to top. For that reason, Plainfield's Teacher of the Year process includes nominations from staff, with the final selection committee made up of school and community stakeholders.

Due to COVID-19, Indiana's 2021 Teacher of the Year program was set aside, instead honoring all teachers throughout the state for their heroic efforts to pivot to online learning, practically overnight.


  • 2023 Karisa Schwanekamp, Guilford

  • 2023 Nathan Ellis, PCMS

  • 2022 Liza Payton, PHS

  • 2021 All Teachers

  • 2020 Adam Ferguson, PHS

  • 2019  Ann Mennonno, Clark Creek

  • 2018  Brad DeHoff, PCMS

  • 2017  Michelle Burress, PHS

  • 2016  Jonelle Heaton, PHS

  • 2015  Krissy Sullivan, Brentwood

  • 2014  Susan Ament, PHS

  • 2012  Natalie Boyer, Brentwood

  • 2011  Andrea Birke, PHS

  • 2010  Elizabeth Fisher, PCMS

  • 2009  Judy Reed, Brentwood

  • 2008  Chris Cavanaugh, PHS

  • 2007  Joan Effinger, PCMS

  • 2006  Susan Gabonay, Brentwood

  • 2005  Teri Carpenter, PHS

  • 2004  Larry Castor, PCMS

  • 2003  Mary Winters, Van Buren

  • 2002  Laurie Gatlin, PHS

  • 2001  Jon Arvin, PCMS

  • 2000  Teresa Walters, Van Buren

  • 1999  Ray Saxman, PHS

  • 1998  Martha Jennings, PCMS

  • 1997  Nell Voelker, Van Buren

  • 1996  Carol Kellogg, PHS

  • 1995  Don Dones, PCMS

  • 1994  John Chapin, Van Buren

  • 1993  Jerry Hankins, PHS

  • 1992  Kathy Owen, PCMS

  • 1991  Pat Lilly, Brentwood

  • 1990  Bruce Milburn, PHS

2023 Plainfield Teachers of the Year

Standards and expectations for teachers are high in Plainfield. We work diligently to hire the best teachers possible, making sure that the students in this district are getting the best -- every year. Rigorous standards make sure that there isn't a doubt that the Plainfield Teacher of the Year is truly an outstanding educator.

We have two Teacher of the Year recipients--one at the Elementary level and one at the Secondary level.

Abigail Carter is Plainfield's 2024 Elementary Teacher of the Year. She is a first grade teacher at Guilford Elementary. Mrs. Carter works hard every day to make sure her students are learning all that they can, which she approaches with our Bringing Joy to Learning mission in mind. Whether it’s themed days, first grade community-wide experiences, shopping in the "store" or procuring Valentine cards from all over the world, she makes sure that her students leave school with the best experience they can. Her passion, dedication, and energy are contagious and her students, fellow teachers, and administrators see it personified daily. She also has served as the Guilford Elementary PTO president for the last two years, working hard to make sure that students and teachers have exceptional experiences all school year long.

Elaine Townsend is Plainfield's 2024 Secondary Teacher of the Year. She teaches Project Lead the Way: Biomedical Sciences classes at Plainfield High School. Mrs. Townsend challenges her students to look critically to find problems and solutions. In her PLTW Biomedical Sciences classes, her students are encouraged to take part in hands-on experiential learning, which helps knowledge retention. From dissections, clay organ system recreations, Stop the Bleed training and more, Mrs. Townsend makes sure to create impressions on her students that last for their entire time at PHS. Her classes are challenging, but year after year, students clamor to take the next level course because of the excitement that she brings to learning. She is also the co-chair sponsor of the HOSA club, which takes high school students to the elementary schools to participate in STEM-focused activities.

These educators deserve this high honor and we know that they represent us with pride at the state level.

Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Townsend, we are proud of you!