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Cass County Community Foundation
(574) 722-2200
Katie Easter Named

Katie Easter Named

The Cass County Community Foundation today announced Katie Easter as the 2022 recipient of the “Elizabeth A. Billman Excellence in Teaching Award” during the end of school year awards at Lewis Cass Elementary School.   Deanna Crispen, CCCF President & CEO and Tim Rich, Board Chairman made the announcement and commended Easter for her devotion to her students, colleagues, professional development, and community. Crispen said, “Elizabeth Billman was an educator, administrator, mentor and role model for young women and teachers. When we thought about ways to honor her legacy, this award, to encourage teachers early in their careers, was the result and we know Liz would be proud we are continuing her legacy through the award.”   Easter, who teaches first grade at Lewis Cass was nominated by her principal, Mrs. Jaqueline Berkshire who said of her, “Miss Easter has created an environment where every child feels welcomed, loved, and valued.” Her nomination shared that Katie uses fun and humor to make lessons engaging, educational, and challenging using common items like Mr. Potato Head , sticker charts and a “March Madness Dr. Seuss Bracket” to promote academic achievement and learning. Berkshire continued to praise Miss Easter for her work ethic and commitment to the classroom saying, Katie is always pushing herself to grow as a professional and recently completed Orton-Gillingham Certification and currently serves on the implementation team for the Indiana Center on Teach Quality.   The excellence in teaching award was established in 2021to honor the long legacy of Billman. Elizabeth had served faithfully on the Board of Directors of the Cass County Community Foundation for a period of 16 years, serving two terms as Chairman of the Board of Directors and was on the Board of Directors at the time of her passing.   Mrs. Billman retired as principal at Thompson Elementary School, now known as Lewis Cass Elementary. She also taught in the Southeastern School Corporation, beginning her teaching career at Washington Township School. She was a member of the Lewis Cass Alumni Association where she received the Distinguished Service Award. Liz served in the Southeastern School Corporation for 38 years.   Easter was selected for the award from a pool of nominees submitted by elementary building principals of grades K-6  from all county schools, who most exemplify Elizabeth’s commitment to the students under her care, as well as embodies her thirst for knowledge, learning, and commitment to community service.   The award consists of a $500 stipend for the teacher and a commemorative plaque. A permanent plaque is on display at the CCCF Office to honor each year’s recipient.   For more information or if you have questions, please contact Deanna Crispen, President & CEO, Cass County Community Foundation Inc. 574-722-2200.