By Kallie Sulanke, Community Engagement Officer—
MUNCIE, Ind. – Dr. Thomas Arnold received the Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching Award from The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. to recognize his creativity and innovation in the classroom.
Arnold, a history teacher at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities, was nominated by the former Director of Academic Affairs at the Indiana Academy, Dr. Jeff Smith, for his creativity in bringing art and art history together in his American History and American Government classes. Arnold is a recipient of multiple Robert P. Bell Education Grants from The Community Foundation that supported art bringing history to life for his students.
“For some of his students, the art experiences are the most meaningful lessons of the entire course,” wrote Smith in his nomination of Arnold. “Through his lessons, Dr. Arnold demonstrates to students that history is not just textbooks, statues, or other types of fading and decaying documents – history is a living thing.”
Arnold has been a teacher at the Indiana Academy since 2004. Today he serves as a classroom teacher as well as Chair of the Humanities Division. Through his leadership position, he has encouraged and supported his colleagues to apply for and utilize Bell Grants, resulting in more creative and innovative learning opportunities for the students in his school.
“I had the privilege of being able to observe one of Dr. Arnold’s projects during a classroom visit in 2019,” said Carly Acree-King, program officer at The Community Foundation. “I personally witnessed Dr. Arnold’s excitement for sketching Muncie history, and I watched it overflow and inspire his students who worked on their projects.”
Arnold was surprised with the award during a small ceremony at the Indiana Academy on Friday, September 17. The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities received a $1,000 for use in Dr. Arnold’s classroom from The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County to commemorate the award.
The Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching award was established to complement the Robert P. Bell Education Grants program and honor teachers who have gone above and beyond to use creativity and innovation to enhance learning by their students. The annual program rewards, recognizes, and encourages extraordinary educators who have applied for, received, and executed a Robert P. Bell Grant from The Community Foundation in their classroom. For more information about the Robert P. Bell Education Grants, please visit The Community Foundation’s website at cfmdin.org or contact Carly Acree-King, Program Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.