Andrew Goodwin ’97 has been named 2009 Battey National Educator of the Year by DePauw University. Goodwin teaches at Covenant Christian High School in Indianapolis.
The DePauw award honors a teacher who inspired a current DePauw Honor Scholar during his or her high school years. The award includes a $6,650 honorarium for Goodwin and a $2,850 grant to the high school for programs at Covenant Christian.
Goodwin was nominated by current DePauw student Todd Schmid, a senior on the Greencastle campus. "My Spanish education soared through Goodwin’s meticulous planning, and tireless commitment to intellectual curiosity," Schmid wrote.
Schmid praised Goodwin’s immersive lessons which including singing, salsa dancing, and life lessons in Spanish. "He is a lifetime teacher, mentor, and friend," Schmid said.
That immersive learning experience for students motivates the former Wabash Lambda Chi.
"My dream would be incomplete, however, if I were not able to make service-learning and academic travel abroad possible for my students, just as Mom and Dad made such experiences possible for me," Goodwin said. "Since 2001, I have organized 6 affordable mission trips for students and their parents to build houses in Tijuana and conduct medical clinics and construction projects in Piedras Negras, Mexico. These trips have been funded by odd jobs, student-led banquets, carwashes, bake sales, and personal donations. To date, 129 students, parents and Covenant faculty have been able to serve according to their talents and build relationships abroad through student interpreters. "
Covenant’s CEO, Brian Hudson, praised Goodwin who has taught there since his Wabash graduation. "He is not just a great teacher, but truly one of the best I’ve ever seen. He creates such an atmosphere of encouragement, acceptance and excellence that even students who are not linguistically inclined enjoy his courses. He has impacted more lives than he will ever know."
Goodwin didn't always dream of being a teacher. "My professors, friends and family had long encouraged me to develop what they recognized as a gift for teaching, but I had something else in mind, something supposedly more exciting," he said. "I dreamed of getting paid to travel and interact with Hispanic cultures through the Spanish language, all with which I had fallen in love during that summer in San Luis PotosÌ and had become enloquecido during an academic year in Guadalajara, Mexico. Little did I know that becoming a Spanish teacher would not only be the challenging answer to my dream, but it would also become my greatest passion."
Besides teaching Spanish, Goodwin coaches golf, cross country and drama.
A gift by Charles and Joan (Westmen) Battey created the endowment which funds the new award. Mrs. Battey is a 1954 graduate of DePauw.
With some material courtesy DePauw University Public Affairs.