Phelps, Burkett have big plans

BD teachers earn Teacher Creativity Grants from Lilly


Many of you may not have heard of the Eli Lilly Company Teacher Creativity Grant, but two of our teachers were recently awarded these grants.

Science teacher Brad Phelps will spend most of his summer traveling to Africa and Europe while English teacher Kate Burkett will see some of the natural beauty of Canada. All on Eli Lilly’s dimes.

“It will be a trip of a lifetime,” Phelps said. “It is something I have always wanted to do so to get the chance is very exciting.”

Phelps and Burkett found out just before winter break that they would be receiving the Teacher Creativity Grants. Eli Lilly annually awards 100 grants of $12,000 to teachers across Indiana. For 2018, Eli Lilly had 450 applications and Phelps and Burkett were two of the 100 chosen.

“You hope to have a proposal that catches their attention,” Phelps said. “This year I did.”      

Phelps called his proposal “Walk Like an Egyptian” and his idea will take him to Italy, Egypt and Jordan.           

“I had been teaching about science in these places for years,” he said. “Now I will have the first-hand experience.”

Phelps has been a teacher for 25 years teaching about a variety of places he has never been. Therefore he wrote a proposal to go to the places that he teaches. Such as seeing the monuments, a tour of Italy, visiting Jordan, and even wanting to visit Egypt.

He mentioned that he has many students who are Muslim so he also wants to learn more about their culture and travel to the location to get the real feel of the ethnicity.

Phelps trip will last 25 days and will also include a camping excursion in the middle of the summer in the desert.

Burkett also won this award but her proposal was different from most. Standing out from others and being honest and dedicated to herself is what she believes lead her to be one of the winners.

“My proposal is very unique, very different, and what I’m am doing requires a lot of math and money, which isn’t in the field of an English teacher,” Burkett said.

Her proposal was to be able to attend classes to learn how to build a website about teaching and giving tips on how teachers could budget their money. She also plans on taking her family on a trip to the national parks of Canada for a two-week retreat.

She plans to be working on her website while vacationing.