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Two area teachers among three finalists for 2023 Indiana Teacher of the Year

Jason Beer from Homestead High School
Jason Beer from Homestead High School

Two Northeast Indiana teachers have been named finalists for Indiana’s 2023 Teacher of the Year.

Jason Beer, from Homestead High School, and Tara Cocanower, from Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District, are two of three finalists for the award.

Beer is an english teacher at Homestead, who was named Southwest Allen County Schools’ Teacher of the Year for 2022 in May. He’s introduced a new class at the school, Novel and Screenwriting, which began this school year.

Cocanower is an AP U.S. history teacher at Bluffton High School in her 11th year of teaching. Cocanower’s students achieved an 85 percent pass rate on the 2022 AP U.S. History exam, while the state average is 45 percent.

The third finalist is Joshua DeBard from Lebanon High School.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.