Behning: Local lawmakers meet with students, educators at Southport Elementary

Behning: Local lawmakers meet with students, educators at Southport Elementary

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Thursday, August 9, 2018 11:16 am

STATEHOUSE (Aug. 9, 2018) – With area students back in the classroom, several House lawmakers teamed up to meet with Southport Elementary students and educators on Tuesday.

State Reps. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) and Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis) toured the school while engaging in conversations with teachers and administrators on how legislators can help students and educators succeed.

The lawmakers sat in on professional development training led by a master and mentor teacher. According to Behning, Southport Elementary is a TAP (Teacher Advancement Program) school, which allows educators to step into leadership roles like becoming master and mentor teachers while remaining in the classroom.

“Each school faces unique challenges and puts into place innovative solutions to help students succeed inside and outside the classroom,” said Behning, chair of the House Committee on Education. “Over the years, one of the main conversations I’ve had with teachers is their desire for a mentor and to advance in their profession without leaving the classroom. Southport is taking significant steps to ensure its teachers have a great support system to help both educators and students grow.”

A panel of teachers answered legislators’ questions and discussed what Southport Elementary is doing to drive student success and what state policies are working. Kirchhofer said in some classrooms, nearly every student is learning English as a second language, and educators are focused on engaging students at every level, regardless of language barriers or skills.

“It’s encouraging to hear from educators and learn what they are doing to prepare the next generation of Hoosiers,” Kirchhofer said. “Indiana is fortunate to have some of the best and most dedicated teachers in our classrooms. Students are coming to school with more complex needs, and conversations with teachers and school leaders are critical to ensure state policies reflect classroom environments.”

After observing different classrooms and learning more about day-to-day operations of the school, Speedy said Southport Elementary is working with parents and students to ensure kids are learning and applying valuable skills every day. 

“Watching kids engaged in learning and excited to be at school is a truly rewarding experience,” Speedy said. “As a parent, I know how crucial a positive classroom environment is for early development. Teachers are creating lessons and finding ways for students to solve real-world problems, and they are doing a great job making learning fun and relevant to life outside the classroom.”

Southport Elementary School is among 11 elementary schools in the Perry Township School Corporation, which serves nearly 16,300 students and is the second fastest-growing school district in Indiana.


State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,

which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.

State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) represents House District 89,

which includes portions of Marion County.

State Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 90,

which includes portions of Marion County.


PICTURED: State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) joins the conversation with a teacher panel at Southport Elementary School on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. Behning, chair of the House Committee on Education, visited the school to meet with educators and observe classroom instruction.