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Sarah Powley

Sarah Powley (IN '93)

Instructional Coach for Secondary Teachers

Tippecanoe School Corporation
Lafayette, IN

At the time of the Award, Sarah Powley was:

McCutcheon High School
Lafayette, IN

Grade(s): 9, 11, 12

Biographical Information

"I cannot picture myself in a job that doesn't allow the level of creativity, the measure of independence, and the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives that teaching has provided me," says Sarah Powley, English teacher and department chair at McCutcheon High School in Lafayette. She led the development of a model Honors English curriculum in the Tippecanoe School Corporation, and spearheaded an interdisciplinary program called "Beyond the Pages" to promote reading, literature and the arts through visits from nationally recognized authors such as W.P. Kinsella and poet Gwendolyn Brooks. In 1998, Powley pursued her interest in international education as an exchange teacher in Russia, and participated in a three-year program of student exchanges with a secondary school in Pskov. She and two colleagues established an International Club at McCutcheon, in which students conduct various overseas service projects. In 2006, Powley received a Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship Award to travel to Rwanda, where she served as a guest teacher while studying the country's 1994 genocide. Powley has made numerous presentations on teaching the Holocaust—including presentations about The Children of Willesden Lane—at Indiana Department of Education workshops and National Council of Teachers of English conferences. In 2009 she was awarded the Lowell Milken Center's Milken Fellowship. In 2009 she was also recognized for her work in Holocaust education with the Irena Sendler Award. She is involved in the promotion of secondary education for students in Rwanda and Burundi and has presented professional development workshops for teachers of English in Rwanda.

Personal Message

My current emphasis is on International Education. I've been an exchange teacher in Russia (1998) and conducted a successful three-year program of student exchanges with a secondary school in Pskov, Russia. At my school I initiated and sponsor the International Club, a extra-curricular program that broadens students' horizons through participation in a number of inter-cultural activities including overseas service projects. Through our affiliation with the Peace Corps, our group has raised funds to electrify a rural school for the deaf in Kenya and equipped a school library in El Salvador with books and computers. We have also raised funds for a school in India and have paid tuition fees for a secondary student in Rwanda for six years. In recent years I have worked with the Milken Family Foundation to promote Mona Golabek's The Children of Willesden Lane, completed a fellowship at the Lowell Milken Center and, with my students, published Volumes I and II of Unsung Heroes in Our Community. I am currently involved in supporting Every Child is My Child, a non- profit organization that funds secondary school scholarships for boys and girls in Rwanda and Burundi.

Related Connections

Milestone: Sarah Powley (IN '93) Honored by Purdue University

Article: Without Words – Teaching English Language Learners (ELL)

Article: Graduation: Pomp and Circumstances

Sarah Powley In The News

Five honored as Purdue Distinguished Education Alumni
Purdue University Online  |  Oct 24 , 2017  |  West Lafayette, IN

Without Words – Teaching ELL Gazette  |  Aug 03 , 2015  |  La Jolla, CA

Pomp and Circumstances Gazette  |  Jun 01 , 2015  |   La Jolla, CA

Set the Stage for a Productive Parent Conference Gazette  |  Oct 01 , 2014  |  La Jolla, California

Additional Information


1965 DePauw University, B.A.

M.S., Purdue University 1985


2009 Lowell Milken Center Fellow

International Education