Trine University’s Franks School of Education will host Tara Cocanower, Indiana’s
2023 Teacher of the Year, at its annual Excellence in Education Speaker Series on
The event will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Fabiani Theatre inside the Rick L. and
Vicki L. James University Center, and will be free and open to the public.
Cocanower is a passionate educator at Bluffton High School, where she teaches world
history, Advanced Placement world history and a principles of education course.
Cocanower graduated from Norwell High School before attending the University of Southern
Indiana, where she graduated with honors and earned bachelor’s degrees in history
and secondary education. She was a member of the women’s golf team and earned all-conference
and academic all-American awards.
After college, Cocanower served in Romania in the Peace Corps as an education volunteer
She has worked for the Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District since 2014,
where she is a coach, club sponsor and leader among her fellow teachers.
Cocanower was honored as the 2022 Bluffton-Harrison Teacher of the Year before being
named the 2023 Indiana Teacher of the Year. She believes in creating an equitable
and engaging learning environment for all students, supporting students’ social-emotional
development, enhancing social studies literacy and empowering students to be world-changers.