Award Year: 2013

Morgan Township Elementary School

299 South State Road 49
Valparaiso, IN, 46383-7976

(219) 462-5883

Michelle Friesen-Carper, Principal at time of Nomination

East Porter County School Corporation

School Website


To deliver education for all in a child-friendly environment, preparing students to become productive members of society and life-long learners.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 94%
  • Hispanic: 4%
  • Two or more races: 1%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

Northwest Indiana’s Morgan Township Elementary is one of three in the East Porter County School Corporation. Our growing rural township’s 3,500 residents enjoy 92% owner-occupied housing and 28% bachelor’s degree completion. Of our 310 students, four percent are Latino, one percent black or multiracial, and twelve percent qualify for free or reduced lunch.

The Morgan Township School also houses a middle/high school, providing collaborative opportunities for our students including after school tutoring and building-wide learning initiatives. We share teaching staff with the High School, and engage older students as classroom assistants and role models.

In 2001, Morgan’s standardized test scores were around 60% passing. Our challenge has been convincing experienced faculty of the values of data-driven pedagogical redesign, and collaboration.

To that end, our curriculum maps have been structured to Common Core standards. We analyze data to inform our instructional needs and initiate changes utilizing the mantra “plan-do-check-act”. Staff participate in professional development activities which have included Six +1 Writing Traits, Singapore Math and KJ Data Analysis. Our weekly schedule includes time for Professional Learning Communities to meet; grade level teams meet daily.

In addition to academic success, our students are highly motivated to help others, annually contributing to charities including Riley Children’s Hospital, heart research, and our food pantry. Last year, through strong community support for our Reading Counts program, a dollar was contributed for every book read by one of our students generating $13,847 for Heifer International.

As a school, we are dedicated to development of the whole child. We challenge our students to higher academic achievement and care for our world, encouraging them to be productive members of our society.