High school chemistry, physics teacher earns top honor


Franklin’s teacher of the year started the profession as her second career.

Beth Foraker, chemistry and physics teacher at Franklin Community High School, initially began working as an environmental chemist in Indianapolis after earning a chemistry degree from University of Miami Ohio.

This month, she was named the teacher of the year at Franklin Schools.

Teaching has been a family profession. Her sister, mom and grandfather all taught.

But when she was a senior in high school picking what she wanted to study in college, her mother asked her not to become a teacher because of struggles she was facing as a Spanish teacher at the time.

So, Foraker took her love of chemistry another direction.

A few years into her work, she conducted a training seminar, and her boss told her she should be a teacher, she said.

She went back to school part-time, eventually earning her teacher certification from the University of Indianapolis. She taught in Tipton and landed in Franklin 14 years ago.

Teaching allows her to change lives and fulfills her — something she wasn’t getting as an environmental chemist, she said.

“It’s sort of like leaving a legacy; educators have the option of inspiring hundreds of students,” she said.

Now, her mom regrets influencing her original career path, she said.

“Now she says, ‘I am so glad you didn’t listen,” Foraker said.

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Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at mkritsch@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2770.