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  • Marching bands
    Northrop, East Noble, Bishop Dwenger, Concordia, Adams Central and Heritage took home honors Saturday following a high school marching band contest at DeKalb High School.
  • Northcrest students get vision tests
    Nearly 200 first-, third- and fifth-graders at Northcrest Elementary got their eyes checked with the flash of a laser wand Wednesday.
  • Enrollments rising at private colleges
    With an aggressive and new array of offerings and programs, local private universities and colleges are boosting enrollments this year, while public schools are in a slump.
Sarah Janssen | The Journal Gazette
Karin Huttsell, a first-grade teacher at Eel River Elementary, reads a book to her class.

Teacher honor roll/education notebook



School: Eel River Elementary

Grade/subject teaching: First

Education: Bachelor’s from Indiana University and master’s degree from St. Francis College, now known as the University of Saint Francis. She is also National Board Certified.

Years teaching: 34 years

City born and raised: Fort Wayne

Current hometown: Fort Wayne

Family: Married to Ronald Huttsell and has twin sons, Jacob and Nathaniel

Last book read and what you thought of it: “The Otter Spirit” by Judith K. Berg. It was about a journey the author made to study the otter. I enjoyed the book as it told of the author’s spiritual journey as well as informing me of some factual information about otters that I didn’t know.

Favorite class in school: Science

Biggest influence in your decision to become a teacher? My mother was my inspiration as she loved to read and garden and she instilled that love in me. She encouraged me to become a teacher and I love being able to pass my passion about reading and science on to my students.

Nominated by: Jill Eastman, parent

Nomination: “Mrs. Huttsell is a wonderful teacher for so many reasons. Mrs. Huttsell cares about her students and works hard to ensure that each child is able to participate in all activities by going out on her own and receiving grants for field trips and other fun activities. She challenges her students to always do their personal best, and she won’t accept anything less. She is stern while being loving, caring and nurturing. There are so many wonderful things I could say about Mrs. Huttsell. It really is hard to condense it all into one email. Daily, my child comes home with another story of something that Mrs. Huttsell said or did in class that makes us say how thankful we are to have Mrs. Huttsell as our first grade teacher.”


•Weisser Park Elementary teacher Erin Bean was recognized for winning the 2013 Fort Wayne Philharmonic Music Educator of the Year Award, sponsored by Sweetwater Sound. She will be recognized May 18 during the Philharmonic concert. The award honors excellence in music education and includes a $500 prize to be used for music resources.

Madeline Fairman, a sophomore at Carroll High School, was recently accepted to the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities for the fall of 2013. The Indiana Academy is a residential high school located on the campus of Ball State University for gifted and talented juniors and seniors from across Indiana.

•The Fort Wayne Medical Society Alliance has awarded four, $1,500 scholarships to area students: Kari Hackely, a 22-year-old nursing student at IPFW; Carmen Krumanaker, a 22-year-old nursing student at Ivy Tech Community College; Matthew Powell, a 29-year-old radiography student at IPFW and Felisha Ziko, a 21-year-old nursing student at IPFW.

•East Allen County Schools awarded Renita Peters of Leo Elementary its elementary Teacher of the Year Award, and Benjamin Shappell of Leo Junior-Senior High School its secondary Teacher of the Year Award.

•Fort Wayne chapter of Financial Executives International conducted its annual Student Awards Night recently to recognize the outstanding accounting or finance student from each of six area universities. The students who received awards were: Jamon Hammel, Huntington University; Nathan Pratt, Indiana Tech; Emin Afandiyev, IPFW; Benjamin J. Crim, Manchester University; Trevor S. Derby, Trine University; and Zach Baron, University of Saint Francis.

Indiana Tech

•Fifteen students were nominated for Intern of the Year, and the award went to Baily Tom for her internship with OmniSource. Tom is a senior from Monroe, Mich., with a major in business administration-human resources.

Do you have a favorite teacher? Please send us your nominations, including the teacher’s name, school, school district and grade/subject taught as well as your name, phone number and reason for your nomination. Nominations can be sent to Sarah Janssen at The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802, faxed to 461-8893 or emailed to