School: Cedarville Elementary School
Grade teaching: Second
Education: Bachelor's degree in education from Ball State University and master's degree in education from IPFW
Years teaching: 23 years
City born: Fort Wayne
Current hometown: Harlan
Family: I've been married to my husband, Scott Berning, for 25 years. We have two daughters, Brittany and Bailey, both of whom are students at IPFW.
Favorite teachers: My favorite elementary teacher was my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Whitehead. She was so kind, compassionate and made learning fun. In high school, my favorite teacher was Mrs. Etzler. Her laughter and sense of humor were infectious as she opened my world to classical works of literature. Finally, my lifelong teacher has been my mother, Ann Whitcraft. At the age of 84, she continues to be my greatest cheerleader. Her unyielding love and support along with her words of wisdom have always helped to put my life into perspective.
Favorite class in school: Biology
Favorite teaching memory: I have had a multitude of special memories in my 23 years of teaching. Most have been filled with joy and laughter, while some have been filled with tears. The best part of this job has always been making connections with my students and being present in their lives. It always warms my heart when I see students showing kindness to one another, helping others in need and accepting each other's differences.
Favorite extracurricular activity: I love traveling! My favorite adventure was a two-week Alaskan cruise.
What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their future? My advice would be to surround yourself with positive influences. People who will build you up and not tear you down. People who are willing to guide, mentor, push and help you to reach your fullest potential. Remember to empower yourself with knowledge and skill, but not to lose sight of who you truly are. Be authentic, kind and show compassion to others. My last piece of advice is from the legendary Will Rogers, “If you want to be successful, it's just this simple. Know what you are doing, love what you are doing and believe in what you are doing.”
Recommended by: Elisabeth Hall
Reason for recommendation: “Mrs. Berning has seen the goodness in my daughter and helped me to appreciate even more what a wonderful little girl I have. I feel like we were meant for each other. She is so much more than a second-grade teacher!”
• Bishop Luers High School will host an open house from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Prospective students and their families may learn about the school, including financial aid, sports, clubs and curriculum. Enter through the main gym doors. Visit www.bishopluers.org for more information.
Contests and recognitions
• Submissions for the nationwide “Choices in Education” video contest will be accepted through Dec. 1 at www.ChoicesInEd.org. Students, parents and alumni of educational choice programs may share how their choice made a difference in their lives. Awards include $15,000 to three grand-prize winners. Winners will be announced during National School Choice Week, Jan. 22-26.
• Prekindergarten through ninth-grade teachers have through Dec. 10 to enter the Pets in the Classroom Habitat Contest. The prize is a $100 Visa gift card. Visit www.PetsintheClassroom.org for more information.
• Hamilton Junior-Senior High School's yearbook program was named a 2017 Jostens' National Yearbook Program of Excellence. The program is led by Tiana Kuhn, Tiffany Smurr, Thomas Marks, Lindsey Olson, Lauren Ackerman, Ally Baysinger, Tori Creager, Anna Harmes, Alexia Likens, Hannah Wade and Ethan Wilson under the direction of adviser Jennifer Wells.
• The Aspire Campaign for Grace College & Seminary has reached $30 million of its $37 million goal. The campaign launched publicly in the spring. Construction is underway as fundraising continues. One featured project, the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex, is slated for completion in summer 2018. Visit www.grace.edu/aspire for more information.
• Huntington University's Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies was selected for the Agriculture Future of America's University Growth Initiative. It received funding to send three students and a member of the faculty or administration to the 2017 AFA Leaders Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Two additional Huntington students applied and were accepted to attend the conference.
• Ivy Tech Community College received notification from the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission that it was approved for two competency-based education program offerings. The credentials – software development technical certificate and business operations, applications, and technology technical certificate – will be available in April. Competency-based education is a flexible way for students to learn at their own pace and is best suited for employees already in the workforce who need credentials or additional skills; those who are underemployed; or unemployed individuals who have earned prior college credit.
• Ivy Tech's Fort Wayne Campus is offering a patient care technician associate degree program, which prepares students with skills such as taking vital signs, performing electrocardiography and drawing blood. Visit www.IvyTech.edu/patientcare for more information or contact Cindy Chenoweth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-2092. It is also offering a psychology degree program intended for transfer to a four-year school. Visit www.IvyTech.edu/psychology for more information or contact Patricia Kemerer at email@example.com or 480-2025.
• Ivy Tech and Kaplan University have partnered to create a statewide reverse transfer agreement for students who have transferred to Kaplan University prior to completing their associate degree at Ivy Tech. Transfer policies and conditions apply.
• Paul Lowell Haines was installed as Taylor University's 31st president last month. He succeeded Eugene B. Habecker, who is now Taylor's president emeritus.
Students and parents who have a favorite teacher can nominate the individual for Teacher Honor Roll. Send nominations to The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email email@example.com at least two weeks before the desired publication date.