The Journal Gazette
Sunday, May 31, 2020 1:00 am

FWCS board dons parent-made masks

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

As the Fort Wayne Community Schools board ended its May 18 meeting, member Steve Corona made a request for the upcoming introduction of the new superintendent.

“I have a face mask that I wear when I'm outdoors, but I sure would like a FWCS face mask for next week,” Corona said. “If one of the high schools in my area, Wayne or South, has something creative, I would be sure to wear it.”

Board President Julie Hollingsworth offered to make him a facial covering with an old district T-shirt following instructions she found on YouTube.

Corona said he would see whether the Wayne or South Side principals could help him.

“They're cleaning out lockers, Steve,” Superintendent Wendy Robinson said. “They don't have time to make you a face mask.”

But parent Kasey Price did.

Corona, along with other board members and district officials, donned her black and white creations Tuesday while introducing Mark Daniel as Robinson's successor to media outside the Grile Administrative Center immediately after a special meeting approving his contract.

Hollingsworth also ensured the TV and online audience watching the indoor meeting would see the custom masks.

“I wanted to show off my Fort Wayne Community Schools mask,” she said at the meeting's start before removing it, assuring the audience that board members were socially distanced.

Council members praise educators

Fort Wayne City Councilman Glynn Hines on Tuesday congratulated Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson on a successful career in education as she prepares to retire.

Hines, D-at large, noted Robinson's “40-plus years of service at Fort Wayne Community Schools.”

Hines also welcomed incoming Superintendent Mark Daniel, who was selected last week to replace Robinson. 

In his remarks, Councilman Russ Jehl, R-2nd, said experiencing distance learning has “opened my eyes further to what a tremendous job and what a tremendous responsibility it is to be a teacher.”

“Just a shout-out to all the teachers out there, thank you for what you do,” Jehl said. “And also a definitely a shout-out to all the other parents doing distance learning. Some of you have a little ways to go. Hang in there.”

Statehouse endorsements

The Indiana Manufacturers Association endorsed several area residents in races for Indiana House and Senate seats.

Indiana is the most manufacturing-intensive state in America. More of this state's economy and jobs are produced by manufacturing than any other industry, and more Hoosiers work in manufacturing than in any other sector. Policies that help manufacturers help Hoosiers, the IMA said in a news release.

The IMA's Political Action Committee endorsed the following:

• Senate District 13: Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange, in her primary against former prosecutor Jeff Wible.

• Senate District 16: Sen. Justin Busch, R-Fort Wayne, in his primary against former Fort Wayne police officer Tom Rhoades.

• House District 18: The endorsement in the GOP primary goes to Craig Snow over Russell Reahard.

• House District 50: Rep. Dan Leonard, R-Huntington, gets the nod over John Stoffel.

• House District 79: Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, is endorsed over challenger Taylor Isch.

Lugar report card

Federal lawmakers representing northeast Indiana sit on some of the best and worst congressional committees when it comes to overseeing government agencies, programs and activities, according to a new index.

The Lugar Center announced last week that it has developed the Congressional Oversight Hearing Index, which assigns grades to committees since 2009. Committees for the current Congress are graded according to how the frequency of their oversight hearings compares against the historical record.

The Lugar Center – a nonprofit think tank on global issues – said most House committees are meeting or exceeding historical standards, while most Senate committees are not. The House is controlled by Democrats; the Senate, by Republicans.

The center said in a news release that “the most fundamental oversight problem is Congress's failure to consistently assert its prerogatives, thereby ceding authority and power to the executive branch.”

The following grades are through Thursday and will be updated as hearings occur, the Lugar Center said.

Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, is a member of two House committees that receive an A: the Education and Labor Committee and the Veterans' Affairs Committee.

He also is a member of the Armed Services Committee, which receives a C-minus from the Lugar Center.

Senate committees of which Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., is a member and their grades are Commerce, Science and Transportation, F; Finance, D; Foreign Relations, F; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship, A.

Senate committees of which Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., is a member and their grades are Aging, C; Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry, D-plus; Budget, F; Environment and Public Works, D; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, F.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, whose district includes parts of Kosciusko County, is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which receives an F from the index.

The Lugar Center was established by the late Richard Lugar, a Republican senator from Indiana from 1977 through 2012.

Ashley Sloboda and Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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