The Journal Gazette
Monday, July 22, 2019 1:00 am

Teacher Honor Roll / Education Notebook

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne teacher whom a parent described as a ray of sunshine has been nominated for Teacher Honor Roll. Her profile follows.

Jordan Combs

School: Washington Center Elementary

Grade teaching: Second grade

Education: Bachelor's degree in elementary education

Years teaching: Six

City born: Indianapolis

Current hometown: Roanoke

Family: Jeff Combs, husband; Carter, Skylar and Chase Combs, children; Scott and Gloria Millspaugh, parents

Recent book read: “The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines

Favorite teachers: Donna Striker, Liz Sanders, Carrie Nussbaum

Favorite class in school: Math and art

Favorite teaching memory: At the end of every year I get emotional thinking, “How can I possibly love a class more?” Each year I get emotional saying goodbye for summer. Sure enough, each year I get a new class and wonder how I could do any other job. I absolutely love seeing the growth my students make throughout the year, and I enjoy all the little moments that make us laugh and make our days such a fun time! I love when I can see a student reach a goal we have set and want to reach another. The relationships we've built together in my classroom are my most favorite memories!

Favorite extracurricular activity: Playing outside, reading

What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their future? Find your passion and go after it. Be intentional in setting your goals. Choose something that makes you genuinely happy and work hard to achieve your goals! 

Recommended by: Michele Olivarez

Reason for recommendation: “Mrs. Combs is so down to earth and so much a role model. As my daughter Isabella would say, (the way) she greets her students in the morning, she just is a ray of sunshine. My daughter would also talk about that if her or any other student would come in grumpy or blue, Mrs. Combs just knew how to cheer them up in an instant. She makes the kids want to learn and be great leaders.” 


• Bon Appetit and Trine University will host “Taste the Opportunity,” an open house and job fair, from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday in the Whitney Commons Cafe inside the Rick L. and Vicki L. James University Center on Trine's Angola campus. Attendees may try food by Bon Appetit, a cafe on the Trine campus, and learn more about its catering service. Information about employment opportunities also will be available, and managers will accept résumés.


• The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is accepting applications for the Secured School Safety Grant through Aug. 2. Public school corporations, accredited nonpublic schools, charter schools or a coalition of school corporations and/or charter schools applying jointly may apply for the matching grants of up to $100,000, based on average daily attendance. Go to for details.

Indiana Tech

• Indiana Tech has a new online associate degree program in electrical engineering technology that will prepare students for various technical careers. Students will take classes online and perform lab work at home using electronics lab kits. The university will also hold regular, optional in-person immersion events on its main campus in Fort Wayne. Go to or call 800-288-1766 for more information.

Learning Center

Julia Tipton started June 17 as executive director of the Community Learning Center in Kendallville. A longtime educator, she most recently served as principal at Waterloo Elementary School.


• Mensa testing is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 5 with registration beginning at 6:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Wayne St., Fort Wayne. Participants should park on the Berry Street side of the church, enter through the main door off the parking lot and come to room 304. Cost is $39.99, and a photo ID is required. Testing is for those 14 and older. Contact Dan Klopfenstein at 260-710-0030 or for more information.


• Nominations are due July 31 for the second annual Welcoming Fort Wayne Diversity Awards. The ceremony is Sept. 19 at Purdue University Fort Wayne. The awards honor accomplishments of outstanding immigrant and refugee people and groups or organizations that have shown a commitment to multiculturalism. Search “Welcoming Awards for Diversity” at for the link to submit a nomination.


Mark Snyder joined Southwest Allen County Schools on July 1 as its new business manager. Jim Coplen, who served in the position 23 years, accepted a new role within the district – the owner's representative for the Homestead High School construction project. Coplen will coordinate, facilitate, oversee and monitor the design, procurement and construction phases of the upcoming building project on behalf of SACS.

• Teach Plus Indiana named Summit Middle School teacher Andrew Lutz as one of 20 educators selected for the 2019-20 Indiana Teaching Policy Fellowship.

Scholarship, recognition

• Questa Education Foundation announced the Allen County recipients of Questa Scholar funding for 2019: Desmond Alston, Sierra Anderson, Ashlynn Armstrong, Jasmin Armstrong, Hope Baker, Lyric Barva-McCarty, Bethany Bauer, Rachel Bixby, Mary Grace Bookmyer, Cassidy Boyce, Grace Buhr, Kayla Bunkowske, Forrest Cunningham, Alexis DeJohn, Olivia Dickerson, Ella Doron, Alexandria Ebetino, Morgan Foust, Hector Garrido, Evan Garver, Yahnea' Gentry, Kara Gerber, Abigail Holmes, Mackenzie Igney, Aubrey Jester, Austin Layton, Brayden Layton, Valeria Lopez, Katherine Moravec, Danh Ngo, Aidan Ocken, Benjamin Overman, Joseph Parnin, Megyn Pfeiffer, Alexander Reichard, Allison Reid, Adam Scheiner, Carrie Scott, Makenna Sheets, Sebastian Spieth, McKenna Stahl, Joel Staples, Emily Stetka, Zachary Trocchio and Zachary Wood. Students are given low-interest, forgivable loans to help reduce their college debt through Questa Scholars.

• Building Contractors Association of Northeast Indiana announced Emily Hower received the $2,500 Presidential Merit Scholarship and Joel Deininger received the $2,000 Michael H. Kinder Jr. Memorial Scholarship.

Hajira Khan, owner of Kiddie Academy of Fort Wayne, received the Star Maker 2018 award at Kiddie Academy's Annual Conference in San Diego.

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

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 at least two weeks before the desired publication date.

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Top headlines are sent daily

Share this article