The Journal Gazette
Monday, July 05, 2021 1:00 am

Local first graders' book wins honor

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Efforts by a Cedarville Elementary School teacher to build confidence in her first graders culminated with a prize in a nationwide contest rewarding student-authored books.

Studentreasures Publishing honored “Super Special Me!” by Karen Augustine's class as a Top 50 book in the 2020-21 National Book Challenge, according to a news release.

The contest was open to more than 60,290 books submitted to Studentreasures for free publishing this past academic year, the release said. Finalists were selected based on originality, storyline and illustrations.

Augustine described their book as a precious keepsake. The students were inspired by how they see themselves and what they want to be when they grow up, the release said.

“Helping to build up my first graders' self-confidence was an important component to this very different mask-wearing and social distancing school year,” Augustine said in a statement. “Really taking time to have the kids create their own book pages celebrating ways they are unique and special, and then having all their hard work and effort published into hardcover- and softcover-bound books, was a wonderful way to do just that!”

As a finalist, the class will receive a $50 gift card, and each student will receive a published author certificate, the release said.

“At Studentreasures, we are fortunate to witness tremendous creativity and talent from classrooms around the country and all students who publish their own books,” Chad Zimmerman, president and chief executive officer of Studentreasures, said in a statement. “We especially congratulate Ms. Augustine and her students for earning this unique achievement and completing a project that provides lasting memories and a one-of-a-kind keepsake.” 


• Online registration for currently enrolled East Allen County Schools students starts July 23. Registration is from noon to 7 p.m. July 28 and from 8 a.m. to noon July 29 for all schools except Southwick Elementary School and Prince Chapman Academy. Their hours are from noon to 7 p.m. July 27 and from 8 a.m. to noon July 28. Classes begin Aug. 11.


• Trine University's 31st annual Alumni & Friends Scholarship Golf Outing is set for Aug. 6 at the university's Zollner Golf Course. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, range balls, cart, lunch and dinner. Cost is $125 for golfers taking on the course at 7:30 a.m. and $150 for those wishing to start at 1:30 p.m. To register, go to or contact O'Shea Owens at or 260-665-4129. The deadline is July 23.


• The Indiana Commission for Higher Education extended the application deadline for the STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund grants until Friday. The grants are awarded to Indiana organizations and colleges to support programs that recruit, prepare, place and retain educators in schools with teacher shortages in science, technology, engineering and math subject areas. The grant application and budget worksheet are available on the agency's website,

• Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw's Ivy Works Programs received a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. The Ivy Works program is an employment and training program to help students receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits enroll and complete short-term certificate programs at Ivy Tech. The funding will be primarily used to support tuition and book fees.

Indiana Tech

• Indiana Tech students now have a seamless path to becoming licensed teachers through a partnership with the Education Division of the University of Saint Francis. Made possible through Saint Francis' Transition to Teaching program, Indiana Tech students can add a teaching license – in elementary, special, middle and secondary education – to their area of study, enabling them to pursue teaching opportunities upon completion. This combined educational experience allows Indiana Tech students to complete their bachelor's degree while working toward an Indiana teaching license. Further, TTT credits transfer directly into Saint Francis' master's in education program. Contact Katie Parrish at 260-422-5561, extension 2467, or for information.


Ryan Ades was named the 2021 Indiana Pharmacy Teaching Certificate Mentor of the Year. Ades is the director of experiential education for the pharmacy program and assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Manchester University.

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Experiential Education Section annually presents the Award of Excellence in Experiential Education to one individual or group for their outstanding contribution to the world of experiential education. With the challenging events of 2020, the awards committee decided this year's award should honor all members of experiential education departments at each of its member institutions. Those honored at Manchester were Ades; Karen Failor, experiential education operations specialist; Kathryn Marwitz, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences; and Raylene Rospond, associate dean of clinical affairs and outreach.


Glen Nakata will begin Aug. 1 as Purdue University Fort Wayne's vice chancellor for financial and administrative affairs. He comes to campus from the University of North Texas, where he recently concluded his fourth year as assistant dean for finance and administration for the College of Education.

Recognition, scholarship

Charis Hall, a high school student from Fort Wayne, was selected from a list of hundreds of students nationwide for a NASA internship at the University of Texas at Austin to analyze NASA Earth and space science data. The internship will entail work with scientists and engineers to conduct authentic research in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics.

• The Friends of the Lincoln Collection announced the winners of its annual art contest for upper elementary and middle school students. This year, the contest was open to all Hoosier students ages 10 to 14 and resulted in 275 digital entries. Local winners included a $300 first place finish by Ka Lay from Northwood Middle School and third place with $100 awarded to Gabrielle Brounts of Maple Creek Middle School.

Jacob Schroeder of Bishop Dwenger High School received a $500 honorable mention prize in the Bill of Rights Institute's essay contest, We the Students. This year's prompt asked about the relationship between equality and justice. More than 6,000 essays were submitted by students nationwide.

• The 2021 Indiana Retired Teachers Foundation Scholarship recipients included Trine University student Elisabeth Cole of Noble County. 

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.

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