The Journal Gazette
Monday, December 20, 2021 1:00 am

Teacher Honor Roll / Education Notebook

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne Community Schools teacher who helped a student dealing with depression has been nominated for Teacher Honor Roll. Her profile follows.

Jacinda (Lettau) Ashby

School: Allen County Juvenile Center (third year). Previously at Wayne High School nine years, South Side High School nine years, Miami Middle School five years and Jefferson Middle School for a year.

Grade or subject teaching: Currently, I have students from grades six to 11. This year I'm teaching middle school language arts and high school history courses.

Education: Attended IPFW for bachelor's and master's in secondary education.

Years teaching: 27

City born: Fort Wayne

Current hometown: Huntertown

Family: Married, two sons, one daughter, five grandchildren and two Morkies.

Book you'd recommend: “Unbowed: A Memoir” by Wangari Maathai. She inspired me with her grit and determination despite seemingly insurmountable odds and threats on her life when she created the Green Belt Movement to restore the environment and employ women in her home country of Kenya.

Favorite teachers: Sally Burtzner at St. Joe Elementary and Mrs. Hart at Northrop.

Favorite teaching memory: A high school student who enjoyed a novel I picked for the class told me he'd never read an entire novel before and didn't like reading before my class. I also loved taking students on trips to museums around our state and in Chicago.

Hobbies: Hiking, gardening, learning about nature and native plants and travel.

Interesting fact about yourself: When I was younger, I enjoyed scuba diving and had the opportunity to dive in Belize several times and in Hawaii.

What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their futures?I would suggest they think about this time period in their life as the time to build their foundation for the rest of their lives. Wise decisions with their money and a focus on learning skills and information will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Recommended by: Lluvia Guerrero

Reason for recommendation: “I would like to nominate her because when I first met (her) at Wayne, I thought she was serious, never seemed to care about others. Then one day I got closer to her ... and she helped me when I was dealing with depression. When I graduated from high school, I cried because she was there for me and seeing that I graduated was a way of showing us she did care about me, she cared about me graduating.” 


Students from Defiance College's social work Macro Practice class conducted their annual Pay It Forward initiative during the fall semester. The course directly impacts community needs by awarding financial assistance. This year, eight seniors in the class awarded $1,600 to Pillars of Success, an organization that helps homeless individuals and families find transitional housing in Henry County, Ohio. The organization plans to use the money to purchase home survival kits, which often contain such items as first aid supplies, thermometers, plungers, sewing kits, home tools and cleaning supplies.


The Grace College School of Business partnered with the American Marketing Association to open a chapter on its Winona Lake campus. Grace is only the fourth school in Indiana to begin a chapter. The group has plans to participate in four community-focused events and help provide marketing services for nonprofit organizations in the community such as Fellowship Missions, Habitat for Humanity and Combined Community Services. Contact Heidi Miller at for information.

• Grace added a degree in professional communication to its course offerings this year. The major is designed to prepare students to communicate effectively in the demanding and complex world of business. The interdisciplinary degree combines principles and practices of three distinct programs: communication, behavioral science and marketing to equip graduates for roles in human resources, corporate management and related fields. Go to for information.


Manchester University will offer a nutrition sciences major beginning next fall. The nutrition sciences major with a registered dietitian nutritionist concentration is designed to prepare students for further study, including fulfilling requirements for acceptance into RDN-eligible master's degree programs. Those planning to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration national credentialing examination for certification as an RDN should follow this track. A minor in nutrition sciences is also available and complements other health science degrees.

• The Manchester Board of Trustees has decided to raze the former administration building on the North Manchester campus. The last employees with offices there moved to other spaces in 2019. The Manchester Chime Bells were removed from the building in August. The work is expected by the end of next summer. Afterward, the area will be maintained as a green space featuring Manchester's mature oak trees and benches with the fountain as its focal point.


• The Community Foundation DeKalb County announced Rowan Tinker of Eastside High School is the recipient of the 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for DeKalb County. Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university.


Patrick Loeffler of Columbia City was part of a Trine University team that placed third in the international ChemE-Sports competition held as part of the national American Institute of Chemical Engineers conference.

Saint Francis

• The University of Saint Francis named Sister Jacinta Krecek as the new director of campus ministry in January. She is a member of the USF theology faculty.

Corey Smith joined the university's College of Health Sciences as program director for respiratory therapy. Smith earned a bachelor's degree at Saint Francis in 2014 and a master's degree in 2016 and most recently served in administration at Dupont Hospital.

• Saint Francis named Mary Jones, a senior at Adams Central High School in Monroe, as the 2021 winner of the full-tuition Pay It Forward Scholarship. The other Pay It Forward finalists – Zaeda Knudson of Homestead High School and Tommy O'Neil of Carroll High School – will receive half-tuition scholarships.

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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