A Fort Wayne Community Schools teacher who takes the time to understand her students has been nominated for Teacher Honor Roll. Her profile follows.
School: St. Joseph Central Elementary
Grade teaching: First grade
Education: Bachelor of Science in elementary education from IU Bloomington, Master of Education from Indiana Wesleyan University
Years teaching: 14
City born and current hometown: Fort Wayne
Family: Husband, Nick, and sons, Preston and Spencer.
Book you'd recommend: “I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids” by Kyle Schwartz. Children's books – “What Do You Do With an Idea?” by Kobi Yamada and “What Do You Do With a Problem?” by Kobi Yamada.
Favorite teachers: Mr. Johnson was my favorite elementary teacher at Harris Elementary in Fort Wayne. He had different ways of making learning fun and memorable. Mr. Hislope was an amazing English teacher at Northrop. He really cared about his students. Ruth Hart was an excellent leader and mentor for Northrop Teaching Academy. Linc Record was an excellent speech teacher and leader at Northrop. I was reluctant to do the speech team, but he encouraged me to continue, and I ended up loving it!
Favorite teaching memory: My favorite memory each year is to see the light bulbs go on in students' heads when they understand a concept. My favorite long-term memory is hearing about the successes of students that I had in kindergarten and/or first grade. Last summer, I was able to attend a high school graduation party for a student that I had in kindergarten and first grade!
Hobbies: Here are some of my favorites: Spending time with my family and friends. Watching my boys play hockey. Go Force! Playing golf with my mom and my boys in the summer. Going to the lake with my family during the summer. Watching IU basketball and Colts football.
Interesting fact about yourself: I realized that I wanted to be a teacher when I was in the third grade. I really enjoyed helping grade papers and putting stickers on papers that were well done! My love only grew for the occupation in high school and college when we were able to intern and volunteer in classrooms helping students. I found out just how much of an impact that teachers had on students.
What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their future? Be proud of all of your accomplishments in all aspects of your life. “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.” – Zen Cho
Recommended by: Multiple parents, including Amanda Jarvis.
Reason for recommendation: “My son came into her classroom last year as a transfer student from Northcrest Elementary School. During this time, my son had been diagnosed with autism, intellectual disability, ADHD and many other things. He had already had an IEP (individualized education program) when coming into her classroom. Not only did she prepare herself by reading his IEP and all about him, but she took the time to really get to know him and his quirks.
“With that being said, I never thought in a million years he would be able to read, let alone be able to function in a general education setting! She is truly an amazing teacher who takes the time to learn her students and build a connection with them.
“On top of this, my son was going through a lot of things medically and his behavior was not the best at school. She took her time to help him through these behaviors. After each meltdown he would have, she would let him rest or focus on fidget toys. Also, to prevent any meltdowns, she would let him be the line leader. There are many amazing things I could say about Mrs. Stephenson.”
• Proposals are due at 5 p.m. Feb. 7 for the Indiana Teacher Residency Grant Pilot Program, which provides $15,000 per teacher resident position to support their year-long residency. Students teach alongside an experienced mentor teacher, preparing them for the classroom after graduation. The program is modeled after medical residency and apprenticeship programs. Eligible applicants include school corporations with an existing teacher residency program. Go to www.in.gov/che/4519.htm or contact Eugene Johnson at TeachRes@che.in.gov for information.
• Grace Theological Seminary was awarded a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to prepare pastoral leaders for Christian congregations. As part of the grant-funded effort, Grace will introduce a residentially tethered financial model that will support the expansion of online offerings while investing in courses offered at the seminary's Winona Lake campus.
• Indiana Tech's supply chain management certificate is available to students statewide through Indiana's Workforce Ready Grant, which is part of the state's Next Level Jobs program. The initiative provides state residents with free training in high-paying, in-demand industries. Qualifying students can have the entire cost of an undergraduate certificate from Indiana Tech covered by the grant. Go to indianatech.edu/CERTIFICATES for information about the university's undergraduate certificate programs.
• Ivy Tech Community College will make transcripts of all students available regardless of whether the student owes a balance. Withholding transcripts has been a common way for higher education institutions to incentivize students to pay debts, but the practice makes it difficult for students to transfer and continue their education. The new policy, which doesn't forgive debt, affects as many as 82,000 students statewide.
• Holly Glentzer, a Fort Wayne Community Schools teacher, appeared in episode 79 of the game show “You Bet Your Life” with Jay Leno. It aired Dec. 2. “It was an amazing experience,” she said.
• Paramvir “Vinny” Chandpuri of Fort Wayne was among 19 people who received the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given to recognize Ivy Tech alumni.
• Indiana University Fort Wayne graduated 33 students from the School of Nursing's four-year program and six from its RN-BSN program on Dec. 17.
• Seth Roop, a Heritage Junior-Senior High School senior and a national patient ambassador for Shriners Children's, will be a featured patient riding on the pediatric hospital system's float in the Jan. 1 Rose Parade. He was treated for scoliosis at the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital.
• The following Trine University students were among those honored during the university's fifth annual STEM Research and Design Symposium: Colin Goebel of Auburn, Carter Gonzalez of Leo-Cedarville, Blaik Rumsey of Angola, Mary Padilla of Leo-Cedarville and McKenzie Brouk of Angola.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks before the desired publication date.