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Sarah Janssen | The Journal Gazette
Perry Hill Elementary School teacher Dawn Widdifield, this week’s Teacher Honor Roll nominee, reads a story to her kindergarten class.

teacher honor roll



School: Perry Hill Elementary

Grade teaching: Kindergarten

Education: Indiana University

Years teaching: 16

City born and raised: Fort Wayne

Current hometown: Fort Wayne

Family: I have two daughters Courtney, 19 and Caitlin, 16

Last book read and what you thought of it: Most of my reading is picture books that I read to my class. I have a favorite one I like to read the first day of school, “The Kissing Hand,” by Audrey Penn because it discusses leaving home for the first time and attending school and all of the feelings that happen with this event, and the children are able to make connections to the story and discuss their feelings about this subject.

Favorite class in school: Language arts/reading.

Biggest influence in your decision to become a teacher? My mom has been my biggest influence in everything I have done in life. She has taught me how to be strong, independent, confident, as well as being sensitive to others and their needs.

Nominated by: Rebecca Fruth, parent

Nomination: “I would like to nominate Mrs. Widdifield for being an outstanding asset to the school. Not only does she do an amazing job at teaching the students the necessary subject matters, but she reaches out to the children where they are, stretches them and helps them to be better than they think they can be. Children respond well to love and she does a wonderful job at loving those children and reiterating the values we teach in our home. She is a great communicator to us, the parents, and listens to our questions and concerns and then takes action.”


•Three graduating high school seniors pursuing animal-related careers were each awarded $2,000 Lawrence A. Ackerman Scholarships from the Fort Wayne Zoological Society. The 2013 recipients are Alyssa Hunter of Bluffton High School, Kelly Piepenbrink of Homestead High School and Alyssa Richter of Northfield High School in Wabash.

•Two IPFW students were recently awarded the Theodore F. Hagerman Memorial Scholarship. This merit-based scholarship, founded in memory of Ted Hagerman, is awarded annually to IPFW students enrolled in Engineering or Construction Technology. Christopher Davis and Peter Truong each received a scholarship in memory of the former president of The Hagerman Group, who led the organization for more than 30 years.

Jay Parekh of Homestead High School will attend Indiana University Bloomington as a Cox Research Scholar. The scholarship provides focused research experience under the guidance of a faculty member and covers the full cost of attendance for four years. He is one of 20 incoming IU freshmen selected from Indiana high schools for the Cox Research Scholarship Program.

•Old National Bank awarded Selena Savelieff of Fort Wayne a $1,000 Community Matters Scholarship.


David Vielma, of Fort Wayne, is a student in Huntington University’s Professional Programs and has been awarded a $1,000 Kappa, Kappa, Kappa Scholarship. Vielma was one of two students in the state of Indiana selected for the award.

Saint Francis

•Registration for session one of The Future of Education at the USF Performing Arts Center on Wednesday has been extended. Registration is through Tuesday at for session one of The Future of Education at 4:30 p.m., with keynote speaker Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. There is no registration fee.

Do you have a favorite teacher? Please send us your nominations, including the teacher’s name, school, school district and grade/subject taught as well as your name, phone number and reason for your nomination. Nominations can be sent to Sarah Janssen at The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802, faxed to 461-8893 or emailed to