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South Side High School history teacher Emily Oberlin gets a hug and kiss from her mother Cindy Oberlin in May when she was named the FWCS Teacher of the Year.

Let it be known: South Side video aims to make a difference

Statement, verbatim, as issued Friday Fort Wayne Community Schools:

Fort Wayne Community Schools will have a reception for Teacher of the Year Emily Oberlin at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, in the cafeteria at the Grile Administrative Center.

Oberlin is a history teacher at South Side High School and was selected as Fort Wayne Community Schools Teacher of the Year because of her dedication to bringing World History to life for students and connecting with students in areas where it matters – in serving and caring for others. When a student came to her earlier this year mourning a coach who had died, Oberlin helped her find a way to express her grief and simultaneously honor her coach. From that, "Let it Be Known" was born, a movement that has spread to several other schools in the city. The movement is based on the idea of letting others know how much they are appreciated and loved. South Side students and staff created a video sharing their thoughts and feelings about others in the building. The tribute can be found at http://youtu.be/vql1i63vHlw.

"I want my students to know how to be good citizens, help others and think and solve for themselves," she said. "I want for them to find what makes them come alive in the world and to feel the courage to go after that."

Oberlin is also known at South Side for her creative ways of engaging students. This year, she encouraged her colleagues to join staff kickball and corn hole teams. Videos were created to promote both teams to encourage school spirit and student participation in the events. She has also hosted learning events, such as the World Religions Fair, which brought more than 150 guests, including representatives from various religious groups, parents, School Board members and City Council members, to South Side.

Candidates for Teacher of the Year are nominated by building principals with finalists chosen by a committee of administrators. The other finalists this year were Jenny Barney, fifth-grade teacher at Glenwood Park Elementary; Estelle Griggs, third-grade teacher at Forest Park Elementary; Carissa Richardson, science teacher at Northwood Middle School; and Wendy Wichern, social studies teacher at Blackhawk Middle School.

Media is invited to attend the reception.

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