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  • At North Side, industrial gear cranking out job-ready grads
    Take a stroll through Phil Springer’s Hire Technology workshop at North Side High School and you’ll see sandblasters, band saws, lathes and laser engravers. In this place, kids can get their hands dirty, and it’s OK.
  • Construction begins on Concordia arena
    Construction of a multipurpose facility at Concordia Lutheran church and elementary school was 20 years in the making.The new $2 million, 18,150-square-foot arena at 4245 Lake Ave.
  • IPFW gets $3.4 million bequest
    Oscar Weitzman started working at Fort Wayne General Electric in 1904 when he was 13 years old, earning 7 1/2 cents an hour.
Hunter Barrand, a kindergartner in Mrs. Edwards’ class, checks the weight of a pumpkin as he searches for the perfect one to call his own.
Education Notebook

Hands-on learning in a pumpkin patch

Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Camryn Reuille, left, and Hayden Kline, right, kindergartners at St. Joseph Central, excitedly pick pumpkins Wednesday at Kurtz Pumpkin Patch.

– The students climbed up the ladder and crammed onto the wagon full of straw, eager to get on their way to the pumpkin-picking patch.

Kindergarten students from St. Joseph Central Elementary School took a break from class Wednesday for a hands-on lesson about pumpkins at Kurtz Pumpkin Farm in New Haven.

For some students, it took only a few seconds before they spotted the perfect pumpkin.

Others wandered through the rows in search of the biggest, or, in some cases, the tiniest, pumpkin they could find.

“I got a huge pumpkin!” Sid Stemen shouted.

Sid, 5, held the approximately 4-pound pumpkin above his head, shaking it in the air with excitement.

Nearby, Hadlee Landis continued her hunt.

A few minutes later, Hadlee, 5, picked up a pumpkin about the size of her head – it was the perfect pumpkin, she proclaimed.

When asked what made this pumpkin so perfect, she replied simply: “Because I picked it out of all of those other ones.”

The class returned to the wagon for a quick ride back to the barn where they would attend “Pumpkin School” to learn about how the plants grow and are used on the Kurtz farm.

By the end of the ride, several of the pumpkins already had names – while others were being used as makeshift balls, being tossed from student to student.

Three young girls stood in a circle, determining what each pumpkin should be called.

“I think I’m going to name my pumpkin ‘Pumpkin,’ ” the first kindergartner decided.

Her friend chimed in with the name “Straw.” And the third young girl decided on “Orange.”

And their pumpkins would be best friends, they agreed.


•The Northeast Indiana chapter of the Project Management Institute announced winners of the 2013 David A. Maynard scholarship. Ashlee Nichter, a Bowling Green State University student studying environmental science, received $2,000 and Brian T. Grabowski, a Saint Louis University student studying civil engineering, received $1,000.

•Snider High School graduate Kaylee Hartiz and South Side High School graduate Laudan Oloomi were selected as two of 14 Hoosier students to receive a $1,500 Salin Foundation Community scholarship.

•Homestead High School seniors Anna Haller, Laura Laudeman, Priscilla Lin, Ian McKenzie, Sahiti Surakanti and Trevor Waldman were recently named Commended Students in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Tim Caffee, a South Side High School student, was named the September Student Rotarian by the Downtown Rotary Club of Fort Wayne. Caffee is the son of Todd and Caryn Caffee and plans to attend Huntington University or Judson University.

Trine University

•Legendary football coach, ESPN analyst and Trine University trustee Lou Holtz has put his name on Trine’s Lou Holtz Master of Science in Leadership program. The leadership core courses feature the use and reading of Holtz’s book “Winning Every Day.”


•IPFW’s Omnibus Lecture Series will feature New York Times best-selling author Jeannette Walls on Wednesday. Walls’ lecture, “The Glass Castle: Demon Hunting and Other Life Lessons,” begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Auer Performance Hall of the Rhinehart Music Center. Tickets can be picked up at the Larson Box Office from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; online at, with a convenience fee of $1; or on the day of the event in the Rhinehart Music Center one hour before the lecture.

Harrison College

Rodney Harris has joined Harrison College in the college’s corporate partnerships division in a new position focusing on partnership development. He will be responsible for assisting with networking and community outreach events to recruit future students and inform prospective corporate partners about the academic programs at Harrison College.

Education Notebook listings appear on Mondays. To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne IN 46802-0088; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.