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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Fairfield Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jennifer Bodenstein reads to her students.

Teacher Honor Roll: Jennifer Bodenstein, Fairfield Elementary

Jennifer Bodenstein

School: Fairfield Elementary

Grade teaching : Kindergarten

Education: Bachelor's degree in public and environmental affairs – management and elementary education from IPFW; master's degree in curriculum and instruction from American College of Education.

Years teaching: Four

City Born: Enid, Okla.

Cities Raised: Wichita Falls, Texas; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Prattville, Ala.; Warner Robins, Ga.; Springfield, Va. My dad is a retired Air Force officer.

Current hometown: Fort Wayne

Family: Married to Alan; Four children; Sam, 19; Grace, 16; Jacob, 15; and Mia, 13

Last book read: "Pouch!" by David Ezra Stein (for class)

Favorite teacher: Mrs. Byrd, my fourth-grade teacher at Miller Elementary in Warner Robins, Ga.

Favorite class in school: Math

Favorite teaching memory: The students' smiles when the whole class stops working to cheer on every student who has completed a benchmark assessment

Biggest influence to become a teacher: My grandmother Marian Cary, who always wanted to be a teacher and was interested in everything, and the support of my husband, Alan, and our kids while I was in school again

Nominated by: Lisa Dishong, parent

Reason for nomination: "My son has ADHD. He's very hyper and doesn't do too well with other people, but since he met Mrs. Bodenstein (Mrs. B) he's been calm and always comes home telling me what Mrs. B taught him in school today. He tells us about the stories Mrs. B read to them, how Mrs. B taught them to write their names, how they learned to be nice to others and how they eat lunch and play with each other without being mean and how to report bullies to her. He looks forward to going to school every day just so he can see Mrs. B."

– Julie Crothers, The Journal Gazette


•The Indiana Youth Institute and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana is hosting a free workshop titled "Strengthening the Transition and Persistence of 21st Century Scholars in Postsecondary Environments." The training will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, 1005 W. Rudsill Blvd. Reservations are required by contacting Carla Boggs at or 456-1600, ext. 2282.


•"The Speech that Redefined America: Remembering the Gettysburg Address" will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in Trine University's Wells Theater. Mark Helmke, an instructor in the Department of Business and Finance, will present his talk exploring the speech's lasting significance to mark the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

•"Beyond The Origin: Charles Darwin's 'Other' Science" will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in Trine University's Wells Theater. Many consider "The Origin of Species" and "The Descent of Man" as two of Darwin's most important works, but there is more to his legacy. Mike Biegas, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, Psychology and Social Sciences, will round out the popular view of Darwin with a discussion of Darwin's background and a broader look at the inner workings of science.

Indiana Tech

•The Indiana Tech Wellness Center will host an American Red Cross Blood Drive from 9:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Fort Wayne campus, 1600 E. Washington Blvd.

University of Saint Francis

•On Sunday at 3 p.m. in Gunderson Auditorium in Achatz Hall of Science, USF President Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF; Sister Anita Holzmer, OSF; Sister Felicity Dorset, OSF; and Sister Jacinta Krecek, OSF will present "The Significance of Mother Theresia Bonzel and Her Beatification."

•On Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the University of Saint Francis' North Campus auditorium, guest speaker Mike Yankoski, author of "Under the Overpass," will describe his journey with companion, Sam, as a homeless man in today's world.

•The University of Saint Francis' Department of English and Foreign Languages in the School of Arts and Sciences will host visiting author Matt Hart for a free public poetry reading on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Student Center.


•The Office of Military Student Services at IPFW will conduct the fourth annual Veterans Day Flag Ceremony on Veterans Day at 11:30 a.m. today outside on the IPFW Science Mall.

•IPFW will host an event to honor Chief Richardville from noon to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday in honor of Native American Heritage Month. The university will also host speakers Maleah Heck and Randi Shepherd to talk about overcoming child abuse during an event from noon to 1:15 p.m. Wednesday in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The presentation will include a performance by the Fort Wayne Ballet.

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 Julie Crothers at The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802, faxed to 461-8893 or emailed to