Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Amaya Williams, a 2018 North Side graduate, is presented with a $500 check for a college stipend by TinCaps President Mike Nutter and team mascot Johnny during a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana event at IPFW this month. Williams is one of 20 Rising Star Students from around the country.

Monday, June 25, 2018 1:00 am

Education Notebook

North Side graduate named Rising Star

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Within days of acquiring high school graduate status, Amaya Williams received another title: rising star.

TinCaps President Mike Nutter recently told the 18-year-old she is one of 20 nationwide winners of the Rising Star Students program. He made the surprise announcement during a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana event honoring high school graduates.

The Rising Star program honors high-achieving students in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America mentorship program.

Recipients received a $500 college stipend and Minor League Baseball-themed prizes. Williams, a North Side grad, was also invited to throw a ceremonial first pitch at a TinCaps game last week.

Williams, who plans to study early childhood education, said she begged her mother to enroll her in Big Brothers Big Sisters. The organization's advertisements spoke to her.

“It was always something great,” she said.

Williams joined the waitlist at 8, disappointed and impatient to be matched with a mentor, or Big Sister. That happened five years later, she said.

She and Domini Martin-Urban hit it off from the first meeting, when the mentor gave her a Kit Kat and a journal that's now filled, Williams said.

Along with doing activities together, such as cooking, the pair attended each other's events, Williams said.

“Wherever I went, Domini was there, too,” she said.

Through Skype, Martin-Urban congratulated Williams during the Nutter's presentation. The teen has grown into a confident young woman and a great citizen, the mentor said.

“I'm so proud of you,” Martin-Urban said.

Williams encourages other adults to become a mentor. Children are desperate to have that relationship, she said, noting she intends to take on that role after finishing her education.

“I want to be a Big so bad,” she said. 


• Bishop Dwenger High School will host a food truck rally from 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays through August. All are welcome.

• The Warsaw Area Career Center and Inspire School of Cosmetology are seeking clients for cosmetology students who need to fulfill training hours for their license. Haircuts, coloring, perms, facials, manicures, makeup application and waxing are among the skills students must practice. Prices vary. Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday; and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Call 574-267-2245 or visit the school, 3175 E. Center St., Warsaw, to schedule an appointment.

Ivy Tech

• Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and 80/20 Inc. signed an agreement to offer 80/20 Inc. employees the opportunity to earn college credit through the college's Achieve Your Degree program. College representatives will work directly with the Columbia City company to provide employer-deferred tuition billing as long as individuals meet the guidelines of the company's tuition assistance program.


• Grants from the Purdue Research Foundation are funding summer research projects by these Purdue University Fort Wayne faculty members: Mohammadreza Balouchestani-Asli, assistant professor, information technology; Chao Chen, assistant professor, computer engineering; Yihao Deng, associate professor, mathematical sciences; Seth Green, assistant professor, ceramics; Rachel Hile, professor, English; Andrew Kopec, assistant professor, English; and Daniel Yorgov, assistant professor, applied statistics.

• Purdue Fort Wayne is redesigning course schedules for four of five graduate education programs to meet demands of local and regional teacher staffing needs beginning in the fall. Educators can advance their education on a schedule that works for them. The educational leadership, special education, elementary education and secondary education programs incorporate online and hybrid courses, with educational leadership, elementary education and secondary education implementing eight-week courses to let students focus on one class at a time. Hybrid courses blend online and face-to-face sessions. An accelerated degree format will allow students to complete the educational leadership program in 16 months. The counselor education program will continue to offer evening face-to-face courses. Contact Melinda Conley, director of marketing for the Division of Continuing Studies, at 260-481-6261 or for more information.

Recognitions, scholarships

• Multiple northeast Indiana students make up the Rising Stars of Indiana Class of 2019, the Indiana Association of School Principals announced. Honorees include the following high school students: Eric Cockroft, Annie Delgadillo, Mason Gaerte and Bailey Pelliccia of Angola; Isabel Knight, Angela Ly, Tavehon McGarry and Christopher Wilkins of Bishop Dwenger; Corbyn Fry, Claire Murray, Abigail Redick and Ava Ringger of Bluffton; Benjamin Elliott, Amanda Martinez Moreno, Priyanka Meesa and Samuel Witwer of Canterbury; Rachel Jacquay, Brooklynn Kelley, Katelynn Shambaugh and Jamie Zeigler of Churubusco; Lindsay Bennett, Kathryn Castens, Caleb Martin and Caitlin McGaffick of Concordia Lutheran; Devin Dillingham, Jennifer Doughman, Samantha Pflueger and Cassandra Trumbower of East Allen University; Kylee Fitzpatrick, Rylie Prough, Graham Seiler and Alex Yoder of Eastside; Libbey Detcher, Reese Furnish, Allyssa Richie and Sydney Weaver of Garrett; Ashley Federoff, Lumyah Habib, Vanessa Popescu and Abigail Smith of Homestead; Emma Bickel, Jared Haneline, Katelyn Olinger and Brock Spahr of Huntington North; Elijah Detmers, Nathan Fuchs, Anthony Harding and Taylor Schleinkofer of Leo; Sidney Armstrong, Jia DeLong, Rebecca Lancaster and Kyi Naing of New Haven; Bailey Perry, Aidan Redmond, Elizabeth Roberts and Sophie Steele of North Side; Jordan Archambault, Matthew Decker, Kassidy Puterbaugh and Elizabeth Schmidt of Norwell; Kylee Bixler, Kayla LeFever, Sam Walsh and Shayla Welch of South Adams; and Dirk Herschberger, Kayla Menshy, Logan Salzbrenner and Jack Stuckey of Woodlan.

• Snider graduates Jordan Gorman and Mariah Thomas were recognized at the United Negro College Fund Mayors breakfast. Both will receive $5,000 a year for five years toward college expenses and an internship with Parkview Hospital.

Saint Francis

• Twenty students, faculty and alumni from the University of Saint Francis provided health care to 611 Haitian residents during a four-day trip to the Caribbean country. 

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

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 at least two weeks before the desired publication date.