The Journal Gazette
Monday, September 16, 2019 1:00 am

Teacher Honor Roll / Education Notebook

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

A DeKalb Eastern Schools educator whom a parent described as the “most positive, empathetic, caring teacher” was nominated for Teacher Honor Roll. Her profile follows.

Kiersten Emenhiser

School: Riverdale Elementary

Grade teaching: Second grade

Education: I received my bachelor's degree from IPFW (now Purdue University Fort Wayne) in 2014.

Years teaching: Six years

City born: Auburn

Current hometown: Spencerville

Family: My immediate family consists of my father, Lonny; my mother, Mindy; and my younger brother, Seth.

Book you'd recommend: I highly recommend “Each Kindness.” This book can be read to students of all ages. “Each Kindness” demonstrates how a small act of kindness can have a ripple effect that can change the world and sometimes you don't get a second chance to make things right. It is an inspiring story with a beautiful message.

Favorite teacher: There is no hesitation about who I select as my favorite teacher. My father, Lonny Emenhiser, wins by a landslide. I grew up watching my father make connections and invest time into education and coaching. I knew that was the career path that I wanted to take because of the difference that he made.

Favorite teaching memory: A couple years ago, I took my class out for an extra recess at the end of the day. When we arrived outside, the sixth grade class was also out there. I was nervous at first due to the age difference, but I let them play. After a few minutes went by, I noticed that the sixth graders were letting my students play basketball with them. The sixth graders were giving them high-fives, cheering for them, passing them the ball, etc. That is the kind of school that I work in. Those are the types of students we have at Riverdale. This is a memory I will cherish for a long time. I am extremely blessed.

Hobbies: If I am not binge-watching true crime shows, I am planning my next trip to Disney World. I also enjoy coaching junior high basketball and youth softball.

Interesting fact about yourself: I am undoubtedly terrified of birds.

What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their future? The advice that I give my students as they plan for their future is simple: never, ever, give up on what matters to you. Oh, and laugh. Laugh every day.

Recommended by: Milinda Abel

Reason for recommendation, submitted in the 2018-19 academic year: “She is the most positive, empathetic, caring teacher I have ever been around. My daughter is in her class this year, and she has flourished in her academic skills and confidence. She comes home every day excited about school and telling me all the fun and exciting things that Miss Emenhiser did today with her at school. She has a great sense of humor and interacts with every child with such passion to help them learn. I am always impressed by her creativity and humor when she teaches. She is a bright young lady and we are blessed to have her as our teacher this year. We think she is the best!” 

Concordia Lutheran High School

Concordia Lutheran is welcoming its newest class of Honors Academy students this fall.

These new freshmen are: Matthew Bordner, Cam Cage, Grant Hayworth, Dakota Hitzemann, Amy Liñan, Charlotte Loechner, Eli Mattox, Max Park, Hannah Weber and Keller Whicker. They join the current eight seniors, five juniors and 18 sophomores. To learn more about the Honors Academy, contact Luanne Erdos at or 260-203-4575 or go to

Defiance College

Taner Demirci Lopez has been named Charles K. and Esther C. Krieger Visiting Scholar at Defiance College. While at Defiance College, Lopez will be teaching Approaches to Religion, World Issues, ethics, and other courses related to his expertise in Islam. Lopez holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Murcia in Spain. He earned a master of arts in World Religions and Societies from the University of Pablo de Olavide, Spain, and a bachelor of arts from the University of Malaga, Spain.

Trine University

• Trine University welcomed its sixth Doctor of Physical Therapy class with a special ceremony at the university's Health Sciences Education Center in Fort Wayne on Aug. 30. During the annual White Coat Ceremony, 33 members of the Trine University Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2022 received their white coats, symbolizing their transition from preclinical to clinical health science. The following area students received their white coats during the ceremony:

Heather Dixon, Fort Wayne; Edwin Londa Angulo, Fort Wayne; Rachael Anderson, Fort Wayne; Alexis Neyman, Fort Wayne; Chelsea Schriber, Fort Wayne; Alex Seabeck, Fort Wayne; Courtney Sproat, Auburn; Alex Turnbow, Huntertown; Delaney Werling, New Haven.

• Trine University welcomed its second Master of Physician Assistant Studies class with a special ceremony at the university's Health Sciences Education Center in Fort Wayne on Aug. 30. The 32 members of the university's Master of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2021 received stethoscopes from the MPAS faculty.

The following area students received stethoscopes during the ceremony: Connor Gemlick, Huntertown; Emily Harr, Roanoke; Jessica MacLeod, Fort Wayne; Matthew Wilcox, Fort Wayne.

• Trine University has named Bryan Hunter as its new director of digital marketing. Hunter had worked in Trine's Information Technology department since 2018, serving as administrator and instructional designer for the Moodle learning management system. Hunter replaces Deborah Richard, who moved into a full-time faculty role this fall in Trine's Ketner School of Business.

University of Saint Francis

The University of Saint Francis welcomes Jane Gastineau, retired Lincoln librarian, to speak at its Constitution Day event. The event is titled “Electing Lincoln: A Presentation of Items from The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection.” Gastineau will show items from the collection that are related to the two presidential elections in which Lincoln was a candidate, starting at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the USF North Campus Auditorium, 2702 Spring St.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Thomas Schneider at 260-399-7700, ext. 8125, or email to


• The third annual Nontraditional Employment for Women Workshop Fort Wayne will be at Ivy Tech's Public Safety Academy on Oct. 1 and will connect more than 300 females from East Allen, Fort Wayne Community and Southwest Allen County high schools with more than 30 women mentors employed in traditionally male-dominated careers.

The event will also feature keynote speaker Alexandra Sejdinaj, a self-taught coder who co-founded South Bend Code School, which teaches students ages 7-18 the fundamentals of programming, graphic design and entrepreneurship.

The N.E.W. Workshop is free to students.

For more information, go to or contact Meg Crites at or 260-422-0783.

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.

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