The Journal Gazette
Monday, February 10, 2020 1:00 am

Teacher Honor Roll / Education Notebook

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne Community Schools construction trades teacher who seeks out innovative ideas has been nominated for Teacher Honor Roll. His profile follows.

Chris Roberts

School: FWCS Career Academy

Grade or subject teaching: Juniors and seniors in the construction trades department. Concrete techniques and principles, masonry techniques and principles, and cabinetmaking/finish carpentry.

Education: Most Precious Blood Catholic Grade School, North Side High School and bachelor's degree from IPFW.

Years teaching: 14 years

City born and current hometown: Fort Wayne

Family: Wife, Tarrah, daughters Ella, 11, Allison, 8, Isabelle, 5, and Emilie, 2.

Last book read: “In My Father's House” by John Dortch

Favorite teachers: Pre-K, Grandma Helen; kindergarten, Barbara Roberts; first grade, Mrs. Bloom; eighth grade, Mrs. Lebrado; ninth-12th grades, Steve Smethers; ninth-10th grades, Scott Brown; ninth grade, Sheila Bruening; 11th grade, Mr. Slaughter. They all presented their own subject in a passionate and unique way that I admire and use today in my own classroom.

Favorite class in school: Industrial arts-construction basics and drafting

Favorite teaching memory: In 2015, there were two students in my class, Trevor Gilpin and Tyler Hack, who competed in the National SkillsUSA Championships. They prepared all year by practicing after hours and before school hours. Each of them reached out to our alumni for help and support. Both students listened to advice given and took every opportunity to further their skill set. Trevor was able to capture a third-place finish in the country, and Tyler was able to achieve a second-place finish in the country. The young men proved that with dedication, questioning, sweat, work ethic and a team collaboration mindset that anything can be achieved.

Favorite extracurricular activity: Attending my children's sporting events. Water sports at the lake.

What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their future? Hard work and showing up on time with a safety-first attitude will always get you ahead in construction. A constant preaching of service to others, taking on opportunities presented, good work habits and asking questions should never end when they graduate. To be a lifelong learner in other words. I stress the importance of following a path that they are passionate about, and the money will follow them. Continue to grow relationships through constant networking and know that they are always welcome to come back as an alumnus of our program!

Recommended by: Chad Sutton, director of career development at Garrett High School

Reason for recommendation: “He's just a great guy with a lot of passion for his students and the Construction Trades Program. He is always looking for innovative ideas, he made it to the final round for teacher of the year in Indiana.

“Every time I have asked him questions, he is willing to give me all kinds of information! I feel like we are partners in this initiative!

“We work well together, we communicate easily, we cheer for each other, heck we don't even work together. Fort Wayne Community Schools should feel blessed to have Chris Roberts!

“We both know it takes a lot of people and a big commitment from all to change education and help our students discover these opportunities!” 


• The Indiana Commission for Higher Education will celebrate 21st Century Scholars Day from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Statehouse followed by the annual State of Higher Education address at 4 p.m. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the 21st Century Scholars program, Indiana's nationally recognized model of early college promise.

• Fort Wayne Community Schools has announced the dates of freshman orientation for the Class of 2024: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Wayne High School, 9100 Winchester Road; 6 p.m. Feb. 17 at South Side High School, 3601 S. Calhoun St., and Snider High School, 4600 Fairlawn Pass; 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Northrop High School, 7001 Coldwater Road; and 6 p.m. Feb. 20 at North Side High School, 475 E. State Blvd.

• Ivy Tech Community College will hold an Express Enrollment Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Student Life Center, 3701 Dean Drive, Fort Wayne, and at Ivy Tech Warsaw, 2545 Silveus Crossing, Warsaw. Prospective students may go to to register. Classes start March 16.

• College Goal Sunday is set for 2 p.m. Feb. 23 at 37 sites statewide, including Ivy Tech Community College, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd. The free program helps students file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide. The FAFSA must be filed by April 15 to be eligible for Indiana financial aid. Go to for more information, including what to bring.


• The Greater Fort Wayne Aviation Museum and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority are seeking applicants for the 2020 Jim Kelley Memorial Scholarship and Fort Wayne International Aviation Scholarship. Both are valued at $1,500. Students must be seniors in high school; have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale; be accepted to an accredited institution of post-secondary education; and demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in an aviation-related field. Applications are available at Click “Education/Tours” under the “Airport Authority” tab. The deadline is Feb. 28. Contact the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority with questions.

• Applications for the Fort Wayne Central High School Scholarship are due March 27 to the Alumni Association c/o Anthis Career Academy. It is open to descendants of Central alumni. Winners will be announced in May. Awards are $500 and $1,000. The latter is for an education major entering – or in – his or her junior year of college. To get an application, contact the following people: Dianne Bezdon at, Bonnie Arnold at or Bonnie Baumgartner at

Arthur Ehinger of Bishop Dwenger High School is one of eight high school seniors awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Marian University, a Catholic university in Indianapolis. Current high school juniors who would like to compete for the full-tuition scholarship for fall 2021 must submit applications for admission by Oct. 15.

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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