The Journal Gazette
Monday, October 12, 2020 1:00 am

Teacher Honor Roll / Education Notebook

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne Community Schools teacher who inspires students through clubs about gardening, engineering, and fruits and vegetables has been nominated for Teacher Honor Roll. Her profile follows.

Andrea N. O. Jones

School: Whitney Young Early Childhood Center

Grade or subject teaching: Pre-K visual arts

Education: Bachelor of Arts in visual arts K-12; Master of Arts in studio art; and Licentiate in Pedagogy – habilitation in school administration (Brazil).

Years teaching: Since 2001

City born: Guararapes, São Paulo, Brazil

Current hometown: Yoder

Family: Husband, Robert Jones, and son, Daniel Jones.

Book you'd recommend: “Drop the Ball” by Tiffany Dufu. The last two chapters are best.

Favorite teachers: The great teachers I work with because they are planning and working to the best of their ability and technologies to make school possible, filled with innovative ways of learning and teaching during this COVID-19 pandemic. The list includes classroom teachers, assistants, related arts teachers and office staff. In the past, I include my remarkable education mentor in college, Dr. Hernandez; Dr. Cartwright, an art history professor who taught me to continue to refine my subject; my beloved elementary art teacher who taught me the significance of art; and my high school language arts teacher who taught me thinking as a mindset.

Favorite teaching memory: When I taught art for the first time, in my third year in practicum class in college, I saw momentary happiness and heard from students a few words of appreciation for teaching them art. I am still proud to be part of a profession through which I can gauge legitimate feedback on the spot. I cherish those memories in teaching more than ever before, when I am challenged to generate rich visual arts experiences within the constraints of today's pandemic. Regardless, at the end of the day, after working with young students, happy moments fill my memory. Every day I continue to hear a student expressing an aha moment. Some students are quiet. Some students struggle in different ways. However, there are students who are forever imprinted in my heart and memory; for their best-ever artwork, or for doing and being what they are. Sometimes I meet or hear about one or two of these students, working in the community. They look and behave just like when they were in pre-K. It is awesome! Great memories of them!

Hobbies: Gardening, cooking from scratch, talking on the phone with friends and family, hiking, swimming, traveling, learning to play violin ... it is really hard!

Interesting fact about yourself: This is difficult to answer, but if you see me for the first time, it is a bit “interesting” to figure me out. I have an accent because my native language is Portuguese, but I look Asian, and often this is a catch and throws a spin on people's head.

What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their future? Work smart, work hard, do it right. Know your material. Don't be embarrassed to ask questions or feel belittled about not knowing. Be sure of activities that make you happy. Embrace your passions. Increase your intelligence through the pursuit of knowledge. Learning is constant and for the rest of your life. Modify old strategies. Choose what is right to benefit the well-being of yourself, and friends, and your community. Be the good difference in the life of someone else. Speak what your eyes see and what your ears hear because this is your mind speaking about the uniqueness of yourself, in everything you do.

Recommended by: Nancy Kilduski

Reason for recommendation: “I have been a volunteer at Young and have helped Andrea with her clubs for kindergarten and pre-K students. ... (She) is a teacher who inspires all who work with her: students, volunteers, parents and other teachers.”

Andrea “has been inspiring students through her club programs. There is Garden Club in the fall and spring, Engineering Club in late fall, Fruit and Vegetable Club in the winter. In each club, students learn to handle tools correctly and safely. They explore living and non-living materials. And they create planters, bird feeders, simple machines, fruit and vegetable pictures, to name just a few things.

“Andrea's diligent work, creative spirit and inquisitive thought process inspire young minds to look at plants, machines and fruits and vegetables in new ways, bringing in color, form, line and design. This is truly the essence of art. We are so fortunate to have her at FWCS.

“Andrea has a gift for inspiring creativity and experimentation with her students through her work as an art teacher and as a club sponsor. And it is fun! Her efforts embody the school's Reggio philosophy, 'Nothing without joy!' ” 


• Students have through 5 p.m. Oct. 31 to enter a Bill of Rights contest organized by the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. District Courts for the Seventh and Eighth Circuits. Go to for details.


• Beginning spring 2021, Grace College upperclassmen may gain additional qualifications jump starting their master's degrees as undergraduates through a partnership with Purdue University. The consortium agreement enables Grace students to earn credits toward a Purdue master's degree, positioning them to complete their master's quickly after graduating from Grace and to enter the workforce with two degrees. Contact Drew Flamm at for more information.

• Grace is mourning the death of its third president, Homer Kent Jr., who served from 1976 to 1986. He died Sept. 30 at age 94.


• Semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit scholarship program include James Arnold of South Adams High School; Nile Adhami, Ibrahim Gomaa and Zachary Tempel of Canterbury High School; Alexander Barb of Carroll High School; Brock Tweedy and Caleb Walz of Concordia Lutheran High School; Jack Gardner, Mikayla Havison, Matthew Schuler and Luke Sheppard of Homestead High School; Joseph Kibellus of Huntington North High School; Gloria Coolman of Leo Junior-Senior High School; Noah Crockett of Adams Central High School; Samuel Lechlitner of Warsaw Community High School; and Carlie Gongaware of Woodlan Junior-Senior High School.

• Purdue University Fort Wayne announced David Cochran, professor of systems engineering, is the 2019-20 Outstanding Researcher of the Year. The award is sponsored by Academic Affairs' Office of University Research and Innovation.

• Fort Wayne Community Schools student Sammie Vance received the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, an award recognizing inspiring, public-spirited young people, for her work with Buddy Benches.

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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