A Fort Wayne Community Schools teacher who treats students like family has been nominated for Teacher Honor Roll. Her profile follows.
School: Kekionga Middle School
Grade and subject teaching: Sixth grade English language arts
Education: Bachelor of science in education from Indiana University
Years teaching: I started teaching with FWCS in 1999.
City born: Gladstone, Mich. I'm a Yooper!
Current hometown: Fort Wayne
Family: Sons Carson, Purdue West Lafayette, and Preston, Homestead High School; husband, Steve.
Book you'd recommend: As an educator, I have enjoyed reading the book “Loser” by Jerry Spinelli to my classes. As an adult, I really like the novel “This Present Darkness” by Frank E. Peretti. It is so powerful!
Favorite teacher: Mrs. Folcik, my sixth grade teacher. She really tried to understand students and give us a voice. As a teacher, I have reflected back on the teachers I've had in the past, and I have tried to use practices in my classroom that I appreciated as a young learner.
Favorite teaching memory: It is hard to pinpoint one memory, but I absolutely love seeing former students whether it is in public or if they come to school to visit. I specifically remember one time when I was visiting a friend in the hospital and the nurse walked into the room. She turned to type something into the computer, and I asked her a question. She turned to look at me and she just stared at me! I felt uncomfortable because I thought I had said something wrong, but she started hollering, “Ms. Denoo! Oh my goodness!” and ran to me and hugged me. She was a former student from nearly 15 years prior, and she remembered me, recognized me (THAT is exciting!), and kept saying it was the best day of her life, and she couldn't wait to tell her mom! I still smile thinking of that moment because it is times like this you realize you really had an impact on a child's life.
Hobbies: Gardening, cooking, baking, furniture restoration and spending time with family and friends.
Interesting fact about yourself: I enjoy traveling and have visited over a dozen countries. Traveling abroad helps you become more open-minded and allows you to appreciate where you are and what you have. The history is fascinating, too! Some of my favorite places I've traveled to are Costa Rica, England and Greece. I lived in Germany years ago, and I can still speak ein bisschen.
What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their future? What you think, what you say and what you do matters! You have a voice and you are important! You matter!
Recommended by: Alanna Leitch
Reason for recommendation: “This teacher is the most amazing teacher I think I've ever had in life. She supports her students and goes above and beyond to help them succeed even if it isn't in her own classroom. She treats her students like family. She takes time out of her schedule to talk with students about personal problems when they come to her but also to let them know she is there. She deserves the best and loves her job.”
• Financial aid professionals statewide will volunteer Nov. 7 at 38 sites, including Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne, to help college-bound students and their families open the door to financial aid. College Goal Sunday, which starts at 2 p.m., provides free assistance in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and federal student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide. The FAFSA must be filed by April 15 for a student to be eligible for Indiana financial aid. Go to collegegoalsunday.org for details.
• About 200 computer science educators participated this month in the Consortium for Computing Sciences and Colleges 2021 Midwest Conference at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. Topics included what students need to know about the computing industry, developing mobile courses and faculty adviser best practices.
• Manchester University students in the advanced public relations course have planned an event for prospective students that focuses on diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus. The event, “Diversity & Inclusion: Embracing the Infinite Worth of Every Individual,” is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 1 on the North Manchester campus. Prospective students and families can register at www.manchester.edu. Click “Visit MU.”
• The East Allen County Schools board recognized Diane “Dee” Vasquez for her performance as a bus driver after a community member noticed her vigilance in ensuring a student would be safe. Vasquez has been an EACS bus driver since August 2010.
• Daniel Hile, superintendent of Smith-Green Community Schools, was chosen by members of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents as the District II Superintendent of the Year for 2022. Fellow superintendents in his region, which includes Allen County, evaluated candidates for their leadership, communications, professionalism and community involvement. Hile has been Smith-Green's leader since 2017 after serving the district as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.
• Madilyn Mory, a Purdue University Fort Wayne senior studying music education, participated in Alpha Delta Kappa's annual Founders' Day program this month. Mory received a $1,000 grant from the teachers sorority for fall semester tuition.
• Sister Elise Kriss has returned to the University of Saint Francis as director of community relations. Her responsibilities include establishing relationships to strengthen the university's presence in Fort Wayne and cultivating long-standing relationships with local government leaders, business leaders and Saint Francis supporters. Kriss retired June 30, 2020, after her 27th year as university president.
• Research by Jenna Encheff, a faculty member in Trine University's Doctor of Physical Therapy program, has been recognized by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. She won “Best Research Poster” in the Physicians and Clinicians Networking Group for the organization's 98th annual national conference. Her study examined which riding positions and activities best encourage activation of certain muscles for horseback riders.
• The Trine Board of Trustees voted to add Joe Jordan, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne, as a member during its Oct. 1 meeting.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com at least two weeks before the desired publication date.