The Journal Gazette
Monday, November 29, 2021 1:00 am

Teacher Honor Roll / Education Notebook

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

A Northwest Allen County Schools teacher who approaches challenges optimistically has been nominated for Teacher Honor Roll. Her profile follows.

Laura Ohmberger

School: Carroll Middle School

Grade and subject teaching: Seventh grade special education

Education: Bachelor's degree in special education and elementary education from Purdue University; master's degree in educational leadership from Purdue Fort Wayne.

Years teaching: Five

City born: Westville

Current hometown: Fort Wayne

Family: My husband, John, and our kitten, Oliver.

Book you'd recommend: Professional recommendations: “The Body Keeps the Score” by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and “Lost at School” by Dr. Ross Greene. Personal recommendation: “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah.

Favorite teachers: David Eichinger, my college biology professor; Steve Chrobak, my high school algebra and pre-calculus teacher. Both of these men taught challenging content in a way that was memorable and worked to intentionally connect with students. They have influenced my teaching approach tremendously.

Favorite teaching memory: My favorite teaching memories are the moments when students finally see themselves as being capable of achieving something they had previously thought they couldn't. I love celebrating victories of all sizes with my students and their families.

Hobbies: Reading, playing disc golf, gardening, baking.

Interesting fact about yourself: I studied abroad in Honduras while I was college. I taught in a bilingual preschool and worked with students in the school's special education program.

What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their future? There is not one “right” path to success. Decide what you want to accomplish in life and make decisions that help you achieve those goals. Celebrate the victories along the way and push through the challenges that you will face. Your efforts will be worth it! Everyone you meet in life has something to teach you. Ask for help when you need it and offer help to others when you can give it.

Recommended by: Sandra DeRose at Carroll Middle School

Reason for recommendation: “(She) ... goes above expectations daily. She does her job in a friendly and organized manner. Not only does she have to juggle her students' schedules, she oversees two instructional assistants. The three of them form an amazing team who helps our students receive assistance help when needed. She has some challenging cases that she always approaches optimistically and with a sense of humor. In addition to her regular work, she helps new teachers with their case conferences and IEPs (individualized education programs). She has an amazing balance of firmness and fairness; flexibility and routine; humor and seriousness; assisting and encouraging independence. Laura is one of CMS' brightest lights.” 


• Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw will host Express Enrollment Week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 6-10 at the Student Life Center, 3701 Dean Drive, Fort Wayne, and at Ivy Tech Warsaw, 2545 Silveus Crossing, Warsaw. Prospective students can complete their enrollment steps and sign up for classes that start Jan. 19. Go to for information or to RSVP.

• The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Second Degree program at Manchester University's Fort Wayne campus is for those who have a bachelor's degree in another field and want to pursue a path toward becoming a registered nurse. Virtual information sessions is scheduled for 4 to 5 p.m. Dec. 14 and from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Dec. 16. on Zoom. Email for information.

• Area string students may participate in the American String Teachers Association Certificate Advancement Program on Feb. 13 at Canterbury Middle School. This nationally recognized certificate program is a noncompetitive, graded examination in 11 levels for string students, measuring technical progress and musical development. Forms are due Jan. 3. For copies and information, contact Colleen Tan at or Marcy Trentacosti at Students must be studying with a member of ASTA to participate.


Joseph Chambers, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics at Manchester University, has co-published an article, “Genetic variation in alcoholism and opioid addiction susceptibility and treatment: a pharmacogenomic approach,” in AIMS Molecular Science. It is an international open access journal devoted to publishing peer-reviewed, high quality, original papers in the field of molecular science.

Pen pals

• Third, fourth and fifth grade teachers are invited to join the new U.S. Postal Service Pen Pal Project, a free educational program. Twenty-five thousand classes will each be matched with a partner class across the country to build friendships and understanding of diverse perspectives. Go to for information.


• The Indiana Department of Education recently launched a video series called “Teachers Who Shaped Us” to celebrate Indiana's teachers, to spotlight their positive effects and to elevate the educator profession. Videos have featured Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box and Gov. Eric Holcomb. To watch, search for INEducation on YouTube.

• Ivy Tech Community College honored Matthew Fisher of Fort Wayne as one of 35 individuals across the state selected to receive the 2021 President's Awards, the highest honor for Ivy Tech faculty. Fort Wayne's James Graham was nominated for the Gerald I. Lamkin Award, which is named after a former Ivy Tech president. A faculty member from Columbus received the award.


• A presentation by Trine University faculty member Jeremy Rentz is included in The Best of the 2021 Teaching Professor Conference released by Magna Publications. Rentz, professor in the Reiners Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of the university's Center for Teaching Excellence, presented “Put the Hammer Down and Build Your Teaching Toolbox” at the Teaching Professor Conference, held in June in New Orleans. His presentation, rated among the conference's best in a post-event survey, is one of eight included in the publication.

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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