The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:56 am

Education Notebook

Jamie Duffy The Journal Gazette

Todd Townsend

School: Jefferson Middle School

Grade teaching: Seventh-grade language arts

Education: Indiana University, bachelor’s degree in physical education with an English minor; IPFW, master’s degree in secondary education

Years teaching: 27 years in FWCS, 24 years at Jefferson

City born: Fort Wayne

Current hometown: Fort Wayne

Family: Married 16 years to my wife Melissa. I have two daughters, Caitlyn, 11, and Cayley, 7.

Last book read: "The Mystery of the Aztec Warrior" by Franklin W. Dixon (I’m reliving my childhood with the Hardy Boys)

Favorite teacher(s): Mrs. Szink, my sixth-grade teacher at Shambaugh Elementary School

Favorite class in school: Creative Communications in ninth grade at Jefferson Junior High

Favorite teaching memory: There are so many in 27 years, but at this point in my career, I think what I enjoy the most is running into my former students out in public. It doesn’t matter if they are in high school, college, or an adult in the "real world," it always makes you feel good when they seek you out and want to bring up something you taught them in class. It is also very rewarding to see how well they are doing now, and to know you played a part in their success. It is an honor and a pleasure to teach my students.

What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their future? Always give your best effort no matter what, treat others the way you want to be treated, and don’t take life and people that you love for granted.

Recommended by Timothy Moore: "Mr. Townsend is the greatest teacher I’ve ever met." He is the "hardest working and wants everybody to succeed. It’s really an honor to be in his class." His life lesson is to the best you can be today. "If anybody earns to be in The Journal Gazette, it’s Todd Townsend."

Trine University

Television star Regis Philbin will deliver the commencement address Saturday at Trine University. Commencement begins at 10 a.m. at the Zollner Athletic Stadium. If inclement weather, commencement will be at the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Inc. Athletic and Recreation Center.

Huntington County Robotics Team

The Huntington County Robotics Team traveled to St. Louis to compete in the World Robotics Championship Competition, April 22 through April 25.  Team Thrust 1501, a Huntington County 4-H special interest club qualified for the competition earning both a silver medal in the Indiana State Competition and winning the State Engineering Inspirational Award, the winner of which is automatically qualified for the world championship. This is the fourth time in 11 years of the team’s existence it has qualified for the world championship and the first time it has won the Engineering Inspiration Award.


Portage Middle School and Holland Elementary School earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies the buildings perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. Commercial buildings that earn the certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. 

Concordia University Wisconsin 

Concordia University Wisconsin announced that Caleb Linnemeier of Fort Wayne is a Presidential Scholar winner. He is a student at Concordia Lutheran High School.

Endowment winners

Larry Linson and Bryan Kaylor, both third-grade teachers at Cedarville Elementary School, received a $10,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship for summer educational projects. They were among about 100 teachers designated as Indiana’s most gifted K-12 educators who were awarded the grants. 

Young Entrepreneur awards

Joseph Zirille, Homestead High School senior, was one of five Hoosiers to win a scholarship with 2015 National Federation of Independent Business’ Young Entrepreneur Foundation. His business, Bluehand Entertainment, is a DJ company. He will be attending Indiana University-Bloomington. More than 600 students nationwide applied this year. 

Concordia Lutheran 

Tim Benecke has been named this year’s LTG General John Moellering Hall of Honor inductee. He is a 1974 graduate of Concordia Lutheran High School and a former member of the school’s JROTC program where he attained the rank of cadet major, serving as battalion executive officer, Snap Squad Exhibition Drill Team commander and Officer’s Ball chairman. 

Bishop Luers

Bishop Luers will host a "Run with the Knights!" 10K run/walk Saturday at Foster Park, 3900 Old Mill Rd. Preregistration is $15 per person, or $20 per person after today. Registration begins at 8 a.m.; the run at 9 a.m. Go to to register by credit card and obtain race registration forms. Forms will also be accepted by mail at 333 E. Paulding Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46816. For more information, contact Sarah Shank at Bishop Luers High School at 456-1261 ext.3039 or

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, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne IN 46802-0088; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.

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