Patty Martone, a community activist and longtime teacher and administrator at Fort Wayne Community Schools known for inspiring students and colleagues alike, has died.
Martone began her teaching career at the old Central High School in 1953. In the years to follow she held a litany of positions with the school system, from dean of girls at Central as well as Northrop High School, to assistant superintendent.
Her volunteer work as the chairwoman for Fort Wayne's 1994 Bicentennial earned her the Citizen of the Year award from The Journal Gazette.
Wendy Robinson, superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools and a student at Central while Martone was dean of girls there, is one of many who have said they drew inspiration from the educator.
In a 2006 interview with The Journal Gazette, Robinson recalled Martone as the one who "polished me, got me into social activities, community service. She pushed me, mentored me, adopted me – she did that to everybody at Central."
Krista Stockman, the current district spokeswoman and a former reporter with The Journal Gazette, had the opportunity to interact with Martone as both a journalist and a colleague.
"It was inspiring to just be around her," Stockman said. "She was never my teacher or administrator for me in terms of school or my job, but you couldn't help but just be passionate about life when you were around her."
Martone, a North Side High School graduate, was an employee with the district for 33 years but returned to the district to volunteer in any way she could. For years, she has remained involved.
"I just saw her a few weeks ago," Stockman said. "She said she failed at retirement. She was always doing something or always had some new project. She never slowed down.