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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Whitney Young Early Childhood Center teacher Jenny Sanders shows a puffer fish to prekindergarten students during a drawing lesson.

Teacher honor roll | Education notebook

Teacher: Jenny (Wisler) Sanders

School: Whitney Young Early Childhood Center

Subject teaching: Visual arts

Education: Bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Saint Francis

Years teaching: 1976-1983, Wayne Trace Local Schools; 1983-1992, part-time at St. Vincent's, St. Joseph's; 1983-2003, adjunct professor at University of Saint Francis; 1992-2001, South Side High School; 2001-present Whitney Young Early Childhood Center

Cities born and raised in: Ohio native, went to school in Bryan

Current hometown: Fort Wayne

Family: Married to Mike (Satch), a retired FWCS teacher; children: Charlie, Molly, Erin, Joel, Leah, Kurt, their spouses; 10 grandchildren

Last book read: “The Invention Of Wings,” by Sue Monk Kidd

Favorite teacher: Sister Gemma in second grade – she encouraged me to write and illustrate stories every day when I finished my work and I got to share them with my classmates. Now I do the same with my kids, my students and my grandkids.

Favorite teaching memory: Former student who was completing senior year in college called me for some help because he had exhausted all his sources and knew I would know the answer to a question he had been researching for a final paper. He asked, “You know how you have always worked with me to figure things out – I need your help – please: 'What is the meaning of life?' ” I still laugh every time I think of his honest belief that I could help him with that question – it was obviously a philosophy class.

What advice would you give to your students as they plan for their future? At WYECC we have a phrase that guides all that we do with children each day, and it has really become my own personal mantra as I segue into retirement and make many life changes – NOTHING WITHOUT JOY!

Nominated by: Katie Ziegler, co-worker

Reason for nomination: “Jenny is an amazing artist and teacher! Students love her “stories on the board” and can't wait to go to her art studio. She inspires and challenges her co-workers to think deeply about their work with children and do what is best for our students. She is retiring at the end of the school year after 30 years of teaching full time. She will truly be missed by students, parents, and colleagues in FWCS!”


Kayleen Hart of the Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District in Angola has recently been recommended to receive a $2,000 grant from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program for the project “Youth Conservation Field Day.” This project will support the Youth Conservation Field Day for five local elementary school's fourth grade classes in Angola.

•Bishop Luers High School senior Nathan Grabner was selected as one of 40 students in the state as an Indiana Academic All-Star. He is the son of Nancy and Roger Grabner.

•Local winners in the annual Rotary District 6540 speech contest include – Carolyn Tsai, Canterbury grade 10, second place for original oratory; Manasse Kwete, South Side grade 11, third place in Rotary 4 Way Test; Hannah Babcock, Canterbury grade 10, first place in impromptu; and Ismael Aldave, South Side grade 12, third place in impromptu.

Christina Jesse, a junior at Homestead High School, was recently named Miss Teen Indiana 2014. She will compete in the USA Ambassador Pageant in July.

• The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program recently recognized the Top 100 reading classrooms for the 2013-14 school year. Nikki Barcus, sixth-grade teacher at Southern Wells Elementary School, had a class rank as a Top 100 classroom, logging 145,030 reading minutes. They will be presented with a “Top 100 Award” and a Pizza Hut gift card.

Kalley Nicely, a Fort Wayne resident, will travel to Borneo in summer 2014 to study primate conservation. She is a master's student in the Global Field Program from Miami University's Project Dragonfly.

• The American Electric Power Foundation Nature Explore Classroom located at Northwest Allen County Schools' Cedar Canyon Elementary has earned national certification as a Nature Explore Classroom from Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation.

•Huntington North High School senior Jack Pickard placed first in the “TV Open or Close” category and third in the “Video In-Depth” category during the annual Indiana Association of School Broadcasters conference and competition at the University of Indianapolis.

Morrell Robinson, a North Side High School student, was selected to become a member of the National Society of High School Scholars.

WGU Indiana

•WGU Indiana's College of Business has launched a new master's degree program in Management and Leadership.

•WGU Indiana has been named a partner in President Obama's 100Kin10, a multi-sector network of nearly 200 partners aiming to achieve one goal: prepare all students with the high-quality science, technology, engineering and math knowledge and skills to equip them for success in college and the workplace.

Do you have a favorite teacher who you’d like to see featured in The Journal Gazette? Send us nominations for your favorite teacher with the following information: the teacher’s name, school, school district and grade/subject taught, your name, phone number and the reason for your nomination. Education Notebook listings appear on Mondays. To submit an item or teacher nomination, send a typed release from the school or organization to 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.