School: J. E. Ober Elementary School, Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community Schools
Grade teaching: Kindergarten
Education : Bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ball State University
Years teaching: 19
City born and raised: Auburn
Current hometown: Auburn
Family: Married to Tom Hirchak; two daughters, Lindsay, 12 and Emma, 9.
Last book read and what you thought of it: “The Café” by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. It is a great teaching resource. I am implementing comprehension strategies from the book into my classroom.
Favorite class in school: History
Biggest influence in your decision to become a teacher? I took a cadet teaching class in high school. I worked with my former kindergarten teacher, Kay Williams. I saw how much her students grew as learners and what an impact her teaching had on them. I knew that was what I wanted to do.
Nominated by: Jonell Malcolm, parent
Nomination: “Mrs. Hirchak has taught five of our six children (the sixth one is not in school yet) in kindergarten, and she currently has our son, Malachi. She is very organized and thorough. She knows her students very well and works effortlessly to help each child reach their personal best academically, as well as socially. She enjoys her job, and it shows!”
•The following Concordia Lutheran High School students were named winners in the Allen County Public Library “Just Write It” poetry contest: senior Larraine Graham, third place; senior Taryn Ahmed, honorable mention; sophomore Justin Swan, second place; sophomore Taylor Bryant, third place; freshman Dominic Perugini, first place; freshman Alex Koeneman, second place; freshman Aaron Reynolds, third place; and freshman Nick Coomer, honorable mention.
•The Magee-O’Connor Foundation has awarded Allen County Education Partnership a $2,000 grant to support the agency’s literacy programming.
•Registration begins Jan. 1 for Christ Academy – High School, a two-week summer event for high school-aged men of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. The event takes place June 16-29 at Concordia Theological Seminary. Space is limited. Registration information can be found at www.ctsfw.edu/ChristAcademy. If you know of a young man who might be interested in this opportunity, contact Christ Academy Student Director Chad Smith at Chad.Smith@ctsfw.edu or 452-3140.
•Indiana Tech School of Law welcomes James Berles of Fort Wayne; Adam Lamparello of Randolph, N.J.; and Charles MacLean of Knoxville, Tenn., as its newest hires. The three will teach primarily in the legal research and writing curriculum.
•The university’s student newspaper, The Communicator, earned Design of the Year Award in the Illustration Category from the Associated College Press.
•Ivy Tech Community College – Northeast has selected William “Chris” Cathcart as its vice chancellor for student affairs, replacing Chuck Lewton. Cathcart previously served Kaplan Higher Education system in various high-ranking administrative roles. Prior to his time in higher education, Cathcart worked for several financial institutions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Morehouse College and a master’s in business administration from Vanderbilt University.
•Daysha Jackson, director of student success and retention, will be promoted to assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. Jackson has been with Ivy Tech since August 2010 and has nine years of experience working in higher education with an emphasis on student success and retention.