Two educators within Fort Wayne Community Schools were surprised on May 11 with Teacher of the Year awards.

Caroline Rosado, a fifth-grade teacher at Weisser Park Elementary School, was given the FWCS Elementary Teacher of the Year award for her work at Weisser Park. Rosado has taught for five years with three of those at Weisser Park

According to a press release, Rosado creates a learning environment in her classroom that supports all students and builds on their strength.

"Caroline defines what it means to be a STEAM educator," said Weisser Park Principal Melissa Plumb. "Caroline started this school year as the student interventionist. When a fifth-grade teacher resigned, Caroline graciously accepted the challenge and became the new fifth-grade teacher, as well as the boys' basketball coach."

In Rosado's Teacher of the Year application, she said she views learning as reflective, intentional and holistic for the student and teacher.

"Empowerment should glow inside every student," she said. "My responsibility provides a safe culture where learners participate in instruction, skill, practice, learning, achievement and character development."

After being selected as the FWCS Elementary Teacher of the Year, Rosado said she feels the value of all the teachers' hard work.

"I feel encouragement and empowerment that you just keep going on no matter what," she said. "You take the time to get to know each individual and you serve them with the best education that you possibly can. I know I'm not the only one who strives for that everyday. I think I'm just a representation of that hard work and values."

One of Rosado's favorite aspects of teaching is being able to get to know every student as an individual and making sure they feel the value of who they are and their own personality.

Thomas Maupin, the director of the Allure and Charisma show choirs at Northrop High School, was awarded the FWCS Secondary Teacher of the Year award.

"Throughout rehearsals and performances, we encourage each other; we critique each other; we get frustrated with each other; we hold each other accountable to always give our best; and in the end, we all appreciate how hard we are working and the passion we have for music," Maupin wrote in his application. "We wouldn't do this if we didn't all love it and have a sense of belonging and family."

According to the same press release, Maupin strives to be an advocate for fine and performing arts at all schools.

"I believe that every child should be given the opportunity to have a quality fine arts education," he said. "In my classes, I try and make every student find some sort of success at their own level."

Maupin has been an educator for 34 years with 22 of those years as the show choir director.

"It's the love of music and it's the passion that the (students) have," he said. "Every kid that comes into my class has a love of music or they wouldn't be there. It's getting them to build on that and draw from that and getting to share my love of music and my passion for it with them."

Being a teacher allows for Maupin to learn new things from his students.

"You never stop learning," he said. "During the pandemic, I really realized how much the kids needed us but I also realized how much I needed the kids and that is so important to me. It didn't feel right without them."

Candidates for Teacher of the Year are nominated by building principals with finalists chosen by a committee of administrators. The Teacher of the Year winners will now be nominated for Indiana Teacher of the Year.

ELEMENTARY FINALISTS

  • Lindsey Baker, kindergarten teacher at Irwin Elementary
  • Aaron Eastom, third-grade teacher at Maplewood Elementary
  • Rashelle Lofgren, fourth-grade teacher at Harrison Hills Elementary
  • Anna Zulkowski, second-grade teacher at Bloomingdale Elementary

SECONDARY FINALISTS

  • Matthew Mertes, social studies teacher at North Side High School
  • Denise Oaks, English teacher at South Side High School
  • Colleen Phillips, music teacher at Lane Middle School
  • Eric Toy, computer science teacher at New Tech Academy at Wayne High School

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