Story by Garth Snow.
Homestead High School’s TV/Radio director, Adam Schenkel, has been named Southwest Allen County Schools’ 2017 district Teacher of the Year.
Superintendent Phil Downs Schenkel’s selection. Gathering under the guise of a staff meeting, the announcement surprised everyone, including Schenkel.
“What an unbelievable honor,” Schenkel said, as he looked around the room. “… I work with so many colleagues who are amazing in the classroom and who teach me how to be a better leader for our students and continue to inspire me daily.”
Schenkel began his career at Homestead 13 years ago with a goal of providing opportunity for students and to grow both the radio and TV programs. This school year, both the TV and radio program have received local and national recognition. HHS’ radio station, The Point 91FM, was recently named Indiana’s Radio School of the Year and HHS’ television broadcasting program’s “HHS In Depth” was named Best TV Newscast in the nation by Intercollegiate Broadcasting System.
“While the accolades we achieved in 2016‐2017 are always something we strive for and shouldn’t be overlooked, what I do is truly about the kids — 100 percent the kids, each and every day,” Schenkel said. “It’s the students’ faces after they record an interview with a celebrity or star athlete. While it may be a proud moment for them, it’s even a prouder moment for me.”
Park Ginder, Homestead principal, said Schenkel was nominated because of his dedication to his students and passion for his trade. “Mr. Schenkel is a lifelong learner and an example to our students in his approach to his profession,” Ginder said. ” … Mr. Schenkel lives out his life and experiences with our students and is committed to their growth as he travels with them, teaching them, leading them, across the state.”
Downs praised Schenkel. “Adam has a tireless dedication to provide opportunity for not only his radio and TV students, but all HHS students, programs, teachers, events and activities Homestead offers,” Downs said.
SACS’ Teacher of the Year award is designed to honor, promote and celebrate excellence in the teaching profession. Candidates for Teacher of the Year are nominated by building principals with finalists chosen by a committee of administrators, parents and past Teacher of the Year winners. The other finalists this year included: Susan Will, Special Education at Woodside Middle School; Natalie Bassett, Special Education at Summit Middle School; Lisa Hoch, fifth-grade teacher at Aboite Elementary; Chris Broni, fourth-grade teacher at Covington Elementary; Jennifer Redner, kindergarten teacher at Deer Ridge Elementary; Jennifer Coplen, second-grade teacher at Haverhill Elementary; Anne Sullivan, Elementary Title I Interventionalist at Lafayette Meadows Elementary; and Melissa Stanley, third-grade teacher at Whispering Meadows.
As the SACS Teacher of the Year, Schenkel will also be nominated for 2018 Indiana Teacher of the Year.