The Fort Wayne Community Schools district and its board of school trustees celebrated outstanding teaching with a reception Monday night for its 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year award winner and finalists.
The reception took place at 5 p.m. at the Grile Administrative Center, just before the board's regular 6 p.m. meeting.
The district announced in May that Tod Croft, a math teacher at South Side High School, had been selected 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year. Croft was nominated for his dedication and extra effort to ensure students succeed.
Along with Croft, the board honored four Teacher of the Year finalists — Elizabeth Dickmeyer of Lincoln Elementary School, Abbie Jinnings of Levan Scott Academy, Shalauna McMillan of South Wayne Elementary School and Erin Patton-McFarren of Whitney Young Early Childhood Center.
In brief remarks, Croft said he is like so many other FWCS teachers who dedicate themselves to helping their students, hopefully setting the youngsters on a life trajectory toward success.
"When I look out in the classroom, I see potential," he said, noting students could become doctors, lawyers, musicians, artists or pursue many other careers.
He pushes all of the students to succeed, he said, because he doesn't know yet what students will be the ones who go on to do great things.
In other business, the board:
* Approved paying Booksource of St. Louis $393,323 in Coordinated Early Intervening Services funds to buy additional books for use in classrooms to encourage reading by at-risk learners or students with little interest in reading. Most of the books in this purchase will go to classrooms for students in grades 10-12.
* Approved moving Steven M. Jones to athletic director at South Side High School from his job as principal at Forest Park Elementary School.