• 2021 TEACHER & EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR


    The Duneland School Corporation is proud to annouce the winners of the 2021
    "Teacher of the Year" and "Employee of the Year" Recognition Program.

    The winners are: 

     

    ELEMENTARY TEACHER OF THE YEAR

     

    Elissa Dortmund -  Brummitt Elementary School

    Elissa Dortmund, second grade teacher/media specialist at Brummitt Elementary, has been teaching for the Duneland School Corporation (DSC) since 2009. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Indiana University in 2002 and her Master in Library and Information Science in 2012.
     
    She began her DSC career as Media Specialist at Brummitt Elementary providing accessible tools for students and staff to direct, enhance and support the learning process. She prides herself in building a rapport with students to promote positive attitudes and motivate students to develop skills, attitudes and knowledge to ensure success in school.

    In August of 2020, just three days before school began, Elissa also took on the role of 2nd grade teacher in addition to her duties as the school's media specialist. She graciously offered to 'jump into' the classroom to fill in for a fellow teacher needing to take a necessary leave of absence in lieu of enlisting a long-term substitute teacher. Her motive being that it would be difficult to find a qualified teacher on such short notice. Although this role was to be a temporary one, Elissa chose to continue to teach the second grade class this school year rather than to return to her full time role as media specialist. According to one of her colleagues, "Elissa put Brummitt students and parents above her own needs in order to support and lead the class."

    Her collaborative involvement includes being a member of the the District Innovation Team and the District Strategic Planning Team as well as a Professional Development Blitz Instructor. Other professional responsibilities at the school level have included student council sponsor, Project Lead the Way trainer/coordinator, building steering committee, robotics head coach, chess club sponsor, PTO teacher liaison/VP, yearbook sponsor, academic fair chair, coordinator of the book fair, read-a-thon and related arts level; as well as a member of the language arts committee.

    Elissa is also a 1998 graduate of Chesterton High School.

     

    SECONDARY TEACHER OF THE YEAR

    Kaylene Arizzi - Chesterton High School

    Kaylene Arizzi, Chesterton High School World Languages-Spanish teacher, has been teaching for Duneland Schools since 2011.

    Kaylene received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a minor in Chemistry from Indiana University Bloomington in 2004 and her Master of Arts in Teaching, Curriculum and Instruction from University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas in 2013.

    Prior to coming to Duneland, she began her teaching career at Concord High School in Elkhart and in 2009 began teaching at LaPorte High School in LaPorte. During her 10 years of teaching Spanish Levels 1, 2 and 3 at Chesterton High School, she has collaborated with her fellow colleagues to create a cohesive curriculum; implement interpersonal, interpretive and presentational modes of communication in lesson plans; and incorporate unique cultural knowledge into classroom lessons. Her contributions include piloting instructional coaching, co-sponsoring the CHS Spanish Club, and serving as an educational leader/co-leader of student trips to Costa Rica and Peru.

    An important thing that Kaylene has learned during her fourteen years of teaching is to be her 'authentic self' and to create a classroom environment where everyone feels welcomed and respected. She works hard to get to know her students so that they know they are important.

    One of her colleagues commented, "Kaylene puts an enormous amount of energy into getting to know each of her students and creating a healthy and comfortable atmosphere in her classroom." Adding in her recommendation of Kaylene, "She truly embodies the qualities of a Duneland School Corporation Secondary Teacher of the Year. She is collaborative, professional, kind and she approaches her work with joy and humility."

     

     

    EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR

    Lynne Jenks -  Human Resources

    Lynne Jenks has worked for Duneland Schools since 2002. She began her career as a lunch and instructional aide at Brummitt Elementary. In 2003, She transferred to Jackson Elementary as an instructional aide for six years and then as an RtI aide for three years.
     
    In February of 2011, Lynne took an administrative assistant position at the Duneland Administration Center to serve the assistant superintendent. Her duties included typical administrative assistant tasks in the areas of curriculum and school compliance.
     
    In 2015, her job evolved into her current position as Human Resources Generalist serving all of our employees from the beginning of their employment to the end and everything in between from FMLA, licensing, posting positions, maintaining employee files and much, much more.
     
    Her co-worker stated, "Lynne is a dedicated team player that has contributed to the success of Duneland.'" She also added just a few of the great qualities that makes Lynne a valuable employee and an excellent representative for Duneland--her positive attitude; ability to help others and be a team player; and her outstanding organization and work ethic.

     

     

    This year, due to social distancing, the winners were awarded at their homes or at their school by DSC administrators.

    Each of the winners received a $500 monetary award from the following local sponsors:

    McColly Real Estate (Paul Boyter) – Elementary Teacher of the Year
    1st Source Bank – Secondary Teacher of the Year
    Ellis Electric Inc. – Employee of the Year

    In addition, a plaque honoring the winners is on display at the Duneland School Corporation Administration Center.

    Link to the announcement with winner and finalist photos: https://www.smore.com/14gw8

     


     

    2021 TEACHER & EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

     

    ELEMENTARY TEACHER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

     

    Dave Lashenik

    Dave Lashenik

    Liberty Intermediate - 5th Grade

     
    Nancy Moats  

    Nancy Moats

    Bailly Elementary - 2nd Grade

    David Mueller

    David Mueller

    Liberty Elementary - 4th Grade

     
     

    Tammy Socausky

    Yost Elementary - 4th Grade

     
    Kaitlyn Toweson

    Kaitlyn Toweson

    Westchester Intermediate - 5th Grade

     
     Marquita White  

    Marquita White

    Jackson Elementary - 3rd Grade

     

    SECONDARY TEACHER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

    Doug Adams

    Doug Adams

    Chesterton Middle - Guidance

    Rachel Blythe

    Rachel Blythe

    Chesterton High - English

     
    Liz Gyure

    Liz Gyure

    Chesterton High - Math

     
    Anne Stark

    Anne Stark

    Chesterton Middle - English

     
    Aki Tsugawa

    Aki Tsugawa

    Chesterton Middle - World Languages

     

    EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

     Chris Hall

    Chris Hall

    DSC - Maintenance 

    David Nawotka    

    David Nawotka

    DSC - Technology

    Mark Singer  

    Mark Singer

    DSC - Maintenance

    Leslie Tarnowksi

    Leslie Tarnowski

    DSC - Teaching & Learning

     

    Deeann Witek

    DSC - Technology