FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) has announced its Teachers of the Year for elementary and secondary levels.
FWCS named Nikki Fultz, fourth-grade teacher at Waynedale Elementary School, Teacher of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year.
Fultz has taught for 15 years with the past 10 years at Waynedale. FWCS said that during this past school year, she served as a remote teacher working with students learning online.
“Nikki has excelled in creating a culture of collaboration and community with her remote students,” said Waynedale Principal Kristee Hoffner. “Often she would find activities that combine the remote and in-person learners. She has taken the initiative to keep in-person and remove student motivated to learn.”
Fultz said she strives to establish and inclusive, welcoming space for all students. Community service is embedded into her classroom to help foster students’ interest and learn how they can make a difference in the world.
FWCS named Tia McFarthing, seventh-grade language arts teacher at Towles New Tech Middle School, Teacher of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year.
McFarthing has taught for 13 years and has been at Towles for the past eight years, the district said.
“It is my strong belief that education should prepare students for life, regardless of career or educational path that they are on,” McFarthing said in her Teacher of the Year application. “In the New Tech program, we focus not only on content but also on interpersonal skills that are essential for success beyond our walls.”
FWCS said that at Towles, she established a Writing Center which allows middle school students to assist their peers in writing. The center helps the student leaders, the students who need assistance and the teachers whose primary subject might not be language arts.
“I recognize that my (New Tech peers) needed more support with helping students during all the phases of the writing process,” McFarthing said. “The tutors in my Writing Center has a lot of autonomy and the Writing Center is a thing of beauty to see in action… Students review the work of their peers while asking open-ended questions and engaging the writer in discussion about his or her work. Over the years, I have head both teachers and student comment about how helpful the Writing Center has been in supporting writing in our school.”