AP NEWS

Teacher of Year finds ‘genius’ in each pupil

May 24, 2019

Under the pretense of an emergency staff meeting, Homestead High School French teacher Marius Sagnon gathered with his colleagues Thursday morning only to learn they were there for a celebration.

Superintendent Phil Downs announced Sagnon as the Southwest Allen County Schools’ Teacher of the Year. The award honors, promotes and celebrates excellence in the teaching profession.

“I am humbled and honored by this award,” Sagnon said in a statement.

Candidates were nominated by principals, and finalists were chosen by a committee of administrators, parents and past recipients, according to a news release.

Sagnon was nominated because of the talent, dedication and passion he brings to Homestead’s staff, his classroom and each student, Principal Park Ginder said, describing Sagnon as a game-changer.

“The support he extends to his students reaches far beyond the classroom walls,” Ginder said in a statement. “At athletics one night, a play the next, a musical on the weekend, Sagnon tells his students he will be there, and he is there!”

Sagnon, who is from Africa, joined SACS five years ago. He previously taught for 15 years in Burkina Faso, a country in western Africa, the release said.

His educational experiences as a student inspired him to become a teacher, the release said.

“Teachers made curricula to fit their own needs and not the students,” Sagnon said. “As a result, less than 5% of students attend college. When I became a teacher, I vowed to empower, to care and to find the ‘genius’ in every student.”

Other Teacher of the Year finalists were Dave Force, technology education, Summit Middle School; Melissa Parker, sixth grade reading, Woodside Middle School; Tom Terrell, school counselor, Aboite Elementary School; Tara Hallman, fifth grade teacher, Covington Elementary School; Lori Schreck, literacy specialist, Deer Ridge Elementary School; Danielle Eme, first grade teacher, Haverhill Elementary School; Andrea Harmeyer, third grade teacher, Lafayette Meadows Elementary School; and Jim Nelson, speech language pathologist, Whispering Meadows Elementary School.

Sagnon also will be nominated for Indiana Teacher of the Year.

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