ST. JOHN |The Lake Central School Corp. board and administration recently saluted two teachers who were nominated and chosen by their peers as Teacher of the Year for 2013.
Both veteran educators were honored at last week’s School Board meeting while family, friends and colleagues gave them standing ovations.
Gretchen Pishkur, of Crown Point, teaches fourth grade at Watson Elementary School in Schererville. She began her career with the Lake Central School Corp. in 1984.
After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Pishkur came up with the idea to collect bears for Newtown children.
The response from the community was overwhelming, with more than 1,000 stuffed animals being collected. Eventually the toys were distributed to groups in Northwest Indiana after Newtown officials asked for donations to be halted.
Pishkur also has organized after-school activities for students.
*Sally Wilkins, of Valparaiso, has been a business teacher at Lake Central High School since 1985.
In addition to expecting her students to be responsible for their work and their behavior, Wilkins has mentored many students to succeed in college and the business world, said Superintendent Larry Veracco reading from comments written by fellow teachers in nominating Wilkins for the honor.
Four other teachers were among the finalists for the 2013 teacher of the year honors. They are Dave Schweitzer, a math teacher at Grimmer Middle School in Schererville; Sarah Verpooten and Carrie Wadycki, both journalism teachers at Lake Central High School; and Kim Yelich, a kindergarten teacher at Watson Elementary.
*Editor's Note: This story has been corrected from its original version.