EAST CHICAGO | American Legion Post 369 recently presented its Americanism Award to James Colias.
Colias has lived in Munster since he was a first-grader attending James B. Eads Elementary School. A Munster High School and 1983 Indiana University graduate, he served as a teacher and principal at Wilbur Wright Middle School for 18 years, and is now a teacher at Munster High School.
Colias' students have successfully competed at the District 1 Simulated Congressional We the People Hearings at Indiana University and gone on to compete at the State We the People Hearings in Indianapolis. This competition provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles.
Colias has been involved with the We the People organization for the last nine years. During this time, the We the People students have been district champions eight times. Through his efforts, students developed skills to relate their everyday experiences to basic constitutional government and civic responsibilities.
They won the state championship in 2005 and have been second in the state three times. Munster's We the People students have also finished among the top five at the state level, nine times.
While in high school, Colias was a sectional, regional and semi-state wrestling champion. In addition to teaching, he has been the varsity wrestling coach at Munster High School for the last nine years, racking up the most dual meet victories as a head coach at MHS.
"Jim has an outstanding talent for teaching and never ceases to inspire those around him," Post Commander Noreen Komasinski said.
"Most importantly, he has been an outstanding example of character, support and caring for his students and those around him. He is very deserving of this Americanism Award," Komasinski added.
Colias and his wife, Sarah, have been married for 25 years and have three children, Rachel, Hannah and Billy.