Teachers of Excellence April 2013

2013-05-15T11:53:00Z Teachers of Excellence April 2013Contributed by The Times nwitimes.com
May 15, 2013 11:53 am  • 

Kenneth J. Allen & Associates Injury Attorneys with offices in Valparaiso, Merrillville and Chicago are proud to present the Teachers of Excellence for April 2013.

"Teachers provide a foundation for life as we know it. Without them there would be no doctors, police officers, authors, scientists, engineers ... virtually every vocation. We appreciate and acknowledge their commitment to making our world a better place," Allen says.

To learn more about charities that are supported by Kenneth J Allen & Associates visit http://www.kenallenlaw.com/givingback.php

Lake County

Amy Back, Art, Three Creeks Elementary, Lowell

About Amy Back:

Resident of Valparaiso. Graduate of Franklin County High School, class of 2002. Bachelor’s degree from Hope College in visual arts education. Employed by Tri-Creek School Corporation. Enjoys traveling and cooking.


Teacher for six years. Runs an afterschool club for 4th and 5th grade students called Art Explorers.

Why I Teach:

“I like seeing kids be creative thinkers and learn to problem solve through art, seeing them express themselves and the different results that students come up with.”

Bridget Swinford, High School Math, Lowell High School, Lowell

About Bridget Swinford:

Resident of Crown Point. Graduate of Crown Point High School, class of 1996. Bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University in math education. Employed by Tri-Creek School Corporation. Married to husband Mark with daughter Helen. Enjoys reading and music.


Teacher for 12 years. Has always taught math and was at Crown Point High School for two years, and Mishawaka High School for two years before coming to Lowell. Involved in number of school committees such as Freshman Academy Team, serves as a math team leader, works on bridge team to tech school, on a corporation-wide grading practices committee and others.

Why I Teach:

“I want to make what is a very difficult subject for many people a little better. I’ve always enjoyed math and want to ease people’s fears.”

Porter County

Gail Mooney, Alternative Program Teacher, Valparaiso High School

About Gail Mooney:

Resident of Valparaiso. Graduate of St. Stephens, Saginaw. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State in special education. Employed by Valparaiso Community Schools. Married since 1977 to high school sweetheart with three children. Enjoys gardening, reading, Pilates, and walking.


Teacher for 25 years. Moved to Valparaiso in 1995 and started in 1996 at the Porter County Career Center teaching in the middle school alternative program. In 2007 moved to chairing the high school program. Very involved in her students’ lives and works with ARC , Rotary, and Northwest Indiana Leadership Committee to support her students.

Why I Teach:

“I have always liked the underdog, that’s my connection. I will always support the underdog.”

Suzanna Perrell, Lower Elementary Directress, Chesterton Montessori School, Chesterton

About Suzanna Perrell:

Resident of Chesterton. Graduate of Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, class of 1996. Bachelor’s degree for University of Wisconsin Madison in geography with concentration in human environment interactions. Master’s degree from NIAOM Seattle in acupuncture. Montessori I certification from Center for Montessori Teacher Education. Teachers certification through Eastern Carolina University. Employed by Chesterton Montessori School. Has one son and enjoys sewing, reading, gardening, hiking, and dancing.


Teacher since 2004. First taught preschool in Raleigh, NC; lower elementary at Casa Esperanza Montessori Charter School in Raleigh; preschool at Kids First Academy in Highland; substitute teaching in Hammond and Highland public schools; third year at Chesterton Montessori School as lower elementary directress.

Why I Teach:

“I feel it’s my calling. I want to make a positive difference in the world and in the lives of the children. I felt I could help make a bigger impact working with children and their families.”

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