Many of us already know the good fortune of parents and students of several Region communities, which are home to some of the best public and private schools in the state.
High graduation rates, stellar standardized test scores and perennial four-star school ratings abound in many Lake, Porter and LaPorte county school districts.
Now at least two Northwest Indiana school districts can add another distinction to the list of accolades: individual teachers acknowledged by top authorities for their prowess in education.
Indiana Teacher of the Year
Last week, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick brought high praise to the Crown Point Community School Corp. during a visit to Crown Point High School.
McCormick announced physics teacher Jerome Flewelling had been named the 2018 Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Department of Education.
It was the first Region teacher to receive the high honor since a Hammond teacher won it in 1995.
"He's the kind of teacher who will go out of his way to make you know what you are doing and when you are doing it," Crown Point senior Nick Ryan said of his teacher, the award-winning Flewelling.
"He will help you any way he can. He answers emails late at night even when you are trying to do homework. He will go the extra mile for anyone he can."
Crown Point, and the entire Region, is fortunate to have teachers of Flewelling's prowess and caliber.
"Jerome's career has been nothing short of diligently preparing his students for life beyond high school," McCormick said during the award announcement last week.
Accolades from Stanford
Count Chesterton High School math teacher Chris Hackett as another Region educator garnering high praise and Region pride.
Earlier this week, we reported Hackett had formally been acknowledged by Stanford University as an educator who played a significant role in the intellectual, academic and personal development of one of the university's incoming Class of 2021 members.
The 2017 Chesterton High School graduate nominating Hackett was Angel Smith.
"From my first day in Algebra Honors to my last day in AP calculus, Mr. Hackett has been an inspiration to my academic career," Smith said. "He provides the kind of tough love that makes you fear him and admire him in the same breath...His belief that I could tackle any problem thrown my way gave me the strength to prove him right."
This praise, from a student whose life was touched and molded by Hackett, is perhaps greater than the letter and certificate from Stanford.
It's no accident the Region boasts top schools. It starts with caring and engaged parents and is solidified in the diligence and caring of teachers, some of them award-winning educators.
Flewelling and Hackett have made us all proud.