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If you follow education news in The Times, you’ll know Region superintendents, principals and teachers have been gaining state and national recognition on a fast pace this fall.

There have been great stories and updates about achievement in many school districts. Congratulations to the honorees.

Not winning awards but gaining recognition are teachers and students featured in our Making the Grade series every Monday.

This series, in its fourth year planned and reported by education writer Carmen McCollum, gets around the Region and provides a window into everyday and innovative learning taking place in classroom after classroom.

Last week, Making the Grade visited Lake Ridge New Tech Middle School and put its creed for Champions in the spotlight. On Monday, the series will highlight the work of a teacher at Grimmer Middle School in the Lake Central School Corp.

Readers who follow education news know the work week begins with a story that will be a delight to read and share.

Count Harriet Rincon, a Munster resident and a retired 33-year teacher in the Griffith schools, as a follower of Making the Grade and education coverage overall.

She sent this note last Monday to McCollum. I asked to share it because I think it represents what some other readers say:

“Reading the paper on Monday mornings is always such a refreshing way to start the week due to your enlightening and encouraging articles about education in our area,” she wrote. “We are bombarded by so much discouraging and demoralizing news, and your articles place a wonderful emphasis on positive happenings.

“As a retired teacher, it is so refreshing to read about the dedicated teachers and administrators that you highlight. It is as or even more important to learn about students who are succeeding.”

Making the Grade is a favorite assignment of McCollum each and every week.

“It’s always a joy to walk into active, busy classrooms where students are learning at the same time that they’re having fun,” McCollum said. “I’ve been to a variety of computer coding classes, and it’s so interesting to watch as students learn how to code and move forward designing their own characters.

“Project-based learning and Project Lead the Way classes offer so much to students in terms of teaching them how to work together as a team. It’s also interesting to visit career and technical classes, which give students an idea of the technical jobs that are available in the community.”

Have an idea for a school visit? Contact McCollum at or call her at (219) 622-5337.

Have you been missing Making the Grade stories? Find a slideshow of them attached to this column at

Campus Spotlight

The higher education version of Making the Grade, called Campus Spotlight, has returned for a third year. Stories run every Thursday and offer a weekly glimpse at programs and personalities at Region colleges.

We hope you learn more about higher education in the Region through this series, researched and written by a team of reporters.

Don’t miss any of our education coverage, all shared on the NWI Education page on Facebook. Connect with it, and be sure to talk about and send stories of interest to your family and friends.

Thanks for reading us. Please contact me with any questions about The Times or our many publications.

Bob Heisse is editor of The Times Media Co. He can be reached at (219) 933-3327 or



Bob is editor of The Times Media Co. He started in Northwest Indiana in April 2014 following stints as executive editor of The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., and The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.