South Side Math Teacher Named FWCS Teacher of the Year

Record Number: 16531
Displayed from: May 23, 2017 , until: Jul 23, 2017

Tod Croft, a math teacher at South Side High School, has been named the 2017 Fort Wayne Community Schools Teacher of the Year. Croft began his teaching career 24 years ago, working at Wayne and Northrop high schools before moving to South Side three years ago.

Croft was selected as Teacher of the Year because of his dedication to ensuring all of his students succeed by being a cheerleader, a motivator, a supporter and an advocate for them. He will go out of his way to visit students outside of math class just to check in and see how they are doing throughout the day. He learns their interests and talents to make connections beyond the classroom lessons.

By building strong relationships with students, he opens their minds to learning and achieving their goals while they are in high school and even beyond graduation. He focuses on teaching students, not just teaching math.

Teaching is not about a subject. Math is a vehicle. It's the best opportunity in the world to give students an opportunity to develop into something outside of high school,' Croft said. I believe in hope, grace and opportunity for students.'

And that support doesn't end when students receive their diplomas.

When you're a student of Croft's, you're a student of mine for life,' he said.

Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said Croft's commitment to his students represents what it means to be a teacher in Fort Wayne Community Schools.

We talk about building relationships with students, with families, with co-workers all the time,' Dr. Robinson said. Tod doesn't need to be told to build relationships with those around him. He does it because he truly believes teaching is his calling, and it is his moral purpose to care for all those around him " students and adults.'

Candidates for Teacher of the Year are nominated by building principals with finalists chosen by a committee of administrators. The other finalists this year were Elizabeth Dickmeyer, third-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary; Abbie Jinnings, first-grade teacher at Scott Academy; Shalauna McMillan, fourth-grade teacher at South Wayne Elementary; and Erin Patton-McFarren, art teacher at Whitney Young Early Childhood Center. Croft and the finalists will be honored at a School Board meeting in the fall. Croft will also be nominated for Indiana Teacher of the Year.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.