The Journal Gazette
Monday, April 06, 2020 1:00 am

Junior leads Homestead TV show to award

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Homestead High School student Ashton Hackman revealed an ambitious goal last summer to teacher Adam Schenkel: He wanted to make the school's TV program as good as its radio program, which had repeatedly earned the state-level title Radio School of the Year.

History wasn't on Hackman's side.

The TV program – which began competing in the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters state competition in 2014 compared with 1999 for the radio program – had never earned first place, and only once did it earn multiple awards in one year.

Hackman, a junior, wasn't deterred.

Schenkel, who directs TV and radio programs, credits Hackman for making Homestead's weekly news show more professional and the sports coverage more news-like. 

The 17-year-old also was a constant presence in the classroom and studios, and he traveled with Schenkel and the school's radio broadcasters to home and away games to get video highlights or help with the broadcast in other ways, Schenkel said.

The dedication paid off. In March, Homestead's video program was crowned TV School of the Year along with several other awards, including first place for cinematography and news magazine.

“In a year's span, this one student had a pulse on nearly everything and brought us this success,” Schenkel said by email. “Hardest working kid I've ever had.”

Hackman, who prefers on-camera roles and is interested in pursuing broadcasting as a career, said he and his classmates studied what other schools were doing as they went about improving Homestead's productions.

He knew the program had a chance at the state competition, he said, but he was shocked by how well it did.

“All our hard work meant something,” Hackman said. 


• Homestead High School won several awards at the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters state competition, including Television School of the Year and runner-up Radio School of the Year. Donnie Harmon, Matt Saalfrank, Brayden Carroll, Ashton Hackman, Christina Kruger, Cora Shaw, Karlie Flanagan, Carson Clymer, Tyler Veit, Drew Persinger, Ted Bolton, Derek Hockemeyer, Caleb Wood, Andre Centlivre and Chris Wang were among the students recognized.

• The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi has extended the application deadline for its fellowship program to April 30. Go to for more information.

• Applications are open for the 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, which will award cash prizes totaling $1 million to 18 of America's best public high school skilled trades teachers or teacher teams and their programs. Apply through May 13 at

• Warsaw Community Schools will receive a $100,000 grant approved by the Indiana State Board of Education. The grant will support teacher development while providing high-performing teachers expanded career opportunities in teacher-coaching and in leadership roles. All district schools will benefit.

• Trine University recognized the winners of its annual Walter Cunningham Writing Contest, which welcomed fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and academic writing entries by Trine students. Winners included Madison Sanderson of Leo-Cedarville for academic writing; Eden Diller of Fort Wayne for poetry; and Meghan Schrader of Fort Wayne for poetry. Winning entries are posted at

Digital resources

• The National WWI Museum and Memorial is striving to expand the narrative about the war by providing teachers with free materials about the enduring impact of WWI on modern times. Its resources can be accessed at The collection includes curriculum guidance and supporting materials, such as lesson plans, articles, videos and classwork documents.

• Chicken Soup for the Soul, in partnership with American Humane, has a line of free ebooks for kids of all ages. It is available on all popular ebook platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple Books and Google. The books offer students stories about zoo and aquarium animals. There are even free activity pages and complete curricula available for download. The three volumes in Chicken Soup for the Soul's Humane Heroes series are provided for all reading levels, with Volume I targeted at older elementary students, Volume II written for middle schoolers, and Volume III for high school students. Parents and teachers can find everything they need at

• The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame encourages parents and teachers working to create plans for distance learning to explore its free online resources that help engage students through the power of rock 'n' roll. Go to Rock Hall EDU,, to create a free account and access professionally developed lesson plans, activities, presentations, videos, playlists and digitized primary source materials from the Rock Hall's Library & Archives. Rock Hall resources meet national and state learning standards in a variety of subject areas, including music, social studies and English.


• Manchester University is expanding its pharmacogenomics program with an online graduate certificate designed for health care professionals seeking to enhance, expand and differentiate their practice. Pharmacogenomics, a major component of personalized medicine or precision medicine, tailors an individual's drug therapy based on their genetic makeup. Go to for more information.

Saint Francis

• The University of Saint Francis announced these committee director appointments to the USF Board of Trustees: Jeff McDonald, committee director for academic affairs, and Nicole Satalino, committee director for development.

• Saint Francis also announced the hiring of Ron Turpin as interim vice president for advancement and strategic initiatives. Turpin was a university board member for the past five years.


Daysha Jackson-Sanchez has joined Trine as director of student services and admission for its Fort Wayne Center for Health Sciences. She will be responsible for directing student-related activities and support at the center, which is on the Parkview Randallia campus. She also will have primary responsibility for recruiting prospective students for Trine's health sciences programs in Fort Wayne.

Students and parents who have a favorite teacher can nominate the individual for Teacher Honor Roll. Send nominations to The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email

To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.

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