La Porte Community School Corporation has named Alice Tallackson as Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Kirt Lawson as Secondary Teacher of the Year.
LPCSC shared the following:
Elementary Teacher of the Year – Alice Tallackson
For 37 years, Alice Tallackson’s career in education has made an impact on the students in her classroom. A dedicated teacher in the La Porte community for 24 years, Mrs. Tallackson ensures that her kindergarten classroom at Crichfield Elementary School is a safe and caring environment where her students are introduced to hands-on activities that enrich their learning experience. Alice co-wrote a Project Based Learning grant, Marvelous Monarchs Unit, for all four kindergarten classes at Crichfield. She attended the North American Monarch Institute to learn about the Monarch butterfly population and ways that her students, as well as the La Porte community, could learn about and help this endangered population of butterflies. Their work throughout the unit is displayed at the annual Sunflower Fair in September.
Crichfield Principal Tearsa Schable said, “Mrs. Tallackson is such a patient, caring, and gifted teacher. Her students, parents, and colleagues adore her because of her work ethic, ability to effectively communicate, and that she always puts kids’ needs first. Crichfield is lucky to have Mrs.T making a difference for our Cougars!”
Alice Tallackson is an active member and leader of the Crichfield Reading Committee, which began in 2016. This program unites the entire student body behind one common goal, to motivate students to read in the hopes that they will develop a love of reading. Additionally, Alice is involved in multiple activities at her school, such as Crichfield Family STEAM Night, Christmas Cougar Care-a-Van, Trunk or Treat, Give Back Nights, and Playground Nights. She is one of the Social Emotional Learning Champions, who partners with counselors to help students in the school community master valuable life skills and achieve their goals. Throughout her life, Alice Tallackson has been inspired by former teachers and hopes to pass along the same passion for lifelong learning to her students.
Secondary Teacher of the Year – Kirt Lawson
For 39 years, Kirt Lawson’s career in education has made an impact on the students in his classroom, and he has been a dedicated teacher in the La Porte community for 29 years. He is the head of the Building Trades program at La Porte High School, and if you look around the community, you can see the product of his work. In addition to building 23 houses, Mr. Lawson and his students have built a pavilion at Ben Rees Park, two Habitat For Humanity homes, projects at LaPorte County Parks, a garage at Kesling Park for the girls softball field, the ticket taker shelter for Schreiber Field, and assisted with the Shagbark picnic shelter. Some of the additional projects around the community include, roofing the Luhr Park Nature Center and dugouts at Clark Field, spreading mulch at Bluhm Park and Creek Ridge Park, renovating the building for Worthy Women Recovery Center, assisting retired teachers with small home projects, and rebuilding the exterior of the Santa House.
La Porte High School Principal Scott Upp said, “I really do not think his fellow teachers or people in our community know what Kirt Lawson does for students outside the school day….his generosity of time and resources for our students is impressive!”
Sharing his passion for the outdoors, Kirt Lawson started a 503C Organization called “NWI Fishing Fundamentals.” This organization encourages underprivileged children to spend time outdoors and learn the sport of fishing. They are given equipment and fishing events are held to provide them instruction. Additionally, Mr. Lawson started the fishing club at La Porte High School and always makes sure that any student who wants to participate has the equipment they need. Overall, Kirt believes in an environment of community where students work together to help one another achieve their goals and dreams. He acknowledges the differences in abilities and encourages students to leverage their strengths through teamwork and collaboration. Mr. Lawson is grateful for the teachers who have inspired him along the way, and because of his gratitude, has not taken a single day of his teaching career for granted.