VALPARAISO, IN – In partnership with the Northwest Indiana District 1 Firefighter Training Council, the MAAC Foundation is proud to announce the graduation of our latest Fire Academy. The ceremony will be held on Friday, June 7, 2024, at 6:00 PM CST at the Ivy Tech Community College Auditorium.
The 39 graduates represent Cool Spring, Cedar Lake, Schneider, Lake of Four Seasons, Kouts, Union, Griffith, St. John, Munster, Boone Grove, Highland, Crown Point, Rensselaer, Lake Hills, Lowell, Morgan, and Dyer Fire Departments. These recruits have completed a rigorous 11-week training program that included instruction in fire suppression, hazmat operations, and technical rescue, along with other firefighting skills. They have also learned about the importance of community service and public education.
“We are pleased to welcome these 39 new firefighters into the first responder community,” said Celina Weatherwax, President and CEO of the MAAC Foundation. “Their unwavering dedication and commitment to serving as first responders exemplify the resilience and compassion of our community values. With their arrival, we anticipate a profound and positive influence across Lake, La Porte, and Porter counties.”
“From day one of training to this moment of graduation, these individuals have exemplified dedication, discipline, and unwavering determination. Each graduate embodies the spirit of service and the commitment to excellence that defines our firefighting community.” said Chief Robert Grady, “It’s an honor to have played a part in their journey, and I have full confidence that they are equipped not only to tackle the challenges of firefighting but to excel in any endeavor they pursue. Congratulations to our newest firefighters—I can’t wait to see the positive impact you’ll make in our community and beyond.”
The names of the graduates and their fire departments are as follows:
    • Donavan Barrier, Cool Spring
    • Mitchell Bleck, Cedar Lake
    • Rodney Bowman, Schneider
    • Kimberly Bowser, Lake of Four Seasons
    • Jacob Carden, Kouts
    • Rebecca Carpentier, Union
    • Brianna Carter, Griffith
    • Jennifer Covington, Griffith
    • Noah Deyarmin, St. John
    • Mark Fogle, Union
    • Ezekiel Gomez, Munster
    • Elliot Granados, Boone Grove
    • Jaela Gudeman, Kouts
    • Cristofer Haro, Cool Spring
    • Collin Hatfield, Highland
    • Monica Torres, Crown Point
    • Logan Klahn, Rensselaer
    • Katherine Knauerhaze, Lake Hills
    • Cory Krieter, Lake of Four Seasons
    • Kevin Little, Lake Hills
    • Kevin Martinez, Highland
    • Troy Matthis, Griffith
    • Zachary Myers, Highland
    • Ian Myszak, Dyer
    • Ryan Parker, St. John
    • Jenna Nelson, Lowell
    • Amy Ryan, Highland
    • Grant Sanders, Morgan
    • Jacob Sell, Crown Point
    • Ali Soto, Munster
    • Nicholas Steele, Highland
    • Logan Stein, Dyer
    • Gabrielle Szumlas, Munster
    • Nicholas Thomas, Boone Grove
    • James Vahl, Lake of Four Seasons
    • Hayden Warne, Rensselaer
    • Robert Beier, Schneider
    • Zachary Writt, St. John
    • Willie Hall, Lake Hills
The graduation ceremony is open to the public and will be held on:
Friday, June 7, 2024, at 6:00 PM CST
Ivy Tech Community College
3100 Ivy Tech Drive
Valparaiso, Indiana 46383