2016 Teachers of the Year 2017-03-13T14:28:33+00:00

2016 Teachers of the Year

Elkhart Community Schools is proud to be home to so many amazing teachers. We recognize that the success of our students is built upon the hard work and dedication of our teachers, who ignite a passion for learning and inspire our students to learn every day. In this recognition, each of Elkhart Community Schools’ 21 locations nominates a building Teacher of the Year, whose hard work and success is celebrated throughout the year within the building. As a district, ECS then selects two teachers as our district Teachers of the Year (one for primary and one for secondary), who are then submitted to the state for consideration for Indiana Teacher of the Year.

Congratulations to Suzanne Holcomb, who received Elkhart Community Schools’ Elementary Teacher of the Year Award. Suzanne is a Fifth Grade Teacher at Mary Beck Elementary, and has been with ECS for 9 years. Teaching at Mary Beck has become one of Suzanne’s passions – a result of the connections she makes with students. She finds inspiration when seeing struggling students having their “a-ha” moment, the excitement they have when they master a tough concept, seeing students grow into the potential they didn’t know they had, and watching students grow into young men and women that will go on to impact the lives of others around them. Suzanne grew up on a small farm and was involved in 4H, one of three programs she is still passionately involved with (along with Cowboy Ethics and Ag in the Classroom, programs that teach students about ethics and agriculture). Suzanne and her husband Mark have two boys, Caleb and Ridge, and they love to spend time at the lake in the summer. We are so thankful for Suzanne and the thousands of lives she has positively impacted, through her work as a teacher at Elkhart Community Schools.


Congratulations to Jessica Ramirez, who received Elkhart Community Schools’ Secondary Teacher of the Year Award. Jessica is a Special Education Teacher at North Side Middle School, and has been with ECS for 8 years. Jessica enjoys going to the beach and hunting for beach glass. She has travelled to 43 states and four countries, including India and Guatemala. She loves watching movies and will watch her favorites over and over. Jessica remembers when her family first moved to Indiana in 1990 and less than one percent of Hoosiers were Hispanic – her relatives from Los Angeles used to send her family food. She was a vegetarian for several years until she took an 18-hour hike to Half Dome in Yosemite – she promptly ordered a steak after her hike. She is an artist, whose dog wears a dress every day. We are so thankful for Jessica and the thousands of lives she has positively impacted, through her work as a teacher at Elkhart Community Schools.

2016 Primary / Elementary School Nominees

Jennifer Doolin
Beardsley Elementary School

Suzanne Holcomb
Mary Beck Elementary School
Fifth Grade

Kaitlin Putt
Bristol Elementary School
Speech Therapist

Fran Meckley
Cleveland Elementary School
Second Grade

LuAnne VanKirk
Mary Daly Elementary School

Kim Haas
Eastwood Elementary School

Becky Yeoman
Mary Feeser Elementary School

Jeanette Krabill
Hawthorne Elementary School
Third Grade

Joy Graber
Monger Elementary School
Second Grade

Chelli Allen
Osolo Elementary School
First Grade

Peggy Zimmerman
Pinewood Elementary School
First Grade

Teri D’Hoore
Riverview Elementary School

Holly Stanfill
Roosevelt STEAM Academy
First Grade

Denise Kurth
Woodland Elementary School
First Grade


2016 Secondary / Middle & High School Nominees

Jessica Ramirez
North Side Middle School
Special Education

Ted Knudson
Pierre Moran Middle School

Lisa McKee
West Side Middle School
Social Studies

Amy Stine
Elkhart Central High School
Language Arts

Heidi Krusenklaus
Elkhart Memorial High School

Jaime Stith
Elkhart Area Career Center
Automotive Technology

Linda Fine
Elkhart Academy
Social Studies