Maplewood Elementary School Classroom Assistant Tonya Oechsle has been named the 2023 Fort Wayne Community Schools Employee of the Year for her leadership and positive influence at her school. Oechsle has worked at Maplewood for 18 years and is a proud public-school employee. “The most joy in my job is the kids,” Oechsle said. “Their smiles, hugs, and helping them succeed really makes my day.”
Maplewood Principal Alex Trevino called Oechsle “an ambassador for Maplewood and also for FWCS.” She said Oechsle goes beyond her job description and has made a difference in students’ ability to read. “I love to read to the students, and I love it when they can read to me,” Oechsle said. “I feel proud to work for FWCS and Maplewood Elementary School.” This is the second year for the Employee of the Year award.
It was added to recognize the dedication and contributions made by non-teaching staff throughout the district. Employee of the Year nominations were made by principals and department heads and were reviewed by a committee. Study Elementary Classroom Assistant Elizabeth Elick and Weisser Park Elementary Secretary Tameka McGraw were finalists for the honor. 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.