Renee Charles, Kristin Rentschler and Sharri Pratt

Three WCCS Teachers Win Regional Education Awards

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (September 20, 2022) Three Whitley County Consolidated Schools (WCCS)  teachers were awarded top honors in the region for Counselor of the Year, Foreign Language and History Teachers of the Year.

Each year, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly names 14 educators in different categories. For 2022, Renee Charles, Eagle Tech Academy, won Counselor of the Year; Sharri Pratt, Columbia City High School, won Foreign Language Teacher of the year; and Kristin Rentschler, Columbia City High School, won Social Sciences/History Teacher of the Year. 

“We are very proud of these three educators. They approach their work with enthusiasm and commitment, focused on building students' confidence in their ability to be successful. We are fortunate they choose to serve at WCCS,” said Dr. Laura McDermott, WCCS Superintendent.

Renee Charles has been with Whitley County Consolidated Schools since 2019. 

“We are fortunate to have Mrs. Renee Charles as our School Counselor at Eagle Tech Academy! She is truly invested in every learner and wants to see them succeed. Our learners see her as a trusted adult in their lives and often seek her out for a listening ear, words of encouragement, or just for a friendly chat. I am grateful for the care and compassion she demonstrates on a daily basis to our ETA learners, staff, and families,” said Kelly Renier, Eagle Tech Academy Director.

Walking the halls of Columbia City High School, students can hear a mix of English and Spanish languages from Sharri Pratt. Pratt won the Foreign Language Teacher of the Year and has been with WCCS since 2015. She has 20 years of teaching experience. 

“As a colleague, it is a privilege to share some words of congratulation for the Foreign Language teacher regional award winner, Mrs. Sharri Pratt. As a professional, Mrs. Pratt is passionate about education. She shares her love of a World Language in each of its facets: communication, culture, and community. Mrs. Pratt is an asset to the students and to Whitley Consolidated Community Schools,” said Barbara Pentangelo, Columbia City High School colleague. 

The 23 year veteran teacher for WCCS, Kristin Rentschler has won the History teacher of the year. In the past Rentschler has also been awarded teacher of the year. 

When speaking with Rentschler’s teaching peers about her award, they mentioned how engaged Rentschler keeps students with a variety of opportunities. 

“Kristin constantly uses multiple methods of instruction to engage her students by providing multiple opportunities to facilitate learning and creates a diverse learning environment in her classroom,” said Jared Ambrose, Columbia City High School Business and Career Readiness teacher. 

The winners were nominated and then chosen by an editorial board. They will be celebrated with an awards presentation and reception on the evening of Sept. 29 in Fort Wayne. An exceptional education at WCCS is found with all of our educators and we are honored to host three of the region's winners.