2019 Teacher of the Year

SACS Announces District Teacher of the Year
Posted on 05/23/2019

Marius Sagnon Named Southwest Allen County School District 2019 Teacher of the Year


Today, Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS) Superintendent, Dr. Phil Downs, announced Homestead High School French teacher Marius Sagnon as the district’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.  Under the guise of a high school “emergency staff meeting”, the announcement came as a surprise to everyone, including Sagnon. 

Surrounded by coworkers and friends cheering, Sagnon, shaking his head in disbelief said, “I am humbled and honored by this award.”

Sagnon joined SACS five years ago as a French Teacher, bringing his highly respected dedication, energy and professionalism to the district following 15 years of teaching in Burkina Faso. 

Growing up in his native Africa, it was his own educational experiences that inspired Sagnon to become a teacher.  “Teachers made curricula to fit their own needs and not the students,” he said. As a result, less than 5% of students attend college. When I became a teacher, I vowed to empower, to care, and to find the ‘genius’ in every student.”

Sagnon believes each person has the same capacity of learning; the difference is how they learn. “I set the goal my students should reach at the end of a lesson and then plan the lesson accordingly. ‘No wind is favorable to a boat with no destination’, says an African wisdom.  When students know their target before starting the lesson, half the job is done. If a student fails, it is my own failure. Re-teaching and reassessing is a must; helping students to improve their knowledge and understanding.”

In addition to his work in the thriving and growing French program, Dr. Park Ginder, Homestead High School Principal, says Sagnon was nominated because of the wealth of talent, dedication and passion he brings to HHS’ staff, his classroom and to each student. “Marius is a game changer.  The support he extends to his students reaches far beyond the classroom walls.  At athletics one night, a play the next, a musical on the weekend, Sagnon tells his students he will be there, and he is there! Marius has an incredible demeanor and cares for all he comes in contact with.”

SACS’ Teacher of the Year award is designed to honor, promote and celebrate excellence in the teaching profession. Candidates for Teacher of the Year are nominated by building principals with finalists chosen by a committee comprised of administrators, parents and past Teacher of the Year winners. The other finalists this year included:

Dave Force, Technology Education, Summit Middle School

Melissa Parker, sixth grade reading, Woodside Middle School

Tom Terrell, school counselor, Aboite Elementary

Tara Hallman, fifth grade teacher, Covington Elementary

Lori Schreck, literacy specialist, Deer Ridge Elementary

Danielle Eme, first grade teacher, Haverhill Elementary

Andrea Harmeyer, third grade teacher, Lafayette Meadows Elementary

Jim Nelson, Speech Language Pathologist, Whispering Meadows Elementary

As the SACS Teacher of the Year, Sagnon will also be nominated for 2020 Indiana Teacher of the Year.