2017 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Awarded to Dale Nowlin

O ur Bull Dog Alumni Board of Directors wanted a way to recognize excellent teachers at Columbus North High School.

The inaugural Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award went to Laurie Pfaffenberger, Psychology teacher.   We are pleased to announce this year’s recipient is Dale Nowlin!.

Students had the opportunity to nominate one of their teachers and give an explanation and examples of why the teacher is outstanding.  The criteria are:

  • High expectations of students
  • Positive and supportive classroom climate
  • Appropriate and consistent classroom management
  • Ability to motivate students
  • Creativity in assignments
  • Thorough and timely grading of assignments
  • Strong relationships with students, parents and colleagues
  • Manner of teaching so that students realize and take pride in their growth in the class

For the 2016-17 school year, there were 23 teachers nominated; some more than once.  A committee then made the selection from the list of nominees.

The following comments are from students about Mr. Nowlin.

  • “I feel that his classroom is a positive and fun learning environment where students are free to ask questions and share their thoughts. He often challenges us with problems that require independent thinking.”
  • “He is consistent with daily tasks and has a high homework completion rate.”
  • “Mr. Nowlin is the most encouraging and supportive teacher I have ever had. I have learned so much in his class.”
  • “An extremely friendly man, he is always willing to help me even when he is unsure of the answer.”

Mr. Nowlin received a $1,000 stipend along with his award.  He is a Valparaiso native and earned his undergraduate degree from Alma College and Master’s degree from Michigan State. He also completed post graduate work at Purdue.  He has been teaching math in our school corporation since 1985, including the last 20 years here at North.  He now serves as Math Department Chair at North and Northside.

Mr. Nowlin has earned several teaching awards during his career and has held leadership roles, presently serving on the National Assessment Governing Board as the 12th Grade Teacher Representative.