A Hoosier with a Passion for Education: Gloria
Hoosier Lottery Beneficiary, Teachers’ Retirement Fund
It’s an amazing thing when someone realizes what they’re passionate about. It’s even more amazing when they’re able to use that passion to enhance the lives of thousands of students.
After getting a business degree from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and spending four years at a large ad agency, Gloria realized her true passion was teaching.
She took a pay cut and had to take 90 more credit hours, but she knew it was the right thing to do. “People were second-guessing me, but it was the best decision I ever made because teaching was such a fit for my personality,” she said.
Gloria taught all elementary grades between kindergarten and sixth grade during her time at the Duneland School Corporation in Chesterton. Her 20-year career also includes time spent substitute teaching while she was raising her son and directing the school’s Gifted and Talented Program. She later went on to get her master’s degree in education from Purdue University.
Gloria’s true love of teaching is clear in the way she talks about her students and her philosophy on education. One of her favorite teaching strategies? Tricking kids into learning.
“Teaching is really a great outlet if you're a creative person and can bring fun ways into your classroom that you hook the kids with,” she said. “You have to trick them into thinking they're not learning when they really are. When they start asking, ‘Hey, can we play guess that state?’ then you know it’s working.”
Gloria was a hands-on teacher and was constantly thinking about her next lesson, even in the summertime. “Any time we'd go on a trip, I’d make sure to grab special sand or rocks,” she said. “The fun part was trying to figure out how to tie that into what I had to teach. That was always a fun challenge for me.”
Gloria enjoyed seeing how her students’ confidence grew throughout the school year. “They wouldn’t know how to read or count their lunch money, and they cried easily,” she said. “But by the end of the year, they were writing paragraphs and reading chapter books, and just getting excited about learning.”
Gloria has great appreciation for all the generous teachers she has worked with in her career. “I know so many teachers who go out of their way for their kids. Buying fun things for the classroom, books, treats, stuff like that,” she said. “They all go above and beyond, just like I did. Even more.”
Gloria retired in 2016 after an extraordinary career inspiring elementary-aged children to learn and discover their own passions. She’s thankful her pension provided the financial security she needed to retire while she’s young and in good health. She spends her free time volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in South Bend, Meals on Wheels in Michigan City, a food pantry in Chesterton and at the Indiana Dunes National Park. She even participated in multiple 3-day, 60-mile walks for breast cancer.
Gloria loves spending time with her husband, son and her siblings. She has visited every state in the country except Hawaii. She enjoys hiking, riding her bike, golfing, and has even gotten a hole in one. Her favorite part of living in Indiana is being so close to Lake Michigan.
The Hoosier Lottery would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Gloria and all the other teachers who make a huge difference in the lives of so many, each and every day.