Lake Central High School teacher earns Ivy Tech teaching award • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Dawn Combis

Lake Central High School teacher earns Ivy Tech teaching award

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Lake Central High School teacher Dawn Combis likes helping her students understand what it's like to be in a college classroom.

That mindset helped her earn Dual Credit Instructor of the Year for her work with Ivy Tech Community College’s Lake County campus. Nineteen dual credit faculty members from around the state earned the award for their working during the 2022-2023 school year.

“I like being able to provide a college classroom feel in the comfort of a high school setting so that students build the skills needed for college without all of the pressures behind it,” Combis said in a press release. “I also like the relationships that are created and nurtured year-after-year with my Lake County partners. Having these relationships allows me to not only get critical questions answered quickly, but also helps me connect students to other programs that Ivy Tech has to offer.”

Combis teaches entrepreneurship classes that offer dual credit at Ivy Tech and Lake Central High School in St. John. The courses go toward high school graduation and earn college credit, according to the Ivy Tech website.

“I think watching my students’ journeys is most satisfying, especially those students that start the year with some doubt and hesitation about all that is involved in my dual credit entrepreneurship class — from the application and entrance exams to coming up with innovative ideas to pitch, and then doing it,” she said. “This is when some of my most memorable ‘proud teacher’ moments happen.”

Rosie Lopez-Malagon, executive director of K-14 initiatives at Ivy Tech Lake County, credits Combis for her ability to engage students.

 “She is patient, caring and kind,” she said. “Dawn promotes a growth mindset in her classroom and inspires students to reach their full potential.”

This year was the second that the Dual Credit Instruction President’s Award honored teachers who show excellence in instruction.


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