“Education has always been at the heart of my livelihood.”
This is what Sherry Ondrovich had to say about her life and how she has progressed. A special education teacher at Portage High School, Ondrovich has always had a knack for mentoring young people and helping them achieve their goals. Prior to her current position, Ondrovich was coaching aquatics at Culver Academies during the summer and ran programming at the old downtown Valparaiso YMCA.
When she was in high school, Ondrovich was a competitive swimmer and earned her Water Safety Instructor license so she could teach both indoor and outdoor lessons in the following summers. While she was attending Purdue University North Central (now Purdue University Northwest’s Westville campus), she took on a job coaching swimming at the YMCA. After college, she was working as a substitute teacher for the special education classes in the district, which eventually led her to her current position.
Ondrovich is the kind of instructor that really pushes her students, but also strives to make each day its own experience. She believes constantly and consistently developing your skills and mindset every day is the key to succeeding.
“I have very high standards for myself and my students,” Ondrovich said. “Encouraging them to do their best while simultaneously challenging them in new ways is how I approach my teaching.”
Ondrovich believes that social activities like sports teach young people a variety of important life lessons, including patience, compassion, and self-improvement.
“These opportunities are not only fun, but important for growth,” Ondrovich said. “At an early age, it is helpful for people to be involved in these kinds of activities to help them develop positive communication skills and companionship.”
Ondrovich stated that seeing her students and their progress both inside and outside of the classroom motivates her every day.
“The level of interaction I’ve cultivated with my students and seeing how far they’ve come as individuals is a testament to how much I love my job,” Ondrovich said. “Seeing my students graduate and move on their lives in real time is such a great feeling.”
Ondrovich shared that in her years of instructing, she has learned how to be more flexible, just enjoy the ride, and be ready for new adventures.
“I am proud of where I am at today,” Ondrovich said. “I am happy to have been able to accomplish so much while also helping so many people in my position.”
When she is not working, Ondrovich is spending time with her husband and three children.