Portage Lives in the Spotlight

By: Ideas in Motion Media Last Updated: September 7, 2012

A Portage Life in the Spotlight highlights people around our community who go the extra mile to make Portage a better place to live.

If you know of someone who is going above and beyond, someone who is truly doing great work in the community, in a school, in a church, on a team, or in an organization, send us an email at share@portagelife.com and we'll add them to our continually growing list of people to highlight in our community.

Chuck Moseley - State Representative

Kevin Gale - City Point Church

Dan Reisen - GracePoint Church

Haley Cnarich - PHS Student

Joy Lundstrom - Superintendent of the Portage Township Department of Park and Recreation

Karen Walton - PHS Band Mom

Tracy Bermingham - PHS Student

Tep Junyanid - PHS Student

Ron Ranta - Unit Director at the South Haven Boys & Girls Club

Bruce Lindner - executive director at Porter County Aging and Community Services


Chris Aungst - Chief Executive Officer, of the Portage YMCA

Courtney Joseph - PHS student

Joe Stempien - head football, weightlifting and track coach at Fegely Middle School

Theresa Evans - second grade teacher at Kyle Elementary School

Debbie Clem - McCool, Blake, and James Schrock cemeteries

Natalie Kolosci - Portage’s Civic Dance Center

Jim Wheeler - Willowcreek Middle School

Marsha Moore - Portage Christian Church

Tyler Goodman - PHS

Hunter Martinko - PHS

Paige Pizer - PHS

Brandon Miller - Portage Resale Shop

Jennifer Long

Meaira Bennett - PHS

Kenyota Rollins - PHS

Jim Fitzer - PEDCO

Jeff Reeder - Reeder’s Auto Service Center

Cory McKim - Portage Youth Basketball President

Rachel Major - Miss Teen Indiana

Hannah Medina - PHS Student

Dawn Price - Portage Township YMCA

Jennifer Wszolek Chandler - Nativity of Our Savior School

Michelle Duca - Kibble Kitchen Pet Pantry

Ross Bunchek -Portage Township YMCA

Shaunna Finley - Principal of New Vistas High School in Portage

Lori Wilkie -Financial Analyst and Event & Volunteer Coordinator for the City of Portage

Victoria Oberc - South Haven Elementary, Portage Parks, Portage Home Depot & Indiana University

Kevin Morgan -  Portage 16 IMAX General Manager



Aaron Schmick - Portage Junior Miss President

Alana Camper Ingersoll - Portage Chamber of Commerce

 Haley Hodges- IHSAA Mental Attitude Award Winner, Softball State Champion, PHS Class of 2013

Jeremy Gorden- Portage YMCA Assistant Wellness Coordinator

Bob Dixon- PHS Assistant Baseball Coach, Battling Cancer

Matt Bliss - Portage High School Class of 2014

Sandy Corso - Portage High School Health Teacher

John Johnston - Portage High School MCJROTC Senior Marine Instructor



Andrew Corona- Nativity of Our Savior Parish Pastor

Heather Zengler - Portage High School Class of 2013

Denise Stewart - recovering cancer patient

Sue Lynch - Portage City Council President



Kevin Giese - PHS Theatre Director



Heather Castle - PHS Science Teacher

Mackenzie Barcelli - PHS Class of 2013, Gymnastics All-Around State Champion 2013

Nick Jordan- Portage High School Legend Yearbook Editor-in-Chief



Rick Snodgrass- Portage High School Boys Basketball Coach

Amanda Haupt - Portage High School Class of 2014



John Peterson- Midwest Family Federal Credit Union

Eric Mesarch - Portage High School Outstanding Young Man Class of 2013


Mark Monks - Portage Police Officer

Pam Passera - Portage Parks Department Recreation Director

A.J. Monroe - Portage Director of Public Works

Fallon Pugh - PHS Class of 2013

Cathy Nye - PHS History Teacher , National Honor Society Adviser, Quiz Bowl Adviser, Academic Team Adviser

Bonnie Naperala - St. Mary's Medical Center lab phlebotomist


Lorrie Cohen - PHS Library Media Clerk

Jenny Orsburn- Portage Parks & Recreation Superintendent

John Arredondo- PHS Social Studies Teacher, Assistant Boys Cross Country Coach, Assistant Girls Track and Field Coach

 Tiffany Woloszyn - PHS Senior, National Honor Society President

Michael Lemond- Former PHS Teacher & Coach, Exchange Club Treasurer, St. Peter Lutheran Church Financial Secretary

Lil Falk - 2nd Grade Teacher at Crisman Elementary School

Rachel Stewart- PHS Class of 2013 Distinguished Young Woman

Eileen Hyatt - Portage Dog Park Facebook Page, Hyatt Photography

Tim Engel -  Holy Cross Lutheran Church Pastor


Linda Mendez - Portage Township YMCA Fitness Coordinator



Mark Harsha- Portage High School Teacher and Coach

Max Harsha - Portage High School Sophomore Class President, PortageLife.com Coverage Team Member


Caren Swickard- Portage High School Principal


Will Fortenberry- Social Studies Teacher and Assistant Boys Soccer  Coach at Portage High School

Emily Evans- Portage High School Student Body President, Class of 2013


Scott Hufford- Principal at Crisman Elementary

Todd Strom- Assistant Athletic Director at Portage High School


Mary Tracy- Assistant Superintendent of Portage Township Schools

Shannon Burhans- Owner of The eState

Ashley Severs- Second Grade Teacher at Crisman Elementary, Head Girls Soccer Coach at PHS

Debra Dudek- Director of Title and Special Student Services for Portage Township Schools

Mitch Barloga- Director of Non-Motorized Transportation at Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission

Dave Kasarda- Executive Director of Portage Township YMCA

Nicki Monahan- Portage High School Class of 2013

Lexi Elisha- Class of 2011 Portage High School Graduate, Recording Artist

Ted Uzelac- Portage City Councilman

Larry Tharp- Owner of Coach's Cut, PHS Teacher

Jennifer Smolnicky- Owner of Portage Jazzercise Center

Brendan Clancy- Portage Township Trustee

Phil Misecko- Prinicpal at Fegely Middle School

Kelly Bermes- Athletic Director at Portage High School

Kacie McGuire- Portage High School Class of 2012 Distinguished Young Woman

Greg Coleman- School Resource Officer for Portage Township Schools

Austin Edwards- Portage High School Class of 2012

Kyle Johnson- Pop Warner Football Player, Student at Fegely Middle School

Andrew Halaschak- Former Principal of Portage High School West

Thomas Fieffer- Chief of the Portage Fire Department

Rachel Santos- Portage High School Class of 2012

Kirsten DeMass- Portage High School Class of 2012

Collin Czilli- Portage High School Senior Class President, Class of 2013

Brandon Vickrey-  Portage High School Class of 2013, Pow Wow Editor-in-Chief, PortageLife.com Coverage Team Coordinator

Tori Bliss- Portage High School Class of 2011, Current LSU track and field athlete

Diane Highlands- Owner of the Portage Dairy Queen

Marko Pekovic- Portage High School Outstanding Young Man Class of 2012

Mike Candiano- School Resource Officer

Michael DePasquale- Assistant Principal, Director of Night School at Portage High School

Michelle Stewart- Principal at Willowcreek Middle School

Ric Frataccia- Superintendent of the Portage Township Schools

Terry Hufford- Executive Director of the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce

Andy Maletta- President of Portage Youth Basketball, Official on Portage Township Advisory Board

Grant Monahan- President of the Portage High School Booster Club

Mike Martinez- Founder of Hannah's Hope

Michael Berta- Retired Superintendent of the Portage Township Schools

Diana Rivera- Athletic Secretary at Portage High School

James Brasseur- Portage High School Class of 2012

Troy Williams- Former School Resource Officer at PHS, Current Chief of Police

Melissa Deavers-Lowie- English and Journalism Teacher and Publications Advisor at Portage High School

Tim Kunstek and Prince the Compassionate Canine- Home School Advisor at Portage High School

Robert Parker- World History, US History and Western Civilization Teacher at Portage High School