Sitting in her vastly decorated office, Mrs. Diane Warren, the guidance counselor at Washington Township High School, typed away on her computer. A veteran of 28 years in the Washington Township Guidance Department, Warren has been active in many curriculum changes at Washington Township. A perk of working at the same school for nearly 30 years is getting to know all the students, their families and seeing them come back with their children, she said.
“Two of my greatest achievements have been getting dual-credit programs at Washington Township and working closely with Valparaiso University to bring Chinese classes to our students. My job is knowledge-based, gathered over the years. I like the consistency of the students, the families and I like how the school is open to changes in curriculum.”
Warren is also extremely involved in Key Club International. As the sponsor of the Washington Township chapter of the volunteer community service organization, Warren coordinates several community outreach programs, including the Opportunity Enterprises Packathon, Making Strides Cancer Walk and working at the Popcorn Fest. In fact, Warren is the only person in Indiana to hold both the Key Club Sponsor of the Year and Student Council Sponsor of the Year at the same time.
Being responsible for 478 students’ schedules, scholarships, graduation requirements and other opportunities is not easy, but Warren has managed to fit even more into her already busy schedule. A member of the Porter County Career & Technical Center Advisory Board and a past ten year member of the Indiana Association of Student Councils Executive Committee, Warren is a highly decorated guidance councilor. She has also won the Best Guidance Department in Indiana for 2009-2010 and is an active member of the Valparaiso Kiwanis Club.
“I'm a member of the Valparaiso Kiwanis and I love it. They give about $50,000 back into the community and they are one of the true gems of Porter County.”
Although she is from Illinois originally, graduated from Western Illinois University and is a Crown Point resident, Warren couldn't stop praising Valparaiso. As involved as she is with the community, she knows her way around. She is always involved in something because she likes to keep busy, she explained to me as she filled out papers.
“I love how gorgeous Valpo is. I love the history; I love the renovations the city is doing. I love the Dunes. Porter County is amazing.”
A founder of the Porter County Leadership Conference twenty-seven years ago, Warren has a leadership lesson plan published in a book through the National Association of Secondary School Principals. As someone who strives for students to be leaders for themselves as well as others, she had something to say.
“A lot of what you do isn't decided in the classroom, but the opportunities you seize for yourself.”
As a hard worker, community service star and devoted educator, it is not hard to see why Diane Warren is A Valpo Life in the Spotlight.