PHM Teachers Named to Michiana “Forty under 40” 2024 Class | Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation Skip to main content

PHM Teachers Named to Michiana “Forty under 40” 2024 Class

40 under 40

South Bend Regional Chamber announced Wednesday, April 10, 2024 their 2024 “Forty under 40” class and for the 12th time in 17 years, P-H-M teachers or staff members have made the list! This year’s honorees are Betsy Alwine, Dyslexia Specialist for all Penn-Harris-Madison schools, and Andrew Nemeth, Director of Choirs at Penn High School.


Betsy Alwine has shown incredible dedication and enthusiasm for Penn-Harris-Madison students and teachers since the moment she began teaching in P-H-M as a Reading Specialist at Walt Disney Elementary School during the 2021-2022 school year. Prior to that time, Betsy taught within in Elkhart County for more than a decade. Mrs. Alwine served as a reading specialist at P-H-M’s Walt Disney Elementary School for one year, before being for a leadership role as P-H-M’s Dyslexia Specialist for all 15 schools.  

Betsy Alwine
Betsy Alwine, P-H-M Dyslexia Specialist


In this role, Mrs. Alwine coordinates early screening and assessment for students who show academic risk, develops and oversees programming for students who are not yet proficient in reading, and assists in leading professional development for hundreds of P-H-M teachers in the area of research-based reading instruction. Betsy’s involvement as a LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) facilitator has recently taken heightened importance, as Betsy successfully co-wrote competitive grant, which resulted in the Indiana Department of Education awarding P-H-M more than $450,000 to train and certify teachers in the LETRS program! With these funds, all of P-H-M’s K - 3rd grade teachers along with special education teachers, ENL teachers, and reading specialists will be trained in LETRS! With this important professional development platform in place, P-H-M is aggressively pursuing the Indiana Department of Education goal of 95% of all third grade students passing the IREAD-3 assessment.


PHM Teachers with LTRS
PHM Teachers with LTRS training packets (Dec. 2023)


Beyond her role in supporting excellent instruction in foundational reading skills across our eleven elementary schools, Mrs. Alwine plays a pivotal role in leading our Teacher Leadership Teams initiative.


This fall brought another opportunity, which highlighted Mrs. Alwine’s talents, as she served in the role of Acting Principal at Elm Road Elementary for 12 weeks. During this time, Betsy led teachers through comprehensive assessment cycles that resulted in gains in student achievement.  She also took the opportunity to enhance student voice, by creating a 5th grade “student coalition”. The student group met with Mrs. Alwine to share their input for improvements the school could make to enhance the students’ overall experience. Betsy has continually used every opportunity to improve others around her, and to impact our P-H-M students.


Michiana Forty under 40 is a distinguished initiative that highlights the achievements of 40 outstanding young adults who, despite being under the age of 40, have demonstrated exceptional leadership, excellence in their respective careers, and a commitment to community service. The program aims to recognize and celebrate the contributions of these individuals who not only excel in their professional endeavors but also make significant efforts to give back to and positively impact their communities.



Andrew Nemeth is the Director of Choirs for Penn High School, a position he’s held since 2015.

,  Penn's Sounds of the Season (Dec. 2023)  

Penn's Sounds of the Season (Dec. 2023)


Penn Choirs have been consistently been award Gold ratings in Choral performance and music literacy. Penn’s Choirs were state finalists at ISSMA last year, for the first time in more than 20 years. This year Penn had 13 students, nine soloists and the Robertson Barbershop Ensemble with four students, competed in ISSMA; students won five Gold; four Gold with Distinction; and one Silver.


Mr. Nemeth works as Chorus Master regularly for the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra and sings as Tenor section leader with South Bend Chamber Singers, as well as serving on their Board. He’s also Penn’s Vocal Music Director of the school spring musical for past 12 years.


Penn Choir with SB Youth Symphony Orchestra
Lord of the Rings Concert with South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra at ND's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (March 2023)


Mr. Nemeth sees value in various student performance experiences. He’s taken Penn choirs on several performance trips to places like Ireland, Hawaii, New York, Disney World, just to name a few. Mr. Nemeth in the importance of giving back to the community. He regularly takes his Pen choir groups to perform at nursing homes/assisted living facilities. Personally, he’s very involved with his church, Holy Family Catholic Church in South Bend volunteering and serving as Music Director.


Disney World (April 2022)
Disney World (April 2022)

New York City (April 2024)
New York City (April 2024)


Field Trip (Dec. 2023)
Field Trip (Dec. 2023)


Students feel welcome in Mr. Nemeth’s choir room, and he is continually striving for “the next level” of choir performance. Mr. Nemeth is a lifelong learner, and he is open to changing the paradigm for choral performance at Penn after he learns about what the top high school choirs in the state and nation are doing. One of his best attributes is his gift of collaboration that often translates into once in a lifetime opportunities for his choir students.


He has collaborated with the University of Notre Dame, world-renowned symphony conductors, and teaches his students the importance of knowing the composers of their pieces. He has created opportunities for his students to meet the composers of the music they are performing. He also enjoys collaborating with other P-H-M music programs. To raise awareness of the Fine Arts options at Penn High School, he the choirs on performance tours to P-H-M’s 11 elementary schools and three middle schools. These concerts get younger students interested in taking Fine Arts classes like choir when they get to Penn High school. 


Penn Choir Music Tour
Penn Choir Music Tour (Walt Disney Elementary, Nov. 2022)



2024 marks the recognition of the program's 18th class! The program is brought to you by the South Bend Regional ChamberYoung Professionals Network South Bend, in collaboration with program sponsors Community Foundation of Elkhart CountyFirst State Bank and the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame, along with chambers of commerce in the Michiana region.