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Delaware County Fire/EMT teacher recognized for excellence in teaching

Chris Horner's class
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Posted at 6:45 AM, Jun 06, 2024

MUNCIE — Chris Horner is not afraid to put down the textbook and get his hands dirty.

He encourages his students to do the same.

Horner teaches EMT and Fire/Rescue classes at the Muncie Area Career Center.

The Yorktown Fire Department Assistant Chief brings 15 years of fire fighting experience to the table.

“I can be like here’s what it’s like out there in the field when you’re doing the things and it’s not just theoretical knowledge at that point. It’s realistic," Horner said. “We’re teaching hands on skills primarily. Stuff that’s a job-related skill. The only way to get that skill is to actually do the skill.”

Whether it’s taking forcing entry through a door or loading a stretcher into the back of an ambulance, Horner wants to prepare his students for the real world.

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Students learn many important Fire/Rescue skills like forcing entry through a door to get to people in need of help during an emergency.

“These students, with the certifications they get here, not just in my program, but in any of them, they can basically graduate and go straight into the workforce," Horner said.

That’s the case for high school junior Abbigail Hofmann.

“I don’t find myself bored in this class ever," Hofmann said.

Hofmann comes from a family of first responders and she says she wants to be a paramedic after graduation.

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Abbigail Hofmann talks about the impact of attending Chris Horner's EMT and Fire/Rescue classes at the Muncie Area Career Center.

“He has made me so confident in what I can do in the fire and EMS system that I’m so sure that I could just go out into the field as soon as I graduated high school," Hofmann said.

Horner is the recipient of the 2024 Ball Brothers Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award.

The annual award recognizes a Delaware County teacher who inspires students and colleagues alike, and includes grant funding.

The winner demonstrates critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and collaboration in their classrooms.

Horner says he’s humbled to be chosen.

“I just really love what I do. I come to work every day and I’m happy to do that. Not a lot of jobs can say that you go to work and you’re actually enjoying yourself," Horner said.

$17,500 in grant funding will be divided between Muncie Community Schools ($5000), the Career Center ($5000), Horner's classroom ($5000), and his own professional development ($2500).