As a special education teacher at Michigan City High School, Matthew Ard is an educator who is passionate about his career. While he specializes in teaching teens algebra and geometry, his real love for the work comes from his students
“Seeing the kids grow up and develop is most rewarding. As a high school teacher, I’ve known some of these kids since they were 12 years old. Watching them grow up into functional adults and seeing who they become...it’s very rewarding,” said Ard.
As an educator, you learn from those you teach. Perhaps one of the greatests lessons he has learned is the art of patience
“Education and the learning process definitely takes time, and it’s not by my timeline. Everybody learns at a different pace, and that’s what really taught me patience, not just with my students, but patience in everything,” said Ard.
Ard enjoys watching the youth he once taught transition into adulthood, and says that he hopes to steer his students in the right direction. After all, teachers are mentors as well. His students look up to him; for Ard, that is the foundation of why he teaches and why he feels it is important to educate students.
“I love that students look at me as a mentor,” said Ard. “There are students that come to me and just ask for advice about life, and that’s incredibly rewarding. Those relationships I have built over the last 15 years are really, really fantastic.”
When Ard is not at the chalkboard, you can find him spending time with his family or in his garage building cars. He enjoys traveling, even if it means riding around Portage on his motorcycle. Ard couldn’t imagine calling any other place his home.
“Portage has grown exponentially in the past 20 years that I have lived there. Most of the growth has been positive and that’s what I really enjoy. It’s an incredibly convenient place to live, because everything is right there. When I first moved here, home improvement stores didn't exist, and now we have three. Things like that are improvements I have noticed over time,” said Ard.
Ard not only enjoys the business development, but also the people that surround him.
“It’s diverse and I enjoy the community and all of the people in it. I spend a lot of my time volunteering at the school and going to band concerts for my kids. I enjoy it because the parents are great, as well as the teachers,” said Ard.
Matthew Ard is proud to represent Northwest Indiana as an educator, and as a resident he holds his community close to his heart. It has given him a place to raise his family, the opportunity to leave an impact on hi students, and a community to call home.