FOX Fort Wayne spoke with Walt Hartley who has taught at Glenwood Park Elementary School for 39 years. The taught 4th grade and was said to be known as the science and math junky. He says the Fort Wayne school district is not what is used to be and would like to see education become more hands on. Hartley sees the focus on testing as the current weakness of the education system. His advice is to teach students interactively. Hartley says “Students talk about going camping and those hands on experiences like touching the lungs and heart, and really seeing what they are instead of seeing it in a book.” Hartley has been awarded by both Whos Who among American Teachers, and was recognized by the city of Fort Wayne for his work in the classroom. But it’s the notes from the parents and students that he says are the biggest reward. Hartley packed up his class room earlier this month and says it was harder to say goodbye than he expected. “It was really hard for me. Being in the same school for 39 years, it was rough…..it really was.” Walt’s first project of retirement is cleaning the garage. He says “Its going to probably take me two years to clean out my garage!” He also plans to hunt fish and of course, spend time with his grandchildren. Walt expressed concern with the uncertain education budget. He is worried that class room size will increase if Fort Wayne schools are not given more money. In addition, if the Fort Wayne School System is not granted more money, they wont be able to rehire the 103 teachers currently laid off.