Award Year: 2022

Fred H Croninger Elementary School

6700 Trier Road
Fort Wayne, IN, 46815-5499

(260) 467-6050

Ms. Rachel Merz, Principal at time of Nomination

Mrs. Rachel M. Merz, Current Principal

Title I School, Magnet School

Fort Wayne Community School District

School Website

School FaceBook

School YouTube

School Social Media


Croninger teachers create a comprehensive, engaging, communication and technology-enriched curriculum which inspires, educates, and motivates students to become independent, creative, and critical thinkers who will thrive in a diverse, evolving, global society. We believe that education is a shared commitment between dedicated teachers, motivated students, and enthusiastic parents with high expectations for academic and social emotional growth. We are A Community of Learners, Aiming for Excellence.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 14%
  • White: 69%
  • Hispanic: 3%
  • Asian: 5%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 9%
Students at Croninger are immersed in real-world learning daily.

Students at Croninger are immersed in real-world learning daily.

Fred H. Croninger Elementary School is a premier school in northeast Indiana, one of seven magnet schools in Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS). Since 1988, Croninger's specialized program is Communications. In addition to the core curriculum, Croninger students study Spanish and mass media production. Croninger is the only elementary school in the area with its own TV studio with professional-grade equipment. Students at all grade levels (K-5) receive comprehensive instruction to produce the school's biweekly WCKN newscast while learning the roles of various positions, such as anchor, camera crew, and production. Students are also trained in the proper care of and use of video cameras, teleprompter, audio mixer control unit, switcher, and microphones. Radio programs, commercials, and multimedia presentations are also produced by students with many of the programs aired on FWCS' Cable Access channel, LTV 24/54.

Spanish instruction is another unique aspect of Croninger's curriculum with all students participating in weekly Spanish classes. Students progressively build knowledge in Spanish and can even receive high school credit before entering middle school. As a magnet school, parents choose to send their children to Croninger, applying through a lottery process. Students are drawn from a wider area than a traditional neighborhood school allowing a rich diversity to naturally develop in the building. This diversity enhances the collaborative learning environment for students and staff and helps prepare students to thrive in a global society.