“I’m a Region boy through and through,” said life-long Northwest Indiana resident Richard Horn.
Born in Gary, Richard graduated from Highland High School and then received his Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University Calumet and his Masters from Indiana University Northwest.
“The best advice I can give is to trust yourself,” Richard said, noting that he knew right out of high school that he wanted to work in education. However, due to social pressure and discouragement, he spent several years exploring other careers before finally pursuing his dream.
Ultimately, Richard credits his mother for his love of reading and education. “She never had a chance to pursue higher education, but she instilled in me a lifelong pursuit of education.”
After teaching English/Language Arts at Merrillville High School and Willowcreek Middle School, Richard found his groove in the Portage High School Media Center, where he’s served as the Library Media Specialist for the past seven years.
“I often refer to myself as the Media Concierge,” Richard said, taking a slightly atypical approach to his work the students, “I match our patrons’ needs with the resources required. I enjoy the one-on-one interaction with both the students and staff that is a daily part of my job.”
Face time is particularly important to Richard, who views social media and screens as very real threats to our ability to connect with others in our own, real world communities.
“People are fixated on the screens in front of their faces,” Richard said, “They forget to look up and experience the beauty of the real world and the people around them.”
In a world dominated by online interactions, “people are quick to criticize and find fault,” Richard said, noting that people young and old would benefit from taking time to “pause and reflect on those people who work so hard every day to make our schools and communities a success.”
Among those who work to make life better is Richard’s wife, who he recognizes as the inspiration for his own success, saying “I don’t know where I’d be without her.”
At the end of the day, it is the people that make life special. For Richard, the people of Portage are “the real deal,” Richard said, “They’re so down to earth and practical.”