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Student Education Association of Nebraska - January 2012

SEAN Lends a Helping Hand at Howard Elementary


On the


On November 19 SEAN hosted the annual Outreach to Teach at Howard Elementary School in Grand Island.

The day began with an introduction of the school’s staff and an explanation of a continuous school year and the benefits that it can provide for young student teachers and first - year teachers. The 120 volunteers who participated got the experience of a lifetime while meeting new people and learning about a new trend in the public school system. More details on page 7.

2011-2012 SEAN Executive Team: President-Patrick White Vice-President-Megan Brown Secretary-Jill Kimbrough Underclass Representative-Ryan Evans Western Region Representative-Breanna Wolfe Southeast Region Representative-Devin Garcia Northeast Region Representative-Matt Meyer

Student Education Association of Nebraska 605 S. 14th Street Suite 200 Lincoln, NE 68508-2742 Metro Region Representative-vacant (800) 742-0047 (402) 475-7611 Volume 2, Issue 2

p. 2 - SEAN Scene - January 2012

UniServ Directors Gary Osborn Mike Wiesen

Associate Staff Tamra Mick


leadership dedication integrity

Words from the President

hope determination

Patrick White, SEAN President



learning trust friends collaborate teach

communication educate I was asked to write about something important to me that students would respond to. Immediately what came to mind was leadership. I would like to encourage all of you to explore leadership within this incredible organization. It is important to explore work at the state level, but if you see opportunity within your chapter, please take it. It is important to have a strong foundation for our student organization. That foundation begins at the chapter level. Strong leadership helps build that foundation to its full potential. Without it, the student organization collapses. Luckily for Nebraska, compared to other states, we are far from that point, but we can securely avoid it by organizing activities, informing students, and educating the community. If you need guidance, please come to all SEAN conferences and NSEA events you can. Also, never forget that NSEA has district meetings you can attend so you are aware of what is going on around the state. I have learned more about education in Nebraska and nationally in my time as president. I began work almost immediately by going to the Nebraska State Education Association Delegate Assembly. It was a truly great experience being able to see new leaders take their positions. Following that experience my executive team and I made our way to Chicago where we met with other student representatives for the Student Leadership Conference. To be able to work with students from other states was very helpful as a new leader. In addition, I have been to Washington, D.C., and Houston, Texas with new friends from Indiana and other states. However, every time I return home I realize how proud I am to be president in Nebraska. I have been honored to be your president for this 2011-2012 year. When I took the position I was told that I would officially become president in September, but little did I know my job would begin much sooner. I was pleased to have these opportunities. I hope all of you look for these same opportunities. Better than trips and dinners is the chances I have had to meet important people and share ideas for the future of education and the National Education Association – Student Program. Membership numbers are important, but what is more important is having active membership. I need you all to find a place in this organization. I am glad to have you as a member, but what the Student Education Association of Nebraska needs more is leaders. I have been very pleased with the work the executive members have done. I have also seen the incredible things you have all done of your campuses. That being said, there is more to be done on each of your campuses. So please continue to build up the foundations of SEAN on each campus and continue your good work.

opportunity understand

conquer quality schools

friends January 2012 - SEAN Scene - p. 3

Nebrasksa Wesleyan University

Wesleyan Co-Presidents Kelli Raile and Melissa Sorensen worked very hard with their executive board to organize several events this semester. These events included an ice cream social to boost membership, an education policy panel, a teacher panel of NWU alumni who are in their first five years of teaching, and a holiday toy drive for the Friendship Home in Lincoln. My name is Samantha Wessels, and as a member of the Exec Board, I was in charge of planning one fall event. Last spring, I had the honor of interning in Washington, D.C., for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. This committee creates legislation regarding education, and during the Bush administration played a role in designing the No Child Left Behind Act. As an education major with an interest in politics as well, this seemed like the perfect place to intern. I worked with policy advisors to draft legislation, met with experts in the field, and learned the ins-and-outs of federal government. Returning to Nebraska Wesleyan, I wanted to inform my fellow education majors about what I learned in D.C. I believe it is important for teachers to see the connection between the classroom and what happens in government. Laws and the state and federal levels influences what we do in the classroom, and therefore educators should be informed about current policy changes. We asked Lorraine Chang of the Omaha Learning Community and State Sen. Greg Adams to speak on a panel at NWU. They offered a variety of opinions regarding the role of federal government in education, what’s going on at the state level in education policy, and how teachers can be involved in policy-making. The turnout was excellent, and feedback from the event has been extremely positive. In our teacher preparation programs, education policy is often brushed to the side in order to teach theory and application of teaching methods. This event was a great opportunity for students to get current on what’s going on in education policy.

Contributing Writer Samantha Wessels

(L-R) Samantha Wessels, Ari Peregrine, and Melissa Sorensen. Photo courtesy Samantha Wessels.

Samantha Wessels and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee. Photo courtesy Samatha Wessels.

Note to Chapter Presidents:

The SEAN Executive Team wants to know what your chapter is doing on your campus and what great things you are accomplishing! We really want all chapters and regions of our organization to be represented in the Campus Spotlight section of our newsletter. As a local organization of SEAN it is imperative that you have open communication with our Executive Team and especially your Regional Representative. Please send your Regional Representative updates on events you have hosted or will be hosting on your campus so we can share your success with the rest of the state! If you have questions about our newsletter, please contact SEAN Vice President Megan Brown at 402-440-3194.

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Campus Spotlight Does your chapter want the spotlight? We want information about your SEAN chapter and its recent events. Please send documents to Megan Brown at

Peru Student Education Association

Peru State College President Dan Hanson attended the seminar (L-R): Christi Shuck, Taylor Sirman, Rae Carbaugh, Michaela as an honored guest. MK Mueller, author of 8 to Great, and Burke Wolverton, and Ali Umland learn about High-Way 2, Risk from Brown, District OR1 teacher, co-presented at the event. MK Mueller.

The Peru Student Education Association (PSEA) hosted a seminar focused on empowering leaders on the Peru State College (PSC) campus December Contributing Writer 8, 2011. In attendance were 17 student leaders; PSEA sponsor Dr. Judith Devin Garcia Ruskamp; and PSC President Dr. Dan Hanson. “8 to Great” was introduced to PSEA as a character education program that has recently been implemented in public schools such as Palmyra High School and institutions of higher learning such as Kaplan University of Lincoln, NE. The premise behind the program is to give students the tools to reach personal and professional success through positive thinking and attitude via a multi-step process called the 8 High-Ways. This message of positive education and leadership resonated with the group and the movement to host a seminar for the leaders of PSC organizations took flight. Peru State College’s Student Senate co-financed the event by providing a grant of $250 towards the purchase of an 8 to Great book for all who attended the seminar. The book’s author and program creator, MK Mueller, co-presented with District OR1 School teacher and technology coordinator, Burke Brown. Throughout the event, student leaders and attendees learned a new process of character education to share with their organization members, but more importantly, a new positive way to embrace the world and get on the fast track to personal and professional success. The seminar was very successful. To have the book’s author co-present with Brown was a great honor for our group. Almost everyone in attendance truly internalized the message and process provided to them. The 8 to Great program and process is truly powerful. January 2012 - SEAN Scene - p. 5

Fall Conference

Grand Island - Fairfield Inn & Suites The 2011 Fall Conference took place on Friday, Nov. 18, in Grand Island. Events kicked off with registration and a catered meal provided by SEAN. Contributing Writer After having been given time to eat and mingle, SEAN President Patrick Ryan Evans White introduced the three speakers for the evening: Tom Black, David Witt, and Tommie Leaders. Tom Black, the first to speak, presented information regarding the intergenerational mentoring program. The program will facilitate a mentor to each student for the semester of student teaching and first year of teaching. Students and mentors talk about lesson plans, how classes went, and important information regarding teaching that is not always taught in the classroom. Following, Mr. Black, Mr. Witt spoke about technology in the 21st century. He started off his presentation with a question: “What are the important “T’s” in education.” One of the most common answers was “technology.” He explained that technology is a big part of teaching now and its importance will continue into the future. However, he also explained that if a teacher does not know how to effectively implement technology into the classroom, or if the technology is not applicable to the task, it is more of an impediment than revolutionary tool, consequently wasting precious time for teaching the content. Technology is an amazing thing, when it works. Making sure that a lesson can be taught with and without the use of technology is important. Mr. Witt also explained that even though some new technology (L-R): SEAN President Patrick White; SEAN Southeast is easy to use, in some cases older technology can be Region Representative Devin Garcia; SEAN Western Region better. To demonstrate his point, he handed out two Representative Breanna Wolfe; and SEAN Secretary Jill cameras: one aged before the 70’s, and the second Kimbrough; help attendees get registered for Fall Conference a modern digital camera. The newer digital camera and Outreach to Teach. is easy and fast to take pictures. However, the older camera, that takes lots of time to setup and figure out, actually takes a better quality photo. Finally, it was time for Tommie Leaders, NEA-SP Chair, to speak. He spoke about today’s membership and political action. Tommie spoke of today’s membership numbers and how each and every one of the student program members has a responsibility to try and raise these numbers. Tommie also spoke about political action. He said that each of us has a say in what happens in politics and he discussed the impact legislation and politics has on education locally and nationally. Through voting and participation (L-R): Ari Peregrine, Jenna, Melissa Sorensen, and Samantha inWessels. Photo courtesy Nebraska Wesleyan University chapter. in political action, we, as future teachers, have the potential to make a sincere impact in education. p. 6 - SEAN Scene - January 2012

Outreach to Teach

Grand Island - Howard Elementary

(L-R): Michelle Bruna, Jamie Theye, Ariel Sikes, and Lisa Vanderhoof work on a bulletin board.

Kari Atkins of SEAN UNL helps with landscaping.

SEAN members and teachers get ready to work.

November 19th SEAN hosted Contributing Writer their annual Jill Kimbrough Outreach to Teach at Howard Elementary School in Grand Island. The day started off with an introduction of the school’s staff and principal. The principal, Julie Schnitzler, explained that Howard Elementary is one of the first schools in Nebraska to take part in the continuous school year. Their school year started off on July 13th. They then have three “intersession periods” throughout the year. Each intersession consists of two to three weeks. They occur in September, December and February/ March. She also mentioned that volunteering or student teaching at Howard would be a great experience for both the volunteer and the school. After the introduction of the SEAN Executive members and advisors, over 120 volunteers got to work. SEAN member volunteers worked from 9:30 a.m. to about 3p.m. Projects that were carried out included cleaning and organizing the basement storage area, landscaping the outdoor garden, washing windows, painting shelving units, organizing closets, putting together furniture, putting together new bulletin boards, and helping to get the new annex ready for the school to move into. SEAN also provided money to purchase two new benches for the school and also purchased new soccer goals for the students. Lunch for the volunteers was provided by Runza, Little Casears, Hyvee, Sam’s Club, and WalMart. Money was also donated by Viaero, Candace Edwards, and from the NSEA Retired Teachers. Play It Again Sports supplied the soccer goals and was able to provide the goals at a discount. The school was very deserving and very grateful for SEAN’s contribution.

(L-R): NEA-SP Chair, Tommie Leaders, PSEA member LA Adams, and SEAN Underclass Representative Ryan Evans present soccer equipment to the principal of Howard Elementary.

January 2012 - SEAN Scene - p. 7

Upcoming Events February

Spring Conference February 24, 2012 - February 25, 2012 York College - 1125 E 8th S York, Nebraska 68467


SEAN Delegate Assembly March 31, 2012 NSEA Building - 605 South 14th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508


NSEA Delegate Assembly April 20, 2012 - April 21, 2012 Embassy Suites, LaVista - 12520 Westport Parkway, La Vista, NE 68128

(If you wish to be a student delegate to the NSEA Delegate Assembly, voting will take place at the SEAN Delegate Assembly. Six student delegates are chosen to attend.)

NEA Student Leadership Conference TBA Washington, D.C.


(All SEAN Executive Team members attend the NEA-SLC. If you want to become part of the SEAN Executive Team, voting will take place at the SEAN Delegate Assembly.)

NEA Representative Assembly June 30, 2012 - July 5, 2012 Washington, D.C.

(If you wish to be a student delegate to the NEA Representative Assembly, voting will take place electronically via SurveyMonkey. Three student delegates are chosen to attend.)

p. 8 - SEAN Scene - January 2012

Do you know your Region Rep?

It’s crucial for you to know your SEAN Region Representative and he or she to know you. Take the time to get to know your Rep so we can facilitate open communication from state to local levels.

Devin Garcia Southeast Region Representative Schools Represented - Doane College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Peru State College, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Phone - (402) 239-6551 E-mail - Birthdate - May 15th Major - Secondary Science Education Favorite Game - Risk Reason to Teach - As a high school student I was blessed to have a particular teacher that went

above and beyond “just teaching curriculum.” I could go to this teacher with any problem regardless if it was academic or personal. I truly internalized this kindess and it has inspired me to follow in my teacher’s footsteps. I want to give back to my community and to contribute to the continuation of a quailty education for the students I will have in my classroom.

Breanna Wolfe Western Region Representative Schools Represented - Chadron State College, Hastings College, Mid-Plains Community College, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Western Nebraska Community College, York College

Phone - (402) 366-6097 E-mail - Birthdate - March 13th Major - Business Education w/ Coaching Endorsement Favorite Book - Next by Michael Crichton Reason to Teach - My mother being a teacher definitely made me want to go into teaching.

However, the greatest influence in my career choice was my teachers. I was lucky enough to go to school where the teachers cared enough about the students to spend time outside of the classroom helping. Those great teachers were there for me emotionally and academically. I just want to be able to be that great teacher for my students.

Matt Meyer Northeast Region Representative Schools Represented - Midland Lutheran University, Northeast Community College, Wayne State College

Phone - (402) 649-0882 E-mail - Major - Elementary Education Favorite Book - Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

Birthdate - March 12th

January 2012 - SEAN Scene - p. 9

Continuing our Mission

The Need for Active Membership This has been a primarily successful year for Student Education Association of Nebraska’s membership. That being said, we still have a ways to go. We do not have a ton of time left, but I am confident in this year’s membership force. Last year the plan was to reach 1,500 members and when we started this year we were well on our way. Throughout this year membership has been up from where we were last year. However, we have a long ways to go before we

or at the conferences. By the time you calculate all the money they save and the experiences they will get it will be worth the money for them. Another issue I addressed in my leadership article was the fact that the bare minimum is not enough in terms of membership. It is time now more than ever during the heightened importance of protest and community organization. Encourage more of your students to participate in the many events SEAN hosts at the state level. We had great involvement at the Fall Conference and Outreach to Teach. I appreciate all your hard work. I know Howard Elementary does

reach that 1,500 from last year. In fact I encourage this organization to shoot higher and reach 1,600 members this year. I think it is easily within reach based on our current track record. It is important that we as an organization stay on top of finding new members and providing them information regarding SEAN. Simply gaining members on your campus is not enough. They must know what they are joining and be fully informed. If you need information provided to you please let me know or one of your region representatives. That is what they are there for. In addition to informing students, provide students with incentive such as fun activities, events, and opportunities to benefit education in Nebraska. If a student is not informed and involved then they have trouble wanting to join something especially with due fees. If you want to combat the issues students have with pricy dues then it is time to get creative. Explore how those students can save money with member benefits

too, but I believe we can do better. In years past we have had more members present for both days of our weekend conference. I would like to see us return to those numbers for spring conference and prepare for next year’s membership run together. I may not be your president next year, if I am replaced, but that does not mean my whole heart isn’t in this organization president or not. I leave you with this. Please continue to work as hard as you have been. All I ask is you push it a little farther, because that will help up us reach record levels for membership. Also, please inform your students as soon as possible regarding events for the state. The sooner they know about these different events then they can plan ahead. Continue to keep up the good work and increase your membership in your chapter. If you need any guidance or help please do not hesitate to contact me. It has been an honor to be your president and I hope to see us all together reach the goals I have set.

Contributing Writer Patrick White

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In Pursuit of Experience

Intergenerational Mentoring Program As teacher candidates, most of us have little actual experience in the classroom especially when being compared to veteran teachers who have been educating young minds for decades. Many of us participate in roles to help our community’s youth such as: club counselor, sports coach, Sunday school teacher, etc. Although these efforts provide priceless opportunities for experience along with our practicums, are we really ready for student teaching? It is widely accepted that the first 5 years of teaching will make or break you as a teacher. New theories regarding this phenomenon are contributing lack of classroom experience and reliable support systems to the huge over turn of new teachers. The Intergenerational Mentoring Program is an opportunity through SEAN, provided by the Nebraska State Education Association – Retired (NSEA-Retired). This program’s training is coming up February 10th – 11th in Lincoln. Training is for juniors and seniors in SEAN seeking an opportunity to build a relationship with a leader in education who taught for many years. Essentially, their experiences in

Contributing Writer Megan Brown

W t n a W

education become yours. Mentors are non-judgmental and non-evaluative; they are there to help you through the ups and downs of student teaching and your first year of teaching. Through telephone, e-mail, and faceto-face conversations, the participant knows he or she has an experienced mentor to ask for lesson ideas, a hint for handling a discipline problem, or a trusting shoulder to lean on. If you are interested please contact Maureen Nickels at or call 1-800-742-0047.

(L-R): Mentor and mentees are getting to know each other. Photo courtesy NSEA-Retired.



Are you a SEAN member at College of Saint Mary, Creighton University, Grace University, or the University of Nebraska at Omaha that has ambition to be a leader? If yes, then we want you as the Metro Region Representative! Being a SEAN Region Representative is a great opportunity to be a leader. You make a difference by facilitating open communication between SEAN and your region chapters. If you are interested please contact SEAN President, Patrick White at January 2012 - SEAN Scene - p. 11

January 2012 SEAN Scene  

January 2012 SEAN Scene