Page 1


Historic Legislation to Change Kindergarten Enrollment Date

Nebraska Council of School Administrators

April 2010

computer stations • student desks • task chairs • book shelves • café tables • classroom seating • auditorium seating • office desks

Call us today at 800-448-4726 or visit

- equipment for educators

©2010 Virco Inc.

REF# 10029


2 Historic Legislation to Change Kindergarten Enrollment Date

4 Cloudy Economic Forecast Still Has Glimmer of Hope 6

Has Your Evaluation Instrument Evolved with the Times or Are You Still Using Slate and Chalk? BY DR. KENT M C LELLEN


The Job of Elementary Principal


Career Academy Partnerships/Collaboration at Work




ESU 13窶天irtual High School: Nebraska Educational Virtual Academy (NEVA) BY DR. JEFFREY D. WEST


NAESP Outstanding New Principal of the Year


NCSA Welcomes New Finance and Membership Coordinator


NSASSP Announces 2009-2010 Award Winners


NAESP Announces Nebraska Distinguished Principal of the Year

15 15 16 17

NAESP Longevity Awards 2009-2010 NSASSP Longevity Awards 2009-2010 Green Light to Go Green BY DAVE RAYMOND and DENNY VAN HORN

Educators Health Alliance (EHA) Update BY DR. MIKE DULANEY and DR. DAN ERNST

NCSA EXECUTIVE BOARD 2009-2010 Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Matt Fisher Vice Chair . . . . . . . . . . . .Ryan Ruhl Past Chair . . . . . . . . . . John Osgood NASA Representatives President . . . . . . . . . .Bill Mowinkel President-elect . . . . . . . .Jack Moles Past President . . . . . . . .Matt Fisher NASBO Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . .Rick Feauto President-elect . . . . .Robin Hoffman Past President . . . Sandy Rosenboom NAESP Representatives President . . . . . . . . .Sarah Williams President-elect . . . . . .Midge Mougey Past President . . . . . . . . . .Mary Yilk NASES Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . . .Jane Byers President-elect . . . . .Peggy Romshek Past President . . . . .Ellen Stokebrand NSASSP Representatives President . . . . . . . .Kenton McLellan President-elect . . . .Randy Schleuter Past President . . . . . . . . .Ryan Ruhl NARSA Representative President . . . . . . . . . . . .Ron Joekel NCSA STAFF Dr. Michael S. Dulaney Executive Director/Lobbyist Dr. Dan E. Ernst Associate Executive Director/Lobbyist Kelly Coash-Johnson Training and Development Director


NCSA Honors Longtime Advocate

Amy Poggenklass Finance and Membership Coordinator


School Community Partnership for Essential Finance Planning

Dr. Bill Kenagy NCSA Principal Liaison

20 CALENDAR OF EVENTS NCSA Mission The mission of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA) is to be an effective leader for quality education and to enhance the professionalism of its members. NCSA Today is a benefit of membership in the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, 455 South 11th Street, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68508. Telephone 402.476.8055 or 800.793.6272. Fax 402.476.7740. Annual membership dues are $325 (active members), $100 (associate members), or $30 (student members). NCSA Today is published quarterly. Send address changes to NCSA, Membership, 455 South 11th Street, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68508. Copyright ツゥ2010 by NCSA. All rights reserved.

Angie Carman Executive Administrative Assistant Carol Young Administrative Assistant Sarah F. Sullivan NCSA Staff Correspondent The opinions expressed in NCSA Today or by its authors do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators. APRIL 2010




Historic Legislation to Change Kindergarten Enrollment Date BY SARAH F. SULLIVAN, NCSA Staff Correspondent


or years, young Nebraskans have been eligible for kindergarten if they turn five years old on or before October 15th. For years, kindergarten teachers have raised concerns over the age difference of students in their classrooms. “This has been an issue in Nebraska for as long as I can remember,” said Co-Administrator of the Nebraska Department of Education’s (NDE’s) Office of Early Childhood, Melody Hobson. “I know that there’s been a history of people trying to solve the problem of age ranges for ten years at least. This has definitely been an ongoing issue—I was hearing about it when I first came to the department.” Senator Greg Adams shared the same opinion. “In the time that I have been the Education Committee chair, I have fielded repetitive questions about the state’s early childhood grant program, eligibility for kindergarten, and the broad age and ability spectrum.” As a response to these ever-growing concerns, Senator Adams introduced Legislative Bill (LB) 1006 in 2010. LB 1006 states that beginning with the 2012-13 school year, children will be eligible for kindergarten if they are five years old by July 31st, pushing the cutoff date back 2.5 months and significantly narrowing the age range of kindergartners in the classroom. Included in the bill is a “[LB 1006] indicates a stipulation that children recognition of the who turn five between August 1st and October 15th importance of education will be allowed to enter and preparedness for kindergarten if they pass an assessment, which will delearning….The response termine whether or not a to the bill has been child is capable of handling overwhelmingly positive.” kindergarten-level work. This assessment must be —Senator Adams approved by school districts by January 1, 2012.

Originally, the bill required NDE to choose one model assessment procedure for all districts. However, this provision was eliminated, allowing school boards to adopt their own assessment. Senator Adams states, “The bill indicates a recognition of the importance of education and preparedness for learning,” and met virtually no opposition during debate on the Legislation. “The response to the bill has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Adams. For Doniphan-Trumbull Public School Elementary Principal, Mary Yilk, the changes have been long time coming. Yilk, who testified in favor of the bill at its public hearing in February has worked alongside other educators for ten years in an attempt to narrow the age gap in kindergarten classrooms. “The last ten years have been a lot of research and talking with the school superintendents and finance directors…and trying to educate the public on the issue. Kindergarten has changed,” explained Yilk. “Students come in with the majority of them already knowing so much because of the digital age. They are digital learners and absorb so much information so much faster…academically, students are ready to absorb so

NCSA appreciates Gibbon Public Schools for providing the photographs for the cover and inside picture used in this edition of the NCSA Today. (continued on page 3)



STATEWIDE Historic Legislation… (continued from page 2) much more information that you need to be five to be able to keep up with the trends of what education is.” “This [LB 1006] is not an end,” Yilk continued. “The next step is developing good quality preschool programs for three and four year olds.” Despite the fact that no opposition prevented LB 1006 from becoming law, it was not entirely smooth sailing. Senator Adams explained that of the concerns presented to him, one was that July 31st wasn’t enough time and that the date should be June 1st. Another concern was that if a school didn’t have an assessment, then they would have to develop one. Further, a date change could cause a loss in student count and therefore a loss in state aid. Melody Hobson has also heard her fair share of concerns over the bill. “This year there were 3,300 kids born between August 1st and October 15th. So there will be an issue that will cause some consternation around planning for the 2012-13 school year [for parents],” Hobson explained. “In two years, those kids will no longer be eligible without taking an assessment. There is a concern that these children may or may not have access to high quality early childhood programs [if they are not allowed to enter kindergarten], and the result would be that it would delay any formal programming for them for another year.” A reoccurring theme in the list of issues seems to be apprehension over a possible lack of consistency by allowing each school board to adopt their own assessment policy. “There’s not

really one model that we would recommend. We don’t have the data or the ability to choose the best validated assessment tool for everyone,” Hobson explained. “We could help school districts walk through the process through certain questions, but I wouldn’t recommend any one specific test.” “One could argue assessment consistency across districts,” Senator Adams said, “And I believe that when the revenue picture improves, NDE should be required to develop an assessment. But for now, we’re talking about entrance into kindergarten, not math assessments or the ACT.” The Legislative Fiscal Office reports there were only 41 children in kindergarten in the state in 2009-10 who turned five between October 16th and February 1st, suggesting that very few school districts are using assessments to allow early entrance. However because of the new enrollment date, those numbers may change. “I would anticipate in the first couple of years there would be quite a few more kids who would try to enter,” said Hobson. “After a couple years, it would even out and probably remain steady for a while. That’s all conjecture, but I would think that’s what could happen. With any change like this, there will be some parents who plan a long way in the distance and they’ll have to change their planning or use the assessments.” Despite concerns, LB 1006 will undoubtedly help children and teachers alike, although we may not see the effects until later. But for Mary Yilk, the bill makes those changes a foreseeable reality. “With a good developmental kindergarten program, kids will learn at the rate that they are able to and will be able to handle the pressures of being away from family. They will also have a better sense of community and of themselves” Yilk said. As for the teachers, Yilk is already confident in their ability to handle their classrooms. Yilk said that because teachers are able to adapt instruction to any learning level, they are fully capable of differentiating the needs of each individual student. However, with the bill in place, they won’t have to worry about children who could fall behind because they lack the social and self-help skills that would enable them to learn as fast as their peers. Though naysayers may grumble because the changes might not be visible right away, for Melody Hobson the enrollment date change is better for everyone involved. “We’re never going to get all kids to come into school with the same abilities, but the bill may help some of the variants.” I

NCSA Executive Director Mike Dulaney and NAESP President Sarah Williams present a “thank you” card to Senator Greg Adams. APRIL 2010




Cloudy Economic Forecast Still Has Glimmer of Hope BY SARAH F. SULLIVAN, NCSA Staff Correspondent


semi-dark meeting room in the Capitol Building played host to the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board on February 26. A projector hummed quietly in the background and the people who had gathered to listen to the board members speak maintained silence throughout the entire event, careful not to miss a word. When commenting on the state of the economy in the coming two years, the word “flat” was widely agreed as the best way to describe it—neither very good, nor very bad. Drawing from the experiences of their communities, the eight board members described the ups and downs of their cities, including existing home sales improving in Omaha, a great deal of uncertainty due to the weather and new commercial construction in Kearney. At the end of the day, the board dropped its forecast by $31.7 million for the next two years. State revenue was forecast at $3.28 billion for the current fiscal year and the next fiscal year, it will grow to $3.405 billion. The estimated budget shortfall for the next biennium is $670 million. In the wake of this important meeting there was a

flurry of activity at the Capitol as the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee, chaired by Senator Lavon Heidemann, met to figure out how to make up the shortfall. When asked what he thought of the forecast situation, Senator Heidemann said that some of his peers in the early part of January had wondered if the shortfall would grow by an additional $50-100 million. “I wasn’t quite that pessimistic,” said the Senator from Elk Creek. “Right before though, I would have put things at $20-50 million, so it came in about right in the middle.” With regard to the Forecast Board Members’ description of a “flat” economy in the coming months, Heidemann agreed. “We have not met our forecasts for quite a few months, and as we look more toward the current year and maybe the next six to ten months, I would tend to agree with that. You start to get more optimistic maybe in about a year, at least I do. Hopefully, that will reflect in the revenues that we see.” (continued on page 5)

Nebraska Forecast Board meets in Lincoln February 26, 2010




What about the current biennium budget? After days of often intense meetings, the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee finally announced their preliminary budget decisions on March 9. (Following the first year of every biennium, the Appropriations Committee prepares a mid-biennium budget proposal to be submitted to the full Legislature.) Included in the changes were an additional two percent cut to almost all state agencies for the following year (in addition to the five percent budget decreases approved during the November special session) and exempting the University of Nebraska from cuts (they had pondered taking $2 million from the University in prior meetings). The committee chose to utilize $3 million from the state’s $325 million cash reserve to keep the budget balanced due to an $18 million increase in spending for K-12 schools. “There have been no two percent cuts made to K-12 schools. They have remained fairly unscathed through this whole thing, but they have to come into the picture and be part of it as a whole,” Heidemann explained. “When you realize that all these agencies are taking a seven percent cut, the schools must understand that they will have to be part of the solution without a doubt. If they won’t be part of the solution, we’ll have to wipe out whole agencies.” However, while the universities and colleges are safe from cuts this time around, they should expect to recieve reductions in the next biennium budget cycle. “This time we didn’t cut from the universities or the colleges or community colleges because frankly, we only had $2 million room before we ran under ARRA [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] limitations,” said Tom Bergquist, Deputy Director of the Legislative Fiscal Office. Bergquist explained that all the stabilization money is under ARRA guidelines and the initial amount had to bring them up to the threshold, after which it could then be used to offset increases. Higher education was above the threshold (by a mere $2 million), however, that limitation goes away after the next biennium, leaving the university and colleges available for budget cuts. Unfortunately, according to Bergquist, the $670 million shortfall may be too optimistic of an estimation. Bergquist explained that the Forecast Board only estimates numbers for the next three years, the third year considered an “out year.” Using the methodology called the historical average, the board’s estimate for these three years are taken into account. Using these numbers, analysts figure out what the budget would require in the next biennium and out year. Bergquist estimates there may be as much as an additional $290 million on top of the $670 million shortfall with which to address.

Special Session? When asked whether or not there would be a call for a special session, Senator Heidemann responded saying, “We’re taking care of business right now as we know it. The only way we would have a special session would be if we see bad March or April revenues.” The Senator explained that April is going to be a telling month, but there are no current indications as to whether the revenues will swing one way or the other. “There have been no For schools, the coming months will defi- two percent cuts made nitely be a time to to K-12 schools.They reflect and plan on how have remained fairly best to weather the storm. “Schools have unscathed through only so much money through state aid and this whole thing, but the schools and teachers are going to have to they have to come into decide how best to the picture and be part move forward,” said of it as a whole.” Heidemann. “They’ll have to figure out how to work with what they —Sen. Heidemann have and how best can we educate the children with the amount of money that we have.” Looking ahead for Nebraska, while the situation is cloudy, Senator Heidemann does see some glimmers of hope. “Nebraska has acted responsibly during this whole time and we’re going to be able to move ahead without making up for lost ground. Other states’ higher education had to raise tuition by 30 percent or had to fire teachers because they lost state aid. We have not seen that in Nebraska,” Heidemann said confidently. “Hopefully everyone’s accepting the fact that having a job is better than having no job at all. If we do that, we’ll be able to make it the other side of those two years,” Heidemann added. “When we do see a pick up in the economy, we will be able to move forward almost immediately. So we’re in good shape in that regard. We’ll be far ahead of everyone else, it’s definitely tough here, but not as bad as in other places.” I

APRIL 2010




Has Your Evaluation Instrument Evolved with the Times or Are You Still Using Slate and Chalk? BY DR. KENT M C LELLAN, Principal, Morrill High School; President NSASSP




n many conversations that I’ve had with fellow administrators, when asked where their evaluation instrument came from, the reply is often, “I’m not sure, it’s been here since I’ve started working here.” As the demands on public school teachers and administrators change, it makes sense that our evaluation process and instruments should be updated to meet our needs. After discussion between our district administrators, it was decided that our evaluation process and instrument needed to “evolve” in order to meet our needs. As a result, a committee of teachers and administration was formed to address this need. Not wanting to “reinvent the wheel,” the committee contacted several schools in order to obtain copies of their evaluation processes and instruments. Once all had arrived, the committee set about developing an evaluation process and instrument that would fit the district’s needs. A few of the schools that sent us evaluation instruments had adopted a rubric developed by Charlotte Danielson, author of the book “Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching.” Danielson’s work was originally published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) in 1996 with the latest edition being released in 2007. The development of Danielson’s rubric was heavily influenced by her involvement in the development of Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) Praxis Series. The Praxis Series is composed of three components: Praxis I: Pre-Professional Assessments; Praxis II: Subject Assessments; and Praxis III: Classroom Performance Assessments. Many state and local agencies have adopted the Praxis I and II Series as a tool used in making teacher licensing decisions. Praxis III is designed to assess actual teaching skills and classroom performance and it was this component that had the most influence in Danielson’s development of the framework. In addition to the Praxis series, Danielson’s rubric was also influenced by extensive surveys of the research literature, wide-ranging job analyses, summaries of the demands of state licensing programs, and fieldwork (Danielson, 2007).


Danielson’s framework is composed of four broad domains that are supported by extensive research: Domain 1: Planning and Preparation; Domain 2: The Classroom Environment; Domain 3: Instruction; and Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities. Each of these domains contains several subcomponents that define a specific aspect of the domain, and each of these subcomponents has two to five elements that describe a specific feature of the subcomponent. When using the framework as an evaluation instrument, each element is rated on a rubric that ranges from “Unsatisfactory” to “Distinguished” with “Basic” and “Proficient” separating the lowest and highest ratings of the rubric (Danielson, 2007). As we were adopting Danielson’s framework as part of our evaluation process, we discovered that Danielson had teamed up with Rick Welsh of NoBox Inc. to combine a digital version of her rubric with “TimerData Observation Software.” As a result, “Framework for PC” was born. With “Framework for PC” an administrator can easily collect essential, relevant information during an observation and then integrate that information into the Framework for Teaching reporting process. The reporting process of the software allows you to produce a thorough, objective analysis supported from data collected in the classroom. It also allows you to display quantifiable observation data with instant charts, graphs, and tables (Retrieved January 5, 2010, from NoBox Inc. website: Danielson notes that, “Framework for PC, produced by NoBox Inc, is an observation and evaluation tool that enables users to take observation notes electronically, with an automatic time stamp, code those notes to the framework for teaching, and then sort all the notes according to the components. Therefore, all the comments about, for example, the environment of respect and rapport, are clustered together, and can be looked at and interpreted against the rubric. Then the results of several observations can be displayed together, permitting the observer to discern patterns over time or in different sit(continued on page 9)


The Job of Elementary Principal BY SARAH WILLIAMS, Principal, Ainsworth Elementary; NAESP President



ne of my former superintendents, who is retired, occasionally sees me around town or at school. Nearly every time he sees me, he grins and says, “If I had to do it all over again, I would come back as an Elementary Principal. Gosh, that would be the life!” Then he waits for me to unleash a few comments about the kind of day I had, or the students who were brought to my office, or the data that needs to be compiled and he gives me an even bigger grin and a few chuckles. He fully understands the job of an elementary principal, but, even more, he enjoys riling me. Even though I engage in a friendly exchange with a former superintendent about the duties of an elementary principal, I do not underestimate the work of an elementary principal. Over the past several years, public education has received much attention because of the increased accountability for student achievement. The attention is welcomed, but can be stressful. Now, more than ever, principals must ensure that all students are reaching defined levels of achievement and making annual growth. In some cases, principals have to ensure students are making more than annual growth so that they catch up to the minimum benchmark levels. Elementary principals, especially, work with a certain degree of urgency to make sure students leave the elementary level prepared for success at the next level. We understand that the most efficient way to achieve the goals at the elementary level is to have our youngest students prepared for school. Therefore, elementary principals have been investing in early childhood development. Our NAESP Federal Representative recently returned from Washington with news that the National Association of Elementary School Principals is calling for new policies in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to strengthen professional development for principals and include standards for program strategies to create comprehensive early childhood programs. At the state level, Nebraska elementary principals have been supportive of efforts to improve early childhood education and children’s school readiness. Elementary principals, however, cannot do the work alone. We recognize that there are many supporting factors: involved and supportive parents, engaged students,

strong communities, skilled teachers, effective superintendents, and committed boards of education. Without these elements, our jobs would be more difficult. I have attended several Nebraska Distinguished Principal ceremonies during the last several years and every award recipient has made some comment about being uncomfortable about the attention he or she is receiving. Generally, he or she feels uncomfortable because they want to credit all the other supports in the building for the success of the school. Yes, those supports are important, but it is also the work of the principal that is responsible for a school’s success. Sometimes we might forget that we have another supporting factor – each other. Elementary principals have so much influence in his or her own building. Imagine the influence we can have together as a group. We should come together and share our common interests and further our common purpose, which is to ensure all children are achieving. We are not very good at touting our abilities or our work successes, but it is time. I respect my former superintendent, who teases me about how easy my job must be. I realize he is not being serious. Next time, however, when he jokes with me, I think I will respond, “Yes, I bet you do wish you could be an elementary principal. It is the most rewarding work you can imagine. You will hold children when they are crying or when they are so mad they can’t control themselves. You will get hugs on a daily basis. You might have to clean up a few messes in the lunchroom. You will watch children learn to read. You will watch children solve problems in the classroom and on the playground. You might have to substitute in a classroom for a sick teacher. You will have to prove to others that children are making the gains in achievement they are supposed to make. You will go home tired most days and you will feel like you did important work.” I

APRIL 2010




Career Academy Partnerships/Collaboration at Work BY DR. RANDY A. NELSON, Administrator, Southeast Nebraska Career Academy Partnership




reetings to all of my colleagues and friends! I am here to report that there is “life” after being a superintendent and building principal for over 25 years in Nebraska. While I truly miss the day-to-day interaction and networking as a school administrator, I want you to know that there are still numerous opportunities (outside of administration) to make a significant impact on the lives of our young people. My good friends at NCSA have asked if I would share with you some of the things I have been doing over the past three years and how the students we are working with are being prepared to be successful and competitive citizens in our ever changing global society. The Southeast Nebraska Career Academy Partnership (SENCAP), which is funded primarily from Carl Perkins dollars, is a 21st Century educational initiative and was developed through the cooperative efforts of the schools in ESU #6 and Southeast Community College in an effort to provide students the opportunity to explore numerous career fields. The Academy is open to all juniors and seniors with recommendations from their counselor, teachers, or principal. The cost of the college tuition is split equally between Southeast Community College and the participating K-12 schools. This has added significant value to the program and has allowed many students, who would not have otherwise been able to afford to take college classes, to graduate with as many as 9-12 college hours. Starting with the 2008-09 school year, nearly 125 juniors and seniors from 22 schools began taking dual credit classes (college hours and instructors provided by Southeast Community College) in both the Education and Med-


ical/Health career areas. During this current school year, academies for Business and Basic Nurses Training were added, and for the 2010-11 school year, the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Engineering career cluster will be the new additional academy. In addition to all of the SENCAP courses being offered for “dual credit,” our students experience active learning by taking field trips to different locations across the state in order to see “first hand” the multitude of careers available to them; they are involved with job shadowing in at least two different career areas; the students meet and interact with other students from across southeast Nebraska; they do research on colleges across the (continued on page 9)

PRO GRAM SP OTL IGHT Career Academy (continued) country in their career of interest and availability of different careers; and, students are able to connect and interact with various professionals from their own communities. The SENCAP project is the first of its kind in the state that is serving multiple school districts in outstate Nebraska. To best serve the needs of the students, we have broken down the service area (which encompasses seven different counties) into four Regions. The “hub” for each of these Regions include; York— Western, Crete—Central, Lincoln—Eastern, and Wahoo—Northern. Students travel twice a week to these centralized communities to take classes from SCC. The other three days of the week students are back in the home schools working on their assignments from the Student Portfolios. During the past two years of delivering the Career Academies we have found that the academic achievement and knowledge of our students is considerably enhanced when our young people

are actively engaged in career experiences in their field of interest. The relativity and applicability of what they learn becomes more meaningful and useful as students move beyond their high school years. The 21st Century High School research has shown that one of the strategies that significantly impacts preparing high schools for the future is when they are participating in some type of career development program. Learning is enhanced when it is organized around what students should know and be able to do after high school – both in higher education and in the workplace. This is precisely what the Southeast Nebraska Career Academy Partnership does for our students. It is exciting to be partnering with schools and organizations in the SENCAP Program who see the importance of being directly involved with career education. A program that actively engages students in their learning, provides opportunities for both high school and college credit, allows first hand career

experiences through job shadowing, takes numerous field trips to visit workplaces and interact with professionals, promotes active, hands-on learning, and, positions students to be better prepared for the future that faces them. I am pleased to share that several schools across the state of Nebraska are beginning to get actively involved in providing career education opportunities for their students. If you are interested in learning more about SENCAP and our Career Academy Program you can contact me at ESU #6 ( or call me at 402-761-3341. I

Evaluation Instrument (from page 6) uations" (Retrieved January 5, 2010, from NoBox Inc. website: /framework/index.html). While the Framework for PC software is a wonderful evaluation tool, it also has the potential to be a tool that can be used to generate professional conversations among practitioners as they seek to enhance their skill in the complex task of teaching. With appropriate administrative and teacher training, the development of a common understanding of the framework occurs. This common understanding allows the framework to become an instrument of growth rather than just an evaluation tool. This common understanding can also

be used as the foundation of a school or district’s mentoring, coaching, professional development, and teacher evaluation processes. By doing so, these programs are linked together and results in teachers becoming more thoughtful practitioners. We are only in the first year of our new evaluation process, but we have been impressed with the “Framework for PC” software. Combined with our focus on professional development for teachers in other areas of the evaluation process, we are very optimistic that the processes will lead to improved student achievement for all our students. If you are interested in

learning more about the software or our evaluation process, please feel free to contact me or you may also visit: for further information about the software. Danielson, C. (2007). Enhancing professional practice: A framework for teaching. Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. I

APRIL 2010




ESU 13 – Virtual High School: Nebraska Educational Virtual Academy (NEVA) BY DR. JEFFREY D. WEST, Administrator, ESU 13


n 2008, ESU 13 in collaboration with our 21 member school districts embarked on a journey of creating and implementing an online or virtual high school for Western Nebraska. At that time, superintendents were looking for alternative education opportunities for struggling students. ESU 13 staff created seven online courses to allow atrisk students to recover credit while remaining at their high school. In 2009, at the recommendation of our superintendents, ESU 13 added to our virtual high school course offerings dual credit courses in physics and calculus. ESU 13 believes strongly in West supporting districts through regional collaboration. By utilizing the technology available, and with the help of our member districts, ESU 13 is creating high quality blended learning opportunities (blended learning is a combination of online and face-to-face communication), allowing Western Nebraska students access to a broader curriculum. ESU 13 is involved in establishing one of Nebraska’s first virtual high schools for a couple reasons. First, we believe that equity in learning opportunities is important for all Nebraska students. A student in Chadron or Kimball deserves the same learning opportunity as a student in Lincoln or Omaha. Online learning and distance learning can help establish equity across the state and ESU 13 wants to take the lead on this issue. A number of our member districts in Western Nebraska have declining student enrollment which means less state aid. At the same time, all our member districts want to expand the learning opportunities for their students. Online learning and distance learning are cost effective ways to do it. Another reason ESU 13 has established an online high school is because of what the research says about the effectiveness of online learning at the K-12 level. There are a number of rigorous studies that have examined the question, “Is online learning effective?” However, there is not a single, large-scale, national study comparing students taking online courses with traditional students, using control groups in the instructional design. The most in-depth, large-scale study to date is a review of online learning studies from the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education released a review of literature of 51 online learning studies in 2009. The overall results found that, on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction. The study looked at



studies comparing both online and blended learning environments to the face-to-face learning environment. In the studies focused on blended environments and face-to-face instruction, “blended instruction has been more effective, providing a rationale for the effort required to design and implement blended approaches.” Interaction is the heart of online learning. Teachers have reported that their interactions with students, parents and colleagues were more often focused on teaching and learning in online courses than in the traditional setting (Muirhead 2000). Interaction is named as the primary difference between online and face-to-face instruction and one of the most important aspects of the online setting (Weiner 2003). In virtual schools, participants seek both deeper and stronger relationships, and they also value frequent and timely responses to questions (Weiner 2003). The importance of providing Panhandle school districts with additional learning opportunities for their students will increase as Western Nebraska battles declining enrollment and less state funding. When families are deciding if living in a Western Nebraska community is an option for them, the most important factor is the quality of learning opportunities a school can provide. To that end, ESU 13 will continue to work with our member districts to make NEVA, our virtual high school, a shining example of what is possible when 21 school districts work together. I Information for this article was taken from the following article, A Summary of Research on the Effectiveness of K-12 Online Learning by Susan Patrick and Allison Powell in August 2009


NAESP Outstanding New Principal of theYear


had Boyer, Principal of Washington Elementary in Norfolk has been named the Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Outstanding New Principal for 2009-2010. Boyer, in his fifth year as an elementary principal, is described as a “winner” and true advocate for his students. He has worked hard to move both his schools forward as new curricular adoptions have taken place in an efChad Boyer accepts the Outstanding New Principal fort provide academic Award from NAESP President-elect, Midge Mougey. success for all students. His skills include being a leader of leaders, a listener, a supporter and a team player. Boyer is also known for his individual attention to all stakeholders, as well as a positive attitude and tremendous work ethic. All of

these qualities in a Principal make working in his buildings a rewarding experience. Mr. Boyer’s early career accomplishments include overseeing the first free bilingual family literacy program named ”Prime Time Family Reading Nights” sponsored by the Nebraska Humanities Council, facilitating the Norfolk Principals’ Reading Meetings within the district, and helped lead the implementation of one of the first public preschools in Norfolk. Shania, a fifth-grade student at Grant Elementary, says: “Mr. Boyer is the best principal I ever had…. He is very kind and friendly. I think he is the best principal in this whole world. He is proud when kids move up in things like Reading Mastery…I will miss Mr. Boyer next year when I have to go to the middle school. I wish he could come with us.” Mr. Boyer is a member of the NAESP, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, United Way volunteer, and various leadership committees within the Norfolk School District. Congratulations to Mr. Boyer on a great start to his administrative career. I

NCSA Welcomes New Finance and Membership Coordinator



my Poggenklass grew up in the northwest Iowa community of Cherokee. After graduating from high school she attended Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa where she received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Finance and Economics. After graduation, Amy accepted a position at Morningside College in the Business Office where she worked with students, faculty and other staff members with various accounting issues. One of her favorite aspects of working at the college was her interaction with students. After her stint at Morningside, Amy made the move to Lincoln where she accepted a position with a local bank and started working in the corporate accounting department. After almost eight years in the banking industry, Amy accepted an opportunity with the NCSA where she serves as the Finance and Membership Coordinator. Her duties with the NCSA include all accounting and membership functions for the association.

Amy is excited to get to know the members and is ready to help them in whatever ways she can. Amy is hoping to incorporate more fiscal awareness for each of the six NCSA affiliate associations. She intends to provide each affiliate president a monthly update for him/her to use as a tool in helping to operate each respective affiliate association more effectively. Also, Amy wants to begin sending out monthly updates to the Executive Board members showing them not only where NCSA stands fiscally but also how membership is doing. On a personal level, Amy enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is an avid traveler and enjoys visiting new places especially if it involves a beach. Amy loves spending time outdoors and stays very active during the summer months. I

APRIL 2010




NSASSP Announces 2009-2010 Award Winners


he Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals (NSASSP) is proud to recognize John Osgood, Principal at C.L. Jones Middle School in Minden, as the Distinguished Service Award winner for 2009. Travis Miller, Principal at Banner County has been selected as the Outstanding New Principal and Trent Steele, Assistant Principal at Kearney High School, is the

Above: Joe Sajevic accepts the High School Distinguished Principal of the Year award from NSASSP State Coordinator Mike Wortman. Right: Todd Hilyard accepts the Middle School Distinguished Principal of the Year award from NSASSP State Coordinator Mike Wortman.

NSASSP Assistant Principal of the Year. In addition, previously announced award winners, Joe Sajevic, Principal at Fremont Senior High School, the High School Distinguished Principal of the Year and Todd Hilyard, Principal at Cozad Middle School, the Middle School Distinguished Principal of the Year were recognized. All received their awards at the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals state conference in Lincoln on February 11.


ohn Osgood has been selected as the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. John received his education from the Hastings College (Bachelor’s) and the University of Nebraska–Kearney (Master of Science in Educational Administration). Mr. Osgood has served his entire educational professional career at C.L. Jones Middle School. He has been the Principal since 1991. Prior to that, John was a classroom instructor in social studies at Minden prior to his appointment as the Principal.



John Osgood accepts the Distinguished Service Award from NSASSP president Kent McLellan.

John is active in many professional organizations and community leadership positions such as the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, and the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals. Mr. Osgood has held several offices in these positions, including State President and Executive Board member of the NSASSP, Chair of the NCSA Executive Board, and NSASSP Region IV President. John also serves on the Nebraska Association for Middle Level Education Board, and is a past president of that organization. In the Minden community, Mr. Osgood has served as a member of the Minden City Council and completed two terms as President with this group. He also was a founding Board member of the Kearney County Community Foundation and is currently serving as the Education Committee Chair for the Minden Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Osgood’s other honors include being selected as the NSASSP Region IV and State Middle School Principal of the Year in 2003. He has also presented at several state conferences, and has represented Middle Level Education on several state and regional committees. John has been selected twice for the Region IV Distinguished Service Award, once in 2007 and again in 2009. Dan Villars, Minden businessman, parent and former student says: “John’s passion for education and conviction to his students has brought out the best in every individual. His knowledge, devotion, commitment, leadership and rapport with kids are all qualities that distinguish him from the rest. As I look at John, I can’t help but think my kids are fortunate to have someone as dedicated as he is, shaping their education.” (continued on page 13)

RECOGNITIO N NSASSP Award Winners (continued from page 12) Mary Lieske, East Elementary Principal in Minden, states: “Mr. Osgood exhibits tremendous strength as a purposeful leader. He is a visible leader, not only in his building, but also in the community and without exception, has high standards for his personal and professional life.” Julia Thomsen, Middle School Language Arts teacher states: “Mr. Osgood encourages faculty members to implement new strategies, programs and lessons. He gives credit and praise to teachers who go above and beyond expected endeavors, yet maintains the attitude of ‘Let’s learn from each other,’ thus fostering a team-building mentality. Mr. Osgood is not afraid to fight for what he believes in, and ultimately, he believes in two worthy causes: children and education. He remains passionate about our school, our faculty, our community, and most importantly, our children.”

most positive educational experience possible. He is truly one of the most outstanding principals that I have had the privilege to work with in my twenty-five years of educational work.” Kari M. Gifford, Banner County teacher and Activities Director, states, “Travis has created an atmosphere that encourages and motivates staff to perform at a high level. His willingness to participate and work collaboratively in all levels of education, from assessment to transportation, demonstrates his abilities as an outstanding educational leader.” Parent Norma Boston writes, “Mr. Miller is a positive, approachable individual who eagerly interacts with students and staff throughout the day. He consistently displays a willingness to listen and whether he is listening to a new idea, fielding a question, or facilitating a solution to a problem, Mr. Miller is respectful and positively engaged.” Mr. Miller is a graduate of the University of Nebraska–Kearney (Bachelors) and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (Masters in Educational Administration). Travis served as a Staff Development Specialist at ESU#13 in Scottsbluff prior to accepting the Principal’s position. He previously taught Social Sciences at Gretna High School and at the Leyton Public Schools. Mr. Miller is a member of the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Travis is also an active member of Region V of the NSASSP. He is also a member of the Calvary Lutheran Church and is a member of the North Platte Valley Kiwanis.

Travis Miller accepts the Outstanding New Principal Award from NSASSP president Kent McLellan.


ravis Miller was selected as the NSASSP Outstanding New Principal for 2009. He has been the Principal at Banner County since 2007. During his tenure at Banner County, Mr. Miller has led his staff through professional development by following the application process for accreditation through the NCA/AdvancED organization. He also serves as a NCA/AdvancED Field Consultant nationally. In addition, Mr. Miller serves on the Standards Advisory Committee for the Nebraska Department of Education and has served on several NCA Quality Assurance Reviews of other school districts. Travis has been selected for, and has participated in, numerous leadership conferences and cohort groups, including the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Western Assessment Cohort and the McRel Balanced Leadership Training. Ms. Lana Sides, Banner County Schools Superintendent, praised Mr. Miller, noting, “Mr. Miller supports the efforts made by students, staff and community members toward giving students the

Trent Steele accepts the Assistant Principal of the Year Award from NSASSP president Kent McLellan.


rent Steele has been recognized by the Nebraska State Secondary School Principals as the 2009 Assistant Principal of the Year. Mr. Steele has served as Assistant Principal at Kearney High School since 2005. He has also served as an Assistant Principal at Beatrice Middle School, the K-12 Principal at Anselmo-Merna and taught at Kearney High School prior to his (continued on page 14) APRIL 2010




NAESP Announces Nebraska Distinguished Principal of theYear


aul Bohn, Principal of Portal Elementary School in La Vista has been selected by the Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) as the National Distinguished Principal from Nebraska for 2010. This honor comes after years of outstanding service to the children across the State of Nebraska. Mr. Bohn has been an active education leader throughout his distinguished career in Nebraska. Paul Bohn accepts the Distinguished Paul is described Principal of the Year Award from as someone who Superintendent Rick Black. brings a clear vision for all stakeholders and is a role model for both students and staff. He is a dedicated professional, possesses a keen sense of humor and is a leader of leaders. Most importantly he is someone who goes above and beyond to ensure that all students will reach and perform to the best of their abilities. It is said that Paul has a passion for “growing principals” from within the teacher ranks and takes great joy when a fellow educator accomplishes that goal with his guidance.

NSASSP Award Winners (from page 13) tenure at Anselmo-Merna. Mr. Steele also served as an Attorney at Law in Kearney. Mr. Steele is a graduate of the University of Nebraska– Lincoln (BS in Education and Juris Doctor) and the University of Nebraska–Kearney (MA in Education). Mr. Steele is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education at UNL. Mr. Steele is a member of the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Region IV Principals association, where he has been named as the Region IV Assistant Principal of the Year. Mr. Steele was also recognized as the Principal of the Year in 2008 by the Nebraska Association of Student Councils. Locally, Mr. Steele has served on the Kearney Area United Way as a Board member, the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Mediation Center and Keep Beatrice Beautiful. 14


During his tenure as a principal in Nebraska, the record clearly shows increased student achievement at each of his schools. Paul actively involves all interested groups in moving education forward, effectively implementing his vision through a shared process involving all stakeholders. This formula of great leadership has been successful at both G. Stanley Hall Elementary and Portal Elementary since his move to Papillion-LaVista Schools in 2005. Paul has been an active member of the state association since 1989. He has held leadership positions on the local level as President of Region I (1997-98), President of Region II (2008 - 2009) and President–elect of Region III (1991-92) of the NAESP. His contributions to the children of this state have come through his active involvement in the following professional organizations: National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and the Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA). Mr. Bohn was recognized during a presentation ceremony at Portal Elementary School in La Vista on February 26, 2010. He will also represent Nebraska Principals in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2010. In addition, the following were recognized as Regional Nebraska Distinguished Principals: • Jeremy Christiansen, Principal at Fairbury Elementary School • Robert Alderson, Mary Lynch Elementary School in Kimball • Stephanie Petersen, Laurel-Concord Elementary School • Mary Lieske, East Elementary School in Minden I Mr. Steve Wickham, Principal at Kearney High School, states: “Mr. Steele has many redeeming qualities, but what I find most commendable is his concerns for the students he works with on a daily basis. He will spend time with any student if the need arises and I would doubt there are very few students who don’t know who Mr. Steele is.” Chris Pocock, Kearney High teacher notes: “Mr. Steele is a powerful mentor for me, other teachers, and certainly students. His vision for Kearney High School is unparalleled and his support of both students and teachers provide the foundation for his success.” Jordan Fuller, junior student at Kearney High, states: “The amount of respect and honor shown to Mr. Steele by the Kearney High student body is tremendous. It is not that Mr. Steele demands attention and respect from the students. He simply earns it by being who he truly is.” I


NAESP Longevity Awards 2009-2010 15 Year Award Fred Evans – Sandoz Elementary, Lexington Public Schools Mona Manley – Belmont Elementary, Lincoln Public Schools John Mlinar – Shell Creek Elementary, Lakeview Public Schools Charles Hervert – Maxwell Public Schools 20 Year Award Mary Lieske – Minden East Elementary School, Minden Public Schools Jim Jeffres – Prairie View Elementary, Ogallala Public Schools Roxy Voorhees – Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Schools Drew Heady – Lincoln Elementary, Hastings Public Schools Pat Zeimet – Tara Heights Elementary School, Papillion LaVista Public Schools Ron Parks – North Platte Public Schools

25 Year Award None 30 Year Award Tom Hain – Hershey Elementary School, Hershey Public Schools Glen Moorhead – Sandy Creek Elementary School, South Central NE USD #5 Michael McPherron – Buffalo Elementary School, North Platte Public Schools Don Hooper – Meadows Elementary School, Ralston Public Schools

NSASSP Longevity Awards 2009-2010 15 Year Award Chris Deibler – Pound Middle School, Lincoln Public Schools Ed Gogan – Nebraska City High School, Nebraska City Public Schools Greg Peterson – Sterling High School, Sterling Public Schools Dan Schnoes – Yutan Public Schools Harv Wewel – Ainsworth High School, Ainsworth Public Schools Lance Fuller – Sunrise Middle School, Kearney Public Schools Dave Gordon – Lexington High School, Lexington Public Schools Pam Cohn – Marrs Elementary School, Omaha Public Schools Jeff Alfrey – Harry Andersen Middle School, Omaha Public Schools Tammy Pickering – Grand Island Public Schools Mike Wortman – Lincoln High School, Lincoln Public Schools Mark Armstrong – Kearney Sr. High School, Kearney Public Schools Patrice Zalesky – Papillion-LaVista South High School, PapillionLaVista Public Schools Ryan Sis – LaVista Jr. High , Papillion-LaVista Public Schools Tom Anderson – Blair High School, Blair Community Schools

20 Year Award Kevin Madsen – Kearney Sr. High, Kearney Public Schools John Weitzel – St. Paul High School, St. Paul Public Schools Rick Johnson – Falls City Middle School, Falls City Public Schools 25 Year Award Kent Mann – Grand Island Sr. High, Grand Island Public Schools 30 Year Award Mike Harvey – Arnold Public Schools

NCSA Would Like to Know If you are aware of any administrative changes or retirements, NCSA would like to know. Please contact or call us at 800/793-6272.

APRIL 2010






any of us can remember when computers first entered classrooms. Often, the teacher put the most fearless and computer-savvy student on the computer and said: “figure it out for the rest of us.” Now computers and other technology have become second nature to students and many of us are immigrants to their technologically dominated existence. Students have the expectation that their classrooms and teaching and learning will not only be enhanced by technology, but dominated by technology. A similar movement is building with youth related to “Green” and preserving the environment. It started with thoughts about conserving natural resources and recycling and quickly has evolved to passionate discourse on global warming and reducing our carbon footprint. Students have the expectation that the adults who they interact with on a daily basis will demonstrate the same passion they have for “Going Green.” So it becomes incumbent on the educators of today’s youth to model the tenants of “Going Green.” If we don’t feel competent doing so, our students will quickly push us to competency. Recently, Trane introduced the BTU Crew to the Tonganoxie USD 464 School District in Kansas. Sixth graders participated in the curriculum delivered by their science teachers assisted by Trane staff. The students were fully engaged in monitoring the results of the energy efficiency improvements made to their school facilities. The students monitored and calculated the energy consumption reductions and cost savings, as well as, the resulting reductions in carbon footprint. The students became so invested in the process, the project and the results, that they began lobbying the Governor and Kansas Legislators to fund similar facilities improvements in schools throughout the state of Kansas. The students are aggressively pushing their teachers and administrators to continue efforts to reduce consumption of energy, thereby benefiting the environment. An immediate way for us to pick up the “Go Green” mantra is



through “greening” of our school facilities resulting in creating high performance schools. Some of the facilities measures that will save energy, reduce operating costs and benefit the environment include: • High-efficiency HVAC systems that improve indoor air quality, increase fresh air ventilation, and improve the classroom learning environment; • High performance lighting systems that provide optimal lighting levels; • Low-flow water fixtures that conserve water and reduce sewage; • District-wide HVAC control automation systems that enable operations staff to centrally monitor and control HVAC systems to optimize energy and operational efficiencies while ensuring comfortable and productive learning environments; • Improvements to the building envelope (high efficiency windows and doors, tuck pointing, and roofs) to reduce air and moisture infiltration and heat loss. School districts across the country are reaping the benefits of “Going Green.” Four school districts in rural Virginia, where funding for facilities improvements is hard to come by, completed HVAC and lighting upgrades in their schools. The facilities upgrades resulted in much improved learning environments and the equivalent of planting 1,521 mature trees, removing 1,310 cars from the roads, powering 259 homes and saving 15,637,914 pounds of CO2, 198,451 pounds of acid rain, 66,150 pounds of smog, 13,841,174 gallons of water, and 793,803 gallons of gasoline. These districts are making significant contributions to an improved environment. According to the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council, use of sustainable/Green design principles in new construction can produce annual savings of 30 percent to 40 percent on annual utility costs in schools. Savings of 20 percent to 30 percent can result when remodeling school facilities using sustainable design principles. (continued on page 19)


Educators Health Alliance (EHA) Update BY DR. MIKE DULANEY, Executive Director; and DR. DAN ERNST, Associate Executive Director




he NCSA delegation has worked hard to make meaningful and substantial improvements to the healthcare system serving the vast majority of educators in Nebraska. We strive to provide a plan that provides viable plan options and individual choices for members. EHA currently serves more than 70,000 members, including 32,000 employees and their families or approximately four percent of Nebraska’s total population. A true strength of the EHA is represented by the solid partnership between the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA), the Nebraska School Boards Association, and the Nebraska Council of School Administrators. Each organization works together collaboratively to protect and improve your health plan. As we move forward it is also appropriate to review several notable advances that have improved the EHA Plan. The transition to the four-tier rate structure has provided increased opportunities for members to select a health plan in accordance to their specific individual and family needs. NCSA was instrumental in the move to contract for an EHA Plan Advocate. Kurt Genrich oversees EHA benefit plans for more than 250 school districts and colleges in Nebraska and provides communications with plan participants including newsletters, webinars, and school district and conference presentations. Kurt works well with our valued BC/BS representatives in serving Nebraska schools. This past July EHA Board members unanimously passed a resolution to sponsor a pilot wellness program. The program components include health risk assessments as well as participant health and wellness behavior modification plans. Following the evaluation of the pilot program a decision will be made as to the potential to initiate a statewide wellness program. At the March 16, 2010 EHA Board Meeting to finalize the 2010-11 renewal rates, several decisions were made to further enhance consumer options for plan members. As some health plans have removed the opportunity for retirees to continue to participate after retiring, the EHA continues to value retirees as members. Recent EHA Board action will now afford retirees to select from three plan options, effective with renewal on September 1,

2010. This action truly reflects the EHA commitment to our retirees and will allow for retirees to make decisions based on their individual needs. We have and will continue to explore health insurance issues for this population of our EHA membership. Active plan members will also have additional opportunities effective with renewal September 1, 2010. Members will now have the opportunity to select from two plan choices within an EHA group. In addition, EHA for the first time, will offer what is defined as a reduced benefit plan for approximately half of the cost of the traditional plan. This plan is designed for those that traditionally have not been able to access EHA plans through their employers. We are excited about these new opportunities for plan employers and participants. NCSA continues to champion the concept of additional consumer options and plan choices for all members in addition to providing an affordable health plan. For the past

six years EHA has minimized premium rate increases to less than ten percent, which compares favorably and is lower than the national average. We are confident that the 2010-11 renewal rate of 4.5 percent will also fall below national trends. We have great appreciation for the strides made within the EHA and will work hard to continue to address your health plan needs. I

APRIL 2010




NCSA Honors Longtime Advocate


ver since Herb Schimek’s retirement late last year, the webpage on the NSEA website that made the announcement has been flooded with well-wishers and sentiments about Schimek, including the times they spent with him and the things he’s accomplished. And Herb Schimek has accomplished much in his years as a teacher, Director of Government Relations at NSEA and lobbyist. Before taking on lobbying for public education, Schimek started out as a classroom teacher, spending two years in Colorado and six Craig Christensen, NSEA Executive Director, looks on as Herb Schimek years in Hastings, NE, teaching his- receives award from Mike Dulaney, NCSA Executive Director, and Matt tory and debate. He began working Fisher, Chair, NCSA Executive Board. for the NSEA in July 1971, and the “Well at the present time, I’m representing Westside following years would mark events and undertakings that Public Schools as their lobbyist. I’ll probably do some Schimek would mark as small personal victories. travel in the future and catch up on a lot of good books “I feel that some of my greatest accomplishments that I haven’t been able to read.” I were helping to improve the retirement system and ensuring fair dismissal practices for teachers. When we first started out, it [the retirement system] was a very pitiful system and today I think it’s an admirable system.” Schimek was an essential part of the push to pass the state’s first fair dismissal law in the 1970s and has constantly fought to better public education and rights for teachers ever since. When asked about some of his most treasured memories during his time as a lobbyist, Schimek said, “One of my greatest memories is the general feeling of real improvement for the retired school employees. [The system] was just so pitiful and now they can retire with a good feeling and a security that they didn’t have before. Some of the good feelings I have are that not one of these retirement bills was passed by myself, but with the cooperation and help of school administrators, school boards, etc.; they made it possible for these things to happen.” As for future plans, Schimek doesn’t plan on completely slipping into retirement, but he does plan on enjoying it.



Administrators’ Days 2010 July 28-30 Holiday Inn – Kearney Keynote Speakers: Michael Fullan – Thursday AM Todd Whitaker – Thursday PM Ian Jukes – Friday AM


School Community Partnership for Essential Finance Planning


n view of the serious economic challenges facing the state’s public schools, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators and the Nebraska Association of School Boards have recently collaborated with ESU 16 Administrator Marge Beatty in an effort to make her essential finance planning process available to districts statewide. We are inviting you to join us in this venture. You may already be aware of the process Marge has used with several districts in her ESU, and if so, you know how dynamic the school-community interaction has been in creating a clear, shared vision of what the education program should look like in those districts. Perhaps the most compelling element of the planning process is that it has focused efforts not on what should be cut, but on what should be kept…what is “essential.” Even if there were no financial “cliff” looming, we believe this process would be invaluable to schools as a tool to strengthen communication with the public and to encourage positive community involvement in their schools. In order to make the “School-Community Partnership for Essential Finance Planning” available to all districts, we need people who are willing both to be trained and to commit the time necessary to facilitate the process in a school district. The training requires only one day and would be offered May 11th at the NCSA office in Lincoln. Facilitating the process requires approximately twelve

hours that would need to be scheduled to meet the needs of the school-community group involved. Additional time would be necessary to compile the resulting report for that district. In return for that labor, the facilitator will be paid by the district a fee that has been established in advance by us. There would be no charge, of course, if the facilitator would choose to forego the fee when working with his or her home district or with the districts within his or her ESU. You’ve either been nominated and/or have expressed an interest in becoming part of the cadre of people trained to facilitate this process. Once you have participated in the training, we will ensure that our members know that you are qualified to assist them in developing their school-community plan for the future. If you are interested in working with us—and we hope you are—we would appreciate it if you would contact either Kelly Coash Johnson (402-476-8055, or Burma Kroger (402-423-4951, by April 10th to let us know of your intentions. I

Green Light to Go Green…(continued from page 16) Going Green in school facilities is a win-win situation. It improves the learning environment, reduces costs and helps to reduce the carbon footprint. It is sound instructionally, provides benefit to the taxpayers, and is the responsible thing to do. The Nebraska Legislature has given school districts budgetary tools that could be of help in funding the facilities upgrades needed to “Green” facilities and produce high performance learning envi-

ronments. These financial tools include, but are not limited to, voter approved bonds, bonding using the Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund (QCPUF) and Performance Contracting. Add to this the availability of the Build America Bonds and rebates from Utility Companies. Use of these tools separately or in combination may provide the funding equation needed to complete “Green” facilities improvement projects. There will be no better time to begin

the process of upgrading school facilities to produce high performance classrooms and students. You have the green light. Your students are behind you at the intersection and they are impatiently waiting for you to move forward with the “Greening” of their school environment. Their engines are racing and they are honking their horns. Don’t let them pass you by. I

APRIL 2010




APRIL 1 14 14 14 14 15-16 15-16 20 21 21 21 21 21 28 29

NCSA Executive Board NASA Region I NASA Region V NSASSP Region II NASBO Golf Tournament NASBO State Convention NASES Spring Conference NAESP Region IV NSASSP Region III NAESP Region III NSASSP Region IV NAESP Region I NAESP Region II NSASSP Region I NASES Region IV

9:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m.

NCSA York Country Club ESU #16 Tiburon Shark Club Dakota Dunes Marina Inn Sandhills Convention Ctr Drew Heady’s House Fairplay Golf Course Fairplay Golf Course ESU #10 Evening with Friends Lo Solo Mio Evening with Friends ESU #10

Lincoln York Ogallala Omaha Sioux City Sioux City North Platte Hastings Norfolk Norfolk Kearney Milligan Omaha Milligan Kearney

NASES Region III NASES Region II NASA Region II NASES Region I

12:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. TBD 9:30 a.m.

TJ’s Plattsmouth Central Office TBD Crete Central Office

Norfolk Plattsmouth TBD Crete

NAESP Executive Board NSASSP Executive Board Hal Urban Workshop Hal Urban Workshop NASES Region II

9:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m. 8:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. TBD

NCSA TBD GI Senior High Sandhills Convention Ctr TBD

Lincoln Grand Island Grand Island North Platte TBD

MAY 7 14 19 28

JUNE 2 2 2 3 11

NATIONAL CONVENTION DATES NAESP – April 8-11, 2010 – Houston, TX CASE – July 9-11, 2010 – San Francisco, CA ASBO – September 24-27, 2010 – Orlando, FL CASE – November 5-7, 2010 – San Diego, CA AASA – February 17-19, 2011 – Denver, CO NASSP – February 25-28, 2011 – San Francisco, CA NAESP – April 7-10, 2011 – Tampa, FL

Administrators’ Days 2010 July 28-30 — Holiday Inn — Kearney 20


Gold Sponsorships Ameritas

Learning Together

Al Eveland 5900 O St., 1st Floor Lincoln, NE 68510 402-467-6968

Julie Smith 5509 B W. Friendly Ave. Ste 201 Greensboro, NC 27409 866-921-0000

CDI Paul Copeland 130 South Town Centre Blvd. Markham, Ontario L6G 1B8

DLR Group Pat Phelan, Whitney Wombacher 400 Essex Ct., Omaha, NE 68114 402-393-4100

Energy Education


Cindy Dornbush 10612 Monroe Street, #4 Omaha, NE 68127 402-680-9382

Barry Ballou 455 S. 11th St. Lincoln, NE 68508 402-705-0350

National Insurance Mike Boden 9202 W. Dodge Rd., Ste 302 Omaha, NE 68114 800-597-2341

Silver Sponsorships

D.A. Davidson & Co. Dan Smith 1111 N. 102nd Ct., Ste 300 Omaha, NE 68114 402-392-7986

Kurt Engelman PO Box 11248 Eugene, OR 97440 541-485-1973

Horace Mann

Karen Mullins 5950 Sherry Lane, Ste 900 Dallas, TX 940-235-7598

John Baylor Test Prep John Baylor P.O. Box 30792 Lincoln, NE 68503 402-475-7737

National Institute For Direct Instruction

Jostens Don Bartholomew 309 S. 8th St. Broken Bow, NE 68822 308-872-5055 Sports Express Joey Carder 425 Cedar St. Pleasant Dale, NE 68423 402-408-6741

SchoolFusion Carson Apps 999 18th St., Ste 2150 South Tower Denver, CO 80202 800-906-0911

Smart Technologies Chris Kidwell 20 South Clark St. Chicago, IL 60603 913-385-0806

TRANE Danny Szegda 5720 S. 77th St. Ralston, NE 68127 402-935-9040

Virco, Inc. Matt Kirkland PO Box 6356 Lincoln, NE 68506 402-328-8031

Wells Fargo Cristina Castro-Matukewicz 1919 Douglas Street Omaha, NE 68102 402-536-5710 cristina.v.castromatukewicz@

Bronze Sponsorships ARCHI + ETC. LLC Stacy LaVigne 6500 Holdrege St., Ste 007 Lincoln, NE 68505 402-429-7150; fax: 402-464-6810

Nebraska Public Agency Investment Trust Becky Ferguson PO Box 82529, Lincoln, NE 68501 402-323-1334; fax: 402-323-1286

Awards Unlimited Larry King 1935 O St., Lincoln, NE 68510 402-474-0815

RBC Capital Markets Nate Eckloff 1200 17th St., Ste. 2150 Denver, CO 80202 303-595-1206; fax 303-595-1220

Cannon Moss Brygger & Associates, P.C. Bradley Kissler 2535 Carleton Ave., Ste A Grand Island, NE 68803 308-384-4444; fax: 308-384-0971


Nebraska Council of School Administrators 455 So. 11th Street, Suite A • Lincoln, NE 68508-2105 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

Learn more about your Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan options

HSA (Health Savings Account) HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement) Our Medical Expense Reimbursement Plans have helped hundreds of school districts and educators save by: ‡

Encouraging participation in more affordable and sustainable plan design options


Making the plan more affordable for employees to retire early


Transitioning to a high deductible option for new hires


Promoting “consumerism� in health care decisions

Your New EHA Medical Plan Options

+ Our HRA or HSA

________________ Savings for both District and Employee


NIS has helped implement over 447 governmental/school district Medical Reimbursement plans in 7 states since 2002. Put our expertise to work for you. Give either of us a call or send an email WR ÀQG RXW PRUH



Profile for NCSA

NCSA Today Magazine, Spring 2010  

NCSA Today Magazine, Spring 2010

NCSA Today Magazine, Spring 2010  

NCSA Today Magazine, Spring 2010

Profile for ncsa-home