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CIR Reform: Administrators’, School Boards’, and Teachers’ Organizations work with Senator Steve Lathrop on Historic Legislation

NCSA Honors Retirees

Nebraska Council of School Administrators

June 2011

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2 CIR Reform: Administrators’, School Boards’, and Teachers’ Organizations work with Senator Steve Lathrop on Historic Legislation BY ELISABETH REINKORDT

3 School Safety – Taking the Right Measures BY ROBIN HOFFMAN

9 NCSA Honors Retirees 5

Check 4 Learning (C4L) BY DR. PAT ROSCHEWSKI


NASES Distinguished Service Awarded to Alan Reigenborn


NSASSP Announces 2011 Distinguished Principals of the Year


Teacher and Principal Performance Standards


Leaders Building Leaders: Developing Future School Adminstrators Through a “Home-Grown” Approach




Engaging Technologies: Partnering with Nebraska Schools for Successful Technology Implementation BY DUSTIN and CATHY FRANK


NCSA Report – Brutal Legislative Session, but Optimism for Education’s Future Reigns Supreme BY DR. MIKE DULANEY and DR. DAN ERNST


NCSA Election Results


NCSA Elects Chair and Vice Chair for 2011-2012

NCSA EXECUTIVE BOARD 2010-2011 Chair . . . . . . . . . . . .Sarah Williams Vice Chair . . . . . . . . . .Bill Mowinkel Past Chair . . . . . . . . . . . Matt Fisher NASA Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . . .Jack Moles President-elect . . . . . . .Greg Barnes Past President . . . . . . .Bill Mowinkel NASBO Representatives President . . . . . . . . .Robin Hoffman President-elect . . . . . . .Dave Kaslon Past President . . . . . . . . Rick Feauto NAESP Representatives President . . . . . . . . . .Midge Mougey President-elect . . . . . . .David Kraus Past President . . . . . .Sarah Williams NASES Representatives President . . . . . . . . .Peggy Romshek President-elect . . . . . . . .Stuart Clark Past President . . . . . . . . .Jane Byers NSASSP Representatives President . . . . . . . .Randy Schleuter President-elect . . Mitch Bartholomew Past President . . . . .Kenton McLellan 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


Amy Poggenklass Finance and Membership Coordinator Angie Carman Executive Administrative Assistant

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 ©2011 by NCSA. All rights reserved.

Carol Young Administrative Assistant Elisabeth Reinkordt 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. JUNE 2011





Administrators’, School Boards’, and Teachers’ Organizations work with Senator Steve Lathrop on Historic Legislation BY ELISABETH REINKORDT, Staff Correspondent


s the 2011 Legislative session drew to a close on Thursday, May 26th, Senator Steve Lathrop could leave the Capitol satisfied with a job well done. After several months of meetings, closed-door sessions that stretched long into the night, and countless hours spent negotiating with myriad interested parties, an agreement was reached on reworking Nebraska’s Commission on Industrial Relations, referred to in short as the CIR. Senator Lathrop, Chair of the Business and Labor Senator Lathrop with Legal Counsel, Molly Burton Committee, was the fulcrum in the process—one that Lathrop. In his work as a lawyer, he said, he has spent a brought both business and labor interests from cities, good deal of time working in dispute mediation, develschools, and the State together. oping skills that became very useful in the CIR reform Senator Steve Lathrop represents District 12, a southprocess. western metro-area district that encompasses Ralston So, how did this all begin? About a year ago, League and Millard School Districts, stretching from 72nd Street of Municipalities approached Senator Lathrop with their west to 138th and from I-80 south to Harrison Street. A concerns regarding the CIR. It had been a theme for the lifelong Omahan, he is a graduate of Creighton University past four years, but this time it prompted Lathrop to with degrees in business and law. When the legislature form a working group to focus on municipal issues. To isn’t in session, Lathrop works as a trial lawyer and is a represent the Unicameral, Lathrop was joined by Senator partner in the law firm of Hauptman, O'Brien, Wolf and Brad Ashford, a former Commissioner of the CIR, as well as Senator Dennis Utter of Hastings, who was recommended by the League of Municpalities. “Our role,” Lathrop said, “was to listen to, [and] try to bring labor and the cities together on a solution.” In addition, Lathrop brought in lawyers representing the cities and the League of Municipalities as well as the public employees. During this process with the cities, which lasted about five months, “word got out that we were working on the CIR,” Lathrop said. This prompted the State to come forward to work on its process with state employees, as well as the NCSA, in conjunction with Nebraska Association of School Boards. “The difficulty the schools (continued on page 4) 2


JUNE 2011


School Safety – Taking the Right Measures BY ROBIN HOFFMAN, President, NASBO; Business Manager, School District 45, Waverly



ebraska school districts come in many different sizes and all have their own unique needs. Some districts have more financial resources than other districts that can be utilized to make our schools safe. All districts, though, have a responsibility to create a safe learning environment for all students. When I came to “K–12 Education” back in 1999, school administrators worried about students cheating on tests, students stealing from other student’s lockers, and occasional fights in the hallways or lunchrooms. School entrances were unlocked and people could enter through just about any entrance. A decade later, times have changed. School administrators are dealing with more severe situations including drug sales, drug possession and use; possible weapons possession; vandalism; and other larger issues. School entrances are now locked with only the front entrance unlocked for public access. School administrators need to be ready to deal with difficult situations. Administrators need to review their security plans identifying any potential risks, plugging the gaps, and making schools safe for students and staff members.

Identifying the Risks Every school administrator should ask the following questions as part of their district’s safety risk assessment: Does your current security plan protect every access point? A combination of detection devices, access control such as card readers, and video surveillance proAdministrators need to vides the strongest protection for access points. review their security Detection devices can alert you to attempted break-ins. plans identifying any Electronic access-control syspotential risks, plugging tems (card readers) can be utilized on access points the gaps, and making used by faculty and staff. schools safe for Video surveillance cameras can be mounted at access students and staff points to provide a documembers. mented record of who is entering the facility and when.

Even something as simple as locking an exterior door can prevent an intruder from entering the facility. Is your building’s main entrance visible from your administrative office area so secretaries are able to see people who enter through this entrance? Many older schools designed years ago do not allow personnel in your office areas to monitor people who may enter through your main entrance. Schools should consider adding a surveillance camera so the front entrance can be monitored from your office area. A card reader access system, with an integrated intercom system, is also a viable option for monitoring people passing through your main entrance. Does your school have a visitor-management program to prevent unauthorized people from gaining access? All schools should have a visitor-management policy. All visitors should be required to check in at the school office. If needed, you should check a person’s identity before granting or denying entry. Schools should consider a visitor badge system. All visitors should be required to wear a temporary credential to wear while in the building identifying them as a visitor. If all school personnel are required to wear identification badges, any adult without a badge will stand out and should be challenged by staff members. Does your school’s security plan take into account community activities on campus? Extra-curricular activities occur at night and weekends when school officials are not on duty. Intrusion control devices, access control devices, and video surveillance can help protect a campus when school employees are off duty. Does your school’s security plan take into account time periods when students and staff are arriving and leaving? These are times when no staff should be in the classrooms and offices. Staff should be in the hallways, entrances, parking lots, and playgrounds. Are computers, equipment, and records secured properly against theft? Technology can assist in protecting equipment and records. Computer and science labs may benefit from access-card readers mounted outside the door. Electronic surveillance tags can be attached to portable items. An alarm could sound if someone attempts to remove a computer or other equipment from a room. Student records are best kept in a (continued on page 4) JUNE 2011



AF FIL IATE LEA DERSHIP School Safety…(continued from page 3) core office space without windows and with only one entry. Electronic student records should be properly secured from unauthorized access or hackers. Can your video surveillance system be monitored from a remote location? Today’s networked video systems allow for remote viewing of live and recorded video. This allows authorized personnel to view video from another location. The other locations could be your district’s administrative offices or even your local law enforcement agency. This can be very valuable in a dangerous situation on your campus. Are all security systems integrated into one network? Integrating your systems makes sense. An intrusion alarm can trigger a nearby camera to begin recording events. Is your security system integrated in your IT network and is your IT network safe from a cyber attack? Some schools will create stand-alone security systems with separate networks. Others will integrate systems in the campus network. It is vital to make sure your systems are configured securely to prevent hackers. Are your school’s security needs and fire systems tested and inspected routinely? Equipment maintenance, such as clean-

ing smoke detectors or camera lenses and housings is important. Security cameras may need adjustment for clearer viewing. Does your school employ or contract for services of a resource officer? Resource officers in schools are becoming more of a reality. Officers are able to develop a rapport with students and also are a deterrent to situations that otherwise might occur. Safe and secure schools begin with a good security plan. It is important to solicit input from your local law enforcement, community members such as your local fire and rescue, and parents. Bringing in a safety expert may point items that you have missed when developing your plan. Do not forget to include students because they are the ones who really know what is happening in school. It is also important to properly train staff and students on your safety plan. Do not overlook your outdoor areas when developing your safety plan. Eliminate building features that allow for easy access to roofs or upper stories. Avoid landscaping that obscures observation from inside or outside your facility and provides a place to hide weapons or drugs. I

CIR Reform…(continued from page 2) were having—and I certainly understand why—was that they were having trouble developing some consensus over what they wanted by way of change,” Lathrop said. “Any time you try to make changes to a policy, sometimes that helps one and hurts the other,” he added, comparing the CIR process with the schools with Senator Greg Adams’s work on state aid to schools. Because of the unique circumstances pertaining to school districts and the CIR, Lathrop’s working group on teacher pay decided to model cost containment on a formula limiting the CIR to entering orders at 98 percent of the midpoint, a compromise that would allow “teachers [to] still be given competitive salaries, while at the same time bending the cost curve,” to school districts. Indeed, as Lathrop pointed out, when Mike Dulaney was advocating for the NCSA, “the goal was never to punish teachers, but only to find a way to contain costs,” so that school districts could remain solvent. Furthermore, he stressed that it was due to the concessions given by public employees that the Nebraska was able to “avoid implementing radical changes,” to the way public salaries are determined. As Lathrop and his working groups negotiated and tweaked the bills being proposed in the Business and Labor Committee,



JUNE 2011

other states around the country were approaching similar problems in very different ways. Lathrop contrasted the “wildfire hysteria” in other states with the hard work and thoughtful process that Nebraskans underwent, making sure that “the process was predictable and not just out to punish public employees.” He credits the work and willingness to negotiate of the organizations involved in the successful crafting of the CIR bill, LB 397, which was developed from nine separate bills within the Business and Labor Committee. As the session came to a close, LB 397 received final approval on May 25, 2011, on a 48-0 vote. Lathrop praised the work of Mike Dulaney, John Bonaiuto from NASB, and teachers representing NSEA throughout the process, noting how much he appreciated that he felt he had the trust of the working group. “A good process and a thoughtful solution bring good results,” he said. The key in this process, he added, drawing from his legal background, was to “keep people talking, and to let them find their own solution,” noting that the players involved knew their issues and constituencies, and that everyone was aiming for an effective resolution. I


Check 4 Learning (C4L) BY DR. PAT ROSCHEWSKI, Director of Statewide Assessment, Nebraska Department of Education



hat steps can Nebraska school districts take to improve student performance on the NeSA tests? a) Align curriculum with the tested NeSA Indicators. b) Adjust instruction to assure learning throughout the year. c) Engage teachers in professional learning about teaching strategies. d) Participate in Check 4 Learning (C4L). e) Do all of the above. The correct answer is “e”—“Do all of the above.” However, it might be true that not everyone is aware about what answer “d”—“Participate in Check 4 Learning (C4L)”—is all about. Check 4 Learning (C4L) is a system of interim assessment items intended to provide districts with information about student performance on the standards throughout the year, prior to the NeSA tests in the spring. In 2012 the Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) tests in reading, mathematics, science, and writing will be fully operational. The “once a year” drop in and check summative tests provide important student performance information for schools, for communities, and for policy makers, but it is important that Nebraska educators gather student performance information throughout the school year in order to determine whether or not daily instruction is preparing students to perform well on the NeSA tests. Educators need to see the curriculum, assessment, and instructional processes linked together— as ongoing, continuous, and grounded inside each classroom. For that reason the Nebraska Department of Education has joined with DRC/CAL, with school districts, and with service units to build a state system of assessment to “wrap around” the summative NeSA tests given in the spring. The new system, Check 4 Learning (C4L) will be based upon a state-level item bank of locally developed multiple-choice questions in reading, mathematics, and science. Participation is strictly voluntary and left to the district to decide. Districts choosing to participate will be able to select items that match the tested indicators and build interim assessments that may be given at point of instruction at any time in the year. The purpose of the interim assessments will be to determine whether or not students are “on track” with the important skills meas-

ured in the summative NeSA tests. C4L will provide instantaneous results to students and reports to teachers about item analysis. Districts will be able to use the system to provide individual classroom, building, or district reports. The intent will be for teachers to have at their fingertips the data to adjust or change instruction. The system will be a very powerful tool to inform and link the curriculum and instructional process to assessment. C4L—Memorandum of Understanding Districts that sign a Memorandum of Understanding (the MOU was sent to all districts in May or may be found in the A-Z list on our website: assessment) by September 1, 2011 will be asked to participate in several important steps. Participation according to the NDE requirements will allow districts access to the state item bank and the CAL online delivery system, the same platform currently being used for administration of the NeSA summative tests. The NDE invites all districts to participate in the C4L system at no direct cost; however, districts will be expected to submit 10-15 items in each subject area by November 1st and to participate in required staff training in both September and November. The MOU is an annual agreement between the NDE and the school districts. A district will have the option of participation each year. It is possible for a district to participate in 2012 but not to participate in 2013. It is not possible for a district to participate without signing the MOU and without completing the application. The applications include the names of the certificated staff who will be attending training. MOUs must be fully completed, signed, processed and accepted by September 1st. No MOUs will be accepted after that date. Educational service units will participate in a supporting role to the districts, but an MOU between the educational service units and the NDE is not required. It will be up to the district to make the decisions about who represents the district at the required professional development sessions. Districts may choose to have educational service unit staff represent the district, or they may choose their representation in each subject area from their own staff. (continued on page 6)

JUNE 2011




NASES Distinguished Service Awarded to Alan Reigenborn

T Reigenborn

he NASES Distinguished Service Award was presented to Alan Reigenborn, retiring Special Education Director for ESU #10 in Kearney. Alan Reigenborn has been a member of NCSA since 1985 and NASES since 1998 when he became the Special Education Director at ESU #10. He has provided supervision to school districts and ESU #10 staff to support them in the mission of providing special education services to children. According to Jean Anderson from ESU #10, Alan “is well versed in special education law and is willing to go the extra mile for the districts that are served by ESU 10. He has also provided excellent support to the special education staff at ESU #10, finding ways and fi-

nances to send staff to training to keep us on the cutting edge of the next ‘ism’ in our field so we are providing the best supports for districts and students. Behind his quiet demeanor, Alan has been a steady ship in the rocky, murky ocean of special education services and is very deserving of this award for distinguished service.” Alan was presented this award at the Nebraska Association of Special Education Supervisors meeting in Scottsbluff on April 14, 2011. Alan was unable to attend the conference, so with the use of technology we were able to surprise him at work and present him with this award. I

Check 4 Learning…(from page 5) C4L—Professional Development The MOU requires that districts commit to the professional development required to build C4Learning. In September the first round of training will occur in four locations: September 8 – Scottsbluff – ESU #13 September 9 – Kearney – Holiday Inn September 19 – Norfolk – Lifelong Learning Center September 21 – Lincoln – Country Inn and Suites These all day trainings, from 9:00-3:30, will focus on item preparation, formatting, and the requirements of electronic item submission. No content expertise is required of the participants. Each district is asked to submit the names of three participants for the September training. Those names are to be identified in the MOU. If space permits, districts may send additional staff. Districts will pay the expenses of their staff members for travel, meals, lodging, and substitutes. The NDE will provide the training but will not reimburse the staff who participate. The second round of training occurs at the Younes Center in Kearney, Nebraska per the following schedule: Tuesday, November 29 – Reading Wednesday, November 30 – Mathematics Thursday, December 1 – Science Districts are required to send three participants to this



JUNE 2011

training, one staff member in reading, one in mathematics, and one in science on the appropriate days. It is critical that the participants in this training have content expertise. Districts may determine the grade level of the staff they send, but they must commit to the names of the certificated staff members they plan to send and identify those staff members in the MOU that is to be signed by September 1st. It is the intent of the Nebraska Department of Education that C4L will be available to districts in January 2012, two months before the testing window of the Nebraska State Accountability tests. School leaders have many responsibilities, but few among them are more important than the academic performance of their students. One of the measures of student performance in Nebraska is a set of Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) Tests. The Nebraska Department of Education believes that the integration of curriculum, instruction, and assessment must occur if all children are to have the opportunity to succeed on the standards. C4Learning is a tool intended to provide immediate feedback to students and teachers so that learning throughout the year becomes the focal point, and the summative NeSA tests are used as the verification of that learning. I


Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals Announces 2011 Distinguished Principals of the Year


he Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals is proud to recognize Mr. Kevin Young, Principal at West Holt Public Schools in Atkinson and Mr. Brian Tonniges, Principal at York Middle School, as their Distinguished Principals of the Year.



Mr. Kevin Young was selected to represent Nebraska as the High School Principal of the Year. Kevin received his education from the Westmar College (Bachelor of Arts) and Doane College (Master of Arts in Educational Leadership). Mr. Young has served as a practicing school administrator for the past ten years serving as Principal at West Holt High School since 2003. Prior to that, Kevin was a classroom instructor, Activities Director and K-12 Principal at Stuart, Nebraska and a teacher at both O’Neill High School and Bellevue East High School. Mr. Young 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, where he has served as the Region III president, Secretary and on the Executive Board. He is also a member of the West Holt Booster Club, the Faith Community Church, where he is a Lay Leader, and has served as a Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor for the past nine years. Mr. Young has several other honors, including the NSASSP Region III Principal of the Year, O’Neill High School and Bellevue East High School Teacher of the Year and has received the KOLN/KGIN Golden Apple Award. He has also been a presenter at several state and area events. Mr. Bill McAllister, Superintendent of the West Holt Public Schools, states: “Mr. Young has created an atmosphere of excellence for staff and students alike. His ability to see and identify good instruction is a key component when working with teachers on improving student learning and his straight-forward approach is a breath of fresh air. Our staff greatly respects his efforts to keep them informed, and greatly appreciate his encouragement.”

Ted Thiele, Guidance Counselor at West Holt, says: “Kevin Young shows compassion, flexibility, trust in his staff and students, and a penchant for building up people. Our staff knows he is the real deal when it comes to caring about students.” Chuck Lambert, former Superintendent at West Holt Public Schools, states: “Kevin is an excellent principal. He is very self-motivated and professional and works very well with all of the staff and students. He is a ‘doer’, is very personable and is a gentleman.” Karen Richardson, parent of a West Holt student, comments: “Mr. Young is an outstanding principal, superb educational leader and most importantly, a first-rate individual. Personalization is not just a word for Mr. Young; it is a way of doing business every day, all day for every student lucky enough to be a student at his school. He is an educator who makes a difference in the lives of the students he serves.” Mr. Young will receive his award at the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals State Conference and with his selection, will be eligible for consideration for the 2012 Metlife/NASSP National High School Principal of the Year. Mr. Brian Tonniges was selected to represent Nebraska as the Middle School Principal of the Year for the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals. Brian received his education from the University of Nebraska–Kearney (Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Educational Administration). He also has taken graduate coursework through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and Doane College. Brian has been the principal at York Middle School since 2006. His previous educational experience includes the Middle School Principalship at Fillmore Central, and serving as a classroom teacher at Fillmore Central and at Fairmont Public Schools. Mr. Tonniges is active in many professional organizations such as the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, and the Nebraska State Association of Sec(continued on page 14) JUNE 2011



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NCSA Honors Retirees


ach year NCSA is sad to lose but happy to congratulate those educators who are leaving the profession due to their long-deserved retirement. We are honored to share with you a glimpse of their future plans or just a bit of advice that only those who have worked with children and parents for so long can give! Doug Ackles St Paul Public Schools Thanks for all your help over the years.

Roger Adkins ESU #16 What a ride! I will miss all this, but I’m really looking forward to choices.

Al Agrimson South Sioux City Community Schools

Arlan Andreesen Johnson Brock Public Schools

Joyce Baumert Schuyler Public Schools Joyce Baumert is retiring as principal at Schuyler Central High School. Mrs. Baumert has spent a span of 45 years in education. She has served our youth as an assistant principal, middle school language arts teacher, and fifth grade teacher in Columbus, Omaha, and West Point, NE respectively.

Jerry Bergstrom Lexington Public Schools Working for our teachers, children, and families has been an honor and joy. I hope to continue to support public education in an encore career and am deeply indebted to the great people at NCSA and NAESP for their support during my career as an administrator in Nebraska. Our challenges provide each of us with opportunities to impact the quality of life for hundreds of children far into the future. Thank you colleagues!

Ron Brandl Neligh-Oakdale Public Schools I look forward to spending time with family and friends. I have been fortunate to work with many talented people during my 37 year career. Best of luck to all those planning for the next school year.

Nancy Brandt Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln Northeast High School Education is a rewarding experience. Thank you to everyone for your support and assistance. I value the relationships that have been created.

Larry Dlugosh University of Nebraska-Lincoln It has come to mind, many a time, that there could never have been a more committed and genuine group of people to work with than educators and students. A career in education offers the opportunity for continuous learning and professional growth, a career filled with memories of countless students from Kindergarten to graduate school who were a delight every day, and a career working with teachers, principals, and superintendents who are completely invested in and engaged the art and science of learning. If there was an opportunity to do it all over again - - - I would. Keith Fagot Loomis Public Schools It was a great run. Thanks to all past and present who have answered my questions and helped me to succeed. A special thank to my NRCSA colleagues who have been an inspiration to me. Sally Hansen ESU #9 I retire with REGRET that I couldn’t accomplish all that I had hoped; the KNOWLEDGE that we have made great gains for children and their families; JOY for the relationships and experiences I’ve had; GRATITUDE to all of my cohorts over the years; and the HOPE that you will all continue to fight for better futures for our children. Thanks! Mark Hardy ESU #13

JUNE 2011




Andrew Heady Hastings Public Schools, Lincoln Elementary

Dave Hendricks Southwest Public Schools

Ed Kasl Louisville Public Schools I want to thank all of my colleagues for their help in making the past 37 years a wonderful experience. I wish you all the best. Deb Kearns Gordon-Rushville Schools

Charles Hervert Maxwell Public Schools A lot of changes have occurred over the last 45 years. School is still fun, because of great friends, great students and parents. I’ll miss everyone, but hope to keep in touch. Rita Johansen Falls City Public Schools Retiring about 21 years with the Falls City Schools – began my career later in life after having 3 children; started at a SPED para, then Title I teacher, then Assistant Principal/SPED Director and the last 12 years as Principal/Assessment Coordinator. I plan to spend time with four grandchildren, helping my husband and son with the farm and running the family business, and traveling. Nebraska is the greatest place to live and has the country’s best educators. Ron Karr ESU #11 Continue to provide the children of Nebraska the highest quality of education possible.



JUNE 2011

It’s amazing when I think back at all the changes in education during my 37 years: in teaching philosophies and methods, the means of communication and technology, and the growth of special education. I have truly enjoyed all the people I have worked with and met!

Max Kroger Ord Public Schools I have learned so much from peers in administration and appreciate the friendships. Thanks, Mike, for all that you do for education in Nebraska. Mick Loughran ESU #9 Having been a member of NCSA for thirty-five years, the only advice I can give to the younger generation of administrators is that membership is a must. Good luck to all of you. Bruce McCoy Lewiston Consolidated Schools I’ve greatly enjoyed all my relationships with other administrative colleagues through the years. Best of luck to all of you in your continuing careers.

Katherine Meink Ewing Public Schools I have enjoyed the opportunity and the experience that I have gained over the past years as a superintendent. I will miss the friendships that I have made along the way. Good Luck to all the Nebraska Superintendents in the next few years. It will be a challenge for all but You Are All Great Leaders!! Kent Miller South Central NE USD #5 It has been a great ride with no regrets and total satisfaction. Always keep your chin up no matter how bad it may appear. There is always an answer to any situation; you just need to take the time to find it and always surround yourself with fantastic people. Glen Moorhead Sandy Creek Elementary

Steve Morris Grand Island Public Schools

Ken Navratil Elkhorn Valley Schools My thirty years in public school administration have gone by quickly I have great memories from the school districts that I served and the friends that I have made. We have a tough job to do that gets more difficult each year. Luckily, we have many capable people in our profession ready to meet the challenges ahead. Good luck to all.


Dan Navrkal Pierce Public Schools

Leslie Owen Laurel-Concord Public Schools

It’s been a pleasure to have worked with outstanding professional educators over the past 31 years. Gene Neddenriep Malcolm Public School During my career, I had the pleasure of working with educators in Wood River, Pawnee City, Syracuse and Malcolm. I will truly miss the camaraderie, but this knowledge about these individuals also makes me feel the future of Nebraska’s education is in good hands. Good Luck to All! John Nelson Hastings Public Schools It has been a pleasure and an honor to be a member of NAESP/NCSA for the last 29 years of my career. During that career, I have had the good fortune to call a large number of NCSA members my friends and mentors. The NCSA has been an excellent organization that has diligently worked to meet the needs and professional development of its members. I plan to kick back and enjoy life a little differently and will most likely take advantage of the opportunity to be more politically outspoken for Nebraska public education. I will, of course, continue my affiliation with NCSA as a NARSA member. Kevin Nolan Tekamah-Herman Community Schools It has been a pleasure working with so many dedicated and supportive administrators over the years.

Alan Reigenborn ESU #10 The past forty years has gone by fast. The secret of longevity is to keep breathing.

Craig Pease Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools Growing up the son of a school administrator and having spent 27 years in the business myself, I have nothing but the utmost respect for all of the men and women who have been school leaders in our state. Thank you to all of those who helped me along the way. I am proud to be a part of this group. In times when politicians want to use school administrators as scapegoats for the state’s and nation’s ills, we need to more than ever stand strong and prideful for who we are and what we contribute to this society. Thanks to NCSA, its members and to all my colleagues both past and present for making me proud to be a school administrator. Greg Peterson Sterling Public Schools I’ve enjoyed all the stakeholders I’ve met in my thirty years in education. I will miss the camaraderie among these people but still plan on being around to pester them for a while yet. Larry Ramaekers Aurora Public Schools Education has changed significantly since I began in the 1972-73 school year. What does remain, however, is the continued dedication, hard work, tenacity and perseverance needed to get the job done! Continue to do the great things you have been doing.

Larry Ross Hastings Public Schools

Steve Schneider Auburn Public Schools I have enjoyed working with all of you.

Ted Sheely Lincoln Public Schools, Northeast High School Being a member of the most important profession has been a privilege. I have met many outstanding professionals during my career and know that the children in Nebraska are in good hands. Do not be discouraged by those who would attempt to solve their budget problems on the backs of educators. They might better provide a true economic stimulus by funding early childhood education.

George Spilker Papillion-LaVista Schools

Bill Thompson Ponca Public Schools

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Dave Townsend Kearney Public Schools, Emerson Elementary

Kathy Vetter Holdrege Public Schools

I want to say “THANKS” to all of my colleagues that I have worked with throughout my 36 years as a principal. Way back in 1975, when I was in my first year in Superior, NE, I was on a professional island. NCSA/NAESP was the “Big Ship Lollipop” that came to my assistance. Ever since getting on board, I have received nothing but the BEST from the many personal/professional relationships and support all around the state and the nation. Best wishes to everyone as you continue to make the future happen for our kids!!

Cinde Wendell Holdrege Public Schools It has been very rewarding working with NSCA personnel and Nebraska school administrators over the years. The future challenges of educating our children are in very capable hands. Best wishes to everyone.

Kim Whitehouse Omaha Public Schools, Sunny Slope Elementary After 34 years of either teaching in the classroom or “administering” to others, it’s time to take care of myself and help others in a different way. It’s been a challenging, yet rewarding, career filled with knowledge, friends, laughter and children! More fun and memories are in the making with family, traveling, golf, and scrapbooking! Jim Whitney North Platte Public Schools, McDonald Elementary

Don Uerling UN-L

Not pictured, but also retiring: Kellon Czaplewski, Papillion-LaVista Public Schools Don Gronemeyer, Hastings Public Schools Bill Hakonson, Leyton Public Schools Stephanie Schulte, Grand Island Public Schools Larry Wade, Bellevue Public Schools Larry Wilbeck, Centura Public Schools Please note: The NCSA staff made every effort to include all those individuals who responded to our request for information on retirements.

Bu lletin Board Administrators’ Days August 3-5, 2011 Younes Conference Center – Kearney

NCSA Septem Tailgate b NCSA er 17, 2011 Parkin g Lincoln Lot

For more information or to register for any of these events visit or contact



JUNE 2011


Teacher and Principal Performance Standards BY JIM HAVELKA, Havelka Educational Services, and DONLYNN RICE, Nebraska Department of Education

“The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers.”


his simple truth (to which we might add “or its principals”) from the 2007 report How the World’s Best Performing School Systems Come Out on Top explains why education policymakers across the nation are embracing comprehensive educator effectiveness reforms as the key to improving student achievement. Havelka These reforms generally begin with rigorous teacher and principal performance standards that form the basis for educator preparation, induction and mentoring, evaluation, and professional development. In Nebraska, the State Board of Education recently approved a draft version of such standards for public and professional review; the standards will be considered for adoption in the fall. Why the new interest in educator effectiveness as the path to improvement? An obvious answer is that policyRice makers now realize that effective teachers and principals make the greatest difference in student achievement. Additionally, it has become clear that curriculum modifications and similar reforms just won’t work unless educator effectiveness is improved. Another reason for improving educator effectiveness policies is that current state (and often local) policies aren’t connected and systematic in their approach and fail to address the entire educator career continuum. Finally, educator effectiveness is the current hot button. Federal programs such as Race to the Top have While some states, like put a strong emphasis on improvneighboring Iowa, are well ing teacher and along the path of standardsprincipal performance. based educator effectiveness A quote from policies, in Nebraska we are the Strategic Management of Human just beginning. Capital Project at the University of

Wisconsin, sums it up nicely: “…unless there are talented teachers in every classroom and talented principals in every building, policy reform will not be realized. Delay is not acceptable.” While some states, like neighboring Iowa, are well along the path of standards-based educator effectiveness policies, in Nebraska we are just beginning. In November, the State Board considered a proposal to undertake an educator effectiveness initiative designed to develop a broad set of policies based on teacher and principal performance standards. The State Board’s response was to ask for advice from its education partners and authorized a meeting of a Stakeholder Committee to gauge the support for the proposed initiative. That meeting was held in December with 26 participants from 10 of Nebraska’s education partners including, of course, NCSA. The result was a consensus that such a plan is needed in Nebraska and that the first step is developing teacher and principal performance standards. Subsequently, it approved the creation of a Standards Drafting Committee. That group of 41 members representing about 13 groups met in February and March with a smaller Editing Committee holding follow-up meetings. The Drafting Committee determined early on that the primary purpose of the standards would be to define effective practice in order to improve teaching and learning and that its work should focus on classroom teachers and building principals, those working directly with students in a school setting. The draft standards follow a format similar to Nebraska’s Academic Content Standards: each standard includes a broad statement, supported by example indicators that clarify it. The document also includes an introductory statement that provides an explanation of the work. The drafters considered a wide range of national and other state standards, including the Council of Chief State School Officers’ InTASC standards for teachers and ISLLC standards for principals, as well as Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching. Ultimately, seven topics for teacher standards and eight for principals were agreed upon. For teachers, they (continued on next page) JUNE 2011



PERFOR MANCE STANDARDS Teacher and Performance Standards…(from page 13) include: Foundational Knowledge, Planning and Preparation, the Learning Environment, Instructional Strategies, Assessment, Professionalism, and Vision and Collaboration. Principal standards include Vision for Learning, Continuous School Improvement, Instructional Leadership, Culture for Learning, Systems Management, Staff Leadership, Developing Relationships, and Professional Ethics and Advocacy. Three key themes recur throughout the standards; they are the use of technology, cultural competence, and teacher and principal accountability for student learning. Accountability is a crucial element of the standards -- State Board members made it clear that the standards are only useful if they lead to improved student performance. The State Board has decided that the standards will not be a regulatory mandate. Rather, it views them as a resource for local districts that outlines a framework of effective practice for teachers and principals.

The full set of standards and example indicators were sent to public and non-public schools in May. Throughout the summer, a series of meetings will be held to gather professional and public comment. After July 1 a survey on the NDE website will open for comment. We hope educators across Nebraska take advantage of the opportunity to comment both on the content of the standards and on next steps for educator effectiveness in Nebraska. You can do so through the website survey or by e-mailing us at or I

NSASSP 2011 Distinguished Principals…(from page 7) ondary School Principals, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Middle School Association, and the Nebraska Association for Middle Level Education. He is an active member of the Optimist Club of York, serving as the current President and in the former position of Sergeant of Arms. Brian is also a Board Member of the York Chapter of TeamMates and is a youth league girls’ basketball coach. He also provides his expertise to the Introduction to Education course at York College through his presentations to this class. Mr. Tonniges was honored as the Region 1 Middle School Principal of the Year in 2008. Dr. Mike Lucas, Superintendent of the York Public Schools, states: “Mr. Tonniges models values, beliefs and attitudes that encourage others to higher levels of performance. He excels in providing focus and direction to ensure alignment of practices and programs in his building that match those of our district. Brian is a skilled leader that has helped our middle school become one of the strongest in the area.” Linda Wilton, Mathematics Instructor at York Middle School says: “Mr. Tonniges leads collaboratively to encourage community members, parents, staff and students to work together as a team to meet the common goal of providing the best possible educational experience for all students who attend YMS. He truly models his attitudes, beliefs and values in the way he



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lives. His professionalism and dedication to his school and family are admired by all.” Dr. Dan Endorf, former York High School Principal and now Director of District Services for the York Public Schools, states: “Passion, character, leadership and enthusiasm are four words that come to mind when I think of Mr. Brian Tonniges. He makes a difference every day by bringing a razor-like focus to the Principalship that centers around helping each individual student achieve their dreams. He has made a profound impact on the culture at York Middle School.” Dr. Alfred Arth, Professor of Education at York College comments: “Mr. Tonniges cares equally about his students being involved in learning and their own personal development. He has developed a community of collaboration that he fosters with his personal leadership ability. He is the building administrator every superintendent seeks, but so few ever find.” Mr. Tonniges will receive his award at the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals State Conference and with his selection will be eligible for consideration for the 2012 Metlife/NASSP National Middle School Principal of the Year. I


Leaders Building Leaders: Developing Future School Administrators Through a “Home-Grown” Approach BY DR. ANDREW RIKLI, Assistant Superintendent, Westside Community Schools


ublic education in this country finds itself at a critical crossroads. According to the National Association of School Principals, it is estimated that 40 percent of all school superintendents will retire within the next five years (NASP, 2010). The average age of principals in the United States is close to 50, and 40 percent of all public school principals will likely retire within the next decade (Ferrandino & Tirozzi, 2000). These statistics coupled with increasingly complex job descriptions, burdensome state and federal mandates, Rikli tight budgets, and ever-louder calls for public accountability present a rather sobering picture for tomorrow’s educational leaders. Who, then, will answer the call? The notion of developing future organizational leaders through in-house development programs is hardly a novel idea. Private industry has long used such programs to groom future leaders (Cacioppe, 1998). Public schools are increasingly using similar programs. Leadership academies, leadership institutes, principal boot camps— whatever term is used, the underlying purpose is the same: identify, recruit, develop, and retain emerging talent. The Westside Community School District has implemented its own leadership development program (“Leadership Westside”) since at least 2004. All certified district staff are eligible to apply. Interest in the program has historically Clearly, the need been high, and the District typically has more applicants than spaces availfor training the able. To be considered for the program, next generation of prospective participants must submit an application accompanied by letters school leaders is a of recommendation from their supercritical one. visors. In addition, all participants must have completed at least half of their coursework toward a master’s degree in administration and have a positive work history. After the application has been submitted, applicants have a formal interview with the three central office ad-

ministrators who oversee the program. Candidates are screened using common interview questions and accepted on the basis of past leadership experience and potential for future growth. Approximately 8-10 teachers are selected for admission into the program every two years. Participants are not promised an administrative position at the end of the two years though in practice, the District has drawn heavily from the program when selecting new administrators. Once participants are selected, they enter a rigorous two-year development process. During the first year, all candidates examine leadership in theory and practice. This includes an orientation where all participants take the StrengthsFinder, a personalized strengths assessment developed by Gallup, and a review of McRELS’s balanced leadership research. Follow-up activities in year one include interviews and shadowing experiences with building and district administrators as well as field trips to the Nebraska Department of Education, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA), and the Nebraska Unicameral. These experiences help candidates better understand the policy-making bodies that will impact their professional careers. In the second year of the process, participants receive exposure to a variety of authentic leadership experiences. For example, candidates receive media relations training where they learn how to frame a message and communicate with members of the media. All participants develop an individual leadership plan and update their professional resumes. Lastly, all candidates participate in an experiential leadership opportunity in their final year. In the past, this has included facilitating parent focus groups for our strategic planning process, updating district policy manuals, and coordinating the District’s annual fundraisers and parent involvement conference. The costs associated with running the two-year program are minimal. All Leadership Westside graduates re(continued on page 16)

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PROG RAM SPOTLIGHT Leaders Building Leaders…(from page 15) ceive a small stipend for their involvement in the program, and a small budget is needed to support the field trip experiences and some of the related research resources. But in general, the main cost the program incurs is the use of administrators’ time. Considering the relatively low cost of the program, it has been an unparalleled success. A number of the District’s current building administrators are Leadership Westside alum and were plucked from the program after having shown exceptional skill and promise. Clearly, the need for training the next generation of school leaders is a critical one. Effective school districts must be able to strike a balance between hiring fresh perspectives from the out-



Benefits ! Enhanced Academic Performance ! Improved Health & Attendance ! Teacher Attraction & Retention ! Reduced Energy & Operating Costs "#$%&'&%()*+,&-'.#/&01,&1,'+#1(,2&#1,&learning environment is, the better the student achievement and attendance it produces. More and more schools are learning that Trane builds, delivers and supports fiscally responsible systems with superior reliability and efficiency. To explore giving your school facilities, Teachers and Students the high-performance learning environment they deserve, contact: Dave Raymond and Denny Van Horn TRANE K-12 Performance Contracting Phone: 402-331-7111 E-Mail: dave.raymond@trane or



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side while leveraging the internal talent that already exists within the organization. By identifying promising teachers, exposing them to high quality and rigorous development programs, and allowing them to participate in authentic leadership opportunities, schools can honor our best and brightest educators while preparing them to serve as tomorrow’s leaders. I


Engaging Technologies: Partnering with Nebraska Schools for Successful Technology Implementation BY DUSTIN and CATHY FRANK, Engaging Technologies


he task set before school administrators of navigating successful technology implementation in their districts is certainly no easy task. At the risk of falling behind in the push to provide students with technologies in the classroom, many district technology implementation strategies are haphazard at best and we often aren’t too inclined to admit it. We’ve shared below some of the most common mistakes that schools make when purchasing technology so that you can be aware of the pitfalls and look to avoid them.


Leaving teachers out of the decision-making process. Time and time again, teachers are left out of the decisionmaking process, and the result can too often be technology that sits high in the closet and never sees the light of day. We see examples every year of schools that purchase a piece of technology for every room only to find that five teachers have no desire to use the particular item, three already have something similar, and six don’t know what it is even used for. Teacher ownership is an integral part of any successful classroom technology implementation. One idea to obtain teacher buy-in is to have teachers write mini-proposals for how they will implement the technology that was demonstrated at the last staff meeting. Lynne Herr, a Technology Professional Development Specialist at ESU 6, shared this idea with York High School Principal Mitch Bartholomew. Bartholomew implemented this technique and awarded equipment to those teachers that wrote valid proposals. Those teachers who are genuinely motivated to use the technology will often experience success with the equipment and spread the word across the staff about their successes. In an ideal technology implementation, the teacher is given the time to review the equipment and software to find programs that match his or her classroom instructional style and skill set. Many Nebraska districts take advantage of our equipment loaner program that provides equipment to try out in the classroom for 30-60 days, allowing teachers to see if the equipment meets their needs.


Seeking the “cool” factor rather than the best bang for your buck. Technology is continually advancing and there is a place for those cutting-edge new adopters with the courage

to experiment and see if the latest cool technology has meaningful application in the classroom. However, large purchases of the next best thing can often end in disaster, and purchasers may end up with technology that serves a very limited purpose for a hefty price tag. One aspect of our mission is to help schools determine the most effective use of funds that will create the largest learning benefit for students. Interactive whiteboards on every wall might seem like a great plan, but some teachers may prefer a portable tablet, which has 100 percent of the functionality at a fraction of the cost. Evaluating purchases in this manner allows schools to provide the same learning benefits to three classrooms for the price of one. Do your homework. Peruse the research and find out what tools really have been proven to make a difference in the classroom with substantiated data and research. Ask hard questions: • What do we want to accomplish in this classroom or at this grade level? • What technology allows us to provide this most effectively and efficiently? • Can this technology be used in a variety of ways that maximize the cost benefit? • Do we have the prerequisite equipment available to implement other technologies, i.e. projectors?


Buy the cheapest tool so that everyone gets one. Cost always has to be a factor when implementing technology, especially when trying to accommodate as many different classrooms as possible, but the cheapest is almost never the best value. Poor quality technology can hinder a teacher and even detract from learning in the classroom if not implemented or supported effectively. Many technology products that are initially demonstrated by the vendor can really “wow” the audience. Vendors don’t usually show you the limits of their products, do they? If you see a product that really appeals to you, be sure and check out similar products. Seek out vendors that offer multiple products and are willing to converse with you about which product line would be the best fit for your classroom. Create a list of what the product has to be able to accomplish (continued on page 20) JUNE 2011




Brutal Legislative Session, but Optimism for Education’s Future Reigns Supreme BY DR. MIKE DULANEY, Executive Director; and DR. DAN ERNST, Associate Executive Director

T Dulaney



liberative, pro-active Education Committees in recent he 2011 Legislative Session will be one to reyears, lead by Senator Greg Adams. And anyone remotely member for years to come. The political pushassociated with the process knows how hard Senator ing and pulling on public education was never Adams worked and listened as he crafted legislation to more evident than was experienced in this long, 90-day revise the state aid formula. We have hope that as the session. Although there were attempts to use divide-andeconomy improves and state revenues increase, there will conquer tactics, the education community remains inbe an effort to make up lost ground in funding for edutact, a little bruised, but alive. We (teachers, cation. administrators, and school boards) should be proud that, The third and last reason for optimism relates back through it all, we refused to allow state and even nathe top of our message. The collaboration and cooperational political movements and influences to break us tion between the NCSA, NSEA, and NASB has never been apart. We stayed together no matter how ugly it got, stronger than it is today. Even at the darkest moments no matter what was said or written. of this past session, particularly during the work to find K-12 education certainly has reason to feel some pain a compromise on the CIR legislation, our three organiafter this legislative session. State aid to education was zations maintained ongoing communication. No one rereduced by over ten percent, special education funding treated, no one bunkered down and refused to talk or was flat-lined for the next two years, and ESU funding meet. We all knew full well that we had to continue was flat-lined also. There is no denying the colossal hit working together on so many different issues, such as to education funding due to poor economic circumhealthcare, retirement, school finance, etc. Simply put, stances and reduced state revenues. Yet, there is every there is too much at stake for everyone involved to allow reason to be hopeful and optimistic, as crazy as that may any force or issue to tear apart the Nebraska K-12 eduseem. First and foremost, we have to hope we’ve hit botcation community. tom and can only move upward, to think otherwise is In closing, we would like to congratulate the NCSA too scary to imagine. retirees honored in this issue. We thank you for your Three other reasons for optimism are worth mentioncommitment to the children of Nebraska schools and ing. Troubled times cause us to try harder, be more efwish each of you the best in retirement. I ficient, and become more creative. School administrators, teachers, and school boards will have to work together as never before to find the solutions and maintain high standards for educational opportunities. We have already witnessed examples of extraordinary efforts in school districts Since 1991, to embrace financial crisis and work within McPherson & available means. Jacobson, L.L.C. The next reason to be optimistic is the curhas conducted rent leadership within the Nebraska Legislaover 120 ture. It may not seem like it to some, but the Legislature did make K-12 education a priorsuperintendent McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C. 7905 L St., Suite 310 ity this past session. We could tell by our and principal Omaha, Nebraska 68127 conversations with various members of the searches in (888) 375-4814 body that education funding is vitally imporEmail: Nebraska tant to them. We have one of the most deWeb site:


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NCSA Election Results





e are pleased to honor those members that have been elected by their peers and colleagues to serve as their respective affiliate president-elects for the 2011-2012 year. We feel extremely fortunate to have highly qualified and worthy individuals that participated in each election and wish to say thanks for those individuals willing to run for leadership positions. To be elected by your peers is certainly noteworthy and now these newly elected individuals will have the opportunity to serve and lead school administrators across the state. In addition to their roles and responsibilities for their respective affiliates they also will begin as members of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators Executive Board, with official duties to begin on September 1, 2011.




We wish to congratulate and welcome the following new President-Elects: • NASES – Jane Moody, Special Education Director, ESU #11 • NASBO - Jill Pauley, Director of Fiscal Services, Lincoln Public Schools • NAESP – Ann Jablonski, Principal, Kooser Elementary-Lincoln • NSASSP – Chris Stogdill, Principal, Stanton High School • NASA – Tim DeWaard, Superintendent, Centennial Public Schools • NARSA – Bob Bussmann I

NCSA Elects Chair and Vice Chair for 2011-2012

J Moles


ack Moles, Superintendent of Johnson County Central Schools, will be NCSA Chair beginning September 1, 2011. Joining him will be Randy Schlueter, Principal of Beatrice Middle School, who will serve as NCSA Vice Chair beginning September 1, 2011. “I’m looking forward to bringing my experience and perspective from Johnson County to the state level,” Moles said. Mike Dulaney, NCSA’s Executive Director, gave a warm welcome to the new chair and vice chair. “I have great confidence that Jack Moles and Randy Schlueter will provide strong leadership on issues facing school administrators in the coming year.” The Nebraska Council of School Administrators is an organization of more than 2,000 school administrators who serve in Nebraska schools. The organization is a

partner in developing excellence in educational leadership, providing the “tools” necessary for administrators to be successful. Although school administrators are more aware of problem areas in schools than anyone else, their voices can be drowned out by special interests in politics. NCSA provides strength in numbers to make the voices of administrators heard in educational matters in Nebraska. The NCSA Executive Board consists of seventeen representatives. Members are elected by their affiliate and serve a three-year term on the Executive Board. The Executive Board annually selects a chairperson and vice chairperson from its ranks to direct the work of the Board and represent NCSA. I

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19 17



NCSA Golf Tournament

12:00 p.m.

Wilderness Ridge


8:00 a.m.

YCC/Holiday Inn


12:00 p.m. 11:30 a.m. 8:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m.

Marina Inn NCSA Parking Lot Gering Civic Center Holiday Inn Embassy Suites

S. Sioux City Lincoln Gering Kearney LaVista


Administrators’ Days

SEPTEMBER 8-9 17 22-23 28 26

NASES Fall Conference NCSA Tailgate CIP Leadership Workshop School Law Hispanic/Latino Summit

NATIONAL CONVENTION DATES ASBO – September 16-19, 2011 – Seattle, WA AASA – February 16-18, 2012 – Houston NASSP – March 8-11, 2012 – Tampa, FL NAESP – March 22-24, 2012 – Seattle, WA

Engaging Technologies…(continued from page 17) for you in the classroom. Then, take advantage of vendor loaner programs so that you can see for yourself the strengths and weaknesses of different products. In addition, don’t be afraid to seek out references from other districts. Ask them how their cost of ownership has weighed versus the impact the tool has had on the classroom.


Implement new technology without training. Your entire investment in new technology can be lost without the proper training, and this is probably the most common mistake made in technology implementation. When schools write grants, the training plan is always included, typically at 10 percent, but outside of a grant, the training piece is typically the most neglected part of a technology implementation. Training may be different for every person, but whether training consists of a five-minute tutorial on how to run a remote, an hour-long webinar to get you up and running with new equipment, a week-long seminar on teaching in the 21st century, or a 60-page manual with which to read and follow along, the right professional development and training resources are essential. As not only technology vendors but former classroom teachers, one of our biggest strengths at Engaging Technologies is designing and implementing an effective training plan that works best for you and your staff. We see hundreds of effective, efficient technology implementation strategies throughout the



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state and our job is to share these strategies and help your teachers find what works best given their instructional style and skill set. The Planning Period Day, one of our most popular training offerings, allows teachers to sign up for 1:1 time during their planning period. Training takes place in their classroom with their equipment, their resources, their textbook, and on their computer so they can implement the tools to best fit their teaching needs. We realize that technology implementation is certainly not an easy endeavor; however, in our work with schools throughout Kansas and Nebraska, we’ve had the pleasure to work with many districts on successful technology implementations. In addition, we’ve had the opportunity to meet many fantastic educators and administrators across the state, and we take great satisfaction in seeing the impact on learning that can be derived from engaging technologies in the hands of effective educators. If you are interested in setting up a time for your local Engaging Technologies representative to discuss successful technology implementation with your school, please reach out to us so that we can coordinate a time to visit with you and your staff. I Engaging Technologies, 800.705.4049,

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




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