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Infusing Social Media Into K-12 Session Overview with Senator Greg Adams State Education News with Commissioner Roger Breed

Nebraska Council of School Administrators

Winter 2011

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2 “I think it’s going to be a quiet session.” BY ELISABETH REINKORDT

4 New Year, New Supports Await Nebraska Schools in 2012 BY DR. ROGER BREED

6 Infusing Social Media in K-12 Education

Communications: Establish Your Presence! BY DR. JOHN SKRETTA, DR. MIKE LUCAS, and COREY DAHL


People Priority BY GREG BARNES


EHA Wellness Program Fires Up for December BY HOWIE HALPERIN and LINDA KENEDY

10 11 11

NAESP National Distinguished Principal from Nebraska is Announced NAESP Outstanding New Principal of the Year Health Care Reform Update BY KURT GENRICH


Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals Announces 2011-12 Award Winners


Grand Island Northwest Superintendent Bill Mowinkel Named 2011 Nebraska Superintendent of the Year


NASA, NSASSP, and NAESP Longevity Awards


Welcome New Active Members!


Activating the Will to Achieve BY JOHN BAYLOR


Survey Summary: Issues Faced by Schools BY DR. MIKE DULANEY and DR. DAN ERNST



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.

NCSA EXECUTIVE BOARD 2011-2012 Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jack Moles Vice Chair . . . . . . . .Randy Schleuter Past Chair . . . . . . . . Sarah Williams NASA Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . .Greg Barnes President-elect . . . . . . .Tim DeWaard Past President . . . . . . . . .Jack Moles NASBO Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . .Dave Kaslon President-elect . . . . . . . .Jill Pauley Past President . . . . . Robin Hoffman NAESP Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . .David Kraus President-elect . . . . . .Ann Jablonski Past President . . . . . .Midge Mougey NASES Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . .Stuart Clark President-elect . . . . . . .Jane Moody Past President . . . . . .Peggy Romshek NSASSP Representatives President . . . . . .Mitch Bartholomew President-elect . . . . . . Chris Stogdill Past President . . . . .Randy Schleuter NARSA Representative President . . . . . . . .Robert Bussmann 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 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. WINTER 2011




“I think it’s going to be a quiet session.” BY ELISABETH REINKORDT, Staff Correspondent


s Senator Greg Adams, Chair of the Education Committee of the Nebraska Unicameral, prepares for the 2012 session, he has been doing a good deal of reflecting on the 2011 session. “One year ago at this time, the Education Committee had put in extensive hours developing our 542 report, including its rather substantive cuts,” he said, in addition to dealing with a shifting of monies from lottery to offset General Fund dollars going to the Nebraska Department of Education. Add in changes to TEEOSA to get the Legislature through the biennium budget, and the Committee was coming out of a busy and challenging interim. “In contrast,” Adams reflected, “this interim has been relatively quiet—on the K-12 side. I’ve been spending most of my time with six community colleges!” While the community colleges may be taking up a little more of Senator Adams’s time, that is by no means all he and his committee members have been working on in preparation for 2012. From a study of TEEOSA to a revisiting of LB 635, from a study on virtual education to a discussion of what the other committees may be bringing to the floor, Adams dove in for a preview of what’s to come as the Legislature convenes on January 4th. State aid to schools is, of course, a topic the Education Committee deals with every year. “We have had an interim study on TEEOSA,” he said, “but we have not developed a report or any final findings, because it’s ongoing. We study TEEOSA every interim.” This year, however, 2


he decided that it was necessary to “take the committee back to the very foundational principles of state aid distribution.” So, how do you explain TEEOSA to a group of senators who aren’t very familiar with how state aid works? Adams, a retired Social Studies teacher from York, smiled. “The teacher in me starts coming out, and I think to myself that if I had a classroom full of kids that I was presenting a concept to for the first time, how do I begin?” he said, quick to point out that of course, his colleagues are not the equivalent of high school students! “Fundamentally, what I did was to bring the whiteboard into the room, and ask them to forget about the current formula. Let’s assume that we have this blank white board, and we’re going to create, from the ground up. Let’s look at what the Constitution says. What should we pay for? How should we pay for it? How do we make sure that 249 school districts that are so different from one another—how do we recognize their differences and [be] fair to everybody?” As the committee members think about these questions, he said, discussions about why aid is distributed, who ought to get it and how aren’t lost in the minutia of allowances and adjustments. About a month after this first meeting, Adams brought the committee back, and walked them along through the next steps of the process. “I’d like to believe,” he said, that “the committee may agree or disagree with any parts of what we discussed, but they at least have a better understanding of General Fund operating expenditures,” versus other revenue sources. “I always say [the formula] is complex, not complicated,” he added, “and I could make it far less complex, but that doesn’t mean that it would be fair.” Laughing, he suggested that if he were to make an announcement to NCSA that he was going to drastically simplify the formula, there would be a big cheer, followed by a bunch of phone calls asking “wait, what about us?” Frankly, he added, “much of what’s in the current formula have been brought to us by finance managers, superintendents, and associations of schools, and we try to respond to their needs with the law.” However, Adams was happy to note that most of the (continued on page 3)

LEGISL ATIVE SESS ION Quiet Session… (continued from page 2) heavy lifting on TEEOSA modifications was done last session, and at this point, he doesn’t foresee any major changes to come in this one. There is one substantial piece of unfinished business that Adams assured would be brought forth this session, and that is LB 635, a bill that would require multiple assessment measures to be required in the process of holding schools accountable. Though LB 635 has been introduced twice before, Adams explained that it had been necessary to spend time raising awareness that a system needed to be developed before it became part of statute. “Let’s let it be Nebraska-driven,” he added, which is where using multiple assessment became part of the discussion. “[If] we do this right, hopefully along the way it will also satisfy the Feds,” he said, “and rather than be reactive to what comes from Washington, let’s be proactive.” LB 635 has two main components. Part I of the bill creates a multiple assessment measure for school buildings and school districts, and, for two years, the State Board of Education has been working on a model that is nearing completion. If, through the process laid out in Part I, a school is identified as high-priority, Part II of the bill lays out a process for the State Board to intervene with that school district and develop a reform plan. The impetus for LB 635 came on the heels of the development of Nebraska’s state assessment for students, or NeSA. While there was now a common measure to get a snapshot of how students were performing on tests measuring the revised state standards in reading, math, writing, and now science, it was a fallacy to think that these scores alone could paint a well-rounded picture of what was happening in a school. “If I’m evaluating someone [for a job], or walk into a school for one day, I’m not going to be able to say just like that, ‘Okay, that’s how that person is,’ or ‘That’s how that school is,’ just by seeing them in front of me that one time,” he explained. Though the value of No Child Left Behind has been to force us into a system of accountability, he said, “it doesn’t take a fair picture.” Most K-12 educators, he believes, realize that “looking at a multitude of different things to create a picture of a school building or a school district is far more accurate than just our Nebraska State Assessments.” In the time since LB 635 was first introduced, it has served as a catalyst for discussion for both the State Board of Education and the staff at the Nebraska Department of Education, and that was

truly Senator Adams’s intent. “I think Race to the Top motivated [us],” Adams mused, and though he and others were not happy with many of its provisions, he thought it was beginning to “push in the right direction, though maybe just not in the right way.” Part II, he says, will require more work, and he emphasized that the co-chairs of the P-16 Initiative (himself, Governor Heineman, Commissioner Breed, University President Milliken, and Education Quest CEO Liz Koop) will be working on this in the near future. “[If] we believe we have more fairly identified schools with problems, I think we are obligated to take the next step and develop a plan for how we’re going to deal with those schools. I don’t think we can just walk away and say they’re not doing so good,” he said. Though he doesn’t yet have an answer to what intervention would look like, he emphasized that there is time to develop that system, as it would take a few years of data under a multiple assessment model to make a determination on whether a school is high priority. This year, he is hoping that, at minimum, his committee can move Part I into statute. Another interim study undertaken by the Education Committee was on virtual education, the highlight of which has been an exposition of the Virtual Education Partnership and Memorandum of Understanding between the Nebraska Independent Study High School, the Educational Service Units, and Nebraska Educational Telecommunications. “Virtual education, we all know, is critical, and we need to have an evaluation of what we have and what we need to have, so it was very productive,” Adams said. “I think almost everyone involved in K-12 education under(continued on page 5) WINTER 2011




New Year, New Supports Await Nebraska Schools in 2012 BY DR. ROGER BREED, Nebraska Commissioner of Education




ravels across the state this fall with stops in Alma, Trenton, Falls City, and Lincoln—the hometowns of our four Blue Ribbon Schools— demonstrated once again to me the quality education Nebraska schools offer students day in and day out, year after year. The new year, 2012, is certain to include many efforts to build on that long tradition. Our goal at the Nebraska Department of Education is to support each school and educator in the pursuit of excellence and to equip all educators with new and expanded tools to help all students reach their potential. The pathway to excellence is a long journey requiring informed steps along an uncertain path. This year, Nebraska will roll out its full battery of NeSA tests, with 2012 being the third year for NeSA-Reading, the second for NeSA-Mathematics, and the first year for NeSA-Science. As always, student performance results will draw considerable attention from our communities, the news media and state education leaders. Tradition has shown, however, that Nebraska students test scores improve over time. That’s what occurred in 2011 with reading results and what we expect to see with mathematics scores next year. The baseline for science will be set this spring. NDE staff in recent months unveiled new tools for schools and educators that includes a new standards instructional tool, interim tests to help teachers identify what individual students know at the point of instruction and student-friendly standards as well as the Nebraska Teacher and Principal Performance Framework. Briefly, here are those and other new state initiatives that will offer opportunities and support to Nebraska schools and educators. The Nebraska Teacher and Principal Performance Framework was adopted in November 2011, by the State Board of Education. The Framework is intended to be a useful resource to school districts, institutions of higher education, and state and local policymakers. Included in the Framework are effective practices and example indicators based, in part, on the profession’s national standards. The ultimate value of the Framework is to define effective practices in order to guide the improvement of teaching and learning. In January, the State Board will consider whether or not to develop a model evaluation


system based on the framework. The framework is available at: TeacherPrincipalPerformanceFramework11-11.pdf. Check 4 Learning is a bank of test items that teachers can use for mini-tests to learn if individual students are on track to meet reading and mathematics standards. C4Learning will be available in January 2012 and we hope it will be an important part of the state’s testing system aimed at supporting teachers and students achieve at higher levels. Teachers may pull test items from the online bank for mini tests so they know if students are on track or if they need to adjust classroom instruction to improve student learning. The Check 4 Learning process is intended to inform teachers of student progress before students take the official, one-time accountability NeSA test used for federal accountability under No Child Left Behind. As a side bar and in response to an often asked question: After considerable discussion, Nebraska continues to believe that seeking a waiver from No Child Left Behind provisions is not a workable option for the state at this time. This decision will be reevaluated as things change in D.C.. The Standards Instruction Tool provides teachers with information about what students are expected to know and offers ideas on how teachers may help students meet reading and math expectations. Visit Student-Friendly Standards are based on state content standards and intended to help students better understand what their teachers expect them to learn and know. These standards also address the “why” question when teachers expect students to do certain activities related to the content standards. These Student-Friendly Language Arts Standards also can help parents understand the learning targets and make it easier for them to talk to teachers and their children about learning. Visit Nebraska Performance Accountability System or NePAS is a new state accountability system. The State Board of Education approved the performance indicators of this new system at the December 2011 Board meeting. NePAS is intended to be an accountability system for public (continued on page 5)

NEWS FRO M NDE New Year…(continued from page 4) schools and school districts. Multiple measures in the NePAS include NeSA scores in reading, mathematics, science and writing, participation rates, graduation rate for high schools, and growth and improvement rates for elementary/middle schools. The approval was contingent on the collection and review of accountability data over the next two years. There are several questions and issues yet to be resolved before an accountability system is fully implemented. These questions include: 1) how will accountability decisions be made (total score, individual measure)? 2) how will schools be classified? 3) what consequences will follow? and 4) what supports will be available. NePAS as presently configured is available for review and comment on the NDE website Rule Revisions are underway. Rule 15, the first-ever rule addressing Limited English Proficiency instruction was adopted by the State Board of Education in December 2011 to ensure all LEP students have access to quality language instruction educational programs and to provide a measure of consistency statewide in those programs. Rule 10 revisions are in the works at this time and would place greater emphasis on bullying prevention policies as

well as regulating seclusion and restraint of students; change the kindergarten enrollment date from Oct. 15 to July 31 to align with new state law; and, change provisions related to middle school athletics. Rule 84 would update the accreditation of Educational Service Units with an increased emphasis on collaboration between the ESUs and NDE. A hearing draft on proposed revisions to Rule 84 will be posted in January. Rule 14 would allow nonpublic schools to classify middle grades as middle school as opposed to elementary or high school. Much to do in 2012 starting with our classrooms and moving up to the district and state levels. Another topic of importance is the revision of Nebraska’s social studies standards. That work will begin in earnest this winter and continue through 2012. NDE’s Ted Larson will be the consultant to the process which will be led by Donlynn Rice. That’s a brief look at some of the new tools and work underway at NDE. I encourage you to contact NDE staff for detailed information on these topics and others and to follow issues as they develop through our website at: I

Quiet Session…(continued from page 3) stands the potential of technology as a resource,” he began, noting that there is a tendency to pin the future success of small schools on the availability of virtual education courses. He cautioned, however, that this thinking was limited, and that the development of virtual education infrastructure has “implications throughout the state for K-12.” As a baseline, therefore, Adams suggested that the Education Committee needed to find out “what we have [already happening in the state], what we do not have, what we need to improve upon, and what do we have that works?” Much of this challenge was driven by Governor Heineman, and when he first brought forth his interest in virtual education, it was the entities in the partnership stepping up and declaring what they were doing already that brought forward the discussion of how to establish a model for delivery. With the Independent Study High School providing online courses, the ESUs facilitating two-way interactive courses through video conferencing, and NET providing a vast library of content, a multitude of systems emerged, thus leading to a partnership that can expand “not just the content, but the means of offering,” for Nebraska’s students. “Not every kid learns the same,” he added, “and we can take advantage of all of our assets this way.” Adams doesn’t anticipate any specific bills to come out of the virtual

education study, but he does expect that the issue will continue to be a hot topic of discussion. Outside of the Education Committee, Adams believes that there will be a good deal of discussion of child welfare this year, as well as a close eye on revenues coupled with continued budget concerns. He doesn’t anticipate major changes to CIR, and he mentioned that Senator Fulton will be proposing a bill mandating the Pledge of Allegiance. With all bills that will be discussed in the Unicameral in this session, Adams strongly urged administrators to make sure their voice is heard, either in person or through their representatives in NCSA. “Your testimony is valuable to the committee,” he said, “don’t let us guess!” One final factor influencing what’s to come in 2012 is the turnover of leadership positions. Many of the committee chairs will be term-limited out of office at the end of the session. Adams anticipates that some of what goes on during the session may be an indicator of which senators intend to step into those leadership roles for 2013 and beyond. As for himself, Senator Adams is not ready to reveal what’s next for him. He suggested that he’s not ready to be distant from education issues. I





Infusing Social Media in K-12 Education Communications: EstablishYour Presence! BY DR. JOHN SKRETTA, Superintendent, Norris School District 160; DR. MIKE LUCAS, Superintendent, York Public Schools; and COREY DAHL, ESU 8






e have found social media to be an important tool for promoting our district profiles, engaging constituents, and building a professional learning network that is more expansive and dynamic than traditional means. We encourage other Nebraska educational leaders to join in leveraging the power of connecting with others through twitter and promoting your district through facebook as two basic tools in your social networking tool belt. Twitter ( Twitter is essentially a “micro-blogging” site. You can post messages up to 140 characters that offer short statements about the length of a text message on any subject. Hashtags (the ubiquitous # on Twitter) allow you to search topics of interest such as #edtech or technology-in-education posts and links or #cpchat for “connected principals” chat—posts designed to connect techno-savvy administrators with one another. If you attended the NSASSP state principals’ conference December 1 and 2 sponsored by NCSA, then you may have already participated in what was a vigorous tweet-up around the #NWNP hashtag fostered by keynote presenter Eric Sheninger, @NMHS_Principal on twitter. In order to build followers on Twitter, you have to stay consistent with it. Tweet at least one interesting note or item daily, and once you find someone on Twitter you’re interested in, follow that person and pick up additional followers based on who they’re following. This will ensure that your posts and links are being viewed and read. Unless you’re following a celeb with tens of thousands of followers, there’s a basic reciprocity to following—if you follow another educator, odds are pretty good they’ll follow you and soon you’ll be sharing your knowledge bases with one another! The “power” of Twitter is in WHO YOU FOLLOW. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of finding and building a list of people to follow who have similar interests or humor you appreciate! The reason why this is so significant is that if you don’t follow anybody who posts interesting tweets, you have nothing interesting to look at and learn about. Build a great group of edu-


cators to follow and you’ll be much, much happier. It’s equally important for you, the user to tweet interesting things. By doing so, the people on the other end may follow you back. Why do you care if they follow you back? Well, if you have a question that you’d like help with and post it to Twitter, those people who follow you will read it and hopefully answer your question. Need tips for getting people to follow you? Well, you could become a celebrity. This seems to help. We aren’t Justin Bieber or have the last name Kardashian. If you want people to follow you, follow somebody and retweet one of their tweets. This is the process of basically forwarding an email. You are reposting (retweeting) what they’ve said. Even better yet, ask a specific user a question on Twitter. Engage them in a conversation about something. By showing interest in your inquiry, they may then follow you. Don’t be so serious. Twitter can be and certainly is used to share educational thoughts, links, practices, etc. But don’t be afraid to post a humorous comment or thought. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, remember to think before you post. If you think somethings inappropriate, don’t post it. Facebook ( Facebook is the premier social networking site in the world and has more traffic than any website with the exception of the google search engine. So it makes sense for districts to think about how, even in a limited manner, they can tap into the massive communicative power the site wields as it has hundreds of millions of users. At Norris, our webmaster established the Norris 160 fb page and we have gradually built it up from there over the past several years. Weare now approaching 1,300 fans who receive regular fb posts on the Norris District when they go to their facebook pages. York Public Schools has found Facebook to be a very powerful communication tool, especially with mothers and alumni. During our recent bond issue election, we were able to provide numerous fact sheets and updates to many interested “friends” on Facebook. (continued on page 7)

TRENDS IN EDUCATIO N Infusing Social Media… (continued from page 7) We also use it to post pictures of our students in action, to celebrate student achievement highlights, and for announcements. Our next plan of action is to become more involved with our alumni association through Facebook. At ESU 8, we post links to interesting articles or upcoming workshops. What’s great about our Facebook page, we have made several people at ESU 8 an “administrator” of the ESU Facebook page. This means that they can all post as a representative of ESU 8. Why Facebook it? For many people, Facebook is their Internet home. They use Facebook as their default home page when going out to the Internet because they can create a personalized newsfeed of stories and status updates (including pictures and links) from others on fb whom they have friended or organizations they have ‘liked.’ What to be aware of: Facebook allows comments on the newsfeed and people can like or dislike a post. We have several persons in our district who monitor posts and receive status updates when reply posts are made by site visitors. For the most part, the posts have been innocuous, supportive, or helpful questions which allow us to communicate better back to our public. Twitter allows direct messaging (basically a chat function) between mutual followers. But for the most part, we consider Twitter's value to be magnified by its openness and that, through the use of brief public postings on topics of interest, users can connect with others by publicly posting. Through Twitter, we have been able to connect with educators and educational administrators from across the state and nation, and even, on occasion, internationally. These professional connections comprise what is often referred to in the ‘Twitterverse’ as a PLN or Professional Learning Network. Twitter York Public Schools has found Twitter to be a tremendous professional development tool. Our instructional technology staff, led by Chris Ericson, Craig Badura, and Stephen Sautter, has really helped ignite the use of Twitter throughout a large percentage of our staff. We are able to find very timely and informative articles on autism, high ability learners, technology integration, and so on from practitioners all over the world. If you put a call out on Twitter requesting resources or just do a keyword search, you might be amazed to find the wealth of information available from educator colleagues across the country.

Twitter is also a fantastic tool to keep patrons updated on school events. Administrators are able to“tweet” updates from ball games, concerts, and plays. You can even add pictures to your “tweet.” (Search by hashtag #nebpreps and you’ll find you can track score updates posted by ADs, administrators, and local media outlets for real-time score updates on any given Friday night!) One of the tremendously enriching aspects of a Twitter PLN is how expansive that network can become. In our typical daily interactions, we may interact directly with a limited circle of coworkers. In particular, if we are K-12, that tends to enscribe the boundaries. Through Twitter, that network and the ability to leverage the brain power of a broader base can really kick your initiatives into high gear. Your Twitter network will quickly grow to include ed consultants and researchers, higher ed experts, and K-12 colleagues. The best examples of drawing on a network of support through Twitter in the Norris district include our work in Google apps integration and the rollout of iPads. We found Twitter to be a constant source of easily accessible web-based information on different educational apps for the iPads and advice on different extensions for google chrome that could help teachers manage their docs and calendars. Twitter also serves as a convenient means of out-of-office engagement and accountability to your public. Superintendents and other school administrators are pulled in many different directions and there are lots of things competing for our attention. No small number of these events may take us outside of desk-jockey mode and put us elsewhere. Our recommendation: Tweet about it! Whether out on campus visiting classrooms, checking out the day’s hot lunch fare, rooting for our students at a district competition, or representing the district at a state or national workshop or conference, posting some tweets lets your public know what you're up to. Be succinct, not silly: Far from being frivolous or trite, the use of occasional well-timed tweets when you are out of the office conducting official business make good business sense. You are informing your populous about what you’re seeing and experiencing and how that is informing your professional practices. In addition, you can stay on top of an evolving situation in a dynamic way through Twitter’s use of event-specific hashtags. During NCSA’s Administrators’ Days, for instance, the hashtag #NCSA11 was used by many conference attendees to post updates on what they were learning from the speakers in sessions. It was a tremendous way to quickly track what the conference experience was offering. In some workshops and conferences, the tweetup from participants is so robust that it can correctly be labeled (continued on page 18) WINTER 2011




People Priority BY GREG BARNES, NASA President, Superintendent, Seward Public Schools




wenty-five years as a K-12 educator—twentyone of those years in administrative positions. Have I really been at it that long? I can tell you it certainly doesn’t seem like it. As I think back on my career and what has kept me in this profession, the answer is quite simple…people. The relationships with students, staff, parents, board members, professors, and colleagues are without a doubt the reason I got into this profession and the reason I enjoy going to work each day. Just like the rest of you, I have bad days. Those days spent dealing with complaints, paperwork, budget cuts, crisis situations, and so on. When I have one of those days, I take a deep breath and turn my focus to the people I have around me. I’ve worked in three school systems and communities in my twenty-five-year career and I can tell you that the people in all three have been top notch. I’ve developed relationships with people over the years that are never ending. Colleagues that I would consider mentors and colleagues who I hope would say I had a positive influence on their careers and lives. As administrators we are sometimes forced to make unpopular decisions that effect people, so it’s easy to distance ourselves from people to make those decisions easier; however, in my opinion, distancing yourself takes all of the enjoyment out of the job. I maintain that administrators can maintain their leadership role and develop professional, caring relationships with others. There is a fine line that might not allow us to be best friend or confidant, but we can certainly care about those we work with. We all have stories about relationship-ending decisions we have made. It happens, but those decisions, if handled appropriately, shouldn’t destroy the relationships you have with others. Earlier this year I was in attendance at our Chamber of Commerce luncheon where one of our local business owners was speaking about the things that have led to a long successful business existence in Seward. His message wasn’t much different than the one I’m sharing with you. As he stated, he has been fortunate to have been surrounded by quality people who were all important to the success of his business. He made the comment, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I’ve heard that quote before, and my brief research tells me credit should be given to author


and public speaker John Maxwell. I agree wholeheartedly and couldn’t have said it better myself. Curriculum, instruction, data analysis, assessments, busing, school meals, health and wellness, and on, and on, and on, are all important to the success of a school district, but the success of each depends on the people who are involved. School districts can’t have the best curriculum, data, buses, meals, and buildings, unless they have quality people in the equation, and if these people know that you care, they will give you, your school and community tremendous effort. The people I have had the pleasure of working with have heard me say this on many occasions, “There are many lessons to be learned in school that won’t be found in a textbook.” How will our children learn these lessons? They will learn them from people, and if we want them to learn these lessons well, we need to surround ourselves with the best people—people who care, motivate, and inspire. We can’t pick our students or their parents, but we can have influence on the students and parents we want to be leaders in our schools—students and parents who will lead, motivate, and inspire. We do have greater opportunity to choose and groom our school employees, and I contend that there is no greater responsibility that we have as administrators than to hire and mold educational leaders. If we spend too much of our time focusing on other responsibilities, our schools will suffer. In closing I hope as administrators, you continue to gather and analyze data, update curriculum, and improve facilities, along with the other numerous responsibilities of your position (all important responsibilities); however, I also encourage you to keep your focus on people. Do all that you can to help those who need help and take the time to recognize those who perform well. Celebrate success—we don’t do that well in our profession. In today’s educational climate, we spend much of our time focusing on measurable data and testing and fail to recognize the many lessons being learned each and every day in our buildings…lessons that aren’t measured by a test…lessons being taught by people. I


EHA Wellness Program Fires Up for December BY HOWIE HALPERIN, EHA Wellness Administrator, and LINDA KENEDY, EHA Wellness Coordinator


iring up our body’s metabolism through exercise is the ticipating providers in others states. The Dental Grid is a network theme of the fun-filled December 2011 EHA Wellness proof multiple BCBS plans that, when combined, offers one of the gram, Flab on Fire. Whether you’re a new or seasoned exlargest national PPO networks. erciser this program, available to EHA Groups, will help keep you Furthermore, when using these providers, the out-of-pocket accountable and inspire you to commit to making time for daily cost will also be lowered. EHA members who live or travel out of physical activity. In addition, the Flab on Fire program will give state will now be able to go to providers and dental specialist you ideas on finding opportunities to sneak physical activity, inthat are closer to them. Just like the National Medical network cluding resistance training and aerobic workouts, into your daily (Blue Card), the Dental Grid will be seamless to our members for routine. services received outside the state of Nebraska. The Dental Grid There are so many health benefits to exercise including actinetwork directory went online December 15, 2011, and you can vating the body’s natural lipid burners that fight fat, increasing find it at I energy, and reducing stress—which are all critical during the hectic holiday season. “We think this is the perfect time of year ignite our healthy-living engines. Benefits We hope you’ll join the EHA Wellness Flab on Fire movement and move more in December!” CREATING HIGH PERFORMANCE-SCHOOLS said Linda Kenedy, EHA Wellness Coordinator. for HIGH PERFORMANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING All participants in the Flab on Fire program will receive an exercise sports towel to use during their daily workouts. And, participants who are compliant with the program guidelines for at least 20 days during December will be entered into a drawing for one of 200 $25 gift cards to improve health and well-being. Look for promotional posters at your school. Your wellness representative will have details Benefits ! #$%&$'()"*'&)(+,'"-(./0.+&$'(" on how to sign up. ! 1+2.03()"4(&56%"7"*66($)&$'(" Not sure if your school is involved? Need ! Student and Teacher Attraction & Retention more details to get your school to participate ! 8()9'()"#$(.:;"7"<2(.&6,$:"=0>6>" in EHA Wellness? Contact Linda Kenedy, EHA Wellness Coordinator (linda@ehawellnesspro 16?>"&">,+25("/&'6@"A%("%(&56%,(."6%("5(&.$,$:"($3,.0$+($6",>B"6%(" or Howie Halperin, EHA Wellness Adbetter the student achievement and attendance it produces. ministrator ( More and more schools are learning that Trane builds, delivers and supports fiscally responsible systems with superior The EHA Wellness website is at www.ehawellreliability and efficiency. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska announces National Dental Network On January 1, 2012, the Educators Health Alliance members will be able to utilize a new National Dental Network. The Blue Grid, the name for the Blue Cross Blue Shield network, will allow EHA members to have access to par-

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





NAESP National Distinguished Principal from Nebraska is Announced


he Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals is pleased to announce that Sarah Williams, Principal at McAndrew Elementary in Ainsworth has been named the 2011 National Distinguished Principal from Nebraska. Sarah has been Principal at McAndrew Elementary for the previous 18 years, having assumed that position after teaching 5th grade for three years. During her time as Principal, Sarah has actively led the Ainsworth School District’s School Improvement Team, as well as being instrumental in moving the district forward in the world of technology and curriculum development. In 2004 Sarah applied for and McAndrew was awarded, a Reading First Grant. This grant resulted in first-rate professional development opportunities for staff and additional resources to allow the elementary to move forward in addressing reading achievement. According to a parent in the district, “Mrs. Williams is an advocate for achievement…Achievement for Everyone! She is always looking for new and innovative ways for our students to learn…” A teacher in her building states: “By nature, she is an encourager. She promotes workshops, college classes, and professional reading. She inspires teachers and students to be the best they can be.”

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Darrell Peterson, Superintendent at Ainsworth wrote that, “Sarah Williams places her students as a top priority to provide a comprehensive education. Sarah has accomplished that through many avenues including training high-quality teachers, valuing learning time, and providing expanded learning opportunities for the students.” Sarah’s leadership has been evident during her tenure as a Principal. She has held offices in Region III of NAESP, been Secretary, Vice-President and President of NAESP, and was elected Chair of NCSA. She continues to serve her profession through active involvement in NAESP, ASCD, Phi Delta Kappa, and NCSA. She is also locally active in the Ainsworth area through involvement with the Lions Club and the Brown County 4-H. Mrs. Williams will be officially recognized at a celebration in Ainsworth in February. She’ll represent Nebraska in Washington, D.C. in the Fall of 2012. NAESP is extremely proud to have Sarah represent our organization as NDP for 2011. She is very deserving of this recognition and will serve our profession well during her year of tenure as the reigning NDP from Nebraska. Congratulations Sarah! I


NAESP Outstanding New Principal of the Year



nne Harley, Principal at Anderson Grove Elementary of the Papillion-La Vista Schools, has been named Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals New Principal of the Year for 20112012. Anne began her administrative career as an Assistant Principal in the Millard Public Schools before assuming the Principalship at Anderson Grove Elementary in 2009. Dr. Rick Black, Superintendent, writes of Anne: “She has molded a diverse socio-economic community into a cohesive, supportive team focused upon what is best for students. Anne not only welcomes parent and community involvement, she pursues it. She readily understands the importance of stakeholders being involved for their sake….” A first-grade teacher at her school remarks, “Anne’s heart is totally immersed in the needs of the children and what is best for their education.” Involvement in many organizations and activities is a hallmark of Anne Harley’s young career, both in her own

district as well as across the state and nation. Among her many involvements are being a member of the RtI District Leadership Committee, Doane Educational Leadership Panel, UNO Educational Administration Leadership Panel, and Secretary of the Papillion-La Vista Principals Supervisors Organization. In addition she has presented at the National Reading Recovery Conference, Nebraska Statewide Parent Involvement Conference, and at various collegiate events. Anne is currently a member of ASCD, NCSA, NAESP, Region 2 Elementary Principals, Association of American Educators, Nebraska Schoolmasters, the International Reading Association, and Reading Recovery Council of North America. Congratulations to Anne Harley for her outstanding start as an Elementary School Principal. We appreciate her early contributions to our profession and are proud to name her New Principal of the Year. I

Health Care Reform Update BY KURT GENRICH, EHA Plan Advocate



ver the last few months, several issues have come up that may change the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act which was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Several portions of the law have been implemented, such as increased benefits for preventive services, allowing dependents to stay on their parent’s health plan until they turn age 26, eliminating maximum dollar amounts of health coverage and no pre-existing conditions for children under age 19. However, more critical parts of the law are now being reviewed for their legality and economic value. Two Federal Appeals Courts (Cincinnati & Richmond) reviewed the rulings of lower courts earlier in the year about the Individual Mandate of cov-

erage for all legal residents in the United States. The two decisions were split, now the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the argument for final ruling sometime next year before the Presidential elections. The law’s expansion of Medicaid, the imposition of an individual mandate as well as whether the law can survive even if certain provisions are knocked out will be reviewed by the Justices. Furthermore, the Obama administration has determined that the long-term care insurance plan— the CLASS Act, cannot be put into place because of cost considerations. Officials stated the long-term care program has critical design flaws that can’t be fixed to make it financially self-sustaining. Finally, “Affordable Insurance Exchanges” for individuals and small groups are to be implemented by January 2014 by either individual state’s or, in the absence of a State Exchange meeting Federal standards, by the Federal Government. Until the Supreme Court ruling occurs, many states, including Nebraska, are moving cautiously on setting up their own plans. I WINTER 2011



Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals Announces 2011-12 Award Winners






he Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals is proud to recognize Todd Hilyard, Superintendent of Holdrege Public Schools, as the Distinguished Service Award winner for 2011. Marshall Smith, Principal at Millard Central Middle School has been selected as the Outstanding New Principal, and Charles Hutzler, Assistant Principal and Activities Director at Norris High School, is the NSASSP Assistant Principal of the Year. All received their awards at the Nebraska State Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals state conference in Kearney on December 2nd. Todd Hilyard has been selected as the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Todd received his education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney (Bachelor’s of Science in Middle School Science and Social Studies ’94 & Masters of Science in Educational Administration ’98) and Wayne State College (Specialist Degree in Educational Administration ’07). Mr. Hilyard is currently in his first year as the Superintendent for Holdrege Public Schools. He previously served as the Middle School Principal for Cozad Public Schools from 2001-2011, Assistant Principal/Curriculum Director for Centennial Public Schools from 2000-2011, and as a Teacher at Aurora Middle School from 1994-2000. Todd has been active in many professional organizations and community leadership positions such as the Nebraska Association for Middle Level Education, National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, and the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals. Mr. Hilyard has held several offices in these positions, including his selection as the President of NAMLE, Chair of the Nebraska Middle Level Academy, President of Region IV NSASSP, and the NCSA State Middle Level Representative. Mr. Hilyard has served in his community as President of the Cozad TeamMates Mentoring program, as a Board member of the Cozad United Way and Cozad Development Corporation (serving as President in 2006), and as Leader for the Nebraska Educational Leadership Institute in 2002.


Mr. Hilyard’s other honors include being selected as the Region IV Distinguished Service Award Winner (2011), Nebraska Middle School Principal of the Year (2009), Region IV Middle School Principal of the Year (2007-2008), and Region IV Middle School Principal of the Year (2004-2005). John Grinde, Cozad Superintendent, states: “Mr. Hilyard was not only a leader in his building but also considered so by his administrative colleagues, those he supervised, and those task force or committee members he worked with.” Nancy Williams, Cozad Middle School Language Arts Teacher, noted, “He was not only an effective leader, but helped us align our curriculums to state standards, improved teaching techniques and strategies, planned for school improvement activities, and dealt with the dayto-day issues that arise when work with a group of typical middle school students. …he was instrumental in implementing various programs aimed at helping our students become more successful.” Robyn Geiser, Executive Director of the Cozad Development Corporation, commented, “Todd provided a very positive impact on our school system. He had an excellent relationship with his staff and students and truly is a respected leader. As a citizen and parent, I am proud to have had Todd as part of our school system and community.”

Marshall Smith was selected as the NSASSP Outstanding New Principal for 2011. Mr. Smith has been the Assistant Principal at Millard Central Middle School since 2006. During his tenure at Millard Central, Marshall developed a transition plan for incoming and outgoing students, coordinated building Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtI+I), provided mentoring for struggling students, developed and implemented a School Safety Plan and Bullying Prevention Plan, and facilitated integration of the 40 Developmental Assets Framework helping create a culture of asset Development. Mr. Smith has served the Millard School District as a mentor for new Administrators, as a member of the District discipline (continued on page 13)


NSASSP Award Winners (continued from page 12) committee, and as a presenter/trainer of the Incident Command System. Dr. Beth Fink, Millard Central Middle School Principal, praised Mr. Smith, noting, “He has grown from a brand new administrator to a highly effective and respected leader in both our school and district community. … Marshall is a ‘can do’ person whose hard work and above and beyond efforts make our school better for students. … I think his greatest accomplishment as an assistant Principal has been his ability to develop relationships with students. He mentors many non-thriving students, develops relationships with their parents, and serves as an important bridge between home and school.” Rebecca Begley, 7th grade English teacher at Millard Central Middle School, states, “I have the utmost respect for Mr. Smith and the work he tirelessly performs here at Central Middle School. He has distinguished himself as an administrator that lives by the mantra, ‘whatever it takes’; as he will do just that, to help students find success.” Eighth Graders Mark Turner and Sam Kruegger write, “Mr. Smith is an awesome assistant Principal because he always understands what we’re telling him, and he believes what we say. If we tell him the truth, he’ll always believe in us. If we treat him with respect, he will treat us with respect. Without Mr. Smith, who knows where we’d be.” Marshall Smith is a graduate of Dana College (Bachelors of Arts in Education ’99) and Doane College (Masters Degree in Educational Leadership ’05). Marshall served as a Middle School Special Education teacher in Sapulpa, Oklahoma before coming to Andersen Middle School in the Millard Public School District in 2000. Mr. Smith 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.

tors Emerging Administra 28 January 21 & January Labor Relations February 6-7 NASBO April 25-27

Administrators’ Days July 25-27

Charles Hutzler has been recognized by the Nebraska State Secondary School Principals as the 2012 Assistant Principal of the Year. He has served as Assistant Principal at Norris since 2009 and also taught Science classes at Norris High School and Middle School prior to his appointment to Assistant Principal. Mr. Hutzler was High School Coordinator from 2003 to 2006 in Rotterdam, Netherlands where he also taught Science from 1997 to 2003. Mr. Hutzler is a graduate of Iowa State University (BS in Science, Biology) and Michigan State University (MA in K-12 Educational Administration). Mr. Hutzler 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, ASCD, International Society for Technology in Education, The Educator’s PLN, and the Nebraska Coaches Association. Locally, Mr. Hutzler has served as a Kids in Training leader for the First Free Church. Mr. Hutzler was recognized as the 2011 NSASSP Region I Assistant Principal of the Year. Mr. Ryan Ruhl, Principal at Norris High School, states: “He brings enthusiasm and positive energy to his job every day, as is evident in his interactions with students, staff, and the public. Charlie’s leadership has made a notable difference in the incorporation of collaborative technology in the work he does. An example of Charlie’s leadership excellence is through the use of a digital walk-through observation forms he developed.” Brenda Tracy, Norris Middle School Assistant Principal, notes, “Charlie has the commitment and intensity of effort necessary to successfully maintain instructional focus for diverse student needs. In short, Charlie has proven to be an effective, self-motivated administrator and leader who has a positive impact in the high school.” Mary Schlieder, a special education teacher at Norris High School, states: “I have served on our building level School Community Intervention Program with Charlie for five years now. His compassion for adolescents is evident whether a student is struggling with drugs or alcohol, a difficult family situation, or a mental illness. Charlie has led our team in developing practical solutions for complex problems as he works to guide troubled youth through stormy times in their lives.” I

NASES Spring April 19-20





Grand Island Northwest Superintendent Bill Mowinkel Named 2011 Nebraska Superintendent of the Year



r. Bill Mowinkel, Superintendent of Grand Island Northwest Public Schools, has been named the 2011 Nebraska Superintendent of the Year. Mowinkel was named in July at the Nebraska Council of School Administrators Administrators’ Days Conference and formally recognized and honored at the November Nebraska Association of School Administrators/Nebraska Association of School Boards State Education Conference. Mowinkel will also represent Nebraska in the National Superintendent of the Year Program, which is sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) in February 2012. Bill Mowinkel has been an Administrator since 1981. He has served as the Principal/Superintendent at District #38 in Hall County, Osmond Community School’s Superintendent before joining Grand Island Northwest in 2001. Keith Ostermeier, Board President at Grand Island Northwest Public Schools states: “Mr. Mowinkel has demonstrated strong leadership and commitment to the

district in guiding the district through state legislated school district mergers and funding changes. He skillfully guided the difficult process of merging a high school district with four K-8 elementary districts to create one K-12 district. This change was difficult for many patrons to accept. Mr. Mowinkel encouraged open communication with patrons, school building faculty and staff to facilitate the transition to one school district. … His service and involvement extends beyond the school district. Mr. Mowinkel is the leader of a local 4-H club, which gives him another opportunity to have positive impact on a younger person’s life.” Doyle Denny, former Principal, states: “He recognizes the importance of every person on his staff and allows them the freedom and provides the resources to best benefit the students of the district while being a good steward of the district taxpayer dollars. … I am most marveled at the relationship he built with the students; they affectionately call him ‘Mr. Mo’.” Dr. Chris Stogdill, Principal at Stanton states: “One of Mr. Mowinkel’s greatest strengths lies in his gift of support for the next generation of administrators. Five Osmond staff members have pursued advanced degrees and are now administrators. It is Mr. Mowinkel’s belief in giving back that has supported and inspired these future educators and administrators during the long journey toward success.” I

Left to right: Amanda Jochum, Melanie Olson holding Logan Olson, John Olson (standing in back), Mary Jo Mowinkel, Bill Mowinkel, Brandon Mowinkel, Shelly Mowinkel Front Row: Mia Olson, Casey Olson, Addisyn Mowinkel, Calyn Mowinkel Not Pictured: Matt Jochum, Austin, Jochum, and Zephyr Mowinkel 14



NASA Longevity Awards 30 Years Margene Beatty – ESU 16 Craig Kautz – Hastings Public Schools Thomas McMahon – Howells Public Schools 25 Years Robert Uhing – ESU 1 David Ludwig – ESU 2 Frederick Helmink – Fairbury Public Schools Kyle McGowan – Crete Public Schools Lyle Halley – Mitchell Public Schools William Kuester – Nebr. Unified 1 20 Years John Grinde – Cozad Public Schools Randall Marymee – Dodge Public Schools Phyllis Uchtman – Westside Community Schools Susan Evanich – Westside Community Schools Kirk Russell – Doniphan-Trumbull Public Schools Stephen Joel – Lincoln Public Schools

Keith Leckron – Elkhorn Public Schools Brad Buller – Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Schools Kevin Riley – Gretna Public Schools Bradley Best – Seward Public Schools Donald Johnson – Fort Calhoun Community Schools 15 Years Norman Ronell – ESU 7 Lana Sides – Banner County Public Schools Jerry Phillips – David City Public Schools James Koontz – East Butler Public Schools Caroline Winchester – Chadron Public Schools Evan Wieseman – Shickley Public Schools Amy Shane – O’Neill Public Schools Carl Dietz – Ogallala Public Schools Thomas Christie – Lincoln Public Schools Charles Isom – Superior Public Schools Renee Hyde – Papillion-LaVista Public Schools Alois Meier – Deshler Public Schools

NSASSSP Longevity Awards 25 Years Ken Kujath – Broken Bow High School Tim Hoffman – Magnet Career Center – Omaha

Jack Waite – Deshler High School Ron Nickel – Cross County Community Schools Kevin Riggert – Elkhorn Ridge Middle School

20 Years Kent McLellan – ESU 13 Nancy Johnston – Millard Public Schools Michael Troxel – Hershey Public Schools Harry Grimminger – Millard West High School Douglas Jensen – Grand Island Senior High School Daniel Hadden – Ogallala High School Eldon Hubbard – Gering High School

15 Years Lindley Schlueter – Exeter-Milligan Public Schools Dan Parks – Lewiston Consolidated Schools Kipp Petersen – Horizon Middle School Russell Flamig – Hartington High School Jim Kent – Dundy County High School Carl Ashman – Minden High School

NAESP Longevity Awards 25 Years Gale Hamilton – Fremont Middle School 20 Years Tim Hamilton – Boone Central Schools Russ Reckewey – Kahoa Elementary School – Lincoln

15 Years Stephanie Petersen – Laurel-Concord Elementary Betty Desaire – Wasmer Elementary – Grand Island Michelle Suarez – Everett Elementary – Lincoln Susan Braun – Rousseau Elementary – Lincoln Steven Robb – Elementary at Bennet Lisa Wood – LaVista West Elementary





Welcome New Active Members! NCSA is pleased to welcome the following first-time members to our association Erin Ackerson: Elba Public Schools, Elba Linda Anderson: Buffalo Elementary School, North Platte Scott Axt: Morrill High School, Morrill Dani Beerbohm: Gerald Otte Blair Middle School, Blair Mark Bejot: Wakefield Community Schools, Wakefield Grace Benson: Cardinal Elementary School, South Sioux City Shawn Biltoft: Elementary School at Brainard, East Butler Matt Blomenkamp: Millard North High School, Millard Greg Boettger: Bellevue Public Schools, Bellevue Steven Bristol: North Loup Scotia Public Schools, Scotia Ryan Broshar: Westgate Elementary School, Westside Mike Brownawell: Adams Middle School, North Platte Kris Burling: Grand Island Public Schools, Grand Island Kevin Buxton: Bertrand Public Schools, Bertrand Jason Cafferty: Raymond A Watson Elementary School, Hastings Sandi Carrington-Robertson: Pyrtle Elementary School, Lincoln Dwayne Chism: Lemay Elementary School, Bellevue Connie Coltrane: Omaha Public Schools, Omaha Jenny Connelly: Hawthorne Elementary School, Lincoln Kirk Crawley: Custer Elementary School, Broken Bow Jim Crilly: Madison Senior High School, Madison Andy Cronin: Lyons-Decatur Northeast Schools, Lyons Pam DePorte: Omaha Public Schools, Omaha Kathleen Dering: Beattie Elementary School, Lincoln Duane Dohmen: Dorchester Public Schools, Dorchester Dennis Dubry: Bayard Elementary School, Bayard Michelle Egr: Schuyler Community Schools, Schuyler Jason Farwell: Birchcrest Elementary School, Bellevue Chelsea Feusner: Hall Elementary School, North Platte Terri Fiorelli: Kimball Public Schools, Kimball Nicole Fox: Leonard Lawrence Elementary School, Bellevue Deb Frison: Burke High School, Omaha Lydia Gabriel: Westside Community Schools, Westside Angie Gibreal: Morrill Public Schools, Morrill Vernon Golladay: Auburn High School, Auburn Eric Grandgenett: Millard North Middle School, Millard Kyle Gunderson: Hampton High School, Hampton Pam Hale: Norwood Park Elementary School, Lincoln Laurie Hanna: Bellevue Public Schools, Bellevue Nicole Hardwick: Loomis Public Schools, Loomis Stacie Hardy: UmonHonNation Public Schools, Macy Frank Harwood: Bellevue Public Schools, Bellevue Amy Haynes: Columbus Middle School, Columbus Tracy Heilman: South Sioux City Community Schools, South Sioux City Melissa Herrmann: Kearney Senior High School, Kearney Jami Holbein-Swanson: Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln Tammy Holcomb: Centura Secondary School, Cairo Carrie Holz: Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools, Ashland Derek Ippensen: Shickley Public Schools, Shickley Andy Irwin: Fairbury Jr-Sr High School, Fairbury Laura Jackson: Fort Crook Elementary School, Bellevue Kristi Jergensen: Lexington Public Schools, Lexington Kami Jessop: Papillion-LaVista Public Schools, Papillion Heath Johnson: Banner County Public Schools, Banner County Darin Johnson: Platteview Central Junior High School, Springfield Amber Johnson: Fairview Elementary School, Bellevue Calvin Jones: UmonHonNation Public Schools, Macy Darin Kelberlau: Fremont Public Schools, Fremont Amy Kelly: Morton Elementary School, Hastings Jeff Kenton: Sandy Creek Elementary School, Sandy Creek Chad Kenworthy: Mitchell Public Schools, Mitchell Rusty Kluender: Bloomfield Community Schools, Bloomfield Michelle Klug: Millard South High School, Millard Kevin Kraus: Logan View Public Schools, Logan View Laura Kroll: Exeter-Milligan Public Schools, Milligan Amy Kroll: Auburn Public Schools, Auburn



Pat Lane: Chase County Elementary School, Chase County Sherise Loeffelbein: Palmer Elementary School, Palmer Jacci Lucas: Betz Elementary School, Bellevue Jerry Mack: Chadron Senior High School, Chadron Dave Marron: District 1-R, Grand Island Mark McClanahan: McPherson County High School, McPherson County Briana McLeod-Larsen: Picotte Elementary School, Omaha Delanie McMillan: School District 145-Waverly, Waverly Brad McMillan: Waverly Middle School, Waverly Dustin Mitchell: Sutherland Public Schools, Sutherland Shannon Mitchell: Arnold Elementary School, Lincoln Jessica Moore: ESU #9, Hastings Patrick Moore: Bruning-Davenport Unified School District, Davenport Greg Morrow: Grand Island Senior High School, Grand Island Montessa Munoz: Lincoln Elementary School, Hastings Julie Myers: Morton Elementary School, Lexington Lisa Myles: ESU #13, Scottsbluff, Therese Nelson: Bennington Elementary School, Bennington Carla Noerrlinger: Omaha Public Schools, Omaha Angie O’Hanlon: Papillion-LaVista Senior High School, Papillion Byron Olsen: Bellevue Public Schools, Bellevue Brooke O’Neill: Hastings Middle School, Hastings Angie Ossian: Franklin Elementary School, Holdrege Andy Parizek: Ralston Middle School, Ralston Adam Patrick: Elgin Public Schools, Elgin Tom Perlinski: Bayard Public Schools, Bayard Jeanna Pestel: Belleaire Elementary School, Bellevue Jill Pickinpaugh: Wayne Community Schools, Wayne Peggy Pruter: Hayes Center Public Schools, Hayes Center Brian Regelin: Cozad Middle School, Cozad Mary Reiman: Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln Steve Retzlaff: Stolley Park Elementary School, Grand Island Traci Rezac: Ogallala Middle School, Ogallala Michelle Rezek: Evelyn Hamlow Elementary School, Waverly Maryann Ricketts: Westside High School, Westside Tom Ridder: Howells Public Schools, Howells Ellen Ridolfi: Thomas Elementary School, Gretna Bob Ripp: Lexington Public Schools, Lexington Cyndi Rotter-Hansen: Battle Creek Public Schools, Battle Creek Neal Rusher: Hastings Middle School, Hastings Jeff Rust: Saratoga Elementary School, Lincoln Julee Sauer: Bellevue Public Schools, Bellevue Cindy Schroetlin: West Boyd Schools, West Boyd Cathy Shelton: Holdrege Public Schools, Holdrege Elaine Simpson: McPhee Elementary School, Lincoln Fred Skretta: North Star High School, Lincoln Patricia Smith: Southwest Public Schools, Bartley Jeff Smith: Litchfield Public Schools, Litchfield Randy Snell: Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln Jason Sullivan: Sandoz Elementary School, Lexington Craig Taylor: Nebraska City Middle School, Nebraska City Paul Tedesco: ESU #11, Holdrege Ryun Theobald: Sterling Public Schools, Sterling Tammy Tillman: Bayard Public Schools, Bayard Darren Tobey: Southern Valley Schools, Oxford Lawrence Tunks: Alcott Elementary School, Hastings Russ Uhing: Lincoln High School, Lincoln Jess Underwood: Arcadia Public Schools, Arcadia Tammy Voisin: Papillion-LaVista Public Schools, Papillion Jeremy Weber: Peter Sarpy Elementary School, Bellevue Kraig Weyrich: Gering Public Schools, Gering Justin Wilkins: Arnold Elementary School, Lincoln Bert Wright: Bluffs Middle School, Scottsbluff Chad Zavala: Wake Robin Elementary School, Bellevue Adam Zellmer: Laurel-Concord Public Schools, Laurel


Activating the Will to Achieve BY JOHN BAYLOR, Founder and President of John Baylor Test Prep


Class C2 High School principal told me that fewer than 10 percent of his seniors that year were headed to a four-year college, down from more than 30 percent just a few years earlier. Since November I’ve spoken at three high schools where educators described prevalent student apathy. More than a decade of working closely with high schools has convinced me that more motivated students are the catalyst to improved academic outcomes. We can give many reasons why students are not successful: poor economic situations, rough home life, laziness, social technology, drugs, and alcohol. We as educators can overcome these challenges by increasing the capacity of our staffs to Activate the Will to Achieve in ALL STUDENTS. But how? Here’s a partial list of ideas used effectively by many JBTP school partners. Communicate that graduation from a two- or four-year college is the expectation. With high school graduates enduring about half the annual income and about twice the unemployment rate of college grads, the message should resonate. A recent Georgetown study put the net present value of a four-year college education at $1 million. Speak in one voice as a school about how to gain admission to better colleges at lower costs. Colleges are primarily looking for the Big Three: grades, scores, and one extra-curricular skill. Many disengaged students are unaware of the true future cost of showing up without the homework done or entering senior year without having taken an ACT. Would 7th graders—and their parents—be more motivated if they knew the quantifiable impact of college and how to lessen the cost? Would ninth graders work harder if they all knew in August that grades now affected the cost of college? Start by sharing information with your staff; then involve parents. We must educate the parents. They want the best for their kids. They just often don’t have the ‘know how.’ JBTP can help (Education Quest is another great resource). Teaching the power of college and the means to attain it inexpensively is the seed to increased student motivation. Reinforce the message throughout the school. Hang banners with the ACT and scholarship results of the last five senior classes. Prominently display the pennants from the colleges attended by last year’s senior class. Fill display cases with photos of recent graduates thanking former teachers and celebrating their current college experience. List the seniors’ colleges on a huge banner in the lobby each May, in a full-page ad in the local paper, and in the graduation program. Using the Clearinghouse, track and publicize four-, five-, and six-year college graduation rates for past and future senior classes.

Encourage four-year college-bound students to take the ACT twice junior year and twice in the fall of senior year. Use football and basketball half-times to provide college admissions messages—hand out awards for impressive GPA and ACT increases, clarify upcoming application and ACT registration deadlines. And just as athletic coaches push athletes into summer camps—English, math, science, history, and art teachers can advocate for affordable summer enrichment programs in their fields as well. Champions are made during the off-season. Your counseling office can be the drum major for creating this college-bound echo chamber, leading the effort to educate staff on the basics of college admissions and financial aid, on affordable summer enrichment programs, and on key dates and deadlines. Using students as camera operators and editors, counselors might star in and post short videos on college admissions subjects. All schools also are welcome to use our 19-minute speech on How to Get Into the Best College at the Lowest Cost (for Nebraska students) found for free on just click on For Students and then JBTP Public Vignettes. Feel free to email this link to all your parents and show it at freshman orientation, P-T conferences—wherever and however you think it can amplify the message. Finally, Nebraska is one of the best states in the country for low-income students seeking to graduate from college. Our colleges are already less expensive than those in most other states, and we have very generous need-based scholarships, including Susie Buffett, Goodrich, and College Bound Nebraska. UNL is about $16,000 a year (Univ. of Illinois costs about $30,000 for instate students), and the Susie Buffett scholarship cuts the cost in half. While banging the drum for college graduation, teachers can also help spread the word with their lower income students that college in this state is not just for the affluent. Nebraska enjoys comparatively high scores and outcomes. How do we improve upon this strong foundation? Develop strong relationships with your students and families. Make the curriculum relevant for the students. Simplify, clarify, and communicate the simple rules of college entrance and financial aid. Create a culture of excellence within your school. Celebrate success. Better academic and testing outcomes are the products of a more motivated school. Creating a college-bound culture can become self-fulfilling. Activate the will to achieve and your school will see discipline and attendance issues decline, while your scores and academic success will jump. I




TRENDS IN EDUCATIO N Infusing Social Media…(continued from page 8) a ‘backchannel’ offering informal insights and fresh thoughts that can truly enhance one’s experience of a conference. Those connections through have also been meaningful for us personally, not just professionally. Many of us Nebraskans are among the legions of Big Red faithful on game days. If you just search and refresh the hashtag #huskers while you're viewing the game or follow @huskers, you can get awesome in-game updates and stats. Any sports fan will find that most of your favorite college and pro teams have an official Twitter feed that offers real-time updates and commentary for fans who don't want to wait for tomorrow's headlines. Think before you tweet! Before venturing out on Twitter, it is important to consider good social media etiquette and to remain vigilant about that. We have all heard the horror stories about regrettable tweets from foolish politicians or sulking pro athletes who used Twitter inappropriately or to malign or disparage others. It’s not the medium, it’s the message! Basically what it comes down to is having decent judgment and remembering that what you post is a reflection of you as well as the position, the profession, and the district you represent. Twitter has come under some criticism by some in the mainline media users for those sorts of silly or stupid online behaviors committed by some. In our opinion, it doesn't negate the professional value and personal connections which can be built through Twitter. And, if anything, it implies that, as educators, we ought to

have the good sense to leverage this tool in a positive way as a means of modeling social media literacy and communications etiquette for our staffs and students. For more helpful advice on the medium, check out In conclusion, if you just begin to explore the connections Twitter and other social media might offer you and your district, you'll probably find you're inclined to adopt and access these tools frequently. But you don't have to take our word for it; Mike and Dan with NCSA are on Twitter (@NCSAMike, @NCSADan), as is Governor Dave @governor_heineman. As many have pointed out, the vast accessibility of Internet-based information and connections for work and leisure mean that we reside in a ‘global village.’ The implications are that Nebraska students are not competing merely with one another in a class, a town, or a county for future jobs and prosperity. They are competing on a global scale. If you are interested in more info on this subject, tweet up the authors @jskretta, @coreydahlevent, and @YorkDukePower. Note: this article was created through a shared document via Google apps as a Google doc between colleagues across three districts. You can ‘virtually’ do the same in your setting! I

Bring your Leadership Team to the NASSP Conference based on the renowned Breaking Ranks Framework

Improving Student Performance Presenting strategies that build leadership capacity, enhance school culture, and improve student performance Learn about the implications of the Common Core State Standards and other topical issues from respected educational practitioners. Set team goals in advance using our Conference Planning Guide and leave with a specific work plan to implement at your school. The conference is ideal for principals, assistant principals, teacher leaders, and superintendents. 2012 Official Conference Sponsors:




Survey Summary: Issues Faced by Schools BY DR. MIKE DULANEY, Executive Director; and DR. DAN ERNST, Associate Executive Director




he 102nd Legislature, 2nd Session will convene Wednesday, January 4, 2012. Once again we can predict that there will be challenges and issues before the Legislature that will directly relate to education and school districts. The sixty-day session in and of itself, places limitations on the Legislature and what can be accomplished. School districts, boards of educations, and administrators have a real understanding of the complicated economic times and conditions in our state. We are pleased to learn of increased positive signs that suggest economic recovery is underway, yet remain fully aware of the difficult decisions before schools in the months to come. As we approach and prepare for the 2012 Legislative Session, NCSA provided school superintendents and business officials the opportunity to share information regarding the impact of the school finance formula and reduced state aid appropriations for school districts and ESUs. We want to share some of the summary comments to provide our readers with a realistic view of the issues faced by Nebraska school districts: • The district had to wait on essential purchases and the hiring of a much-needed reading/ELL teacher. Budget limits keep us from staying current with technology and software, which makes our students not as competitive in this global society. Our compensation package increase was the smallest in at least 12 years. • The rural schools with an ag-based tax base need more money to work with without asking for more “land” taxes. • In preparing for the “cliff” effect we RIFed 2.5 positions for the 2010-11 year that led to a reduction in curriculum. • For this year we were able to hold off making any staffing cuts however that came at a cost that can be seen through delayed maintenance and holding off vehicle upgrades. Without some changes we will have issues that sooner or later are unavoidable. • The budget growth limitations are more of a concern for the 2011-2012 school year. Also, since we no longer receive state aid, there are concerns that the formula will not adjust quickly enough when property valuations cease to increase.

• As a small school we do not have any room to reduce any further. We hold our breath every time our buses go out. They are safe, but they are getting to the point they are not worth putting any more money into them. We need a new roof but it is delayed at this time. • The district has reduced the cash reserve significantly. • The loss of 90 percent of our state aid was the hardest thing to adjust to. We are having to adjust to the lack of cash flow as we virtually have no state aid each month compared to past years. The illustrations provided are a mere representation of the complex issues that must be addressed by school districts. There are a number of factors, such as budget growth limitations, spending authority, levy limits, valuation changes, that all have a fiscal impact on a school district. Information provided by schools allows us to believe that they are diligently working to provide the best education possible within the parameters set forth via legislative action. We applaud schools for their due diligence in determining how best to allocate available resources and understand that there is great time and energy spent in responsible fiscal planning at the local school district level. It is our hope that as economic conditions improve, opportunities will be taken to provide greater fiscal stability and flexibility for schools in order to meet the needs of all students in our public schools. I

National Convention Dates AASA February 16-18, 2012 Houston NASSP March 8-11, 2012 Tampa, FL NAESP March 22-24, 2012 Seattle, WA




CALENDA R OF EVENTS January 11 11 12 14 18 20 21 25 26 28 31 31

NASA Region I NASA Region IV NASES Region V NAESP Region II NASES Region I NASES Region II Emerging Administrators NSASSP Region II NCSA Executive Board Emerging Administrators NASES Region III NSASSP Region V

5:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 8:15 a.m. 5:00 p.m. 9:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 5:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m.

Ameritas ESU #10 Community Center Indian Creek Country Club ESU #6 Lincoln Central Office NCSA Bel Aire Banquet Hall NCSA NCSA TJ’s Valentino’s

Lincoln Kearney Bridgeport Elkhorn Milford Lincoln Lincoln Omaha Lincoln Lincoln Norfolk Ogallala

NSASSP Region IV NASA Region V NSASSP Region I NASES Region II Labor Relations NASA Executive Board NASES Legislative Conf. NAESP Region II NAESP Executive Board NSASSP Region II

2:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. (MT) 7:05 p.m. 8:30 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m.

Kneale Admin Bldg Westside Events Center Lincoln Stars Hockey Fremont Central Office Younes Conf. Center Younes Conf. Center Cornhusker Hotel Brix at Village Point Ainsworth Comm. Schools PLV High School

Grand Island Alliance Lincoln Fremont Kearney Kearney Lincoln Omaha Ainsworth Papillion

Technology Boot Camp NSASSP Region III NASES Region II NASA Region IV NAESP Region III NAESP Region I NSASSP Region I NAESP Region V NSASSP Region V Technology Boot Camp NASA Region III Technology Boot Camp Technology Boot Camp Technology Boot Camp NASES Region III NASES Region V

8:30 a.m. 2:00 p.m. 8:30 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m.

ESU #6 NECC ESU #3 ESU #10 Lifelong Learning Center Seward Country Club Seward Country Club WNCC WNCC ESU #13 Lifelong Learning Center ESU #10 ESU #3 Lifelong Learning Center TJ’s Community Center

Milford Norfolk LaVista Kearney Norfolk Seward Seward Sidney Sidney Scottsbluff Norfolk Kearney La Vista Norfolk Norfolk Bridgeport

NDE - Data Conference NASA Region V NSASSP Executive Board NAESP Region IV NASA Region I NASES Spring Conference NSASSP Region I NAESP Region II NAESP Region III NSASSP Region III NSASSP Region II NASBO Golf Tournament NASBO State Conference

8:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. (MT) 4:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m.

Younes Conf. Center Quality Inn – Convention Center TBD TBD Hillcrest Country Club Embassy Suites Evening with Friends Lo Sole Mio Norfolk Country Club Norfolk Country Club Bel Aire Banquet Hall Dodge Park Golf Course Embassy Suites Old Mkt

Kearney Ogallala Lincoln Hastings Lincoln Lincoln Milligan Omaha Norfolk Norfolk Omaha Council Bluffs Omaha

February 1 1 3 10 6-7 6 16-17 22 24 24

March 1 7 11 13 14 21 21 27 27 27 28 28 29 30 30 30

April 2-3 3 3 17 18 19-20 25 25 25 25 25 25 26-27



Gold Sponsorships ADT

DLR Group

Bob Wynn 8719 S. 135th Street, Ste. 300 Omaha, NE 68138 402-935-5470

Pat Phelan, Whitney Wombacher 400 Essex Court Omaha, NE 68114 402-393-4100


Engaging Technologies

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

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

Blackboard Jeff Enoch 4000 Westchase Blvd. Suite 190 Raleigh, NC 27607 919-841-0175

Dustin Frank 6157 S. 178th Street Omaha, NE 68135 402-677-6366

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

Learning Together Alexandra Lemke 5509 B W. Friendly Ave., Ste 201 Greensboro, NC 27409 866-921-0000

Silver Sponsorships Awards Unlimited Larry King 1935 O St., Lincoln, NE 68510 402-474-0815 D.A. Davidson & Co. Dan Smith 1111 N. 102nd Ct., Ste 300 Omaha, NE 68114 402-392-7986

Humanex Ventures Katie Shanahan 2900 S. 70th Street, Park On, Suite 100 Lincoln, NE 58506 402-486-1102

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

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

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

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

Wells Fargo Jenni Christiansen 1248 O Street Lincoln, NE 68508 402-434-6188

Bronze Sponsorships

Jostens Don Bartholomew 309 S. 8th St., Broken Bow, NE 68822 308-872-5055

Benchmark 4 Excellence Rick Imig 1411 Rodeo Bend, Dickinson, TX 77539 281-910-0113

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

Educatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Virtual Mentor Woody Ziegler 2206 Rd. 20, Waco, NE 68460 402-362-8663

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

*0 *)ǝ/ #1 /* ' 1 4*0*!Ũ /*  +*.$/ # &.  ''. -"*  .&/*+  +*.$/Ʒ . -1$ ' /. 4*0 .) # &. $) 4*0- *!Ũ ) . ) $(" . $- /'4 /* 4*0- )& *0)/ Ɵ . 0- '4 ) ' /-*)$''4Ɔ * /# - Ɩ. )* -0.#$)" /* /# )&Ɔ ) ($)$(' / #)*'*"4 - .*0- . - - ,0$-  /* $(+' ( )/ *($)/$) /# .4./ (Ɔ ''Ƈ '$& *- ./*+ 4 ) /'& 2$/#   ''. -"* )& - /*4 /* ' -) *0/ *0 .&/*+  +*.$/ . -1$ Ɔ

Jenni Christiansen Business Banking Relationship Manager 402-434-6188 © 2011 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. 127237 03/11


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NCSA Today, Winter 2012  

NCSA Today, Winter 2012

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NCSA Today, Winter 2012

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