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Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Daily Nonpareil


MR. PERFECT Out of many, only one has perfect middle-school attendance Scott Stewart

Attendance is important for student success, which is why it’s important to the Council Bluffs Community School District. The district’s target is for students to attend school at least 95 percent of the time – allowing for perhaps eight or nine absences in a year, which would cover weeklong bout of flu or a couple days to extend a family vacation. Adam Dreismeier, however, takes attendance a bit more seriously. The Kirn Middle School eighthgrader is the only student at the secondary level with perfect attendance. Several students in the elementary grades have perfect attendance, district spokeswoman Diane Ostrowski said. But the district places a premium

on attendance in the upper grades as students become more likely to miss class, more responsible for transportation and more responsible for the consequences of having unexecused absences. Jenny Barnett, the executive director of student and family services for the school district, said that graduation coaches at the middle and high schools have pushed attendance for several years, but this is the first year Council Bluffs has had district-wide attendance goals. “It’s extremely important because you don’t learn if you’re not in the classroom,” she said. “Good attendance also sets up good habits for future careers.” Promoting good attendance habits also has a ATTENDANCE/See Page 2F

Staff photo/Joe Shearer

Kirn Middle School eighth grade student Adam Dreismeier is the only student at the secondary level with perfect attendance.


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Faces of Education

2F Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Daily Nonpareil

THE GARDEN GAL LC’s Flynn relishes garden maintenance duties at Titan Hill Intermediate Tim Johnson

“It’s really fun. They pay me to play in the dirt.” Janet Flynn, maintenance supervisor at Titan Hill Intermediate School, enjoys having responsibility for the school’s garden, or outdoor classroom. “I can’t wait to start the garden,” she said in April. “We’re getting kind of a late start on planting and stuff. We’re afraid to put anything in too soon, because it’s so unpredictable.” The garden area is behind the school building, with a tree-covered hill just across the fence. From the school, visitors enter through an archway with a small roof. Just past that on the right is “Music and Motion,” a small wooden stage where fine arts performances are given. “They go out there and sing and have plays – do skits,” Flynn said. Roses of all colors line the fence in “Mike’s Garden,” a flower garden planted in memory of her brother with a picnic table in the grassy area in the middle. The vegetable garden has six raised beds in boxes for different kinds of vegetables. Last year, vegetables included tomatoes, peppers, onions, strawberries, cucumbers, carrots and eggplant, Flynn said.

‘I can’t wait to start the garden. We’re getting kind of a late start on planting and stuff. We’re afraid to put anything in too soon, because it’s so unpredictable.’ – Janet Flynn, maintenance supervisor Titan Hill Intermediate School A wooden “Climb and Crawl” structure provides exercise opportunities. The oval footpath, which passes several benches, then curves back toward the school. A bed near the school is used for a butterfly garden, which is popular with students, Flynn said. “We’ve got certain plants in there that attract butterflies,” she said. Students go to the garden for lessons about nature, science, weather and other topics, as well as to help with its care, Flynn said. “They do come out and help plant, and they do help pick where to put things,” she said. Then, the main tasks are watering the plants and pulling weeds, Flynn said. Some students come out during recess or after school to help. “A lot of the Student Ambassadors do it during the day,” she said. During the summer, children who go to Lewis Central Lucky Children help on certain days, she said. Pesticides are only used on flowers – not vegetables, Flynn said. They have also applied deer repellent to the flowers. “They were eating our new roses,” she said. “We have rabbits out here, too, but they never seem to bother the garden.” Flynn is planning to add some new features to the garden this year. She wants to install a pond with multi-tiered waterfall, an arbor and more picnic tables. “I’ve never put in a pond before, so this will be kind of new – and that’s what makes life interesting,” she said. The school will use a kit, she thinks, which will have a fiberglass floor to contain the water. It will take some landscaping to make it fit in with its surroundings near the entrance to the garden. She doubts whether they will put any fish in the pond. Flynn, who also has responsibility for overseeing building maintenance, enjoys gardening. “It’s really fun,” she said. “I have a garden at home. I definitely have a garden every year.” After five years at the Post Office, Flynn started out at Lewis Central Community Schools six years ago as a bus driver and still fills in sometimes. She came to Titan Hill two years ago. She starts her shift at 5:30 a.m. and wraps up at 2 p.m. – unless she is driving a route, in which case she goes until 4:30 or 4:45. She also helps with snow removal in the winter and works on building improvements like painting during summer break. And, even though she could be asked to clean up vomit at a moment’s notice, she likes her job. “It’s wonderful,” she said. “The students are awesome.”

Staff photos/Tim Johnson

Above Janet Flynn, maintenance supervisor at Titan Hill Intermediate School, shows containers in which marigolds, basil, pumpkins and lettuce have been planted for the school garden. Once the seedlings have developed, they will be transplanted outside. At right, a small covered structure marks the entrance to the garden at Titan Hill. Below, a path winds its way past flower beds, boxed garden beds, a crawl and climb structure, benches and other features in the Titan Hill garden.

CBCSD official: Perfect attendance ‘is a little bit of an anomaly’ ATTENDANCE/From Page 1F snowball effect because when a students’ friends are at school, it is easier to encourage attendance. Of course, most student’s can’t be like Adam and not miss a single day for multiple years. “We do recognize perfect attendance because it is a little bit of an anomaly,” Barnett said. “There are always good reasons you can miss school.” For example, if a student is ill with something contagious, the district would prefer they stay home and not cause their classmates to get sick and miss school as well. Family events like a wedding might also cause a child to miss class. Greg Dreismeier said his son even missed “a couple days” in elementary school for illness – disproving the otherwise reasonable conjecture that Adam was born coated with antiseptic Teflon. But on the whole, he said his son has had remarkably good health – and good timing the few times he had been sick. “It’s pretty amazing,” he said. Barnett said it’s great to be

Staff photo/Joe Shearer

Students at Rue Elementary School raise their hands in participation at a recent event. Student attendance is a top priority for the Council Bluffs Community School District. able to recognize a student like Adam who has gone above and beyond the expectation. “Perfect attendance is really an amazing indication that you are that devoted and want to

go to school every single day,” Barnett said. At Kirn, Adam has been earned “attendance bucks” he can spend on prizes, such as candy. By not missing class, he

has earned the maximum possible spending power on prizes. “Having perfect attendance is rewarded,” he said. During the annual Celebrate CB parade, students with

perfect attendance are invited to participate in a float – yet another perk of having perfect attendance. But for Adam, being diligent about being in his seat when the bell rings is just an expectation he lives up to each day. “I’ve never even thought about skipping class,” Adam said. “I’m not friends with anybody who does.” Adam said he has noticed some students who linger for a while in the bathroom before returning to class, so he does suspect cutting class does indeed happen at Kirn. But on the whole he said students want to attend class, and he said some of his classmates are motivated by the incentives offered by the school. “I honestly think it is really nice for the school to do that,” he said. The school has achieved high attendance totals – Barnett said both Wilson and Kirn middle schools have been more than 95 percent each month, except a slight tip to 94 percent during the height of flu season – and Adam said most of the misses are attributed to sickness and family trips. Attendance is just part of

his school’s culture, he said. “I believe it really helps a person because they don’t have to make up any work,” Adam said. To be fair, Adam has missed class once or twice before on school-related activities, such as for a leadership academy at Kirn. But the district’s focus is on unexcused absences, especially those for reasons that aren’t appropriate or would be categorized as truancy. For those who do miss, Adam said his teachers often have students who are caught up work with the student upon his or her return the next day. Doing so helps the students who were in class reinforce the lesson, as teaching is often one of the best ways to deeply learn material. Terri Dreismeier, Adam’s mother, said she and her husband are good role models about making attendance at work a priority. So honoring those commitments has become an expectation, just like Adam maintaining his gold honor roll status. “It’s a value in our house,” she said. “It helps with being an employable, responsible citizen.”

Faces of Education

The Daily Nonpareil


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Doll headed to prestigious West Point Military Academy II Memorial. Doll helped pass out luncheons to veterans and assisted those who used wheelchairs. He has two brothers, George, 20, a student at the University of South Dakota and Charles, 13, who attends school at St. Albert. His younger brother also participated in the honor flight program. In October 2013, Charles assisted with the Korean War Western Iowa Honor Flight. When he’s not at school – even after 17 years – Doll still finds time to play with those plastic green army men. How-

Kirby Kaufman

Gus Doll spent his childhood playing with G.I. Joe action figures, plastic green army men and collecting military books. “I’ve just always been interested in the military since I was young,” Doll said. The 17-year-old’s love of the military eventually grew into an appreciation for military history. Now he wants to help others. He wants to help his country. Doll, a graduating senior from St. Albert High School, will leave Council Bluffs to attend basic training on July 2 at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. He made a five-year commitment to the academy. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of that,” he said. “When I was a freshman in high school, I really started thinking about the military academy.” The academy provides educational, physical and military programs. Upon graduating, academy members are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army. Doll said he is looking forward to the academy’s military history programs. His favorite period in history is the Napoleonic Wars. The teenager described himself as a “Napoleon sympathizer.” He said many of Napoleon Bonaparte’s tactics are still taught at the West Point academy. His grandfather served as a cook on a ship in the U.S. Navy. Doll began asking other people about their military stories, which helped that love grow. “You really have to find these stories out through the veteran’s families,” he said. “I felt that it was always a calling to me. It’s something I wanted to be a part of. I always felt the urge to lead.” Doll’s wants to become a


ever, now he spends his free time with what he calls the “grown up version” of those toys. His collection includes many figures from the Napoleonic Wars. Doll said he is drawn to the uniforms and various historical figures from that time period. “It’s a weird hobby,” Doll said while laughing. He jokingly said that maybe his toys will become valuable some day. But to be safe, he said, he’ll have his parents safely store them while he is away at the military academy.

Staff photo/Joe Shearer

St. Albert senior Gus Doll stands near the schools’ veterans memorial April 24. Doll was accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. military officer and then an infantry lieutenant. “I want to be the best officer that I can be,” he said. “It’s having confidence in yourself, but not be afraid to listen to your subordinates, your superiors and get a whole other perspective.” When he visited West Point, Doll admired the area’s rocky hills. The locals told Doll that he and his family had arrived during the dull, dreary season, but he still enjoyed the campus and his surroundings. Outside of his military interests, Doll said his studies at St. Albert and his family especially helped him grow into the person he is today. “My parents have always

sports. He was a runner-up in the Mr. St. Albert contest. He also lettered in varsity track and cross country. Doll was a member of the state champion cross country team in 2011 and 2012. He qualified for state track as a junior and an alternate – Gus Doll, as a sophosenior more. St. Albert High School Doll’s parents are Scott and Elizabeth. They own a he gave them his best. “They push you in the right company called Doll Distribdirection and give you the con- uting, which helps volunteer fidence to lead,” he said. “It’s time and donated items to vetabout doing the better thing. erans. Doll participated in the You know it’s the right thing World War II Western Iowa to do.” As a student at St. Albert, Honor Flight to Washington Doll participated in numerous D.C. Jeff Ballenger, a family extra-curricular activities such friend, asked him to particias student council, National pate in the event, which helps Honors Society, theater and veterans visit the World War instilled that since we were very little,” he said. “(And) St. Albert helps those traits grow.” Doll said his teachers pushed him hard and expected the best from him. In return,

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Faces of Education

4F Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Daily Nonpareil

It used to be that you had to get every Caldecott and Newberry (award-winning book) that came out. Our kids are much more scrupulous in their selections. – Lisa Schwartz, teacher-librarian Council Bluffs Community School District

Staff photo/Joe Shearer

Above, Lisa Schwartz is an elementary teacher-librarian for the Council Bluffs Community Schools. She said libraries, particularly at the elementary level, may see their roles change, they may be renamed media centers and they may no longer be the last refuge of peace and quiet. Below, Schwartz talks to an elementary school class recently.

A WHOLE NEW WORLD Teacher-librarian Schwartz has seen school libraries evolve Scott Stewart

School libraries aren’t the same as when Lisa Schwartz attended school. The elementary teacher-librarian for the Council Bluffs Community Schools said school libraries have to be more than a place where students go to check out books. School libraries have to adapt to the Internet age the same as classrooms, businesses and public libraries out in the community. Schwartz said libraries must be a welcoming environment for children, offering activities in addition to more traditional book and technology resources. Libraries, particularly at the elementary level, may see their roles change, they may be renamed media centers and they may no longer be the last refuge of peace and quiet. But whatever their function, Schwartz said they must remain the hub of the school building, the heart from which student learning flows through the veins of the classrooms and the rest of the school. Schwartz has been in education for 31 years, including as a classroom teacher for regular and special education at the elementary and middle school levels. She got involved in libraries about seven years ago, building on that foundation as a teacher to be a resource for other educators as well as students. She is a certified teacherlibrarian, holding a teaching license as well as formal training as a librarian. She serves the district’s elementary schools, which also have library clerks working at each building to shelve books, check out resources and otherwise staff the centers. “That role is totally different from what school librarians were in the past,” she said. It’s important to remember that Google has only been around for 15 years, even if the search engine and digital services provider is fully integrated into our daily lives, from searching to email to smartphones, so much so that “google” has become a verb. “It seems like we’ve had Google forever,” she said. In a rapidly evolving world, libraries offer a place for learning about the newest gadgets and resources while discovering timeless classics and learning the skills central to generations of workers being successful, artists being inspired and thinkers learning novel concepts. But libraries are in the process of changing. In the Council Bluffs Community School District, school buildings have been going through renovations, with the school libraries included in the makeovers, Schwartz said. In an effort to be more accessible, the libraries in the district no longer use the Dewey Decimal System. Instead, books are sorted like a bookstore into genres, making it easier to discover titles students might not otherwise find. Modern libraries must balance their budgets against what space is available and what patrons want to access, as well as what teachers require for projects and ensuring materials are aligned with curriculum in the school library world. For example, the library may ask whether it makes more sense to buy copies of a popular title like “Divergent” in physical form, with multiple copies on the shelves for years, or as e-books that may not persist as long. Cost and other factors weigh into such decisions. Encyclopedias are one casualty of the battle for resources. Digital resources – think Encarta not Wikipedia – are more affordable and easier to keep updated. Rue Elementary School’s encyclopedia set is the last one left in the elementary schools, and it’s slated for retirement this summer. “For $1,000, we can get a lot more of what kids want to read and still have access

to databases,” she said. When it comes to selecting materials, Schwartz said some of the old standards don’t fit with what students are reading. “It used to be that you had to get every Caldecott and Newberry (award-winning book) that came out,” she said. “Our kids are much more scrupulous in their selections.” Schwartz is responsible for maintaining the collections at the elementary school libraries. She said she conducted a purge of out-of-date and questionable material when she started the position, and she is involved in resolving concerns from parents and the community. In making choices, she asks whether books are the sort of titles children want to read. That’s why she includes graphic novels, because students will pick them up, and making them available might help foster a love of the written word that would aid them as lifelong learners – or just improve their quality of life. “I want to inspire a love of reading in kids,” she said. “If kids don’t have a choice in what they read, that is not going to inspire them.” Beyond traditional resources, libraries are a natural home for creative spaces, too, including offering rooms for craft projects or as a home for a 3-D printer. Designated gathering spaces like the teen area of the Council Bluffs Public Library are wonderful resources, she said, because it provides space for social interaction as well as learning. “We like our libraries to be places where other things go on,” Schwartz said. Looking toward the future, she said digital resources will continue to grow in importance, especially as the district’s 1-to-1 initiative, which will issue each student a Chromebook, will start to cover third-graders through high-school seniors beginning next school year, she said. The goal will be to do more teaching on how to use Internet devices to access quality resources. That might mean some e-books being offered to elementary age children, Schwartz said, although some titles might be restricted for the same reason that certain physical books don’t make the shelves. One thing that won’t change about school libraries, though, is they will always be a home for physical books. Bound paper and ink is something students can touch, Schwartz said, which helps those learning the mechanics of reading like when to turn a page. So as much as school libraries change, at their core – as a center for learning both inside and outside of class projects – school libraries, with their stacks of books tailored to students, will stay much the same.

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Faces of Education

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Staff photo/Joe Shearer

Ashley Kruse, Iowa Western Community College’s director of recruiting stands outside the student center.

Kruse guides IWCC students to smooth start Scott Stewart


upper administration. For example, she is involved in discussions over policies that would impact new students, such as placement test score requirements and late registration procedures, which she then helps communicate to the department, who in turn get the information to students. Kruse started out at Iowa Western as a recruiter herself before being named recruiting coordinator in 2009. The organizational hierarchy was different then, and the department was gradually restructured after a vice president resigned, placing her in her current title as the department’s director. She now oversees the staff and event planning, instead of just the She started at Iowa Western after studying English at Iowa events when she was a coordinator. She is also in charge of international admissions for between 80 and 100 students, including the State University and earning a master’s degree in organizational management from Peru State College in Nebraska. Kruse is a paperwork necessary to request student visas. What she loves about the job is seeing students who would born and raised Council Bluffs native and a graduate of Abraham otherwise not attend college enroll. She said that makes her feel Lincoln High School “I have a passion for education and a passion for Council Bluffs,” “pretty great” about her work. “We believe we have something for everybody here,” she said. she said. “I just think Council Bluffs is doing so much to improve “We do have a lot of high-achieving students who know the value the image and show others how great we are – when we’ve been of dollar.” Aaspecial class for those with injury or paingreat all along.”

A typical day for Ashley Kruse depends on the season. The academic season, that is. Iowa Western Community College’s director of recruiting helps prospective students decide whether they want to attend Iowa Western and, once they decide they do, eases them through the transition so they are ready to be successful on their first day. That means any given day, though, her team is either out at high schools sharing information on Iowa Western or on campus assisting with new student orientation. Kruse is the team captain, directing traffic and making sure the resources are in place to get the job done. “What we do as the recruiting department here is we generate interest in Iowa Western Community College among high school students and try to get them some exposure for what we do,” she said. “I oversee the team that does that.” Kruse organizes visits with high schools, gathers materials to promote the college, works with the marketing department, trains recruiters and makes sure events run successfully. Her focus is more on what happens on campus than the school visits, which are more in the hands of her staff members. “A big part of my job is organizing the on-campus recruiting events,” he said. Iowa Western is in the middle of its fall registration period, which runs April to August. Kruse and her staff are focused on signing up students and preparing them for their first day of classes. “It’s not sales-y,” she said of her role. “It’s getting them here and getting them comfortable and ready for their first day.” Come September, recruiting will resume for the spring semester, followed by registration again from November to January. Praised by Time Magazine, CNN, Dr. OZ, Oprah, & more. Yoga helps to strengthen February and March are the sweet spot for recruiting for the fol“mind over body” A special class for those withone’s injury or pain lowing fall. Praised by Time Magazine, CNN, Dr. OZ, Oprah, & more. power and speeds healing. “We’re building relationships with (students),” she said. “We all injury doesn’t effect the physical body only A special class for thoseTrauma with and injury or pain serve as admissions advisers as well.” but also the emotional/feeling part of us. And when that Thursdays part of us is encouraged to heal, the body heals faster as Recruiters tell prospective students about academics, finances, Praised by Time Magazine, CNN, Dr. OZ, Oprah, & more. Yoga helps to strengthen well. Certain movements promote both healing and BAYLISS PARK from 6:15pm-7:15pm admissions and campus life, but the best way to understand Iowa strengthening ofover our physical one’s “mind body”and non-physical selves. June 6 - E.T. power and speeds healing. Western — which is unusual for having dorms with a stronger Yoga can have long-lasting benefits. Many continue June 13 - Frozen (Sing-A-Long) campus culture than many commuter-oriented community colleges with it for the rest of their lives despite injury or not. It’s beautiful, uplifting, peaceful and much, much more. June 20 - Ender’s Game (PG-13) — is by touring campus. Yoga helps to strengthen “They won’t really know if they would like it here until they ailments respond well to Yoga as long as it is June 27 - Back to the Future one’sMany “mind over body” performed safely and instructed by someone visit,” Kruse said. July 11 - Smurfs 2 knowledgeable about rehabilitation and injury. It’s even power recommended and speeds healing. Kruse oversees a group of 10 to 15 student ambassadors who for seniors and children. July 18 - After Earth (PG-13) provide guided tours twice a day, which is different from the New Decreases Pain1 Certified Provider at: July 25 - The LEGO Movie Certified Provider at: Certifi ed Provider at: Student Orientation and Registration events advertised on signs Decreases Swelling2 August 1 - Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Flex Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine across campus. 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June 8 - Monster’s University Mcphe Gleason Ave. Stress 4 Calms the autonomic system and increases self awareness. between 10 and 30 students how to log in to the student websiteDecreases 5 Increases circulation, oxygenation and endorphins. 5 More movie dates will be added throughout portal, register for classes, obtain advising, order books, explorePromotes Happiness PAYMENT: We accept most insurances. the summer. Check website for updates. financial topics and become familiar with how the college operates.1 Normalizes action potential of painful PAYMENT: 80 nerves. Stimulates endorphin release. Credit card/Cash/Checks. 928 Valley View Drive Discounts forforcurrent patients.(non-thermal). 2 Stimulates histamine, seratonin and nitric oxide fast vasodilation Council Bluffs Parks & Recreation Department “There’s a lot of planning on my part,” she said. Council Bluffs, IA 51503 hardship mitochondria activity toFinancial produce more ATP. discounts available. Kruse acts as a liaison between the recruiting staff – which34 Increases Ask about our package prices! Calms the autonomic system and increases self awareness. includes three recruiters, one career and technical adviser, one5 Increases circulation, oxygenation and endorphins. Tell your patients/family/friends today! Become a fan of CB Parks & Rec on Facebook! 80 international adviser and one college receptionist – and the college’s

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Trauma and injury doesn’t effect the physical body only but also the emotional/feeling part of us. And when that part of us is encouraged to heal, the body heals faster as well. Certain movements promote both healing and strengthening of our physical and non-physical selves. Yoga can have long-lasting benefits. Many continue with it for the rest of their lives despite injury or not. It’s beautiful, uplifting, peaceful and much, much more.

Many ailments respond well to Yoga as long as it is performed safely and instructed by someone knowledgeable about rehabilitation and injury. It’s even recommended for seniors and children.

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Thank you, Educators! 80

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The University of Northern Iowa College of Education celebrates the UNI alumni educators who make a difference every day. Please join us in thanking these outstanding educators and all educators who educate, serve and lead Iowa’s classrooms.

Ryan Davis (1999) Associate Principal, VintonShellsburg High School 2013-2014 Iowa’s Assistant Principal of the Year “Teachers build a foundation of knowledge from which many innovations come. New ideas, inventions and methodology come about because of what is learned in school and the inquisitive nature that it invokes. Teachers open doors to the future, and then give students the confidence and skills to go through and succeed on the other side.”

Allysen Lovstuen (2001, 2006)

Jodi Osthus (1992, 1997)

Matt Harding (2000, 2010)

Lisa Chizek (1985, 2012)

Math Teacher, Decorah High School

Math Teacher, Meredith Middle School (Des Moines)

Physics Teacher, Iowa City West High School

Science Teacher, North Tama Elementary School (Traer)

Yager Exemplary Teaching Award

2013 Excellence in Science Teaching Award from the Iowa Academy of Science

2013 Excellence in Science Teaching Award from the Iowa Academy of Science

Math finalist for the 2013-14 Iowa Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Yager Exemplary Teaching Award “Teaching is important because it plays a major role in shaping the future for us all. The curiosity, determination, compassion and skills students develop in school will have an impact for the rest of their lives.”

Troy D. Schwemm (1993, 2010)

Kim Tierney (2003)

Science Teacher, Southeast Polk High School (Pleasant Hill)

Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year

2013 Excellence in Science Teaching Award from the Iowa Academy of Science “Teaching is important because it is one of the few professions that allows you the opportunity to help others realize their dreams.”

Principal, Denver Elementary

“As educators, we have an extraordinary responsibility within one of the most challenging and gratifying careers available. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to fulfill my passion as an educator in Iowa, while positively impacting others along the way!”

“Teachers must encourage and equip students to become problem solvers in a changing world. It is vital for any teacher to communicate ideas and reasoning and create students who can communicate and reason for themselves.”

Mason Kuhn (Ed.D. student) Fourth-grade teacher with the Waverly-Shell Rock School District Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching “When teaching science it is important to remember that the information in the textbooks was discovered when real scientists went on a magical journey of questioning and inquiry. The experience of science does not occur if students start with the textbook and are denied a similar journey.”

“I want to live in a scientifically literate society. Teaching high school physics gives me a great opportunity to make that happen in my community.”

“I believe teaching is important because children need good teachers to challenge them and help them grow into the people they can be.”

The College of Education also recognizes the following UNI alumni for their achievements in the field of education: Marcia Powell (2005) Science Teacher, West Delaware High School (Manchester) Science finalist for the 2013-14 Iowa Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Don Betts (1982) Director, Carrie Lane High School (Charles City) Lifetime Achievement Award from the Iowa Association of Alternative Education

Matthew Stier (2002) Science Teacher, City High School (Iowa City) 2013 Excellence in Science Teaching Award from the Iowa Academy of Science

Rachelle Brown (2000) Teacher, Expo High School (Waterloo) Lifetime Achievement Award from the Iowa Association of Alternative Education

We are proud of you and your accomplishments! Go Panthers!

Faces of Education

6F Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Daily Nonpareil

Staff photos/ Joe Shearer

Above and below, Iowa School for the Deaf instructor and Academic Team coach Bryce Hendricks worked hard himself to overcome disadvantages that come from being a deaf individual in a hearing world. He spent most of his youth in Montana, the last tour stop of his military father.


Iowa School for the Deaf instructor leads Academic Team to success TIM ROHWER

Bring it on! That’s what Bryce Hendricks said when asked to become the new coach of a successful program, even though he never had much experience with this. But, others were reluctant to take it over after the previous coach decided to step aside. “Bring it on,” he said. Hendricks is the new Academic Team coach at Iowa School for the Deaf, and he and his squad can train as hard as any team on the athletic field. “It does involve a lot of time and involvement,” Hendricks said. “You need to practice.” That practice is for a chance to compete in the Academic Bowl, which is open to teams of high school students currently enrolled in recognized schools or programs for deaf and hard of hearing students nationwide. This tournament for the elite teams from various regions is held annually in Washington, D.C. and sponsored by Gallaudet University with the goal of promoting academic competition among school teams and to foster academic excellence and achievement among deaf and hard of hearing students nationwide. It basically involves answering questions from different categories the quickest. “They throw out a question and the first to hit the button gets to write down the answer,” Hendricks said. He was asked to replace Peggy Scherling, who took the ISD teams to the nationals in 2012 and 2013. “She was very successful,” Hendricks said. He’s doing his best to live up to Scherling’s record. “I give the team materials to study, as well as to motivate them, to have them practice on their own. If they’re not willing to give me 100 percent, they are not on my team. I want students who want to be the best they can. If they work hard in school, they will work hard for me.” Hendricks worked hard himself to overcome disadvantages that come from being a deaf individual in a hearing world. He spent most of his youth in Montana, the last tour stop of his military father. “I grew up using oral methods of education. I had to learn everything on my own. In the seventh grade, I started attending the Montana School for the Deaf in Great Falls. That experience began my journey as a deaf individual and helped create who I am today. From that point on, I started using sign as my preferred method of communication.” After graduating from that school, Hendricks attended the University of Montana for one year before going on a two-year mission for his church. Returning to college, he received a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Brigham Young University, followed later with a master’s degree in deaf education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He first came to ISD in 2003 working as a dormitory supervisor for four years. In 2007, he transferred to work as a itinerant teacher serving deaf and hard of hearing students in southwest Iowa. Budget cuts eliminated the position two years later. He then taught one

year in the Omaha Public School system before moving to Colorado to teach for a year. Hendricks returned to ISD in the fall of 2013 as a full-time instructor, along with more duties. “They gave me a contract and the opporunity to be the coach. It was interesting for me.”

‘I give the team materials to study, as well as to motivate them, to have them practice on their own. If they’re not willing to give me 100 percent, they are not on my team. I want students who want to be the best they can. If they work hard in school, they will work hard for me.’ – Bryce Hendricks, Coach, ISD Academic Team Not only was being the school’s academic coach a new experience for him, but Hendricks also had a young team dealing with this competition for the first time. The squad competed in regional events, but didn’t qualify for the national tournament. “It’s been a great experience,” Hendricks said. “There is a lot of time involved but a great challenge.” “With just 110 students on campus, we need each of them to fill special niches with different extracurricular activities,” said Cindie Angeroth, ISD community outreach coordinator. “Students on Bryce’s team are probably already on every sports team and leadership club we offer, as well as being high academic achievers. So the fact that Bryce can select key members of his team and keep them motivated even when they may feel they don’t have a moment to spare, says a lot

about his ability to coach them. “We are fortunate that he looks for opportunities to compete with other teams from schools for the deaf. Being able to meet other students from across the country who are deaf or hard of hearing also keeps our students motivated,” she said.


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Sunday, May 18, 2014 7F

Top 10% of the senior class earned an average score of 30.25 on the ACT

The Class of 2014 earned over $2 million in collegiate scholarships

“Saint Albert has pushed me to my true potential as a person and as a student in my field of study. My teachers taught me to work hard for what I want to achieve in life. I would not be where I am today if I did not attend Saint Albert,”

100% graduation rate with 94% of graduates pursuing higher education. Members of the Class of 2014 will attend: o Briar Cliff University

o Capitol School o Central College o Creighton University o Iowa State University o Iowa Western Community College o Kansas State o Lindenwood University o Marquette University o Midland University o Morningside College o Nebraska Methodist College o The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts o Purdue University o Simpson College o Texas Christian University o United States Military

Courtney Fostvedt (’14), attending The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts in the fall.

Academy West Point

o University of Iowa o University of Nebraska – Lincoln o University of Nebraska – Omaha o University of Northern Iowa

Cradle to College,

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Strong Spirituality 712-329-9000

Commitment to Community


Enrichment Programs

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Be A Part

Tradition of

Serving students six weeks old to 12th grade, Saint Albert provides an outstanding education that develops the whole person: intellectually, spiritually, morally, and physically. Saint Albert offers a caring, dedicated faculty; smaller class sizes; more individualized attention for each student; and a safe, disciplined environment. During 2013-14 school year, our students excelled in the classroom, on stage, in the community, in our parishes, and on the field. Enhanced course offerings and innovative scheduling. The 2013-14 school year brings many schedule enhancements and additional course offerings designed to provide greater variety, challenge, and college credit options for our students. Top ACT scores. Saint Albert’s scores improved in every content area, beat the national averages, surpassed the state averages, and earned the highest scores in the Council Bluffs area with the top 10% of our senior class earning an average score of 30.25. Winner of the Traveling Challenge Cup, an honor awarded to schools

in each of the state’s four classifications (1A, 2A, 3A and 4A) with the best combined score for academics, athletics, music, speech and debate. Saint Albert captured the crystal cup for 1A and $1,750 to be used for academic enhancement. Of Saint Albert’s 790 points, 475 of those points awarded for academic achievement and 315 for extracurricular activities. Integration of Saint Albert 2.0, an unprecedented technological environment at Saint Albert for our students, our teachers, and our parents, made possible by generous benefactor Mrs. Jacqueline Johnson. With Saint Albert 2.0, each student uses his or her own technology device to access learning materials, create finished work, communication with other students and teachers, and collaborate on group projects. 2nd Annual Community Involvement Day, a day where our students and faculty provide 1,500 hours of service to our supporting parishes, local community organizations, and the elderly in over 20 different locations in Southwest Iowa.

Introduction of the School of Faith, a program designed to give our faculty the opportunity to deepen their own faith by providing the theological foundation upon which we can build a stronger Catholic culture in our school. Each monthly session is comprised of three segments: Instruction; Sharing & Community Building; and Prayer that allow our faculty and administrators to discuss, to think, to reflect, and to pray. Kick-off of the Luke 10 Program, an innovative program that teaches our students how to help one another in bullying situations by referencing the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 10 and the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP). New Spiritual & Service Retreat Opportunities. Students in grades 10-12th could apply to participate in the sophomore retreat “Who is My Brother?” and in the KAIROS retreat. The retreats gave our students the opportunity to learn about and experience the broader Church and to facilitate a better understanding of the needs of others.

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of the

Excellence For the spring semester, our students continued to excel in academics, to grow our faith, and to serve our community. The 2013-14 school year has offered many enhancements and additional course offerings designed to provide even greater variety, challenge, and college credit options for our students. Saint Albert expanded many course offerings, including religion, fine arts, advanced placement, and online courses. In addition to on-campus college credit courses, Saint Albert offers Online Advanced Placement courses sponsored by the University of Iowa and the Belin-Blank Foundation to high school students in a variety of subjects including A.P. American Government, and A.P. Psychology, among others. These courses provide the flexibility of online access with the possibility of college credit while fulfilling Saint Albert High School credit requirements. Providing rigorous courses and creating a college-like atmosphere allows Saint Albert to prepare its students for collegiate success. Traditionally, Saint Albert has a 99% graduation rate

with 96% of students pursuing higher education. The Classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014 earned over $4 million in collegiate scholarships and the top 10% of these classes had an average ACT score of 30.

Our school, our parishes, and our families work together to provide an outstanding Christ-centered education and to prepare our students for an active life in the Church. Saint Albert welcomes students of all faiths – 20% of our student body and 15% of our staff & faculty are not Catholic. Saint Albert recognizes that families of other religious denominations are equally committed to their own beliefs and respects them for those beliefs. All of our students grow in their faith through their participation in Catholic ministries, in their religion courses, in their community service projects, and in their annual religious retreats. They learn the ministries of Mass and may participate as lectors, Eucharistic ministers, altar servers, musicians, cantors, greeters and Campus ministers.

Saint Albert also helps students better their education by offering over 25 enrichment and extracurricular activities, including Science Bowl, Speech Contests, Spanish Club, Catholic Daughters, History Day, Battle of the Books, and Leadership Programs. From K-12th grade, Saint Albert offers enrichment opportunities in every subject matter to engage students in heart, mind and body. At Saint Albert Catholic Schools, our students benefit from being part of a dynamic, faith-filled community where the love of learning and strong spirituality extends beyond the classroom to extracurricular activities, community service, and athletics. We are currently accepting applications for the 2014-15 year, and we invite you to learn more about the achievements of our students and our school by taking a tour of our cradle to college campus. Call (712) 329-9000 to invest in your child’s education today!

Cradle to College, all on one Campus


Thank you to our student photographers Joe Faust, Carley Fields, and John Theulen for the wonderful photos.

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10F Sunday, May 18, 2014

Saint Albert provides... Better learning environment • “Saint Albert is very focused on developing the whole person: spiritually, intellectually, physically, and socially. They encouraged a breadth and depth of education, in the classroom and out, that has been a major asset in my life.” Nathan Fischer (’03), Material and Process Engineer

Excellent education

• “Saint Albert prepares me for higher education by offering many courses that require critical thinking and problem solving as well as AP courses that challenge us more. Our education also offers service opportunities that prepare us for challenges outside of the classroom and beyond our books.” Matthew (‘15), Current 11th grader at Saint Albert

Smaller class sizes and more individualized attention

“At Saint Albert, with small class sizes and the great teachers we have, they are really dedicated to making sure each student understands the lessons.” Peter Jacobsen (’13), Undergraduate student at Southeast Missouri State University

Religious education

• “When we go to Mass, I believe more deeply in Jesus and feel him grow in my heart. During our Luke 10 activities, I feel myself getting closer to God.” Brooklyn (’22), Current 4th grader at Saint Albert

Better preparation for college

• “Saint Albert is a strong institution with a powerful religious and educational environment. Saint Albert gave me the tools necessary to be successful at the undergraduate and graduate level.” Jessica Goeser (’05), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

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Faces of Education

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, May 18, 2014


THE WORDSMITH A.L.’s Harte-Maxwell finds strength in reading, writing poetry Scott Stewart

Patricia Harte-Maxwell loves the feeling of writing verse. The Abraham Linocoln High School student won a Gold Key award through the Belin-Blank Center’s Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan Visual Arts Program’s Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for the Iowa region through the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. The award is the highest level of achievement at the regional level of the contest, earning the chance to compete at the national level through the program. Harte-Maxwell was recognized April 5 at a ceremony in Iowa City. She won for a collection of four poems: “Insect-ually,” “June,” “Lotus Throne” and “Nympth Ethereal.” She went up against more than 250 writing entries in this year’s competition. While primarily a poet, she said she has worked on novels in the past. But she said she finds the length cumbersome. With poetry, she can focus on a single idea, explore it and move on to the next spark. “I’m just used to saying this one thing really quickly,” she said. That doesn’t necessarily mean her poetry is exceptionally short or she cannot explore a more complex idea with some depth and subtly. She just doesn’t want to wait for a plot twist or character development to take place in narrative fiction to make her next point, she said. Harte-Maxwell said she began writing poetry in seventh grade, although she had dabbled in writing short fiction before then. She said she prefers writing poetry. “I just had a great teacher,” she said. “She made poetry a big part of our curriculum.” She is working on two collections of poetry right now, including a collection of portraits that use different concepts like an ink blot that are morphed into representations of something else. For example, consider the opening lines of her poem “Insect-ually” and observe how it paints a portrait using the characteristics of various insects:

Infected needle Mosquito hair flowing down your beetle neck, Spiderwebs holding together this fractured gemstone skull, Pieces glinting the fossils of ancient incent thought fluttering – Glossy arachnids itching across these tattooed cheekbones, Harte-Maxwell said she writes almost every day, although her work isn’t always up to her standards. “I think I used to write more than I do now,” she said. “But I think I write better now.” The Abraham Lincoln junior hopes to be an English teacher or a pharmacist after she attends college. She said science – particularly biology and chemistry – is her strongest subject, not English, which is why she’s torn about what she wants to do in the future. For now, though, she plans to get ready for her senior year and work on finishing and possibly marketing two collections: a set of portraits, which was described earlier, and a set of poems revolving around memories, which she said was sparked by learning about memory in her psychology class. “I’ve worked some toward publishing,” Harte-Maxwell said. “If somebody likes it, that’s good; if I can make

Staff photos/John Schreier

money, that’s good.” She currently shares her work with some of her friends at school, but many of her readers are members of anonymous online writers groups. She said having feedback through those channels has been helpful, and she encouraged anyone just setting out to explore those opportunities. “One thing that helped me to (write my poems) was sharing it online anonymously,” she said. Entering contests like the one through the Belin-Blank Center also can provide motivation to continue working on her craft, she said, and she encouraged others to submit their work. “Sometimes, you’ll be surprised by it,” she said. “That will give them confidence.” Her biggest motivation is that writing helps her to be a happier person who is more in touch with her feelings, Harte-Maxwell said. Finishing a poem offers a sense of accomplishment, and facing the empty sheet of paper gives her resolve. She said she usually sits down to write with a plan, but if she’s having a bad day, she will free write and allow what naturally comes forward to inform her understanding. “I’ll realize that’s how I actually feel,” she said. “Writing helps me emotionally – it is very therapeutic.” Her favorite poet is Kathleen Millay, the sister of the Pulitzer Prize winning Edna St. Vincent Millay. Kathleen Millay wrote in the 1920s. Harte-Maxwell said she is particularly fond of Kathleen Millay’s collection “The Evergreen Tree.”

Top and above, Patricia Harte-Maxwell, a student at Abraham Lincoln High School, won a Golden Key award for her collection of poetry.

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Faces of Education

12F Sunday, May 18, 2014


The Daily Nonpareil

Johnson brings gleeful excitement to Iowa Western choral groups

Scott Stewart

Music runs deep in Lucas Johnson’s veins. Growing up in Wellman, a town of about 1,400, his mom, Donna, has sung in a barbershop group for 38 years and his father, Barry, played in a community area band. “I grew up in a musical family,” he said. While his sister Emily ended up going into business with their family and now sings with their mom’s Sweet Adelines group, Johnson wanted to go into music professionally. Now the director of vocal music at Iowa Western Community College, Johnson attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids after graduating high school, studying music education for kindergarten through 12th grade. He studied in New York City for a semester, spending time with the Atlantic Theater Co. “The real world certainly hit a bit,” he said. Johnson had student-taught while at Coe, but the prospect of teaching on his own was frightening. Eventually, he found a job in Atlantic teaching high school vocal music. “It’s not until you have that first job that you understand how wonderful and how absolutely terrifying it is to have your classroom.” While in Atlantic, he found his element. He organized show choir contests and choral showcases while launching a madrigals group, performing music from the Renaissance and Baroque eras. In the summers, he attended the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, earning a master’s in music education. “I had such an amazing experience in Atlantic,” he said. “It was sort of the perfect job to figure out what the heck I was doing.” In May 2012, Johnson started looking for a new job

Staff photo/Joe Shearer

In addition to his work at the school, Lucas Johnson, director of vocal music at Iowa Western Community College, spends a lot of time organizing events, including large vocal music festivals. where he could continue to grow. Iowa Western’s former vocal director brought a group to Atlantic for a show and mentioned she was retiring. He said he thought the position was not necessarily what he was looking for, but he checked it out anyway. Turns out he was wrong. Growing up in Wellman, Johnson and his sister were raised doing 4-H because their grandfather had been active including as a livestock judge. But neither extended the fam-

ily’s agricultural legacy, and family has been a huge influence on who Johnson is today. Teaching at a community college, however, gave Johnson the opportunity to honor his grandfather in another way. His grandfather had taught at Lakeland Community College in Illinois, he said. That college was founded the same year – 1967 – as Iowa Western. He learned more about the position, and he fell in love with the program housed in the Arts Center of the Council Bluffs

campus. “It was cool to know he was passing me the torch for teaching at the community college,” he said. “It’s been a really, really wonderful college experience.” Johnson said he loves that Iowa Western draws many stu-

certs,” he said. Beyond the classroom, Johnson said he spends a lot of time organizing events, including large vocal music festivals bringing students in from across southwestern Iowa, and performances for his five groups: concert choir, show choir, jazz choir, men’s ensemble and women’s ensemble. “I was just used to doing lots of this to help the school,” he said. “With our five choirs, we have plenty of different groups to go around.” In addition to the college students, Johnson will regularly go work with high-schoolers. The Midwest has different pockets for show choirs, and the metropolitan area is one of those centers of excellence, with strong programs at Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Lewis Central, he said. “They all have excellent show choirs,” he said. “Think ‘Glee’ times like 12.” Johnson said he doesn’t care if students are singing pop tunes or classical compositions – so long as they are singing, he said he pretty much loves all kinds of music. “I’m not an elitist in terms of literature,” he said. “In my mind, if I can get them singing, then great.”

dents from poorer families who may not always have the financial support but have a drive to succeed. He appreciates that many students attending Iowa Western might otherwise have not attended college at all. “We get a lot of kids who have a whole lot of passion for singing and learning,” he said. “It’s very rewarding.” Some students come for only a semester; others for three years. Some are music education majors, but many just want an elective focused on singing. Some matriculate to other colleges; others graduate from Iowa Western with associate degrees. Regardless of who walked in the door, Johnson said he is committed to helping them improve. When a student joins concert choir with little background in music, he said he is amazed to see how far they ultimately grow. He said it’s one thing to teach a subject like math where students show growth on pencil-and-paper exams, but he said there’s something special about observing the improvement of students in a vocal music course. “We can physically and literally see the performance growth when we have our con-

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Faces of Education

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Staff photo/Joe Shearer

The Abraham Lincoln High School Dugout Club includes, from left, Pat McDermott, Brett Snead, James Larsen, Dana Smith, Tina Smith and Becky Nickerson. Not pictured, Shelley Ragland.

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN Dugout Club helps Lynx baseball team excel

Mike Brownlee

When the Abraham Lincoln High School baseball team needs a little help, the Dugout Club is there. “We work closely with coach (James) Larsen and the school administration. The club is designed to provide supplementary funds – provide for whatever’s not covered by the budget – and to support the baseball team however we can,” said Patrick McDermott, president of the club, whose son Ryan is a junior pitcher and outfielder for the Lynx. “Coach tells us he sees value in something, the board votes on whether to buy an item and the Dugout Club works to raise money for that,” he continued. The club, made up of about six parents and program well-wishers, raises money for the team through a variety of venues: first and foremost, the “Snack Shack” concession stand, where spectators, coaches and players alike can get hot dogs, nachos, candy and more during games.

“A lot of these guys have their own foundations. We write letters to them and provided you have a 501(c)3 and proper paperwork, you qualify,” the group’s president said. “We’re wheeling and dealing, always trying to raise money.” McDermott brings a solid background in fundraising, having worked with the Omaha Public Power District charity, Boys Town and the Cox Classic golf tournament in the past. “With any athletic program it’s extremely important to have a dedicated group of people there to support the program,” Larsen said. “They give us resources and options we normally wouldn’t have.” One of the biggest supporters of the program is the Madison Avenue Hy-Vee, donated several thousand dollars to pay for the installation of an artificial turf halo and display of the Hy-Vee logo behind homeplate.The halo helps reduce wear and tear behind the plate. Current short-term projects for the Dugout Club include an effort to put a new

‘With any athletic program it’s extremely important to have a dedicated group of people there to support the program. They give us resources and options we normally wouldn’t have.’ – James Larsen, Coach Abraham Lincoln High School

mostly have children who are juniors and seniors. “We’ll be done in a couple of years,” the mother said. Lastly, Smith noted, the club hopes to see more people stop by Abraham Lincoln

Field for a ballgame. “Not a lot of people come out to games,” she said. “The public might not know when all of our games are. We hope that’ll change, we hope to get more fans to the park.”

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The group sells advertising banners, which hang on the outfield fence promoting a variety of businesses who’ve thrown their support behind the team. “They pay to have the banner up each year, which helps generate consistent funds,” said McDermott. Members Dana Smith and others help organize nights at local restaurants – including Buffalo Wild Wings and Pizza Ranch – where a percentage of profits go toward the baseball program. Smith – whose twin sons Dalton and Beau Ryba, both juniors, have been part of the program since eighth grade – said there are fundraising nights as well, including a Tupperware fundraiser. The group also sells A.L. baseball apparel, helps sell discount cards to area businesses and more. The club is currently selling tickets for a raffle, with the top prize $500 or a 42-inch television. Second prize is a autographed, framed photo of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Third prize is an autographed, framed photo of Yankees outfielder Ichiro. McDermott explained the autographed pictures were donated.

air-conditioning unit in the press box and buy needed field-maintenance equipment – “Something to pull up weeds and smooth the dirt,” McDermott said. The club helped make the latter purchase a reality and, according to Larsen, the program was able to buy equipment better than what would’ve otherwise been budgeted for, thanks to fundraising efforts. “They do great work, not just on the financial side but in organizing projects and events as well,” Larsen said. Long-term goals include installing lights for night games at the field and erecting a covered batting facility. The field currently has batting cages beyond the right field fence McDermott said the goal is to enclose the structure. That kind of work shows the essence of the relationship between the club and the administration. “If we enclosed it, someone would have to pay for heating, cooling, etc.,” McDermott said. “We’ll work closely together as we continue work on this project.” Other goals are designed to ensure the program continues to prosper. Smith noted that more members are needed, as the parents currently involved

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Faces of Education

14F Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Daily Nonpareil

ON THE RUN St. Albert teacher, Kavars, passionate about teaching

are classified as “gifted,” which means a typical classroom will not generally meet the academic or intellectual ability needs of those Michelle Kavars is that teacher who’s students. enthusiastic, passionate and borderline com“It’s a different learning need than a typical pletely weird. kid in the classroom,” Kavars said. That’s why students at St. Albert Catholic Often those needs are dependent on a stuSchools like her so much. They’re drawn to dents age. For example, she said, sometimes her quirkiness and overall positive attitude kindergartners will need to read more chaltoward education. lenging books while other students should try The 40-year-old is the school’s high-ability more difficult math problems. learner coordinator who helps students who This allows students to engage in conversarequire different academic needs or challengtions about literature or problem-solve with ers than others. She also is middle school lanstudents of a similar intellectual level. The guage arts teacher. It’s her fifth year of teachresult can mean students will skip two to ing at St. Albert. three math courses or begin high school Whether it’s slam poetry, readin an advanced math class. ing or writing, Kavars has Those students sometimes something unique to say. have the opportunity to In spring, Kavars has her take classes online, at students write poetry Iowa Western Commuon the sidewalk with nity College or other chalk. advanced placement And there’s course that aren’t Shakespeare. She offered elsewhere. loves him. Don’t The students have get her started on a different attitude Shakespeare. toward learning, “I geek out on Kavars said. Those literature,” she who write for her – Michelle Kavars, said. “You can march often try to get their Teacher around the room while work printed in a magaSt. Albert reading Shakespeare zine or other publication. Catholic Schools so you can feel the iambic “That’s a whole different pentameter. If you walk to the mind set of a student writer beat while you’re reading it, you other than getting an A,” she said. can feel the stressed and unstressed Kavars said her favorite students to syllables.” work with are middle school aged. She enjoys Books dot the ledges around Kavars’ classworking with students who don’t exactly fit room on the left side of the school’s west hallinto the mainstream. way. The walls are covered with inspirational “My favorite kid to work with is the kind of words, her students’ poetry and sometimes kid that doesn’t fit the mold,” she said. pictures of cats. Students who work with her have opportuEven the desks in her classroom promote nities to collaborate and solve problems. Those togetherness. They’re seated toward each students are quick learners and move at a other into points that form a square so stuquicker pace than other students. Students dents can communicate with each other. also have less repetition and want to become But none of it’s surprising, because Kavars independent, Kavars added. says she loves teaching. It’s her passion, her Outside of teaching, Kavars coaches girls love and her joy. grades three through six as part of a national Kavars has taught in the Council Bluffs program called Girls on the Run. metro area since 1996. She taught in the Members spend months training for a 5K Council Bluffs Community School District race. The group has about 30 members. and also served as a substitute teacher. She Kavars said the program is a valuable substituted at almost every school in Council after-school activity for youths because it Bluffs. teaches them to have a better outlook on life Kavars said she spent most of her time and allows them to discuss things that would with struggling readers in middle schools. not typically occur during classroom conversations. As a high-ability learner coordinator, The group’s purpose is to promote a healthy Kavars uses a different teaching style for stubody image. They discuss self-esteem, positive dents who require other accommodations. attitudes, gossip and other topics. Kavars said “There’s a number of different facets to the it works because it’s all framed through runjob,” she said. ning. Commonly, Kavars handles students who

Kirby Kaufman

‘My favorite kid to work with is the kind of kid that doesn’t fit the mold.’

Staff photos/Joe Shearer

Top, St. Albert’s Michelle Kavars is the school’s high-ability learner coordinator who helps students who require different academic needs or challengers than others. She also is middle school language arts teacher. Above, Kavars, center, works to clean outside the school with middle school students on April 24.

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Faces of Education

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, May 18, 2014

At Lewis Central Middle School, officials are reinforcing good behavior through the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support method.


Staff photo/Joe Shearer

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT LC finds success with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support approach Tim Johnson

Maintaining discipline, sometimes called classroom management, is one of the biggest challenges many teachers face. At Lewis Central Middle School, officials are reinforcing good behavior through the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support method, said Jim Haver, teacher, administrator and team leader. “It is an approach that tries to train students and staff in dealing with day-to-day issues. If you belong to a community, there are issues that are going to come up – and there’s a right way to deal with things and a wrong way to deal with things.” LCMS is still rolling out the system, Haver said. “This is our first year our whole staff is implementing this,” he said. “PBIS teachers spent a year studying and training to train the staff. But right now, our focus is to set and teach expectations that we want our kids to follow in common areas,” such as the halls and lunchroom. The four main points are: • Be respectful • Be responsible • Be prepared • Take the initiative The staff tries to keep the message in front of the students wherever they are, Haver said. “We have posters posted throughout the building,” he said. “We want them to have easy access to the things we want them to do. We don’t ever want it to be a mystery.” More specific guidelines are taught in the classrooms, Haver said. The school holds “seminar time” during homeroom where one of the goals is to teach students the expectations for different areas of the school. But PBIS is big on positive reinforcement. “We want to acknowledge our kids when they’re doing the right things,” he said. Too often, teachers and staff tend to think of discipline in terms of punishing students when they do something bad, Haver said. “We want to switch that mind-set,” he said. “That’s not an easy thing to do in this profession. The thing about this approach is it really depends on data.” When a teacher sees a student doing something positive, they write it on a card, Haver said. The staff tracks cards from teachers, office referrals and negative incidents. “We’ve cut our office referrals by half,” he said. “We’ve seen a big-time change in the atmosphere of this building. Our kitchen staff has been raving about how our discipline has been improving. We don’t have as many incidents where students are fighting (bickering) with each other. Our teachers have really bought in.” When a student saves up several points, he/she can redeem them for a prize, Haver said. There are five levels of prizes, plus a super-duper Titan level. Prizes include everything from candy to having lunch with a favorite teacher to Titan gear or game tickets, among many others. Partnerships with local businesses and student betterment funds help make the rewards possible. “What we really want out of that is the conversation – the teacher talking to the student, patting them on the back” so other students see that there is a positive

Staff photo/John Schreier

Lewis Central Middle School teachers Corrie Wohlers, left, and Jim Haver, team leader for the Positive Behavior Support Intervention program, stand in front of a bulletin board with the Be a Titan expectations their team helped craft.

We’ve cut our office referrals by half. We’ve seen a big-time change in the atmosphere of this building. Our kitchen staff has been raving about how our discipline has been improving. We don’t have as many incidents where students are fighting (bickering) with each other. Our teachers have really bought in.’ – Jim Haver, teacher/administrator/team leader Lewis Central Middle School response when they do something right, he said. Make no mistake: Students are punished when they commit a serious offense, Haver said. “Anything physical, that usually gets a pretty (strong) punishment,” he said. “The district has been very supportive,” Haver said. “Our high school uses the same approach.” Lewis Central High School started using PBIS about five years ago, said Principal Joel Beyenhof, who came after its implementation. It is working “very well” at the high school, he said.

“We’ve seen a significant decline in our negative office referrals for discipline issues,” he said. “I would say we’ve reduced our office referrals roughly two-thirds. “Opposite of that, we’ve seen a significant increase in our positive referrals. A positive referral is actually being very specific about kids doing good things.” When students are affirmed for doing positive things, they know teachers and school officials aren’t just looking for things to criticize, Beyenhof said. That helps build relationships of trust that put interventions in a different light.

Faces of Education

16F Sunday, May 18, 2014

CLUB KIDS Scott Stewart

Making the trip to nationals is the motivation for many high-school marketing students in the Council Bluffs Community School District. Students involved in DECA, an extracurricular club that is aligned with an elective marketing class at Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln high schools, learn how to prepare for a career while sharpening their skills to compete with other students in role-playing and paper-writing contests. DECA used to stand for Distributive Education Clubs of America, but the group dropped the name behind the acronym when it shifted its focus internationally. Now the DECA International Career Development Conference, held this year in Atlanta from May 3 to May 6, draws more than 16,000 marketing students from around the world for competitions and networking. Fifteen of those students traveled from Council Bluffs,

The Daily Nonpareil

DECA teams build character, leadership for AL, TJ high school participants

plan contest agreed. “It’s going to be fun to meet a lot of new people,” Zach Williamson said before the trip. They presented their recommendations on how to boost Creighton University’s attendance at home baseball games at T.D. Ameritrade Park. Williamson said their goal would be to create a family friendly environment that gets children more excited for the sport. Salak said Creighton might look to partner with Youth Emergency Services, giving $100 for every run scored after the seventh inning, and brand itself using the social media hashtag “#cuatameritrade” to earn fan mentions and promote broader engagement. Since their research is finished, before the competition the duo was focused on studying for the written test given to all competitors – something they struggled a bit on at state that makes a big difference. “That is a really big thing for everybody,” Salak said. “If you get a good score on that, you’ll do pretty well.”

Staff photo/Joe Shearer

The Thomas Jefferson High School DECA team, from left, front row, Colton Jensen, Zach Williamson, Alex Salak and Erich Hilske. Back row, Grant Storey, Steven Eidem, Nick Knotek, Steven Ruby and Kennedy Lundberg. Lauryn Kenkel said DECA has helped her learn soft skills beyond just the marketing curriculum and practical lessons from the presentations. “In a team, you learn to work together,” she said. “You learn really good communication skills.” Her classmate Jake Tatta said he drew from his work experience for one of his competitions. He had to pick items to go on sale for the Fourth of July weekend for an event,

and he pulled from his experience working at Fareway to target hot dogs, hamburgers and other items that sold well at his store. Kristy Courter, the DECA teacher at Abraham Lincoln, said the club does more than teach academics. It helps students develop life skills. “DECA is great organization that helps them building their confidence and leadership skills,” Courter said. “It builds characters and leaders.”

RETAINING WALLS Cornerstone • Keystone • Anchor • Timbers • Railroad Ties Natural Stone • Boulders • Custom Colors and Designs

Staff photo/John Schreier

Abraham Lincoln High School DECA students who qualified for nationals this year in Atlanta are, from left: back row, Lexie Bates, Jacob Tatta, Brandon Colpitts; middle row, Paige Wohlers, Allie Moats, Morgan Naberhaus; front row, Kayla Beck, Lauryn Kenkel. with five students from Abraham Lincoln and 10 from Thomas Jefferson qualifying for the national contest. Lewis Central High School doesn’t offer DECA. In addition to those who went to Atlanta, another 10 students from Abraham Lincoln and an 11th student from Thomas Jefferson also took home state awards in Des Moines in February. Students from both schools said the club provides them an opportunity to prepare for the workforce while having fun and learning with their peers. “It’s a marketing business class that prepares you for competitions and future careers,” said Kayla Beck of Abraham Lincoln. For Thomas Jefferson’s Alex Salak, DECA offers is a lot more than just business. Nationals offered a chance to meet many new people and deepen relationships with his classmates. “DECA is a lot of fun,” Salak said. “It’s probably the best club I’ve ever been in.” Salak’s partner for the sports marketing promotional

At Abraham Lincoln, students were focused on practicing for role-play scenarios before nationals. Morgan Naberhaus said those contests start with a topic and you present yourself to a judge. “You just explain what you would do in that situation,” she said. “You are talking to them like they are an employer.” Brandon Colpitts, another Abraham Lincoln student, said the idea is the judge wants to know what you would do as an employee, so it isn’t like a job interview as much as it is a real-life problem on the job. “You’re trying to find the best way to solve a problem,” he said. “It really helps if you want to go into business.” Steven Eiden and Erich Hilske, another team from Thomas Jefferson, spent the past school year coming up with plans to re-brand the Omaha Storm Chasers because of the loss of identity as an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals since the Storm Chasers moved to Werner Park in Papillion, Neb. Their paper, which totals

30 pages, included a survey of ballparks around the metropolitan area. They also worked with a public relations professional at Iowa Western Community College. Among their suggestions are changing the logo to emphasize the Royals affiliation and using “electric blue” and “lightning yellow” as the new team colors. They were planning to bring their project to the Storm Chasers after incorporating feedback from judges at nationals. “We put a lot of time and effort on this,” Eiden said. Deb Goodman, the DECA teacher at Thomas Jefferson, said this was the largest group to travel to nationals from the school in the last several years. “These students took the opportunities that were offered,” she said. “They get to see beyond their own little world that they live in.” Abraham Lincoln student

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Faces of Education

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, May 18, 2014


FACES OF HISTORY: JAMES B. RUE Namesake of elementary School was pioneer of C.B. educational system John Schreier

Trudy Evans is following in the footsteps of her school’s namesake – nearly 150 years later. The principal of James B. Rue Elementary School in Council Bluffs previously held the same post at Washington Elementary. The now-closed school’s name dated

ours is named after an educator.” One of just two Council Bluffs schools named after a local educator – the other being Gerald W. Kirn Middle School, named after a longtime Abraham Lincoln High School principal – Rue Elementary is a fitting tribute to a pioneer of the city’s school system. Fresh out of college in 1853, James Boice Rue, a recent graduate of Centre College

Staff photo/John Schreier

James B. Rue Elementary School, 3326, Sixth Ave., is named after one of the first educators in Council Bluffs. back to at least the 1870s, and its location at the corner of Scott Street and West Washington Ave is just across the street from the city’s first private high school. That building’s founder and the first principal at Washington? None other than James Boice Rue. Most Council Bluffs public schools – Bloomer, Carter Lake, Lewis and Clark, etc. – are named after people who played significant roles in both local and national history. But Evans’ school at 3326 Sixth Ave. is named after an important local figure whose role in Council Bluffs’ educational history has been largely forgotten since Rue first moved to Council Bluffs in 1853. “Probably James B. Rue is the least known of the historical figures our schools are named after,” Evans said. “We’re proud

in Danville, Ky., came to newly renamed Council Bluffs to find a city in transition. Previously named Kanesville, much of the city’s population – and leadership – had moved west with the Mormon migration. The remaining people were forced to rebuild, reincorporating as Council Bluffs in 1853 and starting what was then a prairie village from scratch, including its school system. At the corner of Washington Avenue and Main Street, Rue bought two lots, one for his home and the other for the city’s first private school. In 1854, he married Parthenia Peters, with whom he would have seven children. But in 1858, according to the Historical Society of Pottawattamie County, the state passed a law creating township school districts and the office of county super-


maintained the title of superintendent even after leaving the field of education; he became superintendent of the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Water Works and managed the city’s streetcar system. Rue died in 1887 at the age of 56, and his body was returned to his native Kentucky for burial. Though he hadn’t lived in Council Bluffs for nearly 140 years, Rue’s name – and legacy – quietly live on in a west end school Evans said still maintains its small-school feel. After all, many of the students are now second- and third-generation pupils at the school. Evans’ father and husband also attended the school. “A school’s namesake can be a real source of pride for a community and can honor a legacy they have left in the community,” said Diane Ostrowski, the school district’s chief communications officer. “Having local residents as school namesakes is really pretty special.”

intendent. Rue’s school fell into the county system, which would be overseen by Dexter Bloomer, a prominent banker who became Pottawattamie County’s first superintendent. Though Rue left the city in 1863 to try his hand in the furniture business, he later returned to Council Bluffs, where he would as principal of the city’s first high school. The high school began offering classes in 1868 in a temporary building; the new Council Bluffs High School was dedicated in 1870. With only four students and two teachers in 1871, the school’s first year, even the principal had to teach the limited course offerings available. Rue would soon move on to become principal at Washington School before becoming the county superintendent, where he created Pottawattamie County’s first teacher institute. He once again left Council Bluffs in 1877, this time for good. However, Rue

lewis central schools On May 22nd the Lewis Central Community School District will recognize retirees along with other dedicated staff for their years of service at their year-end celebration banquet.


Kathy Dorsey

Lona Doty

44 Years of Service

35 Years of Service

Kathy Humes

Jan Smyser

31 Years of Service

29 Years of Service

Pam Roberts 25 Years of Service

Jeanna Massman 17 Years of Service

Deb Hill

Marjorie DeBoer

Bill Agan

Larry Sterbick

Sandy Crane

16 Years of Service

12 Years of Service

11 Years of Service

10 Years of Service

9 Years of Service

35 Years of Service Lona Doty

Pamela Ryan

30 Years of Service

Bret Hauxwell is a sharp student. Heralded by teachers and administrators alike, the 14-year-old Wilson Middle School student has always had a knack for excelling in academics. He has his teachers to thank for that. “[The teachers] here are all really supportive and have every student’s back if they need help,” he said. And as an eighth-grade student, Hauxwell is ready to make the jump up to high school, where he will attend Thomas Jefferson. “I’m a little nervous about it,” he said. “But it’s really exciting at the same time.” With a narrower focus on areas of study and the added freedoms that go along with growing up, Hauxwell said it will be like starting a fresh, new chapter in his life.

“Everything about it is going to be newer and bigger,” he said. Aside from his scholarly pursuits, he plans on running for the track and cross country teams. “I’ve been running for few years now and have done a few 5K’s,” he said. “I’m building up my stamina.” As excited as he is to graduate on to the next level of schooling, Hauxwell is enjoying his final moments at Wilson. His life will speed up in high school, so he’s fine with relaxing and hanging around with his pals. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t ready, as Hauxwell is constantly on a quest to gain more knowledge. “I just like to learn new things.”

Joan Goeser

Belinda Jacoby

Charles Skokan

Renee Kybat

Laurie Nielsen

Pamela Roberts

Sue Wattenbarger

Connie Bogardus

Cindy Brockman

Roland Kuster

Heidi White

Ryan Barker Mike Hartenhoff Laurie Thies

Dave Bergman Connie Hecker Alison Toman

Mary Broughton Jennifer Kern Dawn VonMende

Sharon Crawley Nick Nahach

Deborah Blodgett Sharon Knoble Larry Sterbick

Dawn Davis Carol Larsen Lee Toole

Donna Elliff Matthew Petersen

James Haver Rocio SiFuentes

Derek Archer Jess Bond Lori Fehl Amanda Hegg Christine Knust Kim Taylor

Carrie Arnett Amanda Carroll Rebecca Fog Deniece Hendrix Catherine Messerli Corrie Wohlers

Lisa Barnes Karen Dunlop Brett Ford Judy Hoppe Dan O’Conner

25 Years of Service 20 Years of Service 15 Years of Service 10 Years of Service 5 Years of Service

Bob Batt Rachel Emary Misti Groat Vicki Johnson Amanda Stephens

Megan Brayman Lewis Central 23rd & Broadway

Maddie Clark Abraham Lincoln 23rd & Broadway

Dalton Clark Thomas Jefferson 23rd & Broadway

Brent Corum Lewis Central 23rd & Broadway

Aaron DeSantiago Thomas Jefferson 23rd & Broadway

Addy Driver Treynor 23rd & Broadway

Kari Eitmann Treynor 23rd & Broadway

Katia Esparza Thomas Jefferson 23rd & Broadway

Jason Galle Thomas Jefferson 23rd & Broadway

Krystal Hopkins Abraham Lincoln 23rd & Broadway

Aaron Mefferd Iowa Western Community College

23rd & Broadway

Amanda Smith Abraham Lincoln 23rd & Broadway

Payton Whiteaker Abraham Lincoln 23rd & Broadway

Samantha Wimmer Lewis Central 23rd & Broadway

Ashley Bailey Treynor Mall of the Bluffs

Mia Blackman Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Trey Bowman St. Albert Mall of the Bluffs

Kyle Brown Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Brooke Criswell Abraham Lincoln Mall of the Bluffs

Kendra Cross Treynor Mall of the Bluffs

Cody Cunard Heartland Christian Mall of the Bluffs

Drake Curry St. Albert Mall of the Bluffs

Brook DeMarque Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Anna Dieatrick Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Mitchell Forrester Underwood Mall of the Bluffs

Nick Gibbs Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

BreAnna Hanson Treynor Mall of the Bluffs

Devyn Hollinger Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Carey Jacobs Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Jamie Jacobsen Omaha Mercy Mall of the Bluffs

Jordanne Jensen Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Brendan Johnson Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Jordanne Koehler Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Kayla LeDoux Thomas Jefferson Mall of the Bluffs

Shyla Longo Thomas Jefferson Mall of the Bluffs

Alex Meister Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Allie Moats Abraham Lincoln Mall of the Bluffs

Emily Moore Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Lexie Nadler Abraham Lincoln Mall of the Bluffs

Maggie Naughton Glenwood Mall of the Bluffs

Morgan Naughton Glenwood Mall of the Bluffs

Remington Powell Underwood Mall of the Bluffs

Anthony Rea Thomas Jefferson Mall of the Bluffs

Alicia Root Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Thomas Shields Logan-Magnolia Mall of the Bluffs

Brianna Skank Riverside Mall of the Bluffs

Mikaela Stanek Glenwood Mall of the Bluffs

Jake Starnes Underwood Mall of the Bluffs

Alexis Theos Abraham Lincoln Mall of the Bluffs

John Theulen St. Albert Mall of the Bluffs

Walker Thomas Glenwood Mall of the Bluffs

Chelsea Weberg Treynor Mall of the Bluffs

Not Pictured Tony Avalos Thomas Jefferson 23rd & Broadway

Hayley Achenbaugh Treynor Mall of the Bluffs

Jakson Cole Abraham Lincoln Mall of the Bluffs

Ryan Hecker Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Maggie Miller Lewis Central Mall of the Bluffs

Travis Healy Abraham Lincoln Council Bluffs Drugstore

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