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Across North Dakota, teachers and school boards found themselves clashing especially hard this past year. One of the those districts is Williston. Sitting in the middle of the oil boom, Williston is seeing more growth than any other community in North Dakota, with more infrastructure needed, more and more businesses moving to the area, and increasing numbers of students entering into the district. This growth is outpacing the community’s ability to keep up.

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READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY 12 2014 IS MONDAY, MARCH 3

Get ready to grab your hat and read with the Cat in the Hat on Monday, March 3, 2014 for the 17th annual Read Across America Day. The Seussical celebration will kick off a week of reading across the nation as NEA members gather students, parents, and community members together to share their love of reading. It’s never too early to plan your event and NEA’s RAA will be posting tips and resources to help you make your event Seussational. North Dakota United will also be doing some exciting events during Read Across America Day.

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“Sowing seeds of the future” is the goal of the ND United Foundation. As the Foundation enters another decade, it looks forward to expanding its role for education and public service. The Foundation hopes to attract more endowments such as the Bill Oban and Mary Cripps Special Education Scholarships; the Ron and Ann Anstrom Scholarship to assist individual English, math or science instructors; and the Joseph A. Westby Leadership Award, which is designed to assist a member in developing leadership skills.

United Voices is the official publication of North Dakota United, 301 N 4th Street, Bismarck, ND 58501. Postmaster, send address changes to: North Dakota United 301 N 4th Street Bismarck, ND 58501 Armand Tiberio Executive Director/Consulting Editor Linda Harsche Communications Director Kelly Hagen UniServ Director/ Field Communications Specialist Image Printing Design/Publisher ®

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19 NDU DELEGATE ASSEMBLY - APRIL 12, 2014

The 2014 ND United Delegate Assembly will be held at the Seven Seas in Mandan on Saturday, April 12. The Celebration of Excellence, which was usually held during the Instructional Conference, will be on April 11, at the Seven Seas from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. At this event we will honor the 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the Year Aaron Knodel of West Fargo. Fourteen delegates to the National Education Association Representative Assembly will be elected at this Delegate Assembly.

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GATHERING OF THE MINDS

On Jan. 25, 2014, at the Ramada Plaza in Fargo, North Dakota United proudly presents its first-ever Higher Education Conference. This development opportunity is open to any and all higher education professionals. Attendance is free of charge. All faculty and staff of North Dakota’s public universities are welcome to this unique opportunity for professional development, which is designed to teach you more about what it means to be an employee of the University System, your rights as a worker, and responsibilities as part of the system to work alongside your colleagues to provide the best possible experience for students and everyone involved in educating them. Also, check out the Q& A with Interim Chancellor of the North Dakota University System Larry Skogen.

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President’s Post

LET’S ALL PARTICIPATE IN NDU “After climbing a great hill, one

only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” Nelson Mandela.

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o it is in life and in the work we do at North Dakota United. Hello and thank you for your membership in NDU.

By Nick Archuleta NDU President

Like many of you, this time of year causes me to reflect on the year just passed and to look forward to the year ahead. This practice allows me to truly appreciate the many blessings I have received during the past year: new grandchildren, a challenging job, continuing and new friendships, the love of my wife and family among them. It also prompts me to look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the year to come.

NDU leadership cannot do any of this alone. We need your help, your input, and your participation. As I’ve said many times to members across

this great state, NDU is YOU.” That is the idea encompassed in the Nelson Mandela quote with which I opened this column. Though I feel a great sense of accomplishment in what we have done to get North Dakota United up and running, I understand that all of us at NDU still have much to do to fully realize our potential as a transformative force in North Dakota. Looking forward to 2014 and beyond, I see tremendous opportunity for NDU to improve the lives of educators and public employees across the state. We will do this through professional growth opportunities for all our members. We will do this through our continued communication with the public about the high quality and valuable work we do every day. We will do this by providing leadership opportunities for any member who wants to participate in the work of our professional union. And we will do this inside and outside our Legislature as we actively engage lawmakers in ongoing discussions about the issues important to the members of North Dakota United.

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NDU leadership cannot do any of this alone. We need your help, your input, and your participation. As I’ve said many times to members across this great state, NDU is YOU! YOU can make a difference in your community and in your profession by participating in the activities of NDU. YOU can make a difference by communicating with NDU leadership and letting us know what is on your mind and how we can improve. YOU can make a difference by letting us know what it is that YOU are willing to do in service to your profession and NDU. You may have heard the analogy that membership in an organization is like a membership in a gym: being a member is not enough, in and of itself, to ensure results. Getting active and getting involved is what will get the job done. So today, I am asking you to do just one thing to advance the goals of North Dakota United. Talk to a non-member with whom you work about why you believe she or he should join. Email me and ask about becoming a part of one of three member councils that serve to advise the NDU board of directors and elected leaders. Let me know about an idea that helps to engage the public in what it is we do. Write a letter to your state senator or representatives and tell them to support great public schools and great public service. Whatever you choose to do to help, please let me know. We will publish your actions in an upcoming edition of United Voices. Again, thank you for your membership in North Dakota United. It has been a pleasure to serve you over these past several months, and I look forward to doing great things, with your help, in the year ahead! From the staff and leadership at NDU, here’s wishing you and yours a very happy and prosperous New Year!

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MAKING THEIR CASE Williston members take their message door-to-door By Kelly Hagen, NDU Communications

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cross North Dakota, teachers and school boards found themselves clashing especially hard this past year. Bargaining season has been fraught with disarray, as appropriations have expanded the general funds of schools, and school boards and administrators have had to choose where their priorities lie in terms of spending that extra revenue. In some districts, that’s meant prioritizing teacher salaries and benefits in order to shut the revolving door of turnover and provide stability to the workforce. In other districts, though, those funds have been spent elsewhere, and teachers have been left out. One of the latter districts is Williston. Sitting in the middle of the oil boom, Williston is seeing more growth than any other community in North Dakota, with more infrastructure needed, more and more businesses moving to the area, and increasing numbers of students coming into the district. This growth is outpacing the community’s ability to keep up. These difficulties have been distinctly evident in the process of negotiating a new contract for teachers with the Williston School District. From the beginning of the process, members 4

have reported that negotiations have felt especially antagonistic. For starters, the school board walked away from collaborative bargaining very early in negotiations. They hired Tiffany Johnson, a Bismarck attorney and former Williston student, to lead negotiations on behalf of the board. This move left most of those involved in the situation feeling as though the school board was not hearing their concerns. It felt like a wall was constructed between their two sides, and the board had no interest in hearing what was being said on our side. After going to impasse over outstanding issues of salary and experience pay for extra-curricular activities, the Fact Finders came in and presented their opinions on the situation, and negotiations slowed to a crawl. The members of the Williston Education Association felt like the school board was not listening to them from the start, and felt they needed to reach out to the community for help. Greg Svihl, president of WEA, helped to organize a door-to-door drive across the school district. Approximately 30 members went out into neighborhoods each evening, and went through the ND United Voices


Students from Williston Public Schools wore these T-shirts, which state, “You can’t put students first if you put teachers last,” in the audience of negotiations with the school board, to show their support for their teachers.

Williston Education Association member Jonathan Abul talks to a community member in Williston at her door about the impasse between teachers and the school board over their contract.

process of knocking on doors, distributing a flyer that was made specifically for the impasse and explained the two issues that the parties were hung up on, the argument for the teachers, and contact information for the school board members.

Approximately 2,500 brochures were distributed around the community by the members, and the reaction from the public seemed to be incredibly positive. Most of the people our members talked to expressed their support for the teachers.

Our members did what they do best, they talked directly to the public. They answered questions, spoke their minds, and asked the public to reach out to the school board and tell them to be fair to teachers.

However, when the two sides returned to the negotiations table, the school board continued the antagonistic attitude, and claimed that they received very few calls, and that most of the people they talked to were on their side.

“The primary message we tried to deliver was the need the district has to hire and retain good teachers,” said Kathy Kalil, WEA member and a seventh-grade math teacher at Williston Middle School. She personally visited between 40 and 50 houses, and that the reception she got from the public was outstanding.

Members in the audience at that negotiations session reported, however, that they had heard from a number of people who claimed to have called the board to express their support for the teachers and were hung up on, or their calls went straight to answering machines or voicemail, and those messages didn’t seem to be taken under consideration.

“The reaction was very positive,” said Kalil. “Williston has always been very supportive of teachers. The public knows some of the challenges we are currently facing and wants to help.” Jonathan Abul, the lead negotiator for WEA and a German language teacher at Williston High School, said he visited with over 70 households and distributed over 100 brochures. “Of the 70-some I talked to,” Abul said, “only about two gave me a noncommittal response, like, ‘Oh, I’ll read it over when I get the chance.’ And it could have been that they were busy making dinner, or they don’t like people knocking on their doors. All the rest were strongly supportive of the teachers. And it’s strange because, if half of the people I talked to called in who said they were going to call in, they would have had 25 calls. But (school board president) Sue Brokaw said she got seven, and five of the seven were pro-board.” ndunited.org

The board remained firm on their salary offer, which kept the base set at $33,000 per year, and inflated the bottom six squares on the salary schedule so that no teacher makes less than $36,000. However they did compromise with WEA on the issue of extraduty pay, and provide experience credit increase for coaches and advisors. Regardless of the results, the Williston Education Association seems to agree that taking their case directly to the public and knocking on doors was the right thing to do. “This type of action is a good way to give a community a favorable impression of teachers and the issues we face,” Kalil said. “The key is to stay positive, and have a proactive approach to issues.”

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Education Perspectives

YOUR TALENTS ARE CRUCIAL The North Dakota United preamble to the constitution states:

“In order to create a better North Dakota, give voice to public and education employees, champion high-quality education and public services, enhance our professional well-being, and promote democracy and social justice.”

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ur strength comes from our presence in the workplace, our community involvement, and input in the legislative process. One voice alone can be silent, but united we can be heard to benefit North Dakotans and the students who intend to carry on the legacy of our state.

By Karen Christensen Vice President of Education

Our strength comes from our presence in the

workplace, our community involvement, and input in the legislative process. One voice alone can be silent, but united we can be heard to benefit North Dakotans and the students who intend to carry on the legacy of our state.”

North Dakota United has provided two conference opportunities this year. We brought Education Support Staff (ESP) together in Carrington to address issues unique to their needs, and Common Core State Standards Smarter Balance Testing was addressed for the education professional members in Bismarck. In January, a conference will be held for our higher education members. In March the public employees will gather for their convention, and in April we will all join together for our first Delegate Assembly. Each of these conferences will address the unique needs of each entity of our union to help make them stronger. Making each entity stronger will make our union stronger as a whole. Each of the constituencies has an opportunity to become involved in representing its group on different councils or committees. By sharing struggles, questions and insights, we can develop leaders and provide an opportunity to build relationships that improve the lives of our members, students, and North Dakotans. The insight of each group will build the common ground that will be the foundation for progressive action in all areas of our membership. We are currently seeking members to serve on the councils.

Council of Professional Educators and Council of Public Employees. Special committees include the U-Pac Committee, the Dues Restructuring Ad-Hoc Committee, NDU Foundation Board, and the Teaching and Learning Commission. North Dakota United brought the councils together on Dec. 14, 2013. NEA Representative Jorge Rivera gave the keynote address. Councils had an opportunity to define their roles in the union, set goals, and establish action plans. One person can do anything, but one person can’t do everything. We count on every member to play a role in meeting our Association’s goals. ND United members’ talents are many and diversified. Strengths in your specific area of interest are an asset to all members. Becoming involved builds ownership in molding our professions to be efficient and of the highest quality. Our members can be proud of the gains that have been made in so many areas. Amazing leaders have developed because of their involvement in the North Dakota Education Association, North Dakota Public Employees Association, and now the newly formed North Dakota United. As Vice President, I cordially invite you to share your talents with North Dakota United. Your opinions are important, but your talents are crucial to becoming a more successful union. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - John Quincy Adams

There are many opportunities to get involved. The councils currently in place include the

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Public Service Perspectives

PLANNING FOR A LOCAL Public employees in process of preparing statewide local

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n Feb. 2, 2013, the North Dakota Public Employees Association (NDPEA) delegates voted to merge with the North Dakota Education Association (NDEA). The merger created North Dakota United — a state federation of local unions that is affiliated nationally with the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

By Gary Feist Vice President of Public Employees

As members of the public employees local, you are an

important part of defining exactly who we are, and what we will do within our organization.”

Before the merger, NDPEA consisted of one statewide local of public employees, higher education faculty and staff, school support personnel, and city and county employees. Underneath this larger, statewide local, our public employees were broken down into chapters, which are determined by the geographical area in which our members work. What I’d like to make very clear to our public worker members is that this statewide local of public employees continues to exist and function under the structure of North Dakota United. Public employees remain members of the statewide public employees local, which exists alongside locals made up of higher education faculty and staff, and locals representing K-12 teachers and Education Support Professionals, to make up the statewide federation of North Dakota United. Our statewide public employees’ local represents the same employees as we did with NDPEA, and we continue with the same mission of being the voice for public employees on the job, at their worksites and inside the state Capitol, at our state Legislature.

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As we move forward, North Dakota United’s public employee members will need to take several steps in order to properly define the structure and governance of our public employees local. We will be approving new by-laws, and electing officers for this statewide local. In the coming weeks, you will receive information about NDU’s first-ever Public Employee Convention, scheduled for March 8, 2014, in Fargo. Members from all across the state will gather together under one roof to approve the new governance of the statewide local and participate in sessions on the following professional development topics: 1. The status of the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System (NDPERS) healthcare and retirement plans. 2. Public employee rights on the job. 3. Bullying in the workplace. I look forward to sharing this information with you all about our statewide local, and I hope to hear your input on this process. As members of the public employees local, you are an important part of defining exactly who we are, and what we will do within our organization. I hope to see as many of you as possible at the Public Employee Convention in Fargo! If you have any questions, please contact me at Gary.Feist@ndunited.org or 701-471-9628.

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ND UNITED STUDENTS Imagination Library event labeled a huge success By Linda Harsche, NDU Communications

If teaching is your calling,” North Dakota Teacher of the

Year Aaron Knodel said, “you are already a teacher, so go out there and teach today!”

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(Third from left) ND United Vice President Karen Christensen, 2014 Teacher of the Year Aaron Knodel, ND United President Nick Archuleta, and former Vice President Mark Berntson of West Fargo watch as students read to the kids.

he North Dakota United (NDU) Student Education Association sponsored an Outreach-to-Teach on Oct. 26, 2013, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at three different McDonald’s in Bismarck. North Dakota’s 2013 Teacher of the Year Aaron Knodel of West Fargo was at all three McDonald’s throughout the day promoting Imagination Library, which was created by the Dollywood Foundation and is sponsored by United Way. Twenty-three ND United students from Mayville, Valley City, Jamestown, Minot, and the University of Mary participated. Four retirees volunteered to help the students who read books to oneto-four-year old children about every five minutes. North Dakota United provided the books. And, probably most important to the children, the Cat in the Hat was at each site. The students were given the books to take home, and McDonald’s provided free ice cream for each child. The weather even helped out by providing a sunny, warm day for the event. The day started at 8:00 a.m. at the Ramada Inn in Bismarck with participants going through instructions for the day ahead. Knodel told the students that since they were enrolled in a teaching program, they should consider themselves teachers. “If teaching 8

is your calling,” he said, “you’re already a teacher, so go out there and teach today.” At 11:00 a.m., ESP member Duane Ell from Mandan picked everyone up in a bus provided by the Mandan School District. The bus traveled through Bismarck and the Strip on Mandan dropping students, retirees and Aaron Knodel off at specific McDonald’s sites. Each hour, Ell would pick up Knodel and take him to another McDonald’s. At the end of the day, Ell again picked everyone up and delivered them back to the Ramada. Parents showed up with their children at all three sites, and ND United students spent three hours reading to different groups of participants. Students also handed out brochures on how parents could sign their children up for Imagination Library. “Thank you so much for putting this event on for my child,” said many of the parents. Some of the children were reading their books a second time by themselves as they ate their ice cream. McDonald’s surprised the United Way by donating $5,000 to the Imagination Library, which is handled through the organization. For more information on enrolling your child or students go to the Imagination Library website at www.imaginationlibrary.com. ND United Voices


While waiting for the bus, it’s time to relax and have an ice cream cone. Kids loved the Cat in the Hat.

Kids were so excited, they read the book while eating their lunch.

Student North Dakota United group and 2014 Teacher of the Year Aaron Knodel pose for a photo after the event.

North Dakota United (NDU) Student Education Association sponsored an Outreach-to-Teach on Oct. 26, 2013. Students got great television coverage for the event.

ESP Member Duane Ell from Mandan drove the bus all day long for the students.

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Students get off a bus provided by the Mandan School District for the event.

Excited participants can’t wait to enter McDonald’s.

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THIS IS THE SITE There’s a whole lot to be found daily at NDU web page The Internet is pretty big. You’ve probably noticed that by now. I went about the task of trying to count the number of sites available on the Internet, alphabetically. But I lost count somewhere around 30. So I assume there’s a lot more where those came from.

By Kelly Hagen UniServ Director/ Field Communication Specialist

But when you think about the Internet, how many websites are there that you visit daily? I mean, I’m sure you consider yourself to be “web savvy.” You have your own e-mail address. Maybe even several. It’s possible you have e-mail addresses you don’t even remember signing up for. You use the social media. You use Facebook, and you use Twitter, and you use Pinterest, and possibly you use MySpace, but more than likely you don’t. You use Internet brand names as verbs. You Google, you Skype, and maybe you even use eBay for a good deal. You look at Grumpy Cat memes until you just can’t handle all the grouch-based hilarity any more. There are a million possibilities, but despite those endless choices, there are probably less than 10 sites you absolutely visit once per day. For me, that list includes Facebook, Huffington Post, the official website of my favorite band, The Replacements, and a site in which a dog sends satirical text messages to his owner.

I went about the task of trying to count the number of sites available on the Internet, alphabetically. But I lost count somewhere around 30.”

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More than likely, the North Dakota United website, www. ndunited.org, isn’t one of those sites that makes the cut for your daily visits. But, if I might possibly ask you to think about considering the thought of choosing to do so, can I ask you to possibly think about making it one of those things? We launched www.ndunited.org in August, just a few weeks before North Dakota United was officially made a reality on Sept. 1 of this past year. And if I may talk a little bit about a website that I played a role in helping to produce, with some level of impartiality, I’d say it’s probably the prettiest, most informationpacked capsule of web goodness I’ve ever been part of producing. I like it. Visit our website, and you’ll find a whole lot about what North Dakota United is. We have our history, who it is that we represent and what we do. You can find names, information and contact details for our staff and elected leaders. You’ll find information on how to join, dues structure and a downloadable membership card. You’ll see news, events, and programs. We have details on membership benefits all our members receive, through NDU and our two national organizations, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. In conjunction with this issue of United Voices you have in front of you currently, we are publishing the same information you’re reading in our centerfold about the NDU Foundation. All of the information you need to apply for our scholarships and grants available through our Foundation can be found on our website and in print. In fact, everything you read in our magazine also goes out electronically through our website, with news articles and an interactive web-based display of the magazine, which you can load up on a tablet and flip through as if it was on paper. It’s a special kind of magic, these times we’re living in. Most importantly, this website is always a work in progress. We are always adding new information to it, ironing out wrinkles, change and adapting. Having come from newspapers, one of the insults readers liked to throw at something we published that they didn’t like was: “Why are you wasting space on this?” Well, there is no wasted space on a website, because there is no limit to the space. While a print production has limited numbers of pages, a website sprawls on and on and on. There’s no limit to how much information you can include. The challenge, then, is to make sure all of this unlimited information is easily accessible. And, to do that, we need your help. Visit www.ndunited.org, and take a look around. Is there information you’d like to find, but can’t? Tell us! Is there information on there that you like, but would like to see more of it? Tell us that, too. This union is your union, and this website is your website. Make it what you want it to be. Contact us at comments@ndunited.org to let us know what you think of this new website. Log on today. And tomorrow. And the day after that. We want to see you every day, if possible.

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READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY IS MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2014 Get ready to grab your hat and read with the Cat in the Hat on Monday, March 3, 2014, for the 17th annual Read Across America Day.  The Seussical celebration will kick off a week of reading across the nation as NEA members gather students, parents, and community members together to share their love of reading. It’s never too early to plan your event, and NEA’s RAA will be posting tips and resources to help you make your event Seussational.

“YOU’RE NEVER

TOO OLD, TOO WACKY, TOO WILD, TO PICK UP A BOOK AND READ WITH A CHILD.”

New Seuss store and Cat-a-log Looking to decorate your school and classroom in Seussian style? NEA Member Benefits has created a new online Seuss store for your celebration. You’ll find one of the largest selections of Dr. Seuss products including reading awards, pencils, decor, and so much more.

Looking for books? If you serve a high needs student population and are in need of  books for your reading event, there are organizations that can help. They have books by Dr. Seuss and many of your favorite authors for free or at significant discounts. Find out more about these Read Across partners.

Follow us on Facebook Help us spread the word and build a nation of readers! Through the Read Across America Facebook fan page and cause page you’ll be able to share photos, videos, and ideas, plus hear the latest news from NEA’s Read Across America and its partners.

Ready for your 15 minutes of fame? How about sending your latest video to SchoolTube?  It can be your own music reading video, book trailer, or coverage of a recent event. SchoolTube has created a Read Across America channel just for you. To sign up and share your videos, go to www.schooltube.com.

About NEA’s Read Across America The National Education Association is building a nation of readers through its signature program, NEA’s Read Across America. Now in its 16th year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.

Watch future publications for ND United’s ‘Read Across America’ events.

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NEA’s Read Across America Day Monday, March 3, 2014

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The purpose of the North Dakota United Foundation is to promote educational excellence and quality public service in North Dakota. The Foundation’s goal is to aid educators, public servants, and students in achieving greater educational success. The Foundation accomplishes this by providing to individual educators, public servants, and college students various grants and scholarships designed to enhance their skills. Thus, the Foundation is sowing the seeds for the future improvement of education and public service in North Dakota through a program of scholarships and grants. It is with pride that the Foundation’s Board of Directors has established this special alliance with education and public service leaders who understand that their professional growth is the key to success.

SOWING SEEDS OF THE FUTURE “Sowing seeds of the future” is the goal of the ND United Foundation. As the Foundation enters another decade, it looks forward to expanding its role for education and public service. Over the years, memorials ranging from $5.00 to $500 have helped fund the annual giving program. In addition to our memorials, gifts may be made in honor of life events like retirement, birthdays, etc. Since it is a 501(c)(3) charity, any donations to the Foundation may be tax deductible. The Foundation hopes to attract more endowments such as the Bill Oban and Mary Cripps Special Education Scholarships; the Ron and Ann Anstrom Scholarship to assist individual English, math or science instructors; and the Joseph A. Westby Leadership Award, which is designed to assist a member in developing leadership skills.

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BUILDING THE FOUNDATION

From less than $5,000 in 1991 to over $250,000 in 2013, the Foundation has relied on members and friends of North Dakota United to build its base. In the beginning, members assessed themselves one dollar per year for three years to help the foundation’s principal grow. The $1 assessment continues in place today and applies to all classes of membership. The Foundation is vitally interested in sustaining its growth in future years. It provides opportunities for individuals and businesses to recognize the important role that education and public service have in North Dakota’s future. Individuals, businesses and local associations are encouraged to consider donations toward the Foundation’s work as an incentive and reward for the role individual educators and public servants have played in their personal development. Individuals or companies interested in supporting the Foundation through direct donations, endowments, insurance policies, or estates should contact the Foundation to make the necessary arrangements. As a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization, gifts to the Foundation are deductible for federal income tax purposes.

NORTH DAKOTA UNITED SCHOLARSHIPS OFFERED Scholarships are available to NDU members, including student and retired, and member dependents. Application deadline is March 1. 1. NDU Member/Dependent: Available to a member, including a student member or dependent of an NDU member who is pursuing post-secondary education in any field of study including vocational, associate or bachelor degree program. Up to two $750 scholarships may be awarded each year. 2. NDU Education Scholarship: Available to a student member, including student NEA/AFT members in other states who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in education. Up to two $750 scholarships may be awarded each year. 3. Bill Oban Special Education Scholarship: Available to an outstanding, undergraduate student who is preparing for a career in special education. One scholarship of at least $500 may be awarded each year. 4. Mary Cripps Special Education Scholarship: Available to either an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing initial or advanced training in special education. One scholarship of at least $500 may be awarded each year. 5. Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship Program to assist individual English, Math or Science Instructors: The

Bill Oban Special Education Scholarship “When my mom was thinking about honoring my father’s memory, she wanted to make sure that we were encouraging our best and brightest to enter the education field…especially in special education. As a family, we want to become more involved. Hopefully, before the end of the year, we are going to bump up the balance of the scholarship for Dad. It takes a special type of person to be a special education teacher, and we need to make sure that we help provide funds. We are definitely pleased with how this Foundation has been run and want to continue to be involved…” Chad Oban, son of Bill Oban 16

Mary Cripps Special Education Scholarship Mary Cripps was devoted to teaching elementary education and art education. However, when she started working with the handicapped, Mary found her true calling. She was devoted in doing quality work with her kids and bringing her art into working with her students…Mary Dillard, friend of Mary Cripps and social worker in Minnesota

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purpose is to assist individual English, math or science instructors to improve their qualifications by attending summer school or engaging in graduate level courses during the regular academic year, on-line courses or extension courses that are part of a graduate program. The amount and number of awards will depend on the earnings of the endowment fund. 6. The NDU Foundation Ethnic Minority Scholarship: This scholarship will be awarded to a minority preparing to teach. At least two $750 scholarships will be awarded annually.  The Foundation will give special consideration to a student attending a tribal college.  Funding for this scholarship comes from a special grant from North Dakota United.  GO TO: www.ndunited.org/benefits/scholarships-andgrants for application forms.

ND UNITED FOUNDATION SPECIAL AWARDS & GRANTS 1. To be considered for the Joseph A. Westby Leadership Award, the applicant must hold an NDU membership and be an advocate for public education or public service in North Dakota. The award is designed to assist a member in developing leadership skills. The ND United Foundation may annually give a stipend of at least $500.

or the development of materials, techniques or activities that improve public service or public education in North Dakota. ND United may award at least $500 annually in this area. 3. The ND United Foundation ESP Award is designed to assist an individual NDU ESP member or a group of ESP members as they strive to improve education or public service in North Dakota. At least $500 may be awarded annually in this area.

• The NDU Foundation may fund portions of a project. • A personal or electronic interview may be required. • Individuals may apply for more than one grant and may apply in subsequent years.

• A completed application form and related material must be received by the Foundation by March 1. ND United Foundation 301 N 4th St Bismarck ND 58501-4020 701-223-0450 Email: foundation@ndunited.org Fax: 701-224-8535 Website: NDUnited.org/YourBenefits GO TO: www.ndunited.org/benefits/scholarships-andgrants for application forms.

2. The ND United Foundation Member Grant Program is designed to assist individual members or a group of members, to improve their skills through continued education research

Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship Program to assist individual English, Math or Science Instructors “Decker Anstrom may have left North Dakota, but his gift and the work his parents did as public school teachers will have a lasting impact on the Association’s effort to provide Great Public Schools for Every Child in North Dakota. With his father being a math and science teacher and his mother an English teacher, he places a great emphasis on public education and its role in the development of children and of this country as a whole…” Gloria Lokken, ND United Retired

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GRANT POLICY & PROCEDURES The NDU Foundation is not meant to be a funding substitute for programs, supplies or equipment that school districts or other public entities should provide. Instead it encourages projects that are truly innovative and exploratory in nature – the type of research and development ideas that sometimes fall through the cracks. Application procedures are simple and designed to encourage the creativity of the educators applying. Deadline is announced in North Dakota United’s official publication United Voices, on the website at www.ndunited.org and on Facebook. However, forms for the March 1 deadline are available at any time at NDUnited.org/YourBenefits. GO TO: www.ndunited.org/benefits/scholarships-andgrants for application forms.

NORTH DAKOTA TAXPAYERS MAY RECEIVE INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR GIFTS TO ENDOWMENTS HELD BY THE NDU FOUNDATION Individuals and in some cases businesses may create name endowments within the ND United Foundation and receive significant tax benefits. These endowments must have an initial contribution of $5,000. The donor may determine how the proceeds of the fund may be used to enhance education and public service in North Dakota. To qualify for the tax credit, the endowment fund must be held by a tax-exempt organization such as the North Dakota United Foundation where the principal of the fund is not expendable. Only the interest and other earnings in an endowment fund can be used for current scholarships or grants. An individual may receive a 40 percent tax credit for contributions of $5,000 or more (lump sum or aggregate in one year) to a qualified North Dakota endowment. Unused credits may be carried forward for up to 3 years. If a donor is in the 35 percent federal tax bracket, the tax benefit may look like this: Gift amount

$5,000

$25,000

$50,000

Federal tax deduction

-$1,750

$ 8,750

-$17,500

N.D. State Income Tax Credit

-$2,000

-10,000

-$20,000

$1,250

$6,250

$12,500

Net cost

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Because each individual’s tax situation is different, individuals considering using this option should contact a personal tax adviser who is familiar with the North Dakota tax credit. More information is also available by contacting the NDU CFO at 701223-0450 or at foundation@ndunited.org.

NEA GRANTS CAN PAY YOUR WAY The NEA Foundation offers a variety of grants that could be just what you’re looking for to get a classroom project or a professional development activity off the ground. Here are three ways the Foundation can help: Learning and Leadership Grants provide opportunities for teachers and education support professionals to engage in high-quality professional development and to lead their colleagues in professional growth. Grant amounts are $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups studying together. Student Achievement Grants provide $5,000 to improve the academic achievement of students by engaging in critical thinking and problem solving that deepens knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning and critical reflection. NEA Fine Arts Grants offer $2,000 to enable fine arts teachers to create and implement programs that promote learning among at-risk students. Each program has its own application guidelines and deadlines, which can be found at the NEA Foundation’s website, www. NEAFoundation.org.

Joseph A. Westby Leadership Award Upon my retirement as NDEA Executive Director, the NDEA Foundation Board of Directors established the Joseph A. Westby Leadership Fund in recognition of my 45 years of leadership in education, including 32 years of leadership in the Association. Recognizing the need to encourage members and staff to pursue leadership training, I have continued to build the principal of the Fund on an annual basis after the Board’s initial seed money. The Association’s continued success is dependent upon developing its future leaders at the local level and amongst the staff…Joe Westby, former Executive Director ND United Voices


NDU DELEGATE ASSEMBLY SET APRIL 12, 2014 14 NEA RA delegates elected at NDU DA

The 2014 ND United Delegate Assembly will be held at the Seven Seas in Mandan on Saturday, April 12, 2014. The Celebration of Excellence, which was usually held during the Instructional Conference, will be on April 11, 2014 at the Seven Seas from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. At this event we will honor the 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the Year Aaron Knodel of West Fargo. Information on how to register as a delegate for the ND United Delegate Assembly will be sent to local association presidents. If you are a local association with membership of 21 or less, the ND United will help with your expenses. If needed, local associations with membership of 21 or less may voucher ½ the double occupancy room rate per delegate.  Mileage for one vehicle per local will be reimbursed at 15 cents per mile.  (Vouchers will be available at registration.) Please make every effort to have your local fully represented at this very important meeting. More information will be available at www.ndunited.org in the near future.

Election of 14 Delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly One of the reasons to have your local fully represented at this year’s NDU Delegate Assembly is that 14 state delegates will be elected to attend the 2014 NEA Representative Assembly (RA), which will be held June 30, 2014 (travel day) through July 6, 2014 (travel day), in Denver. Petitions for these 14 state-paid delegate slots can be found at www.ndunited.org/yourwork. Members running for a delegate position must obtain 50 signatures from active members of NDU. Completed petitions with the 50 signatures, along with a short bio and head shot, must be returned to ND United, 301 N 4th Street, Bismarck, ND, 58501 by Feb. 28, 2014. Remember, these 14 delegates will be elected at the NDU Representative Assembly on April 12, 2014, at the Seven Seas in Mandan.

14 state-funded delegates will be elected at the NDU Delegate Assembly to attend the 2014 NEA

Representative Assembly (RA) which will be held June 30, 2014 (travel day) through July 6, 2014 (travel day), in

Local Association Delegate Election

Presidents of locals that have 76 or more members will receive a mailing from NEA in late February with the number of delegates to be elected to the 2014 NEA Representative Assembly. An accompanying form will also be included that is due at ND United Headquarters by April 4, 2014, along with a copy of guidelines to assure proportional representation by educational position. Local associations are allocated one delegate for each 150 active and educational support NEA members or major fraction thereof. Locals with fewer than 76 members may cluster to form delegate units. Delegate credentials may not be transferred from a local to a state affiliate or vice-versa. The NEA mails local association nomination forms directly to local association presidents. Once you’ve received the local association form from the NEA, please elect your delegate(s) along with your alternate(s) and mail the forms to ND United by April 15.

ND United’s Affirmative Action Plan

ND United’s affirmative action plan commits the Association to elect two minority delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly each year. Two delegates are necessary to comply with the bylaws of the NEA, which require delegate representation at least equal to the proportion of identified ethnic-minority population within the state. NEA’s Research Division determines the number of delegates based on the state ethnic minority population. American Indians make up the largest ethnic minority in North Dakota. The plan allows a candidate filing for NEA delegate positions the opportunity, if they choose, to inform members of their ethnic background in ND United publications.

Denver.”

Ethnic minorities may be nominated for state delegate positions in the same manner as others: by submitting a petition signed by 50 active members to ND United, 301 N. 4th Street, Bismarck, ND, 58501 by Feb. 28, 2014.

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ND United President Nick Archuleta explains an issue to his group.

ND UNITED COUNCILS MEET FOR FIRST TIME By ND United Communications Director Linda Harsche

ND United Councils met for the first time since the merger on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Ramada Bismarck Hotel. There are now three Councils in place: Local Presidents, Professional Educators and Public Employees. These Councils are required to get together twice a year to shape the work of the Association. The keynote address was presented by Jorge Rivera, an NEA staffer based out of Idaho. Rivera has been assigned to Idaho as an organizer for the past year. At the beginning of his presentation, Rivera called about eight people to the front of the room and had each person put just two fingers on a huge round table and lift it off the ground. Being one of the eight people, I thought we were not going to be able to do it. However, the table lifted with ease. Next, Rivera jumped on top of the table and had us do the same thing again ‌ just two fingers. Now, I was really amazed that the table lifted just as easily. The purpose of the exercise was to show that we all need to work collectively to get things done, and by working together we can better serve the Association and its causes. 20

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“As educator advocates, we need to bring more people to the organization in order to have more power,” Rivera said. He went on to explain how hard members in Idaho had worked to fight three propositions that were bad for education. “And we won all three,” he said. After Rivera’s opening remarks, the Councils broke into their respective groups and worked until 2:00 p.m. when they all came together for a Share Out and Q & A and then adjourned.

Director of Teaching and Learning Dr. LeAnn Nelson presents to the group.

ND United Student President Patricia Lopez of Mayville State listens intently to the speaker.

Participants review the North Dakota United bylaws.

The Council of Professional Educators discusses issues.

Jorge Rivera, an NEA staffer and main presenter visits with ND United Executive Director Armand Tiberio.

Participants visit before the meeting begins.

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Member Profile

FUTURE OF FARMING FFA advisor at Napoleon has brought home two national championships By Kelly Hagen, NDU Communications While the oil industry is currently inflating the general funds of the state in North Dakota, and the pocketbooks of property and mineral rights owners in the western parts of the state, and the private oil companies who drill there, one could still argue that it is agriculture that defines our state’s economic future.

Agricultural program head and FFA advisor Brian Schneider, of Napoleon, poses in his classroom in front of the many awards his students have won through his 23 years teaching there.

According to a study by the Grand Forks Herald, the value of crude oil and natural gas produced in our state came to $24.9 billion in the 12 months ending on July 30 of 2013. A report by the North Dakota National Agricultural Statistics Services pegs the value in prices received by farmers and ranchers in the state for crops and livestock for 2012 at $12.1 billion – a similarly gigantic number. While that value is lower than oil’s, most of that money stays inside of our state, as opposed to the majority of oil revenues that go to outof-state interests, and agriculture will stay in North Dakota, while oil and gas will eventually dry up. The best investment we can make into the future of agriculture in the state of North Dakota is through the education and preparation of our state’s next generation of farmers and agriculture professionals. And that’s where Brian Schneider comes in. Schneider is a 28-year agricultural studies teacher in North Dakota. He grew up in Harvey, and got his first teaching job in Cando. After five years there, he moved

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to Napoleon and has taught agricultural studies there for the past 23 years. “This community has been like home to me, even though I didn’t grow up here,” Schneider said. “They’ve been welcoming from the first day I got here. The support for the program has grown over these years with the success we’ve had. But this community has always treated me like I grew up here, and it’s been very supportive.” In the time Schneider has been in Napoleon, he has created the state’s most successful Future Farmers of America (FFA) program. The walls of his classroom are plastered in ribbons and plaques, signifying championships won on the local level, state titles, and national honors. Just this past November, Schneider’s FFA chapter’s Agricultural Sales Team won the prestigious national championship. For the second time. “We won this contest in 2008 and we won it now,” Schneider said. “Only three North Dakota teams have ever won national events, and we’ve won two of those three.” His team of four members consisted of Chapter President Nicollette Bitz, a junior at Napoleon High School and third-highest scorer in individual scoring at the national convention; Bailey Bitz, also a junior and winner of an individual national championship in individual ND United Voices


scoring; Katelynn Long, a sophomore who earned a silver award; and Jessica Long, a freshman at North Dakota State University, and ranked as the 13th-highest scoring individual. “This was an amazing group of students,” Schneider said. “Most of them have been doing the sales event for the last two to four years. The year before, we lost by .2 of a point, and all these kids were back. So we’ve won a ton of the weekly sales events, for the last five years we’ve won I don’t know how many of those; almost all of them. I didn’t want to jinx us or anything, but I knew as we were going to nationals that they would definitely have a shot at winning, because they’re all super good. And we also did have the highest individual in the contest. It honestly could have been any one of those four on any given day.” Schneider said that he has produced so many award-winning students in the FFA chapter at Napoleon through the years by the best possible method: He believes in them, so that they will believe in themselves. “I think the kids know how much I believe in them, and it builds on their belief in themselves,” Schneider said. “Self-confidence, to me, is probably the key to being successful no matter what you do. And that’s what I really try to instill in my students, and not just for these events, but for everyday students taking a test, and you have that one kid who is all like, ‘Oh, I’m going to flunk the test today!’ Yep. You probably are. If that’s how you came in here thinking, you probably are. When kids like these kids that won that national event, when they get to that level where they believe in themselves, and they believe in the other people on that team, they can achieve anything.”

that the Napoleon School District is producing good students and great young adults for the future of our communities. “I said this when we had the open house after winning the national championship,” Schneider said, “that this (win) directly relates to our program, but this also shows that these students are also learning English, they’re learning math, they’re learning science. We apply a lot of concepts that you need to be able to read and comprehend. You need to be able to do math if you’re doing sales. There’s so many. I think it shows what Napoleon does and what North Dakota does.” And he hopes he can pass on the enthusiasm he has for teaching students and advising national champions to young teachers coming into the profession. “I love the decision I made to come into this career field,” he said. “I know we hear a lot about teacher pay and the hours and those things. But the rewards students give you back, you can’t measure in monetary amounts. It doesn’t always pay the bills, but when those kids come back and thank you and send you thank-you notes and remember to wish you a happy birthday – and they graduated 10 years ago – those things you have to appreciate. It is a very rewarding career. I would recommend it to anybody.” Agricultural studies teacher Brian Schneider works with a student at Napoleon Public School.

He translates that same confidence he has for the students into the trust he has in the teachers who work alongside him in Napoleon, instructing young minds and building them up to be the best possible citizens. “Our product is those students when they walk out of here after graduation,” Schneider said. “I need to be able to work with the math teacher and the English teacher, and we all need to work together, including the superintendent and the school board and the community. You need to be able to get everybody on the same page.” Schneider has been a member of the union since he started teaching, has served as president for the local in Napoleon for a number of terms, and has been a member of their negotiations teams. By being part of that professional association, and working hard to attract good teachers and retain them long-term, he knows ndunited.org

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ND United Students enjoyed the Common Core Conference.

NDU COMMON CORE ASSESSMENT CONFERENCE REPLACES INSTRUCTIONAL CONFERENCE North Dakota United (NDU) hosted a Common Core Assessment Conference Oct. 17-18, 2013, at Century High School in Bismarck. The Conference replaced what was formerly called the Instructional Conference or as some still prefer – the ‘Teachers’ Convention.’ Plans are to use this same format next year but around a different subject. This conference was entirely focused on Common Core Assessments and Smarter Balanced. On Thursday, participants learned about how the new assessment evaluates learning based on Common Core expectations; how the Smarter Balanced consortium is developing the assessment; and what it will take for North Dakota schools to deliver the computer-based assessment tool. Participants also attended breakout sessions about the math and English Language Arts, or ELA, components. On Friday, North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler gave an overview of the Common Core itself, 24

explaining why the new assessment is such an important part of this effort, and how assessment data will be used. Friday also focused on building Common Core Local Leaders. Teams from districts were provided additional training on the Common Core. Sessions ranged from the novice to the advanced Common Core learner. Following the conference, participants were able to: understand and become familiar with the new assessment system (Smarter Balanced); determine their school’s capacity to deliver an assessment through this format; and become local Common Core leaders. Participants took time on Friday to help the Teachers’ Fund for Retirement celebrate its 100th anniversary. Fay Kopp, TFFR administrator, showed participants a power point presentation of TFFR’s history. ND United provided a cake for the event. ND United Voices


Jody French, director of EduTech, spoke on ND School Systems Capacity.

Rosalind LaRocque of AFT and Becky Winnisk of NEA provide participants with Common Core resources.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler explained Common Core to participants.

Darin King, Director-North Dakota Educational Technology Council, jokes with Director of Teaching and Learning Dr. LeAnn Nelson.

During the Common Core Conference Dawn Pearson, a Spanish teacher at Rolla High School, was named 2013 North Dakota Foreign Language Teacher of the Year. Main speaker from Smarter Balanced Tracy Gruber (left) dealt with the math content. Here she’s getting a hug from a friend.

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GATHERING OF THE MINDS

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By Kelly Hagen, NDU Communications

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NDU to host first-ever Higher Education Conference in Fargo

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EDUCATION CONFERENCE 2 5,

On Jan. 25, 2014, at the Ramada Plaza in Fargo, North Dakota United proudly presents its first-ever Higher Education Conference. This development opportunity is open to any and all higher education professionals. Attendance is free of charge. All faculty and staff of North Dakota’s public universities are welcome to this unique opportunity for professional development, which is designed to teach you more about what it means to be an employee of the University System, your rights as a worker, and responsibilities as part of the system to work alongside your colleagues to provide the best possible experience for students and everyone involved in educating them. “One exciting part of our merger is that North Dakota United has the ability to provide professional development opportunities like this to our public university faculty and staff,” said Nick Archuleta, president of NDU. “That is something that their predecessor organization was never able to do. The ND United Higher Education Conference is a unique occasion for public education professionals from all the campuses across the state to gather in one place in order to participate in a learning opportunity for all. We are extending an open invitation to anyone within the University System to attend, and it is our most sincere hope that everyone will leave this conference having learned something important and with the knowledge that NDU takes the interests of all our members very seriously indeed.” Beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, Archuleta will welcome everyone in attendance, and kick off this historic conference for NDU. Our first speaker of the day will by Interim Chancellor of the University System Larry Skogen, who will present his vision of “NDUS Into the Future,” and he will answer any questions asked of him by our participants. All of our presenters will feature a block of time for questions from those in attendance. This conference is being built on the principles of open dialogue and encouraging frank discussions on the issues that face higher education. Please come to this open forum ready to speak out, ask questions, raise concerns and engage honestly with your contemporaries in the field. Sessions across the day will dig deeper into some of the big issues within colleges and universities across North Dakota and the U.S. today. These subjects will include vertical alignment, or connecting the faculty of K-12 and higher education in order to better prepare students for transition into higher learning; adjunct faculty, and the difficulties that are faced by all faculty under this system of hiring; legislative issues in higher education, and how the actions taken by our state Legislature and elected leaders have a real effect on the work you do at your campus; and legal issues that you may face within your job, and how to better protect yourself and your employment.

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The conference will conclude with a panel discussion involving all of our speakers. The floor will be open and participants will have the opportunity to engage the panelists in discussion beyond the scope of their presentations. A discussion will also be held regarding what members will want to see in future higher education conferences. If you have any questions, or to learn more about the conference, please contact our NDU Vice President of Education, Karen Christensen, at Karen.Christensen@ndunited.org, or Director of Teaching and Learning, LeAnn Nelson, at 1-800-369-6332 or LeAnn.Nelson@ ndunited.org. Registration is now open at the North Dakota United website, www.ndunited.org. If you plan on attending, please take a moment to click here and register in advance so that we can anticipate how much food to have on hand for lunch, which will be provided free to all in attendance. This NDU Higher Education Conference is the first of its kind, and a historic opportunity to bring together public university professionals and to learn from one another about employment issues within our state’s higher education system. We work better together, and it is our great hope to see as many of you as we can, gathering together for our one shared goal of providing the highest level of education to the students of this state.

HIGHER EDUCATION CONFERENCE

JANUARY 25, 2014 FARGO RAMADA PLAZA

AGENDA

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25 10:00-10:15...................... Welcome, Nick Archuleta, President 10:15-10:40...................... NDUS into the Future, Dr. Larry Skogen, Interim Chancellor 10:40-10:55...................... Questions & Answers 11:00-12:00...................... Vertical Alignment 12:00-1:00........................ Lunch 1:00-2:00.......................... Adjunct Faculty Issues 1:45-2:00.......................... Questions & Answers 2:00-2:45.......................... Legislative Issues in HE 2:30-2:45.......................... Questions & Answers 2:45-3:00.......................... Break 3:00-3:45.......................... Higher Education Legal Issues 3:30-3:45.......................... Questions & Answers 3:45-4:15.......................... Full Panel 4:15-4:30.......................... Closing

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The Public Record

Q&A WITH LARRY SKOGEN Interim Chancellor of the North Dakota University System Larry Skogen is the current interim chancellor of the North Dakota University System. He served as president of Bismarck State College from 2006 until he was selected to serve in a temporary chancellor position in June of 2013, in the wake of former Chancellor Hamid Shirvani having his contract bought out. After a nationwide search, Skogen was selected from among 10 candidates in September to become interim chancellor. He will now serve as interim chancellor until June of 2015. On Jan. 25, Chancellor Skogen will be our guest speaker at the first-ever North Dakota United Higher Education Conference. He will speak on the future of higher education in the state, and will answer questions from the audience. In preparation for his participation in our Higher Education Conference, Skogen recently sat down for The Public Record – a question & answer feature of United Voices.

Larry Skogen

Q: What would you consider as your most important goals as chancellor for the University System in North Dakota? A: I want to move the whole thing forward. Certainly the Board (of Higher Education) is incredibly interested in increasing academic excellence in the state of North Dakota in higher education. I am one that believes that the discussion of education in the state of North Dakota has to be a P-20 conversation – preschool through graduate school. So what I’m hoping to do is working closely with Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and being able to elevate education across the entire state.

We do a very good job. There’s been a lot of negative press, but the reality is that we do a very good job in the state of North Dakota. I think that’s why our business and industries are so supportive of what’s going on in higher education. Now the North Dakota Chamber has scheduled a whole number of sessions across the state for business and industry to talk to higher education about goal setting as we move forward. Higher education is an incredible engine for the economic development and the economic vitality and growth for the state. We need engineers, we need nurses, we need truck drivers, we need welders, we need schoolteachers, and we need doctors, all of this.

Q: What is your vision for shared governance within higher education? A: One of the real characteristics of the DNA of higher education is shared governance. Higher education is not a factory that makes tires. It’s not a factory process. It’s a process of very, very smart people coming together, and the Board identifying that this is where we want to be, and then shared governance is the administrators and the faculty and the staff, and the Board and the Legislature and the Governor, and everybody understanding where the endgame is at, and working together to get there.

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Public higher education would get nowhere without the support of the Legislature. So we’ve got to be responsive to what their concerns are, as well. Higher education is going to get nowhere without the support of the faculty, so we’ve got to take into ND United Voices


consideration what their concerns are. So all the stakeholders need to have a place at the table, in the conversations, and they all need to be heard, and they all have to get together at some point and develop a consensus that moves higher education forward. Q: Due to the oil boom in North Dakota, there has developed a real problem of pay inequity for the public sector. Public jobs are not being paid anywhere near as much as private jobs in the oil fields, and that’s led to a lot of turnover and important jobs being left unfilled. Is this seen as a problem for our western universities, and what can be done to address this problem outside of legislative action? A: Having a conversation with the president of Williston State College recently while I was up on a visit there, and he was telling me that he feels like he’s kind of turning the corner on the issue of employee retention. I think that’s a good thing. And he has done that; there have been some additional appropriations that have come his way, and he has been able to use that money to help enhance the employment picture for his institutions.

Clearly, because we have such a vibrant economy, this is going to be a continuing problem, where the public employees are going to be seeing great enticement out in the private sector. Having said that, I’ve had conversations with people in the private sector who have said they’ve had troubles competing with the public sector, because in the state of North Dakota – thanks to the Legislature and the Governor – we have a marvelous benefits package, relative to healthcare, for example. That’s a huge benefit for our public employees, and we, of course, want to protect that as we move forward. When you think about working someplace, it’s not just the salary that one’s getting; you have to look at the benefits package. There are folks in the private sector – not all of them, of course – who say that it’s tough to compete with the public sector because the benefits package is so good for us.

Q: Having brought together K-12 teachers and support staff and higher education faculty and staff within North Dakota United this past year, the conversation we hear happening the most between these sides has been concerns about whether our high school seniors are being properly prepared for the transition into college. Have we done a good job of this in the past in North Dakota, and will we do more in this area in the future? A: The two big issues for higher education in the state of North Dakota are the number of students that need remedial education when they get to higher education, and then our graduation rates. So those need to be addressed. ndunited.org

And I think the plan, the Pathways to Student Success, addresses those issues. But this goes to what I was talking about, a P-20 conversation. What we need to do is we need to assure that what’s being taught in our K-12 environment is preparing students for the higher education environment. And the more conversation we have, the better off that’s going to be.

Right now, under the leadership of Superintendent Baesler, there has been curriculum-alignments initiative going on. Bismarck State led the discussion in mathematics, and Valley City State led the discussion in English/language. And next year, that discussion will be expanded to other institutions of higher education, where the institutions are talking to the local public schools. The more that we can align that curriculum, the better off we are. Because students coming out of K-12, then, if the curriculum aligns, if the K-12 people know what the higher education people are looking for in their curriculum, then they can prepare their students going into that curriculum and be more successful.

Q: Are the Common Core State Standards going to be a benefit to preparing students for the demands of higher learning? A: One of the things we’re looking for in higher education is students who can collaborate and be creative. Obviously the jury is out yet because it’s very, very new. And I know Superintendent Baesler is talking about a new statewide assessment, as well, and moving away from the ACT scores. That doesn’t mean we won’t use ACT for higher education; we probably still will. A student who wants to go onto higher education will still have to take the ACT test. But what we’re going to have to do is figure out how to meld this new assessment into our admissions standards as well.

But I’m all in favor of trying something. Common Core, a lot of states are signing up for it, and it’s fairly new. Smarter Balanced is really new. So the jury is going to be out for a while. And Superintendent Baesler and I have discussed this…that it’s going to take years. This isn’t something that you wave a magic wand and next year, all of a sudden, all of the problems have gone away. It’s going to take years to get the Common Core worked into the curriculum, it’s going to take years for higher education to be producing the teachers that are coming out of higher education and going back to K-12 with the skills that they will need for the Common Core. It’s a huge undertaking. But I think we’re small enough in the state of North Dakota that we can probably pull it off.

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NDU DICKINSON CHAPTER GETS INVOLVED Student National Education Association (S- NEA) used to be a big campus organization at Dickinson State University. The past years included fashion show fundraisers, bake sales, and even purchasing give away books for children. But as students proceeded in their education, many of the main members of the Association graduated, leaving the club with little support and dwindling membership. This year, Advisors Renae

With hours of work put in (some even after dark!), our wonderful float won second place in the parade. The judges apparently loved the quirky education signs and our pencil handouts.

For Halloween, we won second place in a campus club contest ‘Treat Street.’ Our BooHawks is geared for trick-or-treaters ages 0-5. This year’s theme was famous game shows. We chose to decorate our assigned room with Minute to Win It games and attire. Rather than just having the kids walk through our room picking up candy, set up four different minute games. By the end of the night, we had around 400 happily entertained kids funnel through. At the moment, our group is small but dedicated. But with our upcoming events and planned recruitment activities, we are confident our little club has the potential to turn into something great.

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Ekstrand and Peter Wilson reignited the flame. First hooking students with the affordable liability available through the NEA, they then proceeded to persuade students to get involved by encouraging them to raise awareness of the teacher program on campus by participating in the October homecoming parade. After meeting to discuss theme ideas, buying supplies, and hunting down furniture to use as props on our classroom- themed float, our select group was hooked!

Some of our events include: • Treat bags distributed to local educators during National Educators Week (Nov. 17- 23)

• Education celebration shirts (Nov. 17-23)

• Education-related fundraiser shirt sale

• Community service projects such as book collecting for families in need

ND United Voices


This technology gives current retirees, soon to be retirees, and our friends the ability to discuss issues important to us.”

LIKE NDUNITED RETIRED ON FACEBOOK! By ND United Retired Vice President Nancy Peterson

DID YOU KNOW NORTH DAKOTA UNITED-RETIRED HAS A FACEBOOK PAGE? Well, we do! This technology gives current retirees, soon to be retirees, and our friends the ability to discuss issues important to us. In the future, we plan to use our Facebook page as:

• A means of communicating when we need support from the North Dakota Legislature.

• A way to keep our membership information current. • Recognition for the accomplishments of our members. • Technology that many of us can use daily. • To share tips on topics that will assist others in making decisions.

The list is endless…….

Join the conversation with friends at ND United on Facebook by simply searching Facebook for “NDUnited Retired.” Also, it would be of tremendous help if you would take a few minutes of your time to contact ND United at 1-800-369-6332 and ask for Renee Franklund, if it’s time to update your contact information. If you don’t want to call, please send an email to me and I will make sure the information is forwarded to the correct person. You can contact me at nap70@live.com. Please send or call in your name, current address, current personal email, and phone number. We do not want you to miss out on any information, programs, or services that you are entitled receive from North Dakota United. I hope you are keeping warm or in a warm place this winter. See you at the ND United Delegate Assembly on April 12 in Bismarck.

YES, SIGN ME UP NOW IN NDU/NEA/AFT-RETIRED Complete and mail with your check today, to NDU-Retired, 301 N 4th St, Bismarck, ND 58501-4020 Name: _______________________________________Social Security Number: __________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________________________ City: _________________________________________ State: ______________ Zip: ______________ Phone: ______________________________E-mail:_________________________________________ Local Association: ____________________________Signature_______________________Date______ _______ I wish to join as Annual Retired and pay $52 per year. Mail this form and your check to NDU, 301 N 4th Street, Bismarck, ND 58501-4020. (NDU membership year is from Sept. 1 to August 31.) _______ I wish to pay a one-time payment of $412 for Lifetime Retired. Expected Date of Retirement ___________ (month/year) _______ I wish to pay one payment of $52 and have 9 (nine) electronic transfers of $40 from my bank account for Lifetime Retired. ndunited.org

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ND United Voices

United Voices, Vol. 1 No. 4  

January 2014 Issue of North Dakota United's official magazine, 'United Voices'