The Sioux Falls School District released the nominees for the 2014 Teacher of the Year award late last week. Here’s the information:
The following teachers have been nominated for the 2014 Dr. John W. Harris Teacher of the Year Award.
Travis Aarbo, Read 180 Teacher - Axtell Park Middle School
Maureen Bland, First Grade - Lowell Elementary
Tammy Cooper-Mosser, First Grade - John Harris Elementary
Allison Carlson, 8th Grade Science - Patrick Henry Middle School
Robyn Costello, Kindergarten - John Harris Elementary
Karen Cota, Kindergarten - R.F. Pettigrew Elementary
Caron DeLamontanya, First Grade - John Harris Elementary
Loree Erickson, 6-12 SS & Math - Success Academy
Robyn Ernster, Second Grade - John Harris Elementary
Kris Hansen, First Grade - Rosa Parks Elementary
Tara Hansen-Leinen, K-3 Resource - Rosa Parks Elementary
Sarah Henrichs, 6-8 Cluster Lang. Arts - Axtell Park Middle School
Judy Ann Hilleson, 7th Language Arts - Memorial Middle School
Holly Hofer, Second Grade - Robert Frost Elementary
Anita Hoffmann, First Grade - Saint Mary School
Shannon Hohwieler, Kindergarten - John Harris Elementary
Kristianne Irsfeld, Fifth Grade - John F. Kennedy Elementary
Bridget Jacobs, HS Sciences - Roosevelt High School
Erin Larson, First Grade - Garfield Elementary
Julie Larsen, Fourth Grade - John F. Kennedy Elementary
Jane Lukens, 6-8 SPED - Patrick Henry Middle School
Dean Marty, Fifth Grade - Challenge Center
Rebecca Moser, First Grade - Laura Wilder Elementary
Jessica Pomerenke, Math – Geometry - Roosevelt High School
Andrea Sailor, Second Grade - Oscar Howe Elementary
Alicia Sferrazza, First Grade- Oscar Howe Elementary
Nicole Shilmoeller, 6-8 Reading - Axtell Park Middle School
Micah Siegel, Third Grade - John Harris Elementary
Sandra Turgeon, Fifth Grade - John Harris Elementary
Nicole Valnes, Fourth Grade - Robert Frost Elementary
Jacqueline Wilber, Speech/Debate - Roosevelt High School
Lyndi Willet, Third Grade - Rosa Parks Elementary
The 2014 Dr. John W. Harris Teacher of the Year will be announced on
Monday, March 24, 2014 at an evening reception for all nominees and special guests.
The Teacher of the Year program is sponsored jointly by the Sioux Falls School District and Vern Eide Motorcars.
The deadline to submit nominating petitions to run for the Sioux Falls School District School Board is Friday, but so far, incumbent Doug Morrison is the only one who has submitted his materials.
The school district tells me if no one challenges Morrison, he wins the seat by default. Three people have taken out petitions, so it will be interesting to see what happens by the deadline Friday.
Board President Morrison’s spot is the only open seat on the board.
Nominating packets can be picked up at the district’s finance office in the Instructional Planning Center, 201 E. 38th St., from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To be considered eligible for the office, a person must be a resident voter living within the school district’s boundaries. Nominating petitions must be filed by 5 p.m.Friday.The annual school district election, if held, will be done in conjunction with the Sioux Falls municipal election on April 8.
To learn more, call Bev Chase, Election Services at 605-367-7905 or visit the school board tab at www.sf.k12.sd.us.
CTE Academy Principal Jim Kayl and Beverly Rieck with the Dell Rapids School District shared the proclamation with me last week. Kayl is the president-elect for the South Dakota chapter of the Association for Career and Technical Education, and Rieck is the president. Photo of the two and the governor’s proclamation below.
The Sioux Falls School Board approved the early retirement requests of four school district administrators Monday.
Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Staff development, Sharon Schueler, Garfield Elementary principal Nancy Duncan, Washington High School assistant principal Kevin Kennedy and Lincoln High School assistant principal Mike Klinedinst will all retire at the end of this school year.
Out of those retiring, Duncan has been with the district the longest, starting in 1972, according to district information. Schueler and Kennedy started in 1977, and Klinedinst has been with the district since 1999.
Where did we come from? How should we explain that to students?
One lawmaker has proposed a bill that would allow teachers to teach students about intelligent design — the theory that life was created by a designing intelligence, often with a religious undertone.
You can read about the bill here.
In essence, Senate Bill 112 would would make it illegal for a school board or a school administrator to prohibit teachers in public or private schools from teaching students about intelligent design and “other related topics.”
Sen. Jeff Monroe, R-Pierre, sponsored the bill and said it isn’t aimed at any specific religion.
"In our society, it’s a social debate," he said Friday. "Are we animals, did we come out of the slime and are we monkeys, genetically altered over time, or are we designed by intelligence? Interpret that however a person wants to."
The supreme court has interpreted it as being unconstitutional to teach it alongside evolution, one of the more recent cases involving a school in Pennsylvania.
Traditionally students are taught one or the other, with primarily private religious schools teaching intelligent design, and public schools teaching evolution. The Sioux Falls School Board opposes the bill and the Associated School Boards of South Dakota is watching the discussion.
Monroe said his constituents asked for he bill. He said it allows students who can’t afford private schools to learn non-evolution-based theories. In Monroe’s bill, it leaves the question of “how we got here” up to the individual teacher to answer.
"Schools don’t have to do anything different, if they want to teach environmental accidental-ism, that’s fine. If they want to teach both, they can teach both, too," Monroe said. He thinks teachers should be allowed to share their beliefs.
Amanda Novotny of the Sioux Falls-based Siouxland Freethinkers, opposes the bill. In cases where schools have been required to teach intelligent design, legal action has declared it unconstitutional.
Monroe’s bill does not require it.
Novotny references the case of a group of parents vs the Dover Area School District, a case which the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 it was unconstitutional for the Pennsylvania school district to present intelligent design as an alternative to evolution to high school biology courses. The high court said intelligent design is a religious viewpoint that advances “a particular version of Christianity,” according to a New York Times article on the ruling.
"It’s a gross church-state violation," Novotny said of SB 112. "The way the bill is written is really opening them up for the same type of court cases to happen."
The bill also is vague enough to allow districts or administrators to vary their interpretations, Novotny said.
"What they haven’t thought about, is conversely, they could also take it and teach that (intelligent design) is not true, because the bill is worded vaguely," Novotny said. "It’s really putting a lot of the decision making on the teacher as far as the science curriculum."
The Sioux Falls School District opposes the bill.
"What should and should not be taught is dictated by the written curriculum for the given subject area as approved by the local school board. A teacher must follow the adopted curriculum,” the district says in their legislative position document.
The Associated School Boards of South Dakota is “monitoring” the bill.
Monroe said he anticipates there to be some debate, and looks forward to it.
No hearing date has been set yet, but Monroe anticipates it will likely be heard in the Senate Education Committee within the next few meetings.
It should be an interesting discussion.
UPDATE: I got in touch with School Board President Doug Morrison this evening and he said he is running again. If elected, it would be his third term on the board.
"“I have a passion for community service and education,”he said. “It’s challenging and hopefully it benefits the community in some way.”
If you want to run for school board, you can pick up a nominating packet at the Instructional Planning Center beginning tomorrow.
The packets may be picked up at the district’s finance office, located in the Instructional Planning Center, 201 E 38th Street, Monday through Friday-7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. To be considered eligible for the office, a person must be a resident voter living within the School District’s boundaries. Nominating petitions must be filed by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28. The annual School District election will be held in conjunction with the Sioux Falls Municipal Election on Tuesday, April 8.
Board President Doug Morrison’s spot is the only open seat on the board.
For more information, call Bev Chase, Election Services at 605-367-7905 or visit the School Board tab at www.sf.k12.sd.us.
Since the school board election will be held in conjunction with the city election, I’m expecting a big turnout. Mostly because items on April’s ballot include the outdoor pool at Spellerberg, snow gates and Shape Places.
Traditionally, school board elections on their own haven’t brought in high voter turnout, which is kind of sad.
The last election, held last May and independent of any other elections, brought in voter participation of only 3.7 percent of those registered, which narrowly beat the record-low 3.55 percent from the 2009 election.
I’ll be following up as the election gets closer with profiles of the candidates.
Make sure to go out and vote!
Daugaard focuses on career and tech ed in State of the State -
Gov. Dennis Daugaard will spend millions of dollars to boost career and technical education in South Dakota’s high schools, he announced Tuesday in his State of the State speech.
The support includes $5 million in grants from the state’s Future Fund, which normally gives grants to support…
The weather’s been a bit tempestuous lately, but it’s about to get downright bone-chilling cold on Monday, with temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero (with windchill).
At what point does the Sioux Falls School District cancel school?
According to the district’s blog: “When wind chills approach the point where exposed flesh can freeze in 10 minutes or less, the District will typically call off school.”
But there are many other factors that come into play, such as what time of day the wind chill will be a dangerous range. Students don’t go outside for recess when the temperature or wind chill is below zero.
District spokesman Ben Schumacher told me today the District does not make a decision about school cancellations this far in advance, when we’re talking about Monday, for example.
"In cases of extreme cold and dangerous wind chills (and with snow events), the District works directly with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls to determine the danger to students and staff. The standing procedure is that the District will make a determination about school by 5 a.m. that day to notify early morning District staff of the closure – or late start – and will notify parents around 6 a.m. so they can make the necessary accommodations," he said in an email.
If and when school is delayed or cancelled, parents/guardians will hear directly from the School District via a ParentLink phone call with specific information.
The district last called off school last April during the ice storm.
Sometimes, he said, the district has made the decision as early as the evening before, depending on what the forecast says.
That’s barring any announcement by Gov. Dennis Daugaard that all schools in the state will be closed Monday, like Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton did today.
Lucky Minnesota students.
USA Today is asking students and their parents to tell them about their school lunches, which includes photos. Here’s the details:
How do you or your kids feel about the cafeteria food at school? How nutritious and/or satisfying do you think it is?
Show and tell us what school lunches look like where you are and we may feature your experiences on USA TODAY channels. If you send a photo, please note that by submitting an image, you are ensuring that it is your original and unique image that you have permission to submit for use in USA TODAY.
Photos submitted by students under the age of 13 must have parental consent. All photos will be fully vetted by USA TODAY staff.
E-mail photos of your plate to firstname.lastname@example.org, by Friday, Dec. 6, with a detailed caption that includes your name, age, hometown and a description of the food shown.
You can also tweet the photos using #schoollunch on Twitter.
Just doing a quick search with the hashtag on Twitter, I came across some pretty interesting school lunches with items like Crêpes and pumpkin butter pancakes, and more what I would call common items, such as chicken fingers and fruit. If you have a minute, check it out, it’s pretty interesting.
The Tea Weekly ran a photo in their Nov. 29 issue of a sign placed across the street from Tea High School:
(Credit: Tea Weekly)
If you can read the print, the photo is false, as confirmed by the Lennox School Superintendent, likely aimed at stirring up confusion over an upcoming bond vote.
The YES for Tea Area Kids group, which is in favor of the bond passing, is circulating the photo online trying to clear the air. You can find their Facebook page here.
The Tea Area School District will be holding an vote on a $10.5 million bond on Dec. 10, which would pay for an addition onto the elementary school in Tea, a performing arts center attached to the high school and a new elementary school in the northern part of the district.
The space is badly needed, as the district continues to grow, and some students have to go to class in “stick buildings,” or temporary classrooms that don’t have running water.
There’s been some opposition to the bond from folks in a housing development near Family Wellness, where the proposed new elementary school would be built. Some want out of the district because they want their kids to go to Sioux Falls schools and don’t want to have to pay the bond, but the district has been firm in defending their borders.