Friday, April 28, 2017

BC Learning Update, Robotics & FFA Plant Sale

Click here for the BC Learning Update to to access the links within this newsletter

Our Robotics Team is competing at the The FIRST World Championships in St. Louis and meeting people from across the world as they represent Benton Community  .
Gary Zittergruen Twitter post pictures

Our Benton FFA is hosting the 1st weekend of their plant sale.

Saturday, April 29th 9:00 to Noon
Friday, May 5th 3:00 - 6:00 PM
Saturday, May 6th 8:00 to Noon
Friday, May 12th 3:00 - 6:00 PM
Saturday, May 13th 8:00 to Noon

Kystal Wright photo

If you know someone that may be interested in plants for this growing season, send them our way!  The greenhouse is located on the south side of the high school.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The power of student voice

Today our school community had the pleasure of seeing the positive power students have.

Several BC students nominated one of their teachers for the KCRG A+ for Education award.  As Kai O'Mara shared this morning, our teacher winner had the most votes of any teacher for this award this year.  This was all part of our students collaborating and making this happen and our teachers making a difference in the lives of our students so they want to make an impact on the lives of others.   

There are so many things I could say about our Benton Community student body, but the one thing that comes to mind consistently is we have "great students and great families" to work for and with!

Congrats to Jeff ZittergruenKCRG A+ for Education winner and a huge thank you to our students for caring to make a difference!  Below are a few pictures from the presentation.

Photos from Gary Zittergruen

We have also have a student being recognized as a finalist in the KCRG Student of the Month.  

Carl Gerhold IV

18-year-old Carl Gerhold IV is a senior at Benton Community High School. He is active in our FFA Chapter and serves as the president.  He also is part of the Atkins Watermelon Days, where he co-chairs the Food Committee.  He is also working towards completing his CNA through BC's joint program with Kirkwood Community College.  He also volunteers to help his neighbors by mowing their lawns.

Both of these young men reinforce to me the power we all have to make a difference in the lives of others by doing what is right and not always what is easy.  Thank you to Jeff and Carl for making a difference.

We also have a student athlete up for KCRG's Athlete of the week.  Patrick Michael had 9 goals and 3 assists in 2 soccer games.  Vote here for him.

Picture sources:

As always -- it's a great day to be a Bobcat!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services & Mobile Gardes

(These stories are in the Iowa School Leader Update April 2017)

Two schools are teaching students to dream. And those dreams served up at Forest City and Charles City high schools in northern Iowa are virtually at the students’ fingertips.

Thanks to an initiative through the Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS), the schools enable students with special needs the ability to virtually learn about good-paying jobs they never knew existed. Through the use of software, the schools have created a virtual learning environment, offering students a front seat in interacting with simulated objects, from a car engine to the human heart.

The hands-on exploration supplements classroom instruction, and opens the doors for the students to a work world they never knew existed. It gives them, firsthand, a chance to try on different career options. Read more.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Uncle Earl & BC Learning Update April 2017

I have written before how I have been blessed with many great role models in my life.  This past week I had the pleasure of spending time with two of them.

I was recently asked by Kris Donnelly Program Services Director at GrantWood AEA, to participate in a panel for the Iowa AEA Board of Directors meeting to share thoughts on how Iowa AEA's have supported Teacher Leadership within our state and school districts.

Kris Donnelly is one of those people in my life that every time I get an opportunity to soak up her knowledge -- I DO!  She has helped me re-shape how I reflect and ask questions.  She has helped me think about impact and how this impact needs to be focused in the lens of our students.  She has helped me persevere when I was stuck.  I appreciate her investment in me and the time I was able to spend with her traveling on Highway 30 as we took classes together at ISU.

On Thursday, March 30, 2017, I was part of a group of passionate educators who shared their insights into how are AEA's are continuing to help propel districts forward by supporting our needs, at times even before we may have them identified.  The other panel participants were:  Lisa Clayberg of Ames School District, Heather Gould of AEA 267, Scott Moran of Denison School District and Dr. Julie Davies of AEA 267.

Kris Donnelly, myself, Heather Gould, Lisa Clayberg, Scott Moran, Julie Davies

The time reinforced to me that we are all working to ensure Teacher Leadership is having a positive impact on student learning within our systems by focusing on teacher effectiveness.  But, I have to admit the highlight of my day was seeing my Uncle Earl.

My Uncle Earl has been on the Heartland AEA Board of Directors for 21 years.  He is a former administrator in the Des Moines School District.   He also teaches for Viterbo University. (I'm sure he has done many other things I have not shared here as well -- including learning how to play tennis and the guitar in his later years!)

He is an inspiration to me on a daily basis.  He has always encouraged me and is full of compliments when we take the opportunity to converse.  Over my lifetime he subtly encouraged me to complete my Ph.D. and continue to be a learner.  He reshaped my parents perspective when they were frustrated with my "stubborn nature" as one of "a determined young lady!".  

A few weeks ago he attended the ASCD Annual Conference in California and some of my Iowa ASCD friends (Sara Oswald, Lou Howell, Kym Stein) found him and sent me the picture below:

I only hope that I can have a tenth of the impact on others in my life that my Uncle Earl has had in his.  I am more than proud to share with people he is my Uncle and the response I get back is a few minutes of how Earl has impacted their life in a positive way.  What a legacy!

Here is the BC Learning Update for April 2017