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An initiative designed to serve teachers in Colorado and provide affordable professional growth opportunities begins this summer when Regis University’s School of Education and Counseling in the College for Professional Studies and the Regis College Master of Arts in Education launch the university’s first Master Teacher Series with two workshops featuring nationally-known speakers.
The Master Teacher Series: Regis University in Service of Teachers features presentations by international consultants, authors and educators Richard Cash and Ellin Keene. SEC will sponsor Cash’s presentation titled “Advancing Differentiations: Thinking and Learning in the 21st Century” slated for June 11-12 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Regis University’s Clarke Hall atrium. MAE is sponsoring Keene’s presentation titled “Reimagining Teacher Leadership” July 11 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Mountain View Room of Regis University’s St. Peter Claver, S.J. Hall. Breakout sessions will follow the keynote.
“At Regis University we understand the tremendous pressures that teachers are under,” said Janna Oakes, dean of the SEC, while discussing the reasons for initiating the series. “Calls for increased public accountability in the schools, the substantial weight of learner performance on standardized tests, differentiating curricula to meet the needs of a diverse group of students, and doing the best for students with limited fiscal resources keep good teachers on their toes. “We want to provide these students with professional development on timely topics that impact classrooms today.”
Kathy Nutting, director of the MAE in Regis College, one of three colleges at Regis University, emphasizes that “Now more than ever, there is a need to expand the expertise that teachers hold so they are ready to serve in a variety of leadership roles to address the needs of students, schools and the teaching profession. As educators address new reform measures, teacher leaders will be a catalyst for making change happen while playing a pivotal role in increasing student achievement. These two workshops in the Master Teacher Series provide quality learning opportunities about topics of high relevance to professional learning communities.”
Both workshops offer Colorado Department of Education recertification credit for licensure renewal. The July 11 workshop may also be taken for Regis University Graduate credit with additional tuition applied.
The June 11-12 workshop fee is $75 and includes coffee, lunch and materials. The July 11 workshop fee is $50, includes breakfast, lunch, materials and networking reception. Graduate credit with applied tuition is available for those who pre-register for this workshop by June 7.
For more information or to register, visit http://ep.regis.edu/2013-Master-Teacher-Events.
Carly Sellaro is graduating from Englewood High School this month as the school district’s first all-digital student, meaning she did all of her schooling on an iPad. This fall, Englewood Schools will distribute iPads to all 2,000 of its elementary and middle school students. Photo courtesy of Englewood Schools
District distributes iPads, graduates its first ‘digital student’
By Peter Jones
Englewood Schools has graduated into the 21st century.
As Englewood readies for a state-of-the-art combined middle school/high school campus that is slated to open early next year, the once-beleaguered school district is making technological strides that few could have predicted.
Beginning in the fall, every elementary and middle school student in the district – 2,000 in total – will receive a district-issued iPad for use at school, home and anywhere else the learning takes them.
Plans call for high school kids to eventually receive the devices too.
The move follows a pilot program in Englewood middle schools – one that saw such widespread appreciation that not a single student lost or damaged their device. Englewood Leadership Academy, the district’s admission-based middle school, uses iPads exclusively, completely eschewing traditional pen, paper and notebook.
As evidence of the evolving trend, this month Englewood High School graduated its first-ever all-digital student. Senior Carly Sellaro did all of her school assignments – homework, tests, projects – on an electronic device, even scanning those old-fashioned worksheets and handouts onto her well-worn iPad.
District spokeswoman Julie McGinley expects more students to follow in Sellaro’s footsteps as district iPads become as commonplace as backpacks and binders.
“We’re trying to move more toward 21st century learning,” McGinley said. “We’re going to have much more of a focus on technology just because it’s become so important in today’s workplace and because kids like it and we want to keep them engaged.”
The effort is also designed to enhance reading in a district that has sometimes struggled with at-risk populations. Each of the district-issued iPads will be equipped with a personalized literacy program called the myON reader.
As many as 3,000 books – fiction, nonfiction and textbooks – will be available for download on the device, which tracks a student’s reading interests and ability to understand. Among other features, the myON defines words for students when needed, recommends other books of similar subject and tests the student’s comprehension at the end of each chapter.
“Without a teacher having to go to a child and test them to see what their level is, this tool does that regularly,” McGinley said. “It graphs it and makes charts so a teacher will know if a certain student is struggling, so they can hopefully put some interventions in place sooner than later.”
Children without home Internet access will not be left out. Students can download as many as 20 books at a time while at school and read them anywhere they want.
“We’re hoping this levels the playing field so kids who might not have as much access to reading at home will have the same amount of access,” McGinley said. “If we had those 3,000 books in the library, only one student could read each book at a time. That limits the amount of reading that the kids can do.”
What’s more, because standard textbooks are part of the myON library, the district will save money on purchasing them for every student.
The $1.1 million initiative is being made possible in large part by the Morgridge Family Foundation, which has pledged more than $100,000 toward the effort. The rest of the money is coming from a technology-oriented bond fund and from the district’s general-fund reserves.
Sellaro, the district’s first all-digital graduate, may be the sign of things to come. For the Englewood High School student-body president, it was just a matter of wanting to cut through the clutter of papers, folders and notebooks. The 21st century learner was often ahead of her teachers, who were not as proficient in the digital world.
“Some of my grades would drop because my teachers weren’t used to checking their email for my assignments,” she said. “I’d have to remind them that it was in their inbox, so after they got it my grades would go back up.”
McGinley says Sellaro was often in the position of teaching the teachers.
“It was kind of an adjustment on their part,” McGinley said. “But hopefully, she paved the way for that to be more normal.”
Sellaro helped Englewood Leadership Academy go digital, training that middle school’s teachers on her own self-taught techniques and largely saving them the trial and error of jumping headfirst into digital technology.
This fall, she will attend Metropolitan State University, where she intends to continue her all-digital studies.
McGinley expects Sellaro’s example to be the wave of the future as students become accustomed to virtual learning.
“What we saw in the middle schools is that kids love their iPads,” the district spokeswoman said. “If for some reason their iPad isn’t charged or they don’t have access to it, it’s a bummer for them to have to write on paper.”
Arapahoe High School scholar athletes were honored last week for their accomplishments at the annual signing day event. The Warriors had 38 students who received this recognition during the school year.Photos by Tom Barry
By Tom Barry
Recently, more than 1,200 students – over half of the school body, plus parents and faculty – showed up at Arapahoe High’s cafeteria for an annual event honoring student athletes. Steve Sisler, the school’s athletic director and an assistant principal, began the celebratory ceremony.
Sisler began the ritual by saying how proud he and the community were of all of the 15 students who had maintained high grades while competing in their respective sports. Students sat together in the front row, as they were announced one-by-one going up to the stage.
Each of the students honored wore T-shirts representing the respective college or university they would be attending.
“Some students signed formal letters of intent, while others had verbally expressed their intent to ‘walk-on’ to the respective teams,” said Sisler. “We honor them all.”
Arapahoe’s Principal Natalie Pramenko congratulated the parents as they walked to the stage. Janelle Weems, Sisler’s assistant, effectively planned and coordinated the lively and colorful event.
In signing ceremonies this school year, Arapahoe has recognized 38 scholar-athletes. Most of the students have received academic scholarships to the places of higher learning. These individuals will attend schools that participate in NCAA Division 1 to Division 3 level programs.
Steve Sisler, Arapahoe’s athletic director and an assistant principal, stands behind the podiuma. Principal Natalie Pramenko on right claps as the AD calls out a student athlete’s name for acknowledgment.
Melissa Barella will be attending Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., on a track and academic scholarships, as she has a 3.8 GPA. Barella will major in biology and hopes to attend medical school. She is pictured with her mom Dona, sister Elaine, a junior at Arapahoe, and dad Scott. Favorite team memory – “At a qualifying state meet the long jump bar was raised it to 5-foot-1.25, and then to 5-foot-2’, and finally I had cleared 5-foort-4, which was not only a personal record, but a school record.”
A proud Amanda Arbogast, who maintains a 3.4 GPA, will be on the pom/dance team at CSU. She is here posing with her Tom Toms Coach Kay Seastone and Nicole Bruhn who will attend the Univ. of Minnesota and perform and maintains a 4.1 GPA. Arbogast will study business and hopes to become a marketing director. Favorite team memory: “This year, we won state and this is the first time in 15 years that the Toms won this competition. This was my senior year and I was a captain.”
Jordan Seitz will attend Regis University and will be on their cross-country team. She maintains a 3.5 GPA and also runs track competing in short and long distance races. She is pictured with her dad Jamie and mom Kelly.
Ryan Smith will attend Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., and play lacrosse. He has a 2.9 GPA. Favorite team memory: “Probably sitting on the plane with my coach when heading back from spring break talking about things he did in high school – Coach Ryan Price.”
Ethan Pfeiffer will attend the Colorado School of Mines.
Thomas Trotman will attend and play basketball for Rockhurst University. He has a 3.0 GPA and may study sports management. This point guard shared the limelight with his parents Bodessa and Thomas. Favorite team memory: “Definitely making it to the state championship last year, complimented our great season.”
Very proud Arapahoe High basketball coaches Jerry Knafelc and Tim Slabach flank Stacey Lukasiewicz, Karlyn Johnson, Carly Buechler and Molly Reidel, who were honored as student athletes.
Michael Sosnowski, a tennis player, will attend Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla He maintains a 3.6 GPA. He is joined by his parents Andrzej and Kari and his sister Michelle.
Carly Buechler, a basketball point guard, will attend Whittier College in California. She received an academic scholarship with her 3.5 GPA. She is joined by her dad Bruce, twin sister Alex who also played on the team and will attend University of Colorado, and mom Cindy. Favorite team memory: “Definitely making it to the final four and getting to play at CU in Boulder.”
Morgan Dickie will attend and swim at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. She is joined by her mom Sandy, sister Kennedy and her dad Bob. Dickie has a 3.7 GPA and plans to study environmental engineering. “My favorite team memory from Arapahoe’s swim team is singing Lean On Me in the locker room before all of our home meets.”
Gabrielle Morley, a swimmer, will attend Colorado State University and has a 3.7 GPA. She trains for a club team and is up at 4:30 a.m. every day for practice and plans to swim on the Rams team in her second year. Morley is joined by her mom Julianna and her sister Olivia, a freshman who also swims for the Warriors.
Jack Goodreau incurred a broken wrist in late April during a lacrosse game and will play attacker for Adams State College. He maintains a 3.0 GPA and received an academic scholarship and intends to study psychology. He shared the stage with his mom Gina, brother Samuel and dad Marc. Favorite team memory – “Winning state last year with a 19 and 0 record.”
Savannah Rose will attend the University of Hawaii in Oahu and plans to swim for their team and wants to become an event planner. She has a 3.5 GPA and was joined by her grandma Mary Rose and her parents Gene and Olivia. Favorite team memory: “I think it was my senior year becoming so close with the team and my coaches and spending all my time with them.”
Karlyn Johnson will attend Regis University and also play basketball. She has a 3.9 GPA and received athletic and academic scholarships. She is joined by her brothers Jordan and Dylan and her dad Wayne. Favorite team memory: “Every single moment spent with my teammates was so much fun. We are more than teammates, really. We’re sisters.”
Stacy Lukasiewicz is joined by her family, Jenna, Kevin, Kyle, her parents Julie and Ward and on the bottom row Karissa, Stacey, Steven. She will attend Seattle Pacific University and play basketball for the Falcons. Lukasiewicz has a 4.06 GPA.
Senior Jesse Vega-Perkins with parents Denise Vega & Matt Perkins
Submitted by SMA
The St. Mary’s Academy Gala A Night at the Derby held on April 26 at Mile High Station was a festive gathering of attendees yearning for spring in their seersucker jackets and brightly colored dresses. The theme infused a flavor of trackside manner spurring rascally bidding on a vast array of silent and live auction items.
Though no yearlings from Keeneland were on the auction block, Gary Corbett guided bidders through live auction items with the most popular item being a one-week stay at Las Ventanas Al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico, sure to be a trip of a lifetime. The most popular silent auction item was four tickets to the One Direction concert, which would qualify that teen’s parent for Parent of the Year. Gala Chair Leslie Spelts was thrilled with how all of the tireless efforts of the volunteers, sponsors and donors came together in such a lovely and successful event.
A 2013 Subaru Forester greeted guests at entrance of the venue where more than 400 SMA parents, faculty, staff and friends enjoyed the evening, thanks to Title Sponsors Michael and Suzanne Shaw of Mike Shaw Subaru. Gala Chair Leslie Spelts, Auction Chair Emily Gordon and Sponsor Chair Susan Cheedle were joined by their husbands Trevor, Steve and Brad respectively. Other guests included former President Judith Baenen ‘57, Board Chair Maureen Reidy Witt ‘73 with her sister and fellow alumna, Margaret Reidy Pflueger ’82, and their mother, Margaret Reidy. The crowd recognized the many Sisters of Loretto, having founded SMA 148 years ago, and Cherry Hills Village Mayor Doug Tisdale.
The delights of Occasions Catering included fried chicken buckets and Kentucky hot browns with a few guests sipping on Derby-inspired mint juleps. Guests were treated to mini pecan pies and bourbon ball truffles to end the evening with a sweet touch.
Current Board members Phyllis Chrisman and David Gau, joined by their spouses, Jim and Tracey, were thrilled that this year’s Gala touted the third highest fundraising preliminary total of more than $238,000 in the past 15 years. This annual fundraiser supports the St. Mary’s Academy Tuition Assistance Fund, which will continue to contribute to the success of future students for many years.
Auction Chair Emily Gordon and Gala Chair Leslie Spelts
Kathleen & Carter Dammen
2013 Title Sponsors Suzanne & Michael Shaw ofMike Shaw Subaru
Debbie & Joe Sakic.Photos courtesy of Susan Hennessy, SMA
Submitted by Littleton Public Schools
Littleton Public Schools was selected as a Top 10 scoring district in the ninth annual Digital School Districts Survey through the National School Boards Association and the Center for Digital Education.
The survey showcases exemplary use of technology to govern a district, communicate with students, parents and the community and to improve district operations. Innovations by this year’s winners touched all facets of education.
Schools districts were ranked by student population in three categories. LPS ranked 10th in the large-sized student-population districts category with 12,000 students or more.
Amanda Casner, a senior at Grandview High School in Aurora, has been awarded the prestigious PEO STAR Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. The scholarship will be presented at the June 13 meeting of Chapter FQ, PEO in Littleton by President, Martha Staudte. Casnet will attend Colorado School of Mines, where she plans to study engineering, physics and applied mathematics beginning this fall.
The PEO Sisterhood has given nearly $225 million in financial assistance to almost 90,000 women in the United States and abroad. The award, for graduating high school seniors is a $2,500 scholarship based on excellence in leadership, extracurricular activities, community service, academics and potential for future success. Of the 1,961 applications were submitted nationally, 302 students were granted the award.
Willow Creek fourth graders listen intently as Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya describes her long struggle to get an education.
Submitted by Laura Dravenstott and Lisa Heaton
The Willow Creek community welcomed Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, recently named one of Anderson’s Cooper CNN Heros, and Seeds to Sew International, a New Jersey nonprofit founded by former Cherry Creek School District educator Janice Ito, her sister, and her daughter, Ellyn Ito.
Ntaiya spoke about her life as a girl in a tribal Maasai village in a remote area of Kenya without running water or electricity. Willow Creek students learned that after she was engaged at the age of 5, Ntaiya persuaded her father to put off the marriage until she could finish primary and high school and then convinced village elders to pay for her trip to college in the United States. She became the first girl from her village to obtain a college degree and later became the only woman in her community to receive a doctorate.
After Dr. Ntaiya earned her degree from Randolph Macon in Virginia, she returned to her village to establish a school for girls. Cultural norms usually prevent girls from attending school, and the poverty of the area often makes school uniforms, books and fees prohibitive for families. Seeds to Sew makes the dream of education possible by raising awareness and money to meet the students’ needs through sales of hand-made beaded jewelry and gift bags, crafted in the traditional Maasai style by some of the students’ mothers.
Willow Creek held a bead drive earlier this year to raise money and collect beads which were sent to the Seeds to Sew program and distributed to the Kenyan women beaders. The bead drive, organized by Ms. Heaton and Ms. Link and their fourth grade classes, kicked off an exciting relationship between the Willow Creek students and their Kenyan counterparts. The students have been writing and receiving letters to one another, and recently our fourth graders designed and wove friendship bracelets to send to their Kenyan pen pals.
Heaton and Link and their students will be organizing sales of Enkisoma Beaded Bracelets, in May. These bracelets have been made specifically for Willow Creek Elementary School by using colors that students might find interesting. Examples of this are, red, white and blue (colors of our nation’s flag and WC colors), gold and black (CU colors), light blue and gold (Nuggets colors), blue and orange (Broncos colors), indigo and black (Rockies colors), green and gold (CSU colors). Cost of the bracelets will be $4 each or 3 for $10. All the proceeds will be returned to the Kenyan girls’ fundraising efforts.
Willow Creek Principal Michael Chipman displays a photo of Kenyan students thanking Willow Creek for its support of their school.
Submitted by Karen Fisher
After more than 18 years as a parent leader and volunteer in the Cherry Creek School District, Karen Fisher has announced her candidacy for the District E seat on the Board of Education.
“It’s the right time to combine my school, community and professional experience to make a meaningful difference for all students,” Fisher said. “There’s no more important work than preparing students to succeed in tomorrow’s economy and to participate as fully functioning members of society. As a school board member, it will be my job to set a strategic direction so all students graduate from our high schools ready for college and their careers.”
Fisher’s experience spans school, district and community levels. She has led elementary, middle and high school accountability committees to close student achievement gaps. She also has served on district-wide boards and committees, such as Citizens for Cherry Creek Schools, which helped to pass the $25 million budget and $125 million bond election last November.
In March, the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation honored Fisher and her husband Bill with the 2013 Champions of Education award for their long-time service and dedication to Cherry Creek Schools and public education. Three of their six children currently attend district schools. The other three are graduates of the Cherry Creek School District.
“Students and families deserve informed, dedicated and accessible school board members who can help to navigate what’s next for Colorado’s public schools,” Fisher said. “The Cherry Creek School District is a high performing system, and we’ll need to evolve to stay on top. As a school board member, it will be a priority to listen to students, parents and educators and to make sure students learn relevant skills they need to succeed, teachers and principals get training and tools they need to be effective, and schools are safe places for students to learn and teachers to teach.”
Fisher serves on the executive boards of two groups that support the school district—the Parents’ Council of Cherry Creek Schools and the nonprofit Community Asset Project. She also serves on two community nonprofit boards – Friends for Families First and the Fine Arts Foundation.
Her professional expertise is in finance, budgeting and corporate lending.
For more information visit www.KarenFisherSchoolBoard.com.
Election Day is Nov. 5.
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