February Garretson PRIDE – Julie Snyders

FullSizeRender.jpgThis month, the board honored Julie Snyders with the District’s PRIDE award.  Julie was nominated by Elementary Counselor Janie Lundberg.  Ms. Lundberg’s nomination speaks for itself:

It is indeed an honor to recommend Julie Snyders for the Garretson PRIDE award.  This nomination is in recognition of her dedication to help meet the needs of the Garretson community.  Julie is one of the most self-less people I know!  She is my silent partner, and work whole-heartedly to bring blessings to others.  Julie is the type of person that does not seek recognition or praise.  She prefers that her contributions remain anonymous.  In fact, I am sure she would not want me to recognize her for this award.  However, when a person is as wonderful as Julie, they deserve to know how much they are truly appreciated, respected and admired!  When our students have a need, she is always there to help.  She often uses her own money to purchase food, warm clothing, shoes, coats, boots, hats, mittens, etc. for others.  She never asks for, nor receives, anything in return.  Julie is such a remarkable, positive, loving person.  She is one of those rare people that stands out because of her values and integrity.

Julie is also the backbone of the Garretson Angel Tree.  She generously gives her time and effort to this program.  She has enthusiastically taken it upon herself to assure that the children in our community have a bright and merry Christmas.  She volunteers, organizes, makes phone calls, lines up donors, shops for items and makes deliveries.  The Angel Tree is a success due to Julie’s tireless efforts.

I have enormous respect for Julie.  Because of her, many lives have been changed, including my own.  Julie is my inspiration.  She has touched my life and made it better.  She is a beautiful person with a heart of gold.  Julie has a send of PRIDE in her devotion to our community.  It is with great pleasure that I recommend Julie Snyders for the Garretson PRIDE award.

The nomination speaks to the work Julie does in our community more eloquently than I ever could.  Julie Snyders humbly makes a difference to kids and families in our community.  Congratulations on the award, Julie, but more than that, kudos to you for making a difference!

What do teachers do at “inservice?”

We have three days during the school year where the students do not come to school, but our staff report for staff development, or inservice.  We do our best to plan a variety of different learning activities for our staff, and we want to be sure that the time is well-spent with teachers learning things that can have an impact the way we teach our students.

In January, our staff attended the West Central Winter Symposium, a training day in which attendees are able to choose the training sessions that best suit their needs.  This year was the second year that we attended the event, and it was bigger and better this year!  Seven schools committed to the day – Garretson, Baltic, Tri-Valley, Madison, Colman-Egan, Montrose and West Central.   One of the hallmarks of this day-long training event is that the presenters are generally teachers and administrators who are doing the work in schools.  Our teachers report that learning from our peers is a positive experience, and also presents great opportunities for building a professional network of peers.

We are proud of the staff at the Garretson School District who took the risk to be a presenter for the program.  We had six presentations attributed to our staff:

  • Amy Thompson (speech therapist) and Julie Hersom (first grade) teamed up to offer “A Multi-Sensory Approach to Phonics.”
  • Alyxa Hoefert-Veldhuizen (kindergarten) presented “Class Dojo (a behavior management app) and Brain Breaks in the Classroom”
  • Jodi Neugebauer (second grade) and Teresa Johnson (elementary principal) paired up to tell others about our implementation of Inquiry-based learning and Genius Hour in the elementary classroom
  • Kelsey Buchholz (HS english) shared research and practical knowledge regarding Movement in the High School Classroom
  • Dave Mudder (PE) presented to peers the many strategies he uses in the physical education classroom in “Shoot from the Hip”
  • Chris Long shared lessons learned in Parent Communication through ICU and Teacher-Initiated Communications.

We are proud of our staff members who were willing to take the risk to present to their peers!  The strength of professional development days like the West Central Winter Symposium comes from teachers from all of these different districts sharing what they know works well in their classrooms.  We’ve got experts doing great things in the classrooms in our district.  The Symposium was a great opportunity for them to share that expertise and build a network of professional peers that will help us to serve our students more effectively in the classroom!

Applications for Free and Reduced Lunch Help the District

 

People sometimes wonder if they should apply for reduced priced meals at school.  It might be that they’re too proud to accept the help that their family needs.  It might be that they feel someone else has higher needs than they.  What people might not know is that if their family qualifies for the program, our school benefits from that as well.

There are a number of programs from the Federal Government that our school uses in which funding levels are determined by the percentage of our students who qualify for free or reduced price meals.  Many grants from charitable organizations also depend on the percentage of students in the District who qualify for assistance in the school lunch program.  There are times when we see a fantastic grant opportunity, only to read through the award qualifications and realize that not enough of our students participate in the program to allow us to apply.  If you’re curious as to whether your family may qualify, you can find the eligibility guidelines here.

If you have questions about the program or how your application might help our school, please call Guy Johnson at the school office (594-3451).  Help us out!  If you think you might qualify for the program, pick up an application and apply!