Teachers/staff of the year announced
Five teachers and staff were honored at Monday night’s Somerset Board of Education meeting for being selected teachers and staff of the year.
Somerset Elementary art instructor Amy Stevens was chosen as this year’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year recipient.
“It was pretty evident, even though it’s my first year at Somerset Elementary, all the work that Amy puts in,” elementary principal Dr. Christopher Kamrath said. “She gets to know each student personally.”
The Somerset Middle School Teacher of the Year award went to seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher Damon Barta.
Somerset Middle School principal Sara Eichten praised Barta for his work this summer at 3M developing a more efficient surgical scrub, his work with Next Generation Science Standards, his Professional Learning Community (PLC) leadership skills and his efforts in implementing the middle school’s new looping science courses, which allow students to study subject areas more thoroughly in trimesters.
Somerset High School English teacher Cory Lindenberg was picked as the high school’s Teacher of the Year honoree. Somerset High School principal Chris Moore highlighted Lindenberg’s work as a PLC leader, his work with his PLC on helping students become college and career ready by incorporating ACT testing into classroom curricula and his basketball coaching, softball coaching and football announcing as reasons for his selection.
“His determination to help students do better in the classroom really stood out,” Moore said.
Lindenberg told board members and administration to thank his wife, because without her support, “I couldn’t be here doing all of this fun stuff for you.”
Grades 5-12 school psychologist Jessica Thorson was selected as the Special Education Teacher of the Year. Eichten described Thorson as “quite the individual,” who is full of suggestions on ways to help students, but who never loses sight of the kid behind all the data.
District administrator Randy Rosburg spoke highly of information technology technician Matt Rivard, the Support Staff Employee of the Year. Rosburg said Rivard is instrumental in keeping students and teachers working, and a joy to work with thanks to his energy, smiling face and willingness to resolve all IT issues.
October incident report
A report in the school board packet outlined incidents that took place on school grounds for the month of October. There were 52 reported incidents, which included: disturbances (2 percent); drug paraphernalia (4 percent); harassment (12 percent); mental health (2 percent); possession of dangerous weapons at school (2 percent); possession of marijuana (4 percent); suspicious activity (10 percent); petty theft (2 percent); tobacco on school grounds (6 percent); traffic complaints (6 percent); truancy (19 percent); underage possession/consumption of alcohol (4 percent); admin/teacher contact (2 percent) and disorderly conduct (25 percent).
- It was reported that the morning drop off location at the elementary school is now supervised each day. Additional structure has also been added to the afternoon pickup procedures.
- Middle School English Language Arts teachers Kristin Flater, Nathan Klinger and Stacy Toenjes presented to the board projects their PLC has been working on.
- The first reading of the 2015-16 High School Course Offering Booklet was conducted. New AP courses to be added include macroeconomics, microeconomics and psychology. Studio art was updated to AP art. Engineering courses were also given their own section.
- Business Services Committee Chair Marie Colbeth gave a report on the 2013-14 actual budget, which has an $8,000 surplus.
- Rosburg reported district enrollment to be 1,597, down nine students from one year ago.
- A cracked line was found in the high school food service area, accounting for years of drainage issues. The problem will be addressed after further investigation.
- State Honors Choir participants Eli Anderson, Mara Erickson, Colin Gallo, Zeb Rivard, Ethan Lammers, Mitch Hosley and Hannah Erickson were honored.
- State cross country participant Anya Swanson was recognized.
- The 2014-15 winter coaching assignments were approved.
- Youth Options requests for 34 students for Spring 2015 were approved.