Archive for Friday, March 18, 2011

First Bell: One more candidate chat before the weekend; foundation presents Teacher Innovation Grants; Academic All-Stars to be unveiled Sunday

March 18, 2011


A few education-oriented items from around the area, and beyond:

Bill Roth is running for a seat on the Lawrence school board, and he’s willing to take your questions.

Roth, a retired engineer, is scheduled to take part in an online chat today at 11 a.m., from here in The News Center.

More chats are set for next week:

• Randy Masten, 11 a.m. Monday, March 21.

• Ola Faucher, 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 22.

• Jim Clark, 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22.

• Tyler Palmer, 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 23.

You may submit questions in advance for any or all of the upcoming chats (just follow the links to the side of this story), and, of course, follow along while candidates are writing their answers. Transcripts for previous chats also are available for review.

Nine people are campaigning for election to occupy four available seats on the board. Winners will take office in July.

In-person advance voting continues now through noon April 4. The general election is April 5.


The Lawrence Schools Foundation announced the winners of Teacher Innovation Grants for the 2011-12 school year.

In all, 11 projects won approval from the foundation, providing a total of $21,736 in private financing beyond basic school budgets for creative projects in the district schools.

The winning projects and the educators leading them:

• “Dashboard Movies for Physics,” Alan Gleue, Andy Bricker and Timothy Kuhlman, of Lawrence High School.

• E-Books for middle schools, Charlotte Anderson, of Central Junior High School.

• “Igniting Parent Involvement in Reading,” Alison Nye, of Pinckney School.

• “Sensory Breaks,” Beth Maloun, Abbey Vieux-Revell, Theresa Bari, Jake Larsen, Michelle Seidner, Jessica Green and Ruth Anne Sneegas, of Prairie Park School.

• “Vocational Training,” Llara Baska, of the district’s Community Transitions program.

• “Sensational Sensory Supports,” Julie McEathron, Christina Hadorn, Lisa Hodges, Alicia Dreiling and Paula Warren, of Deerfield School.

• “Creating Connections to Literature,” Valerie Johnson-Powell, of Lawrence High School.

• “Investigating Motion with Spark Timers,” Aline Hoey, of West Junior High School.

• “iPads in the Classroom,” Lisa Harrod, of Broken Arrow School.

• “Exciting eReaders!” Melissa Stucky, of Southwest Junior High School.

• “An eReader in Every Classroom,” Jessica Larsen, of Hillcrest School.

“We are thrilled with the new ideas these teachers proposed this year and congratulate them on their motivation and dedication to enhancing the learning experience of their students,” said Kathy Davis, a trustee of the foundation and chairwoman for the grant selection committee.

Added Susan Esau, the foundation’s executive director: “For this particular grant program, the foundation considers how a project will improve student achievement, whether it is innovative, if it will engage students in the learning process and how much funding we have available.”

Since 2003, the foundation has awarded nearly $143,000 in teacher innovation grants.


In Sunday’s paper, plenty of people will be looking for news about the most popular team these days around these parts: the Kansas Jayhawks. (Here’s hoping they’re set to play that night in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32.)

Also on the front page will be another team with committed students, stellar performers and — yes — promising professionals.

We’re talking, of course, about the 2011 Academic All-Stars.

The team’s 10 members are winners in an annual competition among students from area high schools. The program, organized and sponsored by the Journal-World, honors high school seniors for their overall excellence through a written essay, academic performance, community involvement and overall impression made on contest judges.

I had a chance to meet these fine students earlier this week, and we’ll feature them all in this Sunday’s newspaper.

Also, you can look forward to updates about the All-Stars from 10 years ago, and read their advice for members of this year’s team.

Once you’re finished with that, of course, you can go back to — we hope — preparing for the big basketball game...


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