Faculty, staff learn during summer

Posted September 4, 2017

Many members of the Plymouth School District faculty and staff used the summer break to further their own educations.

  • A group of teachers – including Heather Gehri, Chris Helmer, Sharon Koene, Jessica Prusow, Billie Rau, Rebecca Sippel, and Kristie Webb – were trained in AddVantage Math Recovery this summer. Teachers learned about how students learn math, the progression of a student's strategies, and how to assess students to find their level of learning in number sense, addition and subtraction, place value, and multiplication/division.
  • A group of teachers and staff members – including Karl Bitter, Amy Bogenschuetz, Anne Gamoke, Bri Kappers, Matt Mueller, Tracy Mueller, Anne Nelson, Andy Novak, Megan Rickmeier, Sara Sandman, Maggie Stielow and Sara Stout --  attended a two-day SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) training on Aug 9 and 10 hosted by Wisconsin Safe & Healthy Schools and DPI.
  • Jennifer Rauscher, PHS principal; Jodi Timler, PHS educational specialist; Megan Hummitzsch, PHS English teacher; Kay Tharp, PHS math teacher; and Georgia Tucker, PHS library media specialist, attended the FIRST Conference held Aug. 2-4 in Fond du Lac. This Institute for Better Learning event focused on what it means to create a learning environment to help ensure all students experience high levels of learning.
  • Jennifer Biller, Plymouth High School social studies teacher, received a Medal of Honor Legacy scholarship to attend the Medal of Honor Legacy: War on Terror Graduate Teacher Program. The program, run by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, includes a five days of scholarly lectures and pedagogy discussions in June in Valley Forge, Penn. Topics included 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, domestic terrorism, radical islam in other nations, and the protection of cultural and religious artifacts.
  • Caren Johnson, district chef, attended a Farm to Cafeteria conference in Green Bay in August, and also training in Madison in July for special dietary needs, food waste & safety, procurement, and local wellness policies.
  • Dan Lamb, PHS social studies teacher, attended an AP summer institute for four days in late June at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. He was among about 18 other AP Economics teachers from throughout the upper Midwest focusing on teaching strategies, resources, and problematic content areas. He also attended a one-day seminar sponsored by Lakeland University – "Economic  Episodes in American History" – with about 80 other high school history and econ teachers, which explored new ways to get students to apply economic principles to  historical events.   
  • Gale Litt and Connie Lund, PHS culinary arts teachers, completed Level 2 of ProStart Training at Daytona State College at the end of June. This hands-on course, part of the ProStart program sponsored by the National Restaurant Association, addressed nutrition, food safety, customer service, purchasing, breakfast foods and sandwiches, grains and vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. They also completed the Wisconsin State ProStart Training in August in Door County,  covering content ranging from cheeses to beef to careers in the food industry. Mrs. Lund served as proctor and Mrs. Litt successfully took the exam to be re-certified as a ServSafe Food Protection Manager. 
  • Jennifer Marten, district gifted-and-talented coordinator, presented at the Annual Visible Learning Conference in San Francisco from July 10 to 11. The conference dealt with collective efficacy, the belief that teachers together can positively impact student learning, and focused on being a change agent to empower teachers and encourage teacher leadership.
  • PHS math teachers Darren Munson and Kay Tharp took a grad class in June through Marian University, called the “Tours of Excellence,” during which they toured four area tech schools and learned about their programs and facilities. Mrs. Tharp also attended NCTM's Interactive Institute, “Supporting Students' Productive Struggle,” in Baltimore, which helped teachers practice giving challenging tasks with scaffolding to support all levels of students.
  • Denise Roth, Parkview educational assistant, took a three-credit class on autism this summer called “Are you in the Zone?" at Marian University and attended the AEP Connections Conference, which addressed social communication, enhancing social skills, executive functioning and academics for students.
  • Dr. Rauscher attended the graduate class “The Superintendency” at Marian University in June and July; a Gifted & Talented Parent Workshop on Aug. 4 in Hatley; and a workshop, “Creating Connections” with psychologist Sarah Arnold in August. She also participated in the Sheboygan County "Made Here Bus Tour," which toured three local manufacturers in June to learn about how schools and businesses can partner on behalf of students and our community overall.
  • Maggie Stielow, PHS counselor, too a weeklong class “Foundations of Mindful Living” in Milwaukee, which provided personal awareness and strategies, while introducing skills necessary for reducing stress and stepping back from a non-stop, problem-solving and "getting things done" routine.
  • Valerie Wacker, speech language therapist, attended a graduate-credit conference, "Are You in the Zone? Social Communication, Enhancing Social Skills, Executive Functioning, & Academics for Students," on Aug. 1 in Appleton. She also watched several online webinars on various speech and language topics through the SLP Summit: Summer 2017, and I attended two IEP-writing workshops on Aug. 14 and 16 offered through the Plymouth School District.
  • Judy Woelfel, Horizon second-grade teacher, took an online course through UW-Oshkosh titled "The Art of Coaching," which addressed key components of being an effective leader and coach.