Fall 2007 Archived News

School of Education Fall 2007 Newsletter

Teacher Talk, the SOE Newsletter

Take a look at the Fall edition of Teacher Talk, the School of Education Newsletter!

Features include:

  • UW-L Special Populations Program
  • Coulee English Teachers Collaborative Conference
  • Health Education and Health Promotion Offers 910 Add-On Health License
  • UW-La Crosse Teacher Education Conceptual Framework
  • The Office of Field Experience
  • Wisconsin Partnerships Gets Youth READY for Emergencies
  • UW-L Adapted Aquatics Partnership
  • Meet the 2007-2008 SOE Director's Council
  • First the Kids, Now the Teachers

Feedback or suggestions regarding the newsletter can be sent to soewebmaster@uwlax.edu.

Meet the 2007-2008 SOE Director's Council

Director’s Council leaders provide guidance to the Director of the School of Education, serve as liaisons across the School of Education, and support students across all programs in the School of Education.  Have a question about your program?  Want to get more involved in SOE organizations?  Ask a member of the Director’s Council. 

SOE Director's Council

The Director’s Council (left to right) back row: Chase Steiner (Physical Education and School Health Education EC-A), Libby McCoy (English and History EA-A), Samantha Hermann (MC-EA and Special Education), Maggie Brown (Broadfield Science, Chemistry and Physics EA-A); front row: Katie Strey (Physical Education and School Health Education EC-A), Kristen Zwirgzdas (Physical Education and School Health Education EC-A), Josh Guidote (History and Political Science EA-A). 

2007-2008 Director's Council

Chase Steiner

Chase Steiner

My name is Chase Steiner and I am a fourth year student who is currently involved in Physical Education Majors Club, Eta Phi Alpha and Directors' Council for Education.  I am currently an officer in PEM Club and plan to student teach in the Spring of 2009.

Email Chase

Libby McCoy

Libby McCoy

My name is Libby McCoy and I am a sophomore studying English and History EA-A.  I am a member of Student WEA and I also tutor through the Boys and Girls Club.

Email Libby

Samantha Hermann

Samantha Hermann

My name is Samantha Hermann and I am studying middle childhood-early adolescence or MC-EA grades 1-9. My minor is Special Education which is a cross-categorical certification. I am student teaching the 08-09 school year and will graduate May 2009. I am President of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) which is the International Honors Society in Education. We have meetings twice a month on educational related topics and also hold events such as Reading is Fun and ACT 31.

Email Samantha

Maggie Brown

Maggie Brown

My name is Maggie Brown and I am in my 4th year with an EA-A Broad-field Science major and a Chemistry minor.  I will be student teaching in the spring of 2008.  I am a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Student WEA, and National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).  I also coach girls basketball at Logan High School in La Crosse. 

Email Maggie

Katie Strey

Katie Strey

My name is Katie Strey and I'm studying Physical Education and School Health Education. I plan to student teaching in Fall 2008. I represent the School Health Education Department on the Director's Council.

Email Katie

Kristen Zwirgzdas

Kristen Zwirgzdas

My name is Kristen Zwirgzdas and I'm a fourth year student studying School Health Education and Physical Education Teaching. I plan to student teaching in Spring 2009. I'm involved with Eta Sigma Gamma, the PEM Club and the SOE Director's Council. I work in Hmong childcare, at the Hamilton Boys and Girls Club and as a coach for the Park and Rec.

Email Kristen

Josh Guidote

Josh Guidote

My name is Josh Guidote. I'm originally from Menasha, Wisconsin.  I am a 4th year student with a secondary education (broad field social studies) major with history, political science & ethnic and racial studies minors. I plan to student teach in the Spring of 2009. I'm in Vanguards and hold seats on the SOE Director's Board and the Joint Minority Affairs Committee.

Email Josh

National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Features SOE STEM Resources Website in Expert Voices Blog

See the article in its original form at the NSDL website.

The article has been reproduced below.

Hagar Curriculum Resource Center

Monday, November 26th, 2007 8:59 am
Written by: Brad Edmondson

Stefan Smith, John Jax, Tim Gerber and Karen Lange
(l-r) Stefan Smith, John Jax, Tim Gerber and Karen Lange, developers of the Hagar Center STEM site, holding some of the Best Science Books of 2007. 

The Alice Hagar Curriculum Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse is an old-fashioned library. But its books are supported by a fine collection of digital resources in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Elementary and middle school teachers from the area are invited to browse a large collection of high-quality STEM textbooks at the Hagar Center during Teacher Resource Day, then use the online resources to make their lessons stronger.

Even if you can’t get to the west coast of Wisconsin, the Hagar Center’s website is still worth a visit. Tim Gerber, a biology professor at UW-LAX, and Stefan Smith, webmaster, launched the site last October. Each book is in Science Books & Films’ Best List or the National Science Teachers Organization’s list of Outstanding Trade Books. The resources are organized by topic, using the Resources For Science Literacy in Project 2061, the influential standards template created by the American Academy for the advancement of Science (AAAS). The books and associated online resources help PK-12 pre-service and in-service teachers develop high-quality lesson plans.

Gerber added Wisconsin and Minnesota STEM standards to the site, and the online resources mix national sites with those that focus on Wisconsin and Minnesota. He and a colleague build STEM professional development programs for teachers in local districts near the campus. “The website gives me a way to stay connected to the districts and our teacher education program, even though I can’t be in their classrooms,” says Gerber. “As a scientist, I can build this website and they can use it for their curricular needs.”

Inspiring Future Innovators

UW-L’s Miranda Meyer and Scott Hankes work with their team during the Wisconsin FLL Regional Tournament at UW Stout

UW-L’s Miranda Meyer and Scott Hankes work with their team during the Wisconsin FLL Regional Tournament at UW Stout.

Each year, hundreds of Wisconsin children participate in FIRST LEGO League (FLL), a global robotics competition. FLL ignites an enthusiasm for discovery, science and technology in kids aged 9 to 14. This fall, four of those teams were mentored by undergraduate students from UW-L.

Over the course of eight weeks, student teams built an autonomous robot capable of solving multiple tasks related to energy use in society. As part of the Power Puzzle theme, teams also conducted a research project which included an energy audit of a building in the students’ community.  "The FLL program requires students to think critically, problem solve, work as a team, and manage time.  These are important tools for learning inside and outside of the classroom.  The students took control of their learning and achieved a goal they set for themselves" said UW-L Mentor Cassandra Noble (MC-EA, science minor). Kristen Reinke (MC-EA, science minor) added, “Working with students to build a robot was great. Taking the team to a dairy farm to conduct an energy audit was a fantastic way to engage students in real-world applications of science and technology.”

Holmen students program their robot

Holmen students program their robot.

Teams competed in an intense regional tournament on November 10th at UW-Stout. Teams are judged on the performance of their robot, technical design interviews, research project interviews and teamwork interviews. The Lincoln Middle School team, mentored by UW-L students, qualified for the State competition and received the Robot Performance Award, given to the team with the highest match score. "The look of excitement on the students' faces when they succeeded in a project they spent weeks working on made me think...yes, this is why I want to be a teacher," stated Noble. The Holmen team, coached by UW-L students also qualified for the State Competition and received the prestigious Gracious Professionalism award.  “The Gracious Professionalism award is something that should make a team proud. It goes to the team that exemplifies the spirit of the FLL competition – an ethos that realizes that the path to success does matter.  Competition not for the sake of destroying one another, but for the sake of bettering and improving everyone involved in the process. The coaches instilled this in their team,” said Eric Brunsell, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and a member of the state-level FLL organizing committee.

UW-L’s Nicole Goertz and Cassandra Noble work with their team

UW-L’s Nicole Goertz and Cassandra Noble work with their team.

Volunteering to coach and mentor FIRST LEGO League teams has a positive impact on the professional growth of pre-service teachers. “First Lego League has been amazing to be a part of. It has allowed me to coach a group of eight intelligent middle school students that have surpassed all of my expectations. It was great to watch them develop at each practice,” explained Dave Treml (MC-EA, science minor). Carol Mooney, an event judge and Interim Dean of UW-Stout’s College of Technology, Engineering and Management said, “Watching the UW-La Crosse students interact [with their teams] was delightful. The UW-L students were just awesome. They were engaged and enthused right along with their students. They modeled what we call collegiality and team work, so powerful in what they communicate to young people. What a great pre-student teaching idea to get them involved with a tremendous leadership and skills development program.”

Dave Treml, Miranda Meyer and Scott Hankes coached Holmen’s Platinum Robots. Nicole Goertz and Cassandra Noble mentored the La Crosse Lincoln Middle School team. Sarah Kaufman and Kristen Reinke mentored the La Crescent community robotics team.  Jesse Rautenberg, Jesse Chariton and Charlie Veldre mentored the La Crosse Logan Middle School team.  UW-L SOE is providing support to the coaches and mentors traveling to the State competition in December.

UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair XXXII

University of Northern Iowa
February 1-3, 2008

  • Registration deadline January 11 - save $40 if registered by December 7.
  • 120+ American international schools will be in attendance.
  • Teachers may obtain a registration packet on our web site: www.uni.edu/placement/overseas

Incredible teaching opportunities await education graduates and alumni in American K-12 schools around the globe. Over 1,000 positions were posted at our last event. Teachers of all disciplines are needed. New teachers continue to do very well at the UNI Overseas Fair. Last year, over 65% of new teachers secured employment!

Overview / Schedule

The 32nd annual UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair begins at 7:00 am on Friday, February 1, 2008. You must be present at the event by 7:00 am on Friday to fully utilize the Fair. Fair activities continue through 3:00 pm Sunday, February 3. Successful candidates will make arrangements to attend the Fair all three days. The Fair will be host to over 100 international schools recruiting for over 65 countries. Recruiters typically conduct over 1800 interviews and candidates average 6 interviews each during the event. Many schools also conduct orientation sessions at the Fair, which offer detailed information on schools/countries. The Fair is a wonderful learning and networking opportunity.

We are here to answer any questions you may have about our services. Please feel to contact us at any time with any question.


5th Annual Educational Leadership Conference - "Education & Community in a Global Society"

The Research Center for Cultural Diversity and Community Renewal will be hosting this year's 5th annual Educational Leadership Conference at the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse, WI from November 16th-7th, 2007.

This year’s conference will feature relevant workshops and presentations that include international schools, race identity in a global society, social justice, the role of technology in a global classroom, and curriculum reform.

For more information, and the full schedule of events, please see the Conference Brochure.

Fall 2008 Student Teachers Application Day

1) Fall 2008 Student Teachers must attend one of the Student Teaching Information Sessions on either Wednesday, October 3, 2007 from 12:15-1:30 p.m. in Cartwright Center Port O'Call, or Thursday, October 4, 2007 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in Cartwright Center Port O'Call.

2) Student Teaching Application Day for Fall 2008 is Thursday, October 11, 2007 from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in Cartwright Center 259.

Master of Education-Professional Development (MEPD) Program Newsletters

Students on CampusThe Fall 2007 issue of the MEPD On-campus Newsletter is now available, as is the Fall 2007 MEPD Learning Community Newsletter.

For more information on the MEPD program, please visit their website as well as the MEPD Learning Community website.

Message from Rhonda Rabbitt, ME-PD Interim Director:

As the Interim Director of the ME-PD program, I believe that communication is a key to success and in developing relationships. Therefore, at the start of each fall and spring semester, I will communicate directly with our ME-PD students via a student newsletter. One newsletter will be specifically targeted to our on-campus ME-PD students with information directly pertinent to their programs of study. Another newsletter will be specifically written for our off-campus ME-PD learning community students to address their needs.

I will also share the newsletters with UW-L faculty and facilitators to include them in the circle of communication. Please feel free to see what is happening with our ME-PD programs by reading the bi-annual newsletters.

~Rhonda M. Rabbitt, ME-PD Interim Director

Onalaska School Working With UW-L to Become Professional Development School


In spring semester 2008, the School District of Onalaska's Irving Pertzsch Elementary School will be the third Professional Development School (PDS) in the district. Currently, Onalaska's Middle School and Eagle Bluff Elementary are PDSs, collaborative partnerships between a school and UW-L. 

UW-L pre-service teachers will work with elementary students at Pertzsch to enhance both of their learning experiences. The PDS collaboration provides an avenue for UW-L and the school to focus on preparing new teachers, to provide professional development of current teachers, to do research on teaching and learning, and to support incoming student learning, says Eric Brunsell, Educational Studies. He has been working in tandem with Tim Gerber, biology, and Jennifer Kosiak, mathematics, to help Pertzsch become a specialized PDS.

UW-L and Pertzsch will work to improve skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by developing a STEM-PDS. 

UW-L's elementary education students will complete six credits of their coursework on-site at Pertzsch. "There is no better way to teach methods than being in the school and having a basis to see it in practice," says Brunsell.

UW-L is one of fewer than a handful of schools in the U.S. offering STEM-PDS collaborations, according to Gerber. This STEM-PDS has been highlighted by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education as one of 50 programs across the country in their present publication, "Preparing STEM Teachers: The Key to Global Competitiveness."

Along with the PDS collaborations, UW-L has been working to provide more information on STEM subjects by building a stronger STEM collection in the Alice Hagar Curriculum Resource Center, Murphy Library. These STEM materials will provide information for UW-L pre-service teachers and practicing teachers in the local school districts.

Outreach to the local teachers has been accomplished through a teacher resource day in Murphy Library this past April. Gerber and John Jax, Karen Lange and Stefan Smith, all Murphy Library; have been instrumental in these efforts which have been funded through two UW-L Murphy Library endowment grants and a Paul Stry Foundation grant.

Additionally, Jax, Smith and Gerber have created a model curriculum website for both pre-service and practicing future teachers. The Web site includes details of Web site construction, grade-level science trade books, STEM education standards and other STEM-related resources.

- For more, see: www.uwlax.edu/murphylibrary/departments/curriculum/stem/sbf-article.pdf (Gerber, Jax, Lange, & Smith.  2007. Science Books & Films 43 [3]: [p. 98]).
- For more on Pertzsch and UW-L, see: www.aacte.org/Governmental_Relations/AACTE_STEM_Directory2007.pdf (p. 92).
- See also: http://wkbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=6866799 and www.wxow.com/News/index.php?ID=11850
- For more on STEM, see: www.uwlax.edu/MurphyLibrary/departments/curriculum/stem/index.html

Clinical Supervisor Meeting

The School of Education Clinical Supervisor Meeting is scheduled for 1:30-3:00 Wednesday, August 29, in 125 Morris Hall.

Student Teaching in the Fall?

Student Teaching in ECE Science

Materials For the Required Orientation Meeting
August 17, 2007

Student Teaching Orientation: August 17, 2007 at 8:30am in Cartwright Center. Attendance is required for Fall 2007 student teachers.

All Fall 2007 student teachers must turn in their TB test and Hepatitis B immunization records to the Office of Field Experience 220 Morris Hall, and have your criminal background check completed by August 3, 2007.

If you haven't done so already, please contact your cooperating teacher(s) to introduce yourself!

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