Weekend Reads

Monday Churn: New CEA chief

Daily Churn logoWhat’s churning:

Kerrie Dallman, veteran president of the Jefferson County Education Association, was elected president of the Colorado Education Association during the union’s weekend delegate assembly. She takes office in July.

Dallman also is a member of the State Council for Educator Effectiveness, the group that has played a central role in developing the regulations for implementation of the state’s new teacher and principal effectiveness law.

Amie Baca-Oehlert, also a member of the council, was elected CEA vice president. She is president of the District Twelve Education Association in Adams County.

Current CEA President Beverly Ingle, who’s served two three-year terms, is retiring from teaching. Ingle taught in elementary and middle schools during a 30-plus year teaching career, most recently in the Cherry Creek School District.

National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel praised Ingle for her “legacy of leadership” during a video message played Friday morning at the delegate assembly. See full press release.

What’s on tap:

Today starts the last full week of the 2012 legislative session, and several key education bills remain to be decided. Check the calendar (as of Friday) here. Things change quickly during a session’s closing days, so watch EdNews daily for the latest developments.


The Colorado State University Board of Governors starts two days of meetings at the Lory Student Center on campus in Fort Collins. Committee meetings are on Tuesday, and the full board meets Wednesday. Agenda

The Aurora school board has a 6 p.m. meeting scheduled in the Mount Massive Room of the Professional Learning and Conference Center, 15771 E. 1st Ave. The agenda includes presentation of a draft copy of the proposed 2012-13 budget, which returns for a final vote May 15, along with approval of an amended 2012-13 calendar, which provides a 175-day school year plus another 23 days of “fifth block,” additional instruction for selected students. The board also is scheduled to meet in closed session before and after the 6 p.m. board meeting, to discuss personnel issues and strategy for negotiations.

The Douglas County board has a 7 p.m. session scheduled at the administration building, 620 Wilcox St. in Castle Rock. The agenda includes an update on the 2012-13 budget and a report on high school scheduling changes under the new budget, which is based on high school teachers taking on an additional class next year.


Colorado Seniors4Kids launches with a 10 a.m. press conference on the west steps of the Capitol building. The new group aims to be “a new ally for the policies and investments that will help Colorado’s children thrive and succeed,” according to a media release. Various state lawmakers will be on hand and speakers are scheduled to include Rocky Mountain PBS president Doug Price, Colorado Children’s Campaign CEO Chris Watney and Generations United executive director Donna Butts.

The Adams 12-Five Star board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. at the Educational Support Center, 1500 E. 128th Ave. in Thornton. The agenda includes proposals to revise school board member districts to meet the state legal requirement that board members’ districts “shall be contiguous, compact, and as nearly equal in population as possible.” The board also has scheduled a closed session to discuss employee contract negotiations.


Jefferson County school board members meet at 5 p.m. for a study session and at 6 p.m. for their regular monthly meeting, held at 1829 Denver West Drive in Golden. The agenda includes a proposal to change the name of Alameda High School to Alameda International High School, because of the school’s International Baccalaureate program, and a public hearing on the proposed 2012-13 budget.


The Colorado Commission on Higher Education meets at 1 p.m. in the Old Supreme Court Chambers of the Capitol.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Miles’ hiring is official: Mike Miles, superintendent of the Harrison School District, has been hired as the new superintendent of the Dallas schools. The Texas board voted 8-0 late last week to offer Miles a three-year contract at $300,000 a year. He begins work immediately, according to this story from The Associated Press.

Young not outpacing parents: Almost every generation has had substantially more education than that of its parents. But that’s no longer true, according to a study by two Harvard economists that’s reported in The Wall Street Journal.

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.

Weekend Reads

Need classroom decor inspiration? These educators have got you covered.

This school year, students will spend about 1,000 hours in school —making their classrooms a huge part of their learning experience.

We’re recognizing educators who’ve poured on the pizazz to make students feel welcome. From a 9th-grade “forensics lab” decked out in caution tape to a classroom stage complete with lights to get first graders pumped about public speaking, these crafty teachers have gone above and beyond to create great spaces.

Got a classroom of your own to show off? Know someone that should be on this list? Let us know!

Jaclyn Flores, First Grade Dual Language, Rochester, New York
“Having a classroom that is bright, cheerful, organized and inviting allows my students to feel pride in their classroom as well as feel welcome. My students look forward to standing on the stage to share or sitting on special chairs to dive into their learning. This space is a safe place for my students and we take pride in what it has become.”

Jasmine, Pre-K, Las Vegas, Nevada
“My classroom environment helps my students because providing calming colors and a home-like space makes them feel more comfortable in the classroom and ready to learn as first-time students!”


Oneika Osborne, 10th Grade Reading, Miami Southridge Senior High School, Miami, Florida
“My classroom environment invites all of my students to constantly be in a state of celebration and self-empowerment at all points of the learning process. With inspirational quotes, culturally relevant images, and an explosion of color, my classroom sets the tone for the day every single day as soon as we walk in. It is one of optimism, power, and of course glitter.”

Kristen Poindexter, Kindergarten, Spring Mill Elementary School, Indianapolis, Indiana
“I try very hard to make my classroom a place where memorable experiences happen. I use songs, finger plays, movement, and interactive activities to help cement concepts in their minds. It makes my teacher heart so happy when past students walk by my classroom and start their sentence with, “Remember when we…?”. We recently transformed our classroom into a Mad Science Lab where we investigated more about our 5 Senses.”


Brittany, 9th Grade Biology, Dallas, Texas
“I love my classroom environment because I teach Biology, it’s easy to relate every topic back to Forensics and real-life investigations! Mystery always gets the students going!”


Ms. Heaton, First Grade, Westampton, New Jersey
“As an educator, it is my goal to create a classroom environment that is positive and welcoming for students. I wanted to create a learning environment where students feel comfortable and in return stimulates student learning. A classroom is a second home for students so I wanted to ensure that the space was bright, friendly, and organized for the students to be able to use each and every day.”

D’Essence Grant, 8th Grade ELA, KIPP Houston, Houston, Texas
“Intentionally decorating my classroom was my first act of showing my students I care about them. I pride myself on building relationships with my students and them knowing I care about them inside and outside of the classroom. Taking the time to make the classroom meaningful and creative as well building a safe place for our community helps establish an effective classroom setting.”


Jayme Wiertzema, Elementary Art, Worthington, Minnesota
“I’m looking forward to having a CLASSROOM this year. The past two years I have taught from a cart and this year my amazing school district allowed me to have a classroom in our school that is busting at the seams! I’m so excited to use my classroom environment to inspire creativity in my students, get to know them and learn from their amazing imaginations in art class!”


Melissa Vecchio, 4th Grade, Queens, New York
“Since so much of a student’s time is spent inside their classroom, the environment should be neat, organized, easy to move around in but most of all positive. I love to use a theme to reinforce great behavior. I always give the students a choice in helping to design bulletin boards and desk arrangements. When they are involved they take pride in the classroom, and enjoy being there.”

reading list

Weekend Reads: ‘Love and love hard,’ a KIPP Tulsa teacher tells us all

PHOTO: Caroline Bauman
  • New Haven’s schools chief has fallen out of favor after seven years there, and now he’s looking to leave. (N.H. Independent)
  • The KIPP charter network urged its schools to act after Terence Crutcher, a KIPP dad, was killed by police in Tulsa. (Chalkbeat)
  • What that action looked like at KIPP Tulsa College Prep, where at least 10 students are related to Crutcher. (Tulsa World)
  • A teacher at the school went viral after sharing her experiences talking to students — and her advice to “love and love hard.” (Facebook)
  • Great teachers are experts at having hard conversations. Here’s their advice to America. (Chalkbeat)
  • One of Nevada’s wealthiest women is also the state’s glamorous board of education president. (Pacific Standard)
  • Two seasoned education policy wonks are leading Donald Trump’s education transition planning. (Politics K-12)
  • Why is Tennessee’s first single-sex charter school thriving? Not for the reason you might think. (The Atlantic)
  • Efforts are underway to improve black students’ experience at a diverse school where they still come out behind. (Bloomberg)