Tuesday, January 31, 2012

10 Months - Tony Howe

Yesterday was the funeral for a wonderful man named Tony Howe. I only knew him for 10 months but in that short time he left a lasting impression on me. We coached little league baseball and basketball together and I considered him a "great friend" even though we never ate a meal together or did anything of a social nature.

Tony made everyone feel like they were a great friend. He made everyone feel important. He was the best father I've ever seen and he has inspired me to try and become a better father myself.

Tony was a "giver" and he gave his time, talents, and heart to anyone that he could.

I write about this today so that we can all be a little more like Tony. So that we can all be more of a "giver" than we are. So we can all positively impact others.

We all need to cherish each day.

A year ago today I didn't know who Tony Howe was. Today I am a better person for having known him.

My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to his family.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Importance of Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education is often a program that is overlooked. I believe you can make the argument that it is actually the most important program any school could ever have.

The earlier that children are identified for special assistance, the better. It just makes sense that occupational and speech therapy are more beneficial on a 4 year old than they are on a 7 year old. Identification leads to action.

Pre-school offers an enriching environment where youngsters are immersed in a stimulating and print rich classroom. They must learn to work with others and to operate within structured boundaries.

York Public Schools remains committed to our Early Childhood programming. Building strong relationships with parents is a vital part of what we try to do.

We are proud of our partnership with York County Head Start. We will continue to look at ways to expand our offerings for 0-5 year olds.

Go Dukes!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Professional Development for YPS

Monday, January 16th has been a great day of professional learning for the YPS staff. We had two keynote speakers and over 40 break-out sessions. Not only did this day benefit YPS staff but we also invited and had attendees from York College, St. Joe's Catholic School, Emmanuel Lutheran School, and several other neighboring school districts.

Dr. Clayton Cook, from the University of Washington, began the day for us discussing "Response to Intervention" and how to help meet the individualized needs of our students. Dr. Roger Breed, Nebraska Commissioner of Education and former YMS principal, concluded the day with a pep talk about the importance of educators.

In between we had wonderful breakout sessions on technology, special education, reading, math, vocabulary, student engagement, behavior, academic games, higher order thinking skills, and much more.

Thanks to Cornerstone Bank for the sandwich bar at lunch!

It was a great day. Beth Ericson deserves a lot of credit for organizing it. Way to go Dukes!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Importance of Student Activities

One of the great things about working in public education is that you get to feed off the enthusiasm and excitement from your students. As I was at York High School last night cheering on the Dukes in basketball action I was reminded of the importance of a "sense of belonging" that school activities brings to us.

As I entered the school, I saw 75+ elementary aged girls practicing with our cheer squad for "Mini Cheer Night." I then walked through the library and saw our speech team working hard to prepare for this week's meet. I then ran into junior class officers that were selling suckers as a fundraiser for prom.

Next, I made it into the gym to see our basketball teams compete. At halftime, I enjoyed the Dukettes' dance routine. The cheerleaders re-emerged to lead our fans through cheers. The YHS Band was phenomenal throughout the night as well. Some of the wrestlers stopped by after their practice to watch some hoops action.

Look at how many activities our kids were involved in last night. Each one of them allows them to feel commitment to a larger cause, to manage their time, to work well with others, to practice a craft, and to have fun with their peers.

Keep getting involved. Support YPS activities. Go Dukes!

Monday, January 9, 2012

YHS Speech Team off to a Great Start

Congratulations to the York High School Speech Team for getting their season off to a solid start this past weekend at Adams Central.

1) Kaleigh Schlender & Hali West received a 3rd place in Duet.

2) Alex Dickinson received 5th place in Serious Prose and in Poetry.

3) Taylor Burke took home 5th place honors in Entertainment.

4) Jarrett Suddarth earned 6th place in Informative.

5) In entrant competition, Gina Geiger & Payton Fernau earned 2nd place in Duet.

Great job Dukes!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

YHS Construction Project

The YPS Board of Education will conduct interviews on January 10th as they work towards selecting a "construction manager at risk" (CM@R) for the upcoming high school re-model and addition project.

Hausmann Construction, Kingery Construction, Boyd Jones Construction, and Cheever Construction will all have an hour each to try and persuade the board that they are the best fit for this $12.5 million job.

Once the CM@R is hired, we can work together with our architect, DLR to finalize the plans and to solidify bid packages. Construction is scheduled to begin by early June.

Stay tuned.....