Weber School District teachers Kim Murphy and Dale Slade were nominated and selected to attend a workshop for 100 "Superstar" Computer Science teachers from across the nation. The workshop was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). It was held Dec 8th & 9th in Washington D.C. in conjunction with National Computer Science Education Week. The conference included speakers from the staff of the Science Education Adviser to the President of the United States. Code.org founder, Hadi Partovi, also spoke to the teachers in the Eisenhower Administration building in the White House complex.
NSF has funded many activities over the years aimed at reaching all students that may have an interest in Computer Science. NCWIT strives to encourage woman in technology including high school girls pursuing a computer career.
The workshop provided the opportunity to learn about new developments in the Exploring Computer Science and Computer Science Principles courses. Kim and Dale also were able to gain new teaching insights from other Computer Science Teachers in attendance. Dale and Kim presented a "Nifty Lesson" about gravity simulation in the Scratch computer language to the other teachers.
Kim Murphy has taught Computer Science courses at Weber High for 15 years. She has developed several outstanding Computer Science course curricula that many Computer Science Teachers through Utah use in their courses. She is one of the very few Computer Science teachers in Utah that have earned her master's degree in Computer Science.
Dale Slade has taught Computer Science in Weber School District for over 30 years and is currently teaching at Bonneville High. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Computer Science Teachers Association of Utah.
Nurture the Creative Mind (NCM), a local non-profit organization, has partnered with Mr. Chris Davidson's Project Lead the Way/ Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA) students at the Weber Innovation Center to help design the next phase of a community outdoor space on 35th Street and Washington Blvd. in Ogden. This space will have, among other things, a greenhouse, garden space, gazebo and shed. The space is going to be 100% designed by students. Amir Jackson, director of NCM, presented this opportunity to Mr. Chris Davidson's PLTW/ CEA class. His students are now going to develop several design concepts in Revit (a CAD software) and present them to the Ogden City Planner and a group of local architects for review.
This project meets multiple CEA learning standards and objectives, including:
Mr. Davidson said "It gives my students some real investment in this class. This service-learning project is exactly what I envisioned doing with CEA when I first started teaching it. My hope is to try to partner with some sort of non-profit with this type of need each semester. A tall order, but something I want to try. Below is a sketch of the lot that will be developed. The other pictures are from a field trip to the site where we did some surveying and brainstorming about the layout of the space and looked at architectural styles on 25th street."
Amir Jackson said that the non-profit's mission is to: "Empower youth through an active, positive, and proactive investment using the tools of creativity, education and character development."
These students will be taking conceptual designs from other NCM students and using those designs along with theirs to create an actual blueprint. They will then present their designs to the Carbon Architectural Firm for feedback.
We compliment Mr. Davidson on his vision and energy to bring real world applications to his classroom!
This month the Weber School District was given the opportunity to recognize Mrs. Shelly Harris and Mr. Brian Fendrick during our monthly school board meeting. Mrs. Harris was nominated for the I Love Teaching Award by Principal Kitty Barney of Bates Elementary, and Mr. Fendrick was nominated for the I Love Teaching Award by Dr. Rod Belnap, principal of Fremont High School.
Mrs. Shelly Harris is a 3rd grade teacher at Bates Elementary. This year she began teaching the English portion of the Chinese Immersion Program. She enthusiastically took on this responsibility, working countless hours to incorporate her entire grade level in making them feel that they are a part of the Chinese Immersion Program. Mrs. Barney states that Mrs. Harris is "a true leader among her peers, parents, and students." Her particular passion is for reading and helping students who are struggling become connected to reading and truly love it. Mrs. Harris is a strong proponent for education, and her efforts have expanded not just to her own community, but on a state level as well. She has worked with the Utah State Office of Education in helping to write SAGE test questions. She taught at the Utah Core Academy for several years. Most importantly, Mrs. Barney reports that Mrs. Harris genuinely loves the children she teaches, and that "her desire to be of service to children, teachers, and to the school community mark her as an outstanding person and educator."
When describing Mr. Brian Fendrick, Fremont High School Principal Rod Belnap states that he has an "enthusiasm that makes students want to keep coming back, to know more, and to work harder… to be their best." And who wouldn't love learning when you have a teacher like Mr. Fendrick who greets each one of his students at the door, likes to teach ON his desk, sings Happy Birthday to every birthday kid, and who participates in the daily "Good Morning" scream ritual. Mr. Fendrick is a very special teacher who was "born to teach." He has a love of literature, writing, and critical thinking and is one of the mostly highly requested teachers at Fremont. He is also the yearbook editor who has received numerous awards for innovative technology. Mr. Fendrick teaches both regular and AP English with equal zeal and expertise. His AP pass rates are among the best in the district. His classes are academically rigorous, but his students rise to the challenge because they know how much he cares for them. Mr. Fendrick's desire to teach the "whole student" extends into student government as an advisor. He is committed to making sure that his students have the full high school experience.
Congratulations to these two deserving award winners. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to recognize your unique gifts and talents. We express our gratitude for your dedication and enthusiasm!
Students at Club Heights Elementary had the opportunity recently to welcome a very important guest to their school. Mr. Kent "Rommel" Rominger, former American Astronaut and NASA Chief of the Astronaut Office paid a special visit to the Panthers as a guest speaker.
Mr. Rominger is a decorated former Navy Test Pilot and astronaut who is currently serving as Vice President of Advanced Programs at ATK Launch Systems. Mr. Rominger has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. He was also nominated and inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame. Mr. Rominger flew 5 space shuttle missions between 1995 and 2001, and is currently working with Orbital ATK in developing the largest human-rated solid-fuel rocket built today which will hopefully be used for human missions to Mars in the coming decades.
Students were treated to photos and videos of Mr. Rominger's space missions in addition to a Q & A session where students were able to ask questions related to space and what it takes to become an astronaut. Mr. Rominger spoke to the students about the importance of education, particularly in math and science. He expressed to the students that as important as it is to do well in school, it is equally as important to learn communication skills and to have a sense of teamwork. Showing photos of the flight crews on his space missions, and explained to the children that none of these missions would have been possible without effectively working as a team and respecting one another.
Rick Proffer, Principal at Club Heights expressed his excitement at the opportunity for his students to speak to someone such as Mr. Rominger, who is such a distinguished contributor to the promotion of STEM education. It was an invaluable experience that will hopefully inspire these young minds to consider a career in STEM and/or space exploration. Many thanks to Mr. Kent Rominger for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit with these young people. We thank you for your service!
In the last 11 years Weber School District has had a cost avoidance of approximately $22,073,554 thanks to its energy conservation program.
According to Reynold Allen, the district's energy education manager, the district's program made it possible to add an additional 650,000 square feet of space and 1,500,000 feet of air conditioning to the district and yet save money. That's the equivalent of 2.25 new high schools!
It's this type of efficiency that has led the energy efficiency program and the team that leads it, to win multiple awards from Cenergistic and Rocky Mountain Power. Among these awards are the Energy Excellence award, the Chairman's Sustainability award, the Energy Lighthouse award, the Energy Champion for Year 2010" and the "Leadership and Commitment to Energy Conservation." Allen explained that with most awards the program had a projected goal for an amount to save and they were ahead of that goal by at least two months.
So how is it done? How does the energy team save all the energy and money? One of the main ways is through "energy audits." Weber District energy managers go around to all of the schools and check to make sure lights, fans, and computers are turned off, things are unplugged, and the school is doing all it can to save energy. If they find something that's wasting energy, they leave a friendly reminder for the teacher or staff member letting them know how to save the energy. This has led to the district being one of the most efficient energy savers.
Allen has high hopes that this program will continue to not only save energy and money for the district, but help the environment as well. "I would like to encourage people to be more conscientious," he said of doing the small things like unplugging cell phone chargers and turning off lights. "That's my goal. We become so set in our ways. I'm not saying some of the tools of our trade don't help; what I am saying is we don't need to be so wasteful. We just have to get people to love the program."
On Feb. 23 and 24, Weber School District held its annual Science Fair with an increased focus on Technology, Engineering, and Math. Due to this fact, the district decided change the name to the STEM Fair. In addition to the STEM fair, they also held a STEM Showcase for students to show off what they’ve been working on throughout the year. The response from students after switching the focus to STEM, instead of just science was overwhelming. Approximately 400 students from 6th through 8th grades participated in the Junior Fair and over 150 students from 9th through 12th grades participated in the Senior Fair. In addition to that, another 70 students participated in the STEM Showcase.
Matthew Patterson, Curriculum Specialist for the district said that the event was created to give students an outlet to show their work while having fun. “This event was created to highlight and feature the great work students are doing in STEM-related areas across the district, we added a new component to the annual STEM Fair (previously known as Science Fair). During the STEM Student Showcase, students will [displayed, presented, demonstrated and otherwise highlighted] projects they’ve completed during the academic year.
Students participating in the fair came up with their own projects relating to twelve different areas; Botany, Chemistry, Earth/Space, Energy and Transportation, Engineering, Environmental, Math and Computer Science, Medical/Health, Microbiology, Physics, Social/Behavioral, and Zoology.
Braden Radle spent approximately three weeks testing water from the Ogden River and other water sources around Ogden for his project, “The Water Quality for the Ogden River and Ogden City Ponds”. His project won the Stockholm Water Prize. Radle said that he was not required by his teacher to participate in the fair by his school or his teacher, but that he participated because he loves to learn and science is his favorite subject.
Hallie Nooreda and Kayla Foust from Freedom Elementary realized that not many people know the difference between baking soda and baking powder. They proved in their project, “Better Brownies” that baking soda is four times more effective than baking powder. “We both like to learn new things and what’s more fun than asking new things and getting the results?” said Nooreda; and really, that’s what the STEM Fair was all about for the students- having fun, asking what they wanted, and finding the answers …all while having fun of course.
On Feb. 26, the following individuals were awarded in their respective categories at Roy High School. Weber School District would like to congratulate all of the winners and every student who participated in this year’s STEM Fair and STEM Showcase.
This month the Weber School District was given the opportunity to recognize Mr. Lee Allen and Mrs. Barbara Bingham during our monthly school board meeting. Mrs. Bingham was nominated for the "Super Sub Award" by Principal Ray Long of Bonneville High School, and Mr. Allen was nominated for the "Exceptional Volunteer Award" by Ms. Heather Neilson, principal of West Haven Elementary.
Mr. Lee Allen has been a substitute teacher and volunteer extraordinaire at West Haven Elementary for 10-1/2 years. In the past decade, he has proven to be an invaluable member of the West Haven team, tirelessly finding ways to help teachers and students. He has done just about everything from building scenery for the 6th grade play to teaching the kids how to take care of flag duty. Lee says that he considers the students at West Haven "his kids," and knows many of them by name. Ms. Heather Neilson states, "He is kind and caring, generous and thoughtful, innovative and talented. If there is anything at West Haven that needs doing, Lee is one of the first to come to the rescue and save the day."
Mrs. Barbara Bingham is a very special member of the Bonneville High family. In fact, most of the students call her "grandma." She has spent 46 years as a substitute teacher at Bonneville, and has taught generations of kids. Mr. Ray Long reports that he is astounded at the way in which Mrs. Bingham is able to manage the classes she is assigned to teach. "I think of all the many ways the students of Bonneville have benefited from having her as a substitute teacher, whether it is in an English class, History class, or a Math class. I have personally observed her in a P.E. class and I was blown away with her ability to manage the class so well!" Mrs. Barbara Bingham was awarded the "Super Sub" award as a thank you for her years of tireless dedication to the Lakers.
Congratulations to these two deserving award winners. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to recognize your unique gifts and talents. We express our gratitude for your dedication and enthusiasm!
At the Weber School Board Meeting Held on May 6th the following administrative assignments were announced for the 2015-2016 school year:
New District Office Assignments
New Elementary Assignments
New Elementary Interns
New Secondary Assignments
New Secondary Interns
The seven retiring administrators have a combined 231 years of service in Weber School District--141 years of those years are in WSD administration! We thank each of them for their lifetime of dedication and service to children.
DiAne Morin, Weber School District Classified Employee of the Year 2015
DiAne Morin, head secretary at Roy Jr. High, has been named Weber School District's Classified Employee of the year for 2015-2015. DiAne was nominated by Kirt Swalberg, Principal of Roy Junior High. DiAne, who is the Head Secretary at Roy Junior High, states that she was humbled by her nomination and for the opportunity she has been given to work with "amazing" administration, staff, and most importantly, students. DiAne's career with the district has spanned 26 years.
Mr. Swalberg says that no one embodies the spirit of the Weber School District and Roy Junior high better than DiAne. Always positive and enthusiastic, she is the first contact people have when entering the school. Regardless of whether you are a student, community member, or parent, everyone is greeted by DiAne with a friendly face and a helpful demeanor. Mr. Swalberg states that DiAne makes everyone she comes in contact with feel special and as if they matter. He states, "I have never seen her get angry or impatient with anyone. That is not to say that she does not have hard conversations with people. She is just able to show respect and listens to what people have to say. It is for this reason I can say that everyone who comes in contact with DiAne loves her."
DiAne feels that her most important responsibility as Head Secretary is to set the tone for everyone to have a positive experience at Roy Junior. She believes that it is critical that everyone in her school feels valued and important. Junior high can be a very difficult stage developmentally for adolescents. For this reason, it is important to DiAne that she is able to be a positive source of support and to provide a "safe haven" for students who may be struggling. She states, "I hope I can be an example, an encourager, or even give a little extra strength they may need."
As an example of her dedication to the students of Roy Junior High, DiAne has voluntarily assumed the role of being an advisor to their student government. She took on this responsibility solely because she loves the students and wants to make a difference. More than just a job, DiAne is truly invested in giving back to the students in every aspect of her duties at Roy Junior High. Mr. Swalberg says that "DiAne is a vibrant, determined employee and a delightful person. Her positivity is contagious and her energy unmatched." He reports that he is a "better person" for having known her.
DiAne has a motto that she lives by. It is: "I HAVE ONE SHOT! ... One shot to be the best I can be, to touch a heart or make a difference in some small way."
We are honored to recognize DiAne for her efforts and dedication. She has definitely made a difference; not in a small way, but in a big way. We thank DiAne for being representative of the qualities and traits that we believe make our district great. Congratulations on this much deserved honor.
Becky Sagers, Weber School District Teacher of the Year 2015
Weber School District wishes to congratulate Mrs. Becky Sagers of Fremont High School on being chosen to receive the 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year award. Nominated by Dr. Rod Belnap, Principal at Fremont High School, Mrs. Sagers was chosen from a pool of 10 nominees.
Dr. Belnap states that Beck "exemplifies so much of what a teacher should be as a role model, a professional, and someone who inspires kids each day." Becky has a passion for education and fosters a culture of leadership and self-sufficiency in her classroom. It is her belief that students should be given leadership opportunities which contribute to cooperative learning, communication and interpersonal skills that will make them better equipped to handle challenges in their academic endeavors and eventual career challenges. She stated, "I believe that students are amazing, capable, and willing to learn and grow in an environment where they feel safe in the expression of their thoughts and feelings." It is clear that her students value the relationships that they have developed with her in the classroom. Dr. Belnap said that it is not uncommon to run into her former students who invariably ask him to "tell Mrs. Sagers 'hi' for me!"
Professionally, Becky is organized, prepared, and uses her time well. She utilizes multiple instructional methods, technology, and pacing to engage students in an effort to enhance their learning experience. It is important to Becky that her students are prepared to take on adult roles, becoming responsible and contributing members of their communities and in their own families. She does not take her duties as an educator lightly. As Dr. Belnap stated, "I've heard it said that Teaching is a Science... that said, Becky's evolution to mastering her craft is something all young teachers can emulate."
The fact that Becky is a fantastic cook and has one of the "best smelling/best tasting" classrooms in the school as a Foods teacher certainly helps make her popular with the students; however, it is her dedication to the students that makes her a particular favorite. She is as invested and enthusiastic about the struggling students as she is with the best of her students. The kids recognize her efforts at creating a fun and engaging classroom while they learn real-life skills. She stated, "I believe as a teacher it is imperative that I teach my students to believe in themselves and help them recognize that they are capable of being successful in the classroom and throughout their education experience."
Congratulations to Mrs. Sagers on receiving this well-deserved award. She is a wonderful representative of the excellent caliber of educators we have in the Weber School District.
Weber High School competed in the UHSAA/Unified Sports State Track meet held at Copper Hills, and emerged as the State Champions.
Unified Sports is a team event that pairs two special needs students with two other students from their high school to compete in events. The four team members participate in the events and their times are combined together to determine the winners.
The events included: 100 meters dash, 200 meter dash, 4 x 100 relay, 4 x 400 relay, Shot Put, Long Jump and the 400.
Weber won the 400 and the 4 x 100. They took 3rd in the shot put and 5th in the 100 and 200, and took 3rd in the long jump.