Monday, August 19, 2013

LCEA Welcomes 18 Colleagues to the LCEA Team

The LCEA is excited to welcome our 18 new and one returning colleagues to the classrooms of Lewis Central Schools and to the Lewis Central Education Association team.

We know that as they join our team, they are committed to our Association's passion of positively changing the lives of our students and preparing each of our students for a successful life.

As we already know that you will do your best to help them in their transition and know that you will do whatever you can to make their transition to LC a pleasant and uneventful one, we ask you to share from your supplies and materials reserves

We are excited to have these enthusiastic new and veteran educators join the Lewis Central Education Association team in advocating for a quality public education for each of our students.

The LCEA will welcome them to the district at a picnic Sunday, August 11, 2013 at Dave and Kelly Bergman's home, we will be giving them some complimentary Titan gear, sharing our referral guide, offering them help in moving, offering them a tour of the district, and even more.

  • Christian Carper, Family & Consumer Science, begins his career at Lewis Central High School.  Christian is a graduate of Iowa State University.
  • Molly Clark, Language Arts, launches her career at Lewis Central High School.  Molly is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa.
  • Katie Coltrain, Spanish, comes to Lewis Central after four years at Ottumwa Community School District and two years at Cardinal Community School district in Eldon, Iowa.
  • Daniel Craney, Industrial Technology, brings 32 years of experience Lewis Central's team after 15 years at Springfield Platteview Community School District in Springfield, Nebraska and 17 years at Millard North High School in Millard, Nebraska.
  • Katie Klosterbuer, Family & Consumer Science, launches her teaching career at Lewis Central High School.
  • Kailey Mangum, Special Education, begins here career as she becomes a Titan.
  • Suzann Morin-Steffen, Alternative Education, shares 17 years of experience from Westside Community School District and other districts with the LC Team.
  • Alyssa Wallace, Math, continues her career at Lewis Central after two years with the Council Bluffs Community School District.
  • Kim Denning, Special Education, joins Lewis Central's team after teaching for two years in the Glenwood Community School district.
  • Danielle Guntly, Social Studies, begins her teaching career at Lewis Central Middle School.
  • Hannah Haarhues-Casey, Science, brings her experience from Hills College all the way from down under in Australia to Lewis Central.  Before that, Hannah taught for eight years at Riverside High School in Oakland, Iowa.
  • Clara Luquette, Guidance Counselor, brings 24 years of experience to Lewis Central. She has four years of experience from Council Bluffs Community Schools and 20 years of experience in Texas.
  • Burke Swenson, STEM Educator, brings 19 years of experience with him to Lewis Central.  He spent six years in Oakland, Iowa, eight years in Iowa Falls, a year at Carroll High School and four years at New Hampton.
  • Carrie Trecek, Language Arts/Literacy, begins her teaching career at Lewis Central High School.
  • Aubrey Eckhart, Fifth Grade, begins her career at Titan Hill.
  • Laurie Kammrad, Fourth Grade, is back at LC after a year in Council Bluffs Community Schools.
  • Alison Nurre, Fourth Grade, launchers her career at Titan Hill.
  • Tina O'Donnell, Fourth Grade, brings 20 years of experience to Lewis Central after 16 years at St.  Alberts, a year at Council Bluffs Community Schools, and three years at Holy Name Elementary School.
  • Amber McGreevy, Kindergarten, joins Kreft Elementary after four years at Council Bluffs Community Schools and four years in the Waterloo Community School District.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

E-Dues and You

It's  truly sad that many of America's legislatures have waged war against unions.  Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina and many others have seen attacks on their collective bargaining, dues deduction and the laws that protect public employees and their hard-earned rights.

It used to be true that although the parties disagreed about the best approach to public education that they supported the idea of public education.  That is no longer true with many radicals looking to sell the cornerstone of our democracy to the highest bidder.

One of the first things that legislatures and governors due when they win control of both chambers of their legislatures is to "immediately" remove dues deduction.  The unorganized and unprepared frequently see a drastic blow to membership and the collective voice that unions provide America's educators.  As a result, those who want to "stay at the table" and avoid "being on the menu" have circumvented this with e-dues payment for membership.

There are a variety of good reasons that Lewis Central has joined in this push: (1) we want to protect our state and local Association that is currently guarded by a single vote in the senate; (2) your dues deduction is split over 12 months vs. 10 months; (3) the school district no longer has a list of who is a member and who is not; (4) it puts your dues dollars in the same category as your cable bill, car payment, electric bill and simplifies bill paying; (5) you directly see your monthly contributions without the help of a middle-man.

Please join us in becoming an e-dues LCEA member.  Want to know more?  CLICK HERE for FAQs about e-dues.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

E-dues. Just set it and forget it!

Frequently Asked Questions E-Dues Questions

ISEA’s continues its Electronic Dues Deduction (E-dues) program that is a quick and easy method to pay local, state, and national Association dues; special funds; and PAC contributions without having to go through the school district.

There are so many reasons why E-dues is the way of the future for Association dues:

State associations around the country have seen a coordinated attack on labor organizations and their ability to collect through payroll deduction. Almost a dozen states have seen an outright challenge to their payroll deduction systems so far.

Arrange E-dues and all future payments are set. Payments will be taken directly out of your bank account. No more going through your school district’s accounting system, no more wasting valuable Local Association time and money collecting dues.

Just like with other monthly bills, the funds are transferred with no worry and no extra charge. The Association dues amount collected is the same as what would have been collected through payroll deduction only it’s faster, easier, and no one needs to file unnecessary paperwork through the school district office. E-dues places all Association business where it should be—with you and our local.

No more going through your employer to make sure amounts and paperwork are correct. All Association business is done with our local Association.

Branstad names Dr. Brad Buck as new Iowa Department of Education director

Gov. Terry E. Branstad today named Dr. Brad Buck, 44, to be the next Iowa Department of Education director, calling him a visionary leader with the right skills to implement the landmark education reform package passed by the 2013 Legislature.

 Buck has served as superintendent of the 1,300-student Saydel school district in rural Polk County since July 2011. He previously worked as a school administrator in the Waukee, Hudson and North Mahaska school districts from 1997 to 2011. Buck began his education career in 1992 as a science teacher at Parkview Middle School in Ankeny. He is also a past president of School Administrators of Iowa.

“Dr. Buck’s passion for giving all students a world-class education and his knowledge of how to better utilize teacher leadership to accomplish that goal played a critical role in his selection,” said Branstad. “He understands the importance of collaboration as educators and parents work together to assure students are prepared to compete in the global economy.”

Friday, August 9, 2013

NEA Back to School Guide

Educator-tested tips, advice, and resources for a successful start to the school year. Students may still be enjoying their summer vacations, but for educators, the beginning of the next school year is just around the corner. NEA editors have compiled a list of our best articles and resources to help you - whether new or veteran - get ready for the fall semester. 


Classroom Beautiful: Do It Yourself  8 veteran educators share photos of their classroom and tips on how to organize your space for better learning.

Assessing Your Space  What to consider when planning your classroom setup.

Using a Theme  An elementary school teachers shares advice for decorating a classroom around a theme.

Stocking the Classroom—For Free  Savvy educators' tips on scoring no-cost classroom resources.


Classroom Survival Kit  NEA members recommend must-have items for the classroom.

33 Ways to Start the First Year Off Right  A little planning before school begins can pay big dividends throughout the school year.

NEA's Custom Lesson Plan Search Engine  We've customized a Google search engine with 1,000s of lesson plans from across the Web, each one hand-picked and vetted by our Search Editor.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Classroom Observations are Not About Compliance

by Peter DeWitt on August 5, 2013 8:25 AM

 "The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day." Todd Whitaker 

As much as Todd Whitaker was talking about teachers, I'm sure he'll agree that the same can be said about school administrators. I enjoy reading about systems change, and try to abide by servant leadership every day, but Todd has always been a game changer for me. Long ago when I began to read his books he provided me with the hope and inspiration that what I do as a school leader matters. His words cut to the heart of most issues. Todd gives feedback and it doesn't involve a point scale.

Getting ready for the school year, that seems to be quickly approaching, I have been reading a lot about evidence-based observations. If you're a teacher, and maybe even a principal, you're probably sick and tired of hearing about evidence-based observations. That's most likely because it is accompanied by some state-mandated training.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

LCEA Executive Board Training & Retreat

Your dedicated and member-elected LCEA leaders decided at their May LCEA Meeting to give part of their summer for some planning time, collaboration and training and team building before we kick-off a great 2013-2014. 

Here's what they decided (with a change of location).

WHAT:  LCEA Association/Building Representative and Executive Board Training/Retreat

WHERE:  Lewis Central High School Drama Room

WHEN:   Wednesday, August 14, 2013 from 8:00 AM-Noon

BREAKFAST:  LCEA will provide a continental breakfast of assorted bagels and pastries, fresh fruit, orange juice and coffee.

OVERVIEW:  We will take some time to have some breakfast; work with our wonderful SWUU Directors, Pat Shipley and Cindy Formeller (our new director who we are very lucky to have in SWUU) to evaluate the LCEA program; discuss our goals and expectations for the year; work with our building teams and more.

Welcome to Lewis Central Picnic

We are excited to have you here at Lewis Central.  Because you're so busy getting ready for a new start, we'd like to invite you to join us in an informal family friendly picnic.  Please bring only yourself/yourselves and an appetite.

 Welcome to LC Family Friendly Picnic
WHEN:  Sunday, August 11, 2013 * 5:00 PM
WHERE:  22383 Stonybrook Drive  CLICK HERE  for directions.

The LCEA will be providing the cookout meats, drinks and amenities.  Our welcome team from each
building will be bringing side-dishes, cover dishes and desserts and probably some funny stories and bad jokes.

We hope you can join us for some informal fun and a chance for someone to cook for you and yours as you prepare for a great year.

Please RSVP with number attendees to our host Dave Bergman or let Tom McLaughlin, LCEA president, know.

51 Top Sources to Become [an even] Better Teacher

Teachers may spend their days imparting knowledge to others, but that doesn’t mean they should stop learning themselves. Whether they choose to take classes, read books, or just talk with their colleagues, professional development offers a chance to become a better and wiser teacher.
There are numerous resources out there on the web, making finding, sharing, and accessing great tools for development easier than ever. We’ve collected just a few here that can get you started on learning and growing as an educator. So, in addition to TeachThought, what other resources are out there?


Don’t miss out on these sites which are filled to the brim with articles, resources, and learning materials for teachers.
1. TeachThought favorite edutopia has for years been among the best resources anywhere for project-based learning ideas, videos on successful schools, and blog articles written by educators across the field.
2. Education Week Teacher PD SourcebookThis sourcebook is filled with amazing resources for teachers, including great articles, a directory of useful sites, and links to PD events.
3. Educators Professional DevelopmentEPD bills itself as “professional development for teachers, by teachers” and that’s just what you’ll find here. Listings for local events, conferences, and a monthly newsletter can help you stay in the loop.
4. Teacher VisionTeacher Vision offers articles on a wide range of education topics, from learning how to be a better teacher to surviving your first year in the classroom.
5. Teacher TapTeachers will find a wealth of great reading material on this site, touching on topics like technology, information literacy, and high-tech learning.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

5 Tools to Increase Our Productivity

Teachers these days are up to their ears in work that must be accomplished each day. In addition to time spent in front of students, teachers spend hours writing lesson plans and learning objectives, creating and grading tests and assignments, as well as attending meetings, professional development seminars, and courses for keeping up with certification. Any tools that can help a teacher manage time and get tasks done in a timely manner are hugely beneficial. Below are some of the best ways for teachers to become more productive with technology tools.
1. RescueTime
RescueTime is an online time tracking and management program for any busy person who wants to get more done with their time. When entering grades into online grade books, it is too easy to flip over to email or Facebook and lose track of time. RescueTime can block those distractions to make it easier for you to stay focused. It also runs timers in the background to track how much time you spend on different applications. You can check these statistics to see where you are losing time with unproductive activities. RescueTime also helps you track your time off of the computer and sends you alerts to get you refocused on your work tasks.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

NEA Member Benefits: NEA DUES TAB

NEA DUES-TAB: Free automatic coverage for all members. All members can take advantage of the valuable, automatic life insurance coverage provided by NEA DUES-TAB. It’s a guaranteed benefit provided at no cost to Active, Staff, Reserve and Life** members by the NEA Members Insurance Trust®. All one has to do is register his or her beneficiary for:
• Up to $1,000 of life insurance
• Up to $5,000 of accidental death and dismemberment coverage
• Up to $50,000 of AD&D insurance for any covered accident that occurs while on the job or
while serving as an Association leader
• $150,000 coverage if death is caused by homicide which occurs while the eligible member is engaged in any activity in the express or implied terms of the member’s occupation.
• NEA-Retired members are able to receive the $50,000 benefit associated with Accidental Death & Accidental Dismemberment caused by an accident or assault while acting on Association business in the capacity of Association leader.

** Life members must be actively employed in the field of education in order to be eligible for the DUES-TAB benefit.

Click here to learn more about your FREE DUES TAB with NEA Member Benefits.

Click here to get help with forgotten login names and passwords.

If you are having problems with a forgotten user ID, just call the Member Service Center at 1-800-637-4636, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (or Saturday, 9 am. to 1 p.m.) ET for assistance.