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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Columbia School District Teachers Are Dedicated To Their Students!

This weekend I watched several college football games on Saturday and a couple of professional football games on Sunday.  As I watched the players battle for the ball, run in to the in zone for a touchdown or sack the quarterback, I thought about how many hours they practice to get to the collegiate or professional level. 

At Columbia School District our teachers also spend many hours working to hone their teaching skills through professional development and advanced classes.  Each teacher must earn the equivalent of six credits every five years and spend at least thirty hours in school based professional development each year.  Teachers read educational articles and books in order to continue to learn best practices in teaching and learning.  Many teachers scour the internet reading teacher blogs and articles about what activities are included at schools across the country. 

As we prepared for school this fall our teachers spent several days working together, analyzing data and planning positive learning interventions.  During their collaborative learning opportunities they discussed and cooperated on many activities that will provide success oriented activities
for their students.  Many of our teachers spent the summer taking courses, reading educational books or attending seminars to help them prepare for their students.

We had several teachers attend seminars focused on the curriculum for Advanced Placement courses.  Some of our teachers spent time this summer joining almost 1,000 other educators at Nerd Camp focusing on literacy, technology integration and innovative educational activities.  Still other Columbia educators connected with colleagues to participate in book studies.  In addition, some of our teachers and administrators participated in leadership focused activities this summer.

As you watch the various sporting events this fall and admire the proficiency of the athletes, think about all of the effort our great Columbia School District educators put into improving their ability to teach our children and preparing our students to be successful learners.  These fine Columbia instructors are truly life-long learners.  If you are interested in learning more about Columbia educational opportunities, email me at or call 5175926641.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Columbia School District Says Thank You to Our Community!

In 2012 we began meeting as a community interested in improving school safety, increasing our ability to keep our students warm and dry, and enhancing our technology.  Our Facility Improvement Team worked together with Granger Construction and Kingscott Architects to put together the right combination of improvements to provide an excellent learning environment for our students.  In November of 2013, the community voted to approve the two proposals totaling $30.5 million. 

Thank you to the Columbia Board of Education for their commitment and positivity through the Bond Campaign and construction process.   Thank you to Mr. Robert Wahr, Board President for his leadership and continual support.  Thank you to Mr. Garry Applegate, Board vice president, for his construction expertise, enthusiasm and time commitment, attending hundreds of meetings and putting in thousands of hours over the past three years.  Thank you to Mr. Mark Fish for his knowledge of the inner working of electrical projects and attendance to committee meetings.  Thank you to Mrs. Jodi Collins for her ability to motivate fellow committee members and her ability to organize people to canvas the entire community, going door to door educating our friends and neighbors and helping to plan and carryout this ceremony.  Thank you to Mr. Dave Slusher for his support through this process, first as the high school principal and for the past two years as a board member.  Thank you to Mr. Michael Moore for his enthusiasm for the project and his steadfast belief in the importance of creating a positive technological learning environment for our students.  Thank you to Mrs. Bev Fish for her assistance in organizing this ceremony and support throughout the bond campaign.  Thank you also to former school board members Dan Fulara and Doug Schedler for their support and expertise throughout the bond passage and construction process.

I want to recognize our principals Daniel Hyliard, Nick Rulewicz, Christi O’Neil, Deb Powell, Ralph Piepkow, and Lisa Klink for their time commitment attending countless committee meetings, walking door to door, even in the rain, and answering questions from our community members regarding the project.

I want to recognize our teachers and aides for their enthusiasm and positive attitude as they canvassed the community door to door, attended committee meetings, and moved countless boxes and furnishings out of the building and back into the buildings, even over this holiday weekend.  Thank you to one of our retired teachers, Willow Jeffreys, who has been involved in every phase of the process from the bond campaign all the way through until today.

Thank you to our secretarial and clerical staff members for their intense optimism as they answered questions, guided the moving process, packed boxes and still maintained their positive attitudes.
Thank you to our hard working diligent custodial and maintenance staff led by Mr. Bill Bradley for their immense time commitment working to make this transition happen by moving thousands of boxes, chairs and desks, as well as joining in the bond campaign by encouraging their friends and neighbors to vote yes.

Thank you to our positive and enthusiastic Columbia students who never complained as they worked to pass the bond issue and helped to move our teaching staff out, then back in to the buildings.  We couldn’t have done this without you.

Thank you to our Granger construction management team, Glenn Granger for your leadership, Barry Rooney for your support throughout the bond campaign and construction process, Matt Lerg for his leadership and detail oriented tenacity during the construction, Bronson Clayton for his kind way of reminding our construction team of our high standards for the final project, Ken Heinz and Jason for their countless hours working, supervising and sweating with our construction crew.
Thank you to Kingscott Architects, David Martin lead architect, Sarah Haselschwardt lead designer, Dana McClellan designer and John Noteware project architect.

Thank you to our contractors for all of your hard work throughout the two years of construction.  You made the aggressive timeline possible.  Let’s give a round of applause for all those involved in the construction process.

Thank you to our community for your support and enthusiasm through this improvement process!  It was a blessing the way that our great Columbia community members came together to make these extensive renovations possible.