Program Overview





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I grew up on a farm near Junius, South Dakota and graduated from Madison Senior High. Then I attended college at Dakota State University in Madison where I majored in elementary education and minored in special education. It has always been important to me to be able to meet the needs of all students in my classroom and with the minor in special education, I'm comfortable with inclusion, modifications, and differentiation.

My first teaching job was in Watertown, South Dakota as a 5th grade instructor at Mellette Elementary. I still remember the day my principal brought in an Apple IIe computer that no one in the building wanted. That started my interest in computers and technology. Later in my years at Mellette, I had a computer classroom which included 12 computers that I integrated into the curriculum. At that time, the programs were primarily skill and drill except for Oregon Trail. The computers kept being updated and I had to adapt and change as the programs changed. I taught at Mellette until 1997 when I took on a position as District Technology Coordinator/Faciliatator/Integrationist.

I spent 7 years working with teachers and students in the district and technology. I started at the very basic level with most of the staff--how to turn on the machine and moved on to word processing and email. At first I was also the only trainer for staff in the district. Teaching adults was probably the hardest part of my job. By the end of the seven years I was working as an integrationist. I also designed the district curriculum website, facilitated STAR Reading/Math and Accelerated Reader, submitted the State Report, and coordinated DDN Campus for the elementaries. At that point I knew it was time to return to the classroom and implement all the technology I'd been trying to convince others to do. I now teach 5th graders at Jefferson Elementary. My classroom includes a wireless lab of 15 laptops, a laser printer, scanner, digital camera, digital video camera, a projection system and a Sympodium. It's a personal goal of mine to integrate technology where ever appropriate into at least 3 subjects everyday. My students automatically get going on their computers every morning because they know they will be used. I especially enjoy American History.

I married my husband, Gerry in 1985. Our first children were two Golden Retrievers named Hershey and Bailey. They lived many years with our family. Justin was born in November of 1998 and Jacob in December of 2001. Justin will enter 4th grade this year and Jacob will be a first grader. We have recently added a puppy to our household named Heidi and she is a golden retriever too. My hobbies right now have been on the sidelines because of my MSET work and keeping up with my family, but I always make time to read my favorite genre--mysteries. I also enjoy scrapbooking and card making. I'm trying to learn more about digital photography too.

It's hard to believe that two years have passed since I started working in the MSET program. Back then, the end seemed so distant and far away. Now it is here!