In our classrooms, we are deeply entrenched in preparing our students to do their very best on end-of-year testing. Although this is just one test at one point in time, our community and our state make judgments about our success as a school system based on how our students perform. Our goal is for our students to perform well, demonstrating what they have learned, without creating a stressful environment over high-stakes testing. This balance is delicate. A special thanks to parents, staff and teachers as you work with students to maintain this balance.
We are getting ready to celebrate our seniors and their accomplishments through high school graduation. This is a significant time in their lives. We will celebrate a completion and a beginning for them. We are proud of what our seniors have accomplished and the plans they have for the next phase of their lives, and we wait with anticipation on how they will influence our world in the future.
For many other students, May is the month where they finish significant projects, perhaps participate in a field trip or two (thanks to our supplemental levy!), and work to keep their focus in the classroom as our weather turns to warm, sunny days. Again, I offer my thanks to our teachers, staff and parents who keep our students engaged in their learning as even in May we have lots to accomplish and more learning to explore.
May also is the month where we celebrate our teachers. May 7-11 is Teacher Appreciation week. I encourage you to send a note or a quick email to a teacher expressing how they have impacted your life or the life of your student. This is a great opportunity to recognize our amazing teaching staff in the Nampa School District. They are dedicated to our students and our community.
Please continue reading as we highlight some key events of the past month and upcoming opportunities to be involved.
Dr. Paula Kellerer
Columbia High School Hosts State of the City Address
In addition to a great address from Nampa’s new mayor, Debbie Kling, the event featured student emcees, remarks by Superintendent Paula Kellerer, music by a combined South and West Middle School choir, combined high school cheerleaders, catering by NSD culinary art students, and more.
Randy Potter Named Athletic Director of the Year
Columbia High School Athletic Director Randy Potter was named the Idaho Athletic Administrators Association Athletic Director of the Year. Coach Potter was selected for the award from ADs nominated by their peers around the state. This year marks his 29th in education, 20th as an athletic director and 10th at Columbia High School. The award was presented on April 10.
Paula Kellerer Named 2018 Outstanding Educator
Northwest Nazarene University named Superintendent Paula Kellerer as this year’s L.E. Wesche Outstanding Educator. LoriAnn Sanchez, chair of the Department of Undergraduate Education, said that “Dr. Kellerer is the epitome of excellence in education and leadership. Her experience and contributions in the field of education are extensive, ranging from classroom teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, chairperson of several state-level education committees, and dean of educator preparation programs at NNU.” The award was presented at a private reception at the university.
Nampa High Senior Headed to Vassar
After years of hard work, Nampa High School senior Ben Mathot earned a full-ride scholarship to Vassar College as part of his goal to become a doctor. His connection to the school came from enrolling with QuestBridge, a non-profit that connects high-achieving, low-income students to the nation’s best colleges. Vassar ranks No. 12 in the nation for liberal arts colleges. The school’s acceptance rate is only 25 percent.
Youth Activation Summit
The Nampa School District was well represented at the Youth Activation Summit at Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California in late April. Sponsored by PeerForward and Facebook Education, the summit is a call to a select group of young activators, nonprofit partners, school district leaders, funders and researchers to accelerate the impact young people can have in solving school and community challenges in partnership with their schools. Students are challenged to identify a pressing problem, create a solution that makes a measurable difference, and partner with school or civic leaders to increase impact. The goal is to equip schools across the country to adopts youth activation and create solutions to transform schools and communities.
Representing the district were Columbia High School juniors Isaac Hansen and Susan Waskosky, Principal Cory Woolstenhulme, Superintendent Paula Kellerer, and Executive Director of Secondary Education Scott Parker. CHS was chosen based on its innovative programs, including the STEM Academy and personalized learning platform.
A Pitch for a State Gopher Snake
Brendan LoCicero’s fourth-graders at Lake Ridge Elementary met with Idaho State Rep. Christy Perry on May 1. As part of a project-based Idaho history lesson , the students researched state symbols and decided to make a pitch to have the gopher snake named the Idaho state reptile. The kids wrote letters to legislators and Rep. Perry agreed to be their contact.
Canyon County Bike Program Motivating Kids at West
Lucky students at West Middle School have the chance to win bikes in a quarterly raffle designed to encourage positive behavior. Throughout the year, students are rewarded with tickets (“dawg bones”) for polite behavior, words of encouragement and other acts of kindness. They then can choose to use their tickets to enter the raffle (bikes are donated by the Canyon Bike Project), redeem them for treats at the school store, or use them toward other incentives. The bikes are donated to the school by the Canyon Bike Project, sponsored by Canyon County Juvenile Probation in conjunction with local merchants such as Walmart, and nonprofits. Donated bikes are restored by teens on probation, then donated to kids in need.
Nampa Student, Teacher Named Tops by PTA
The Idaho State PTA recognized Kalynda Pearce as teacher of the year, and Erik Rudy as student of the year. Both honorees are from Lake Ridge Elementary School. The awards were presented during the PTA state convention in April.
Nampa Schools Foundation Awards Scholarships
The Nampa Schools Foundation has awarded $17,250 in scholarships to 11 Nampa School District graduating seniors. Those selected to receive 2018 NSF scholarships totaling $17,250 are: Debanhi Aguirre-Jimenez, Nampa High School; Connor Caricofe, Nampa High School; Adan Eledesma, Nampa High School; Vitaliy Golovin, Columbia High School; Masen Medl, Skyview High School; Raven Moore, Skyview High School; Elaina Nava, Nampa High School; Bianca Ramos Pina, Nampa High School; Nicholas Taylor, Skyview High School; Tyler Tracht, Skyview High School; and Danielle Zamora, Skyview High School.
And Here’s a Taste of What’s Been Featured “In the News”
KBOI Channel 2’s “Leaders in Learning” series featured a program to prepare Ronald Reagan Elementary fifth-graders for middle school. http://idahonews.com/features/leaders-in-learning/nampa-5th-graders-practice-for-middle-school
KIVI Channel 6 reported on the annual Hot Rod Happenin’ Car Show at Nampa High School earlier this month. https://www.kivitv.com/news/fifth-annual-hot-rod-happenin-at-nampa-high-school
KTVB Channel 7 stopped by the financial reality fair at Skyview High School, where students learned about budgeting, credit and cost of living in the real world. http://www.ktvb.com/article/life/life-in-balance/a-little-bit-shocking-local-students-get-financial-reality-check/277-539849833
And then there’s this nostalgic story about the founding of the Nampa High School bowling club in the 1940s. https://www.idahopress.com/community/front_porch/front-porch-founder-of-nampa-high-bowling-team-speaks-up/article_229263c2-540d-586d-a708-1f0a939943b3.html
May 1: Youth Mental Health Community Conversation, 6 p.m. at Nampa High School
May 4-5, 7-12: FFA Annual Greenhouse Plant Sale, Columbia High School. 1-5 p.m. May 4 and 7-11; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. May 5 and 12.
May 7: Open house for incoming 6th-grade middle school students, 5-7 p.m. at East Valley, Lone Star, South and West middle schools.
May 7: National School Nurses Day
May 7-11: National Teacher Appreciation Week
May 10: Teacher of the Year Award Ceremony, 7 p.m. at Skyview High School
May 11: Carnival, 5:30-8 p.m. at Central Elementary
May 11: Fiesta, 6-8:30 p.m. at New Horizons
May 12: Spirit of Aloha Luau, 7 p.m. at Nampa High School. $20 general seating
May 15, 17 and 18: NPL Exhibition Nights, 6 p.m. at Lake Ridge Elementary
May 17: Spring Choral Concert, 7 p.m. at the West Middle School Gymnasium
May 18: Carnival, 5:30-8 p.m. at Iowa Elementary
May 22: Skyview High School Graduation, 7:30 p.m. at the Ford Idaho Center
May 23: Nampa High School Graduation, 7:30 p.m. at the Ford Idaho Center
May 24: Union High School Graduation, 7 p.m. at Skyview High School
May 25: Columbia High School Graduation, 7:30 p.m. at the Ford Idaho Center
May 28: Memorial Day