EL-G student, teacher participate in global education

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE — The School Board heard of more extraordinary achievements at its Monday night meeting.

Spanish instructor Leslie Corbin introduced senior Lauren Boos, who had prepared a portfolio as part of an application for the Global Education Achievement Certificate.

Boos’ portfolio listed several books she’d read “of international/cultural media;” high school coursework including four years of French, college-credit English, World History, and Creative Writing; co-curricular activities in AFS; a trip to Africa in 2015; hearing a 2014 presentation by Jane Goodall; attending the University of Iowa Human Rights Law Conference last year; and participating in the World Language Club.

“I’m very, very thankful that [EL-G] offers such a thing,” Boos told the board. Having access to this program, she said, will allow her to take her education, career and life in a direction that includes global awareness and global involvement.

Because her parents were Catholic missionaries, Boos has had the opportunity to travel globally since she was young.

She told the board she has taken a specific interest in the mistreatment of those born Albino (without skin pigmentation) in portions of Africa. She supports a foundation in Tanzania that offers sanctuary for such children, who are the target of superstition and prejudice.

Corbin then updated the board on her involvement with the Teachers for Global Classrooms program. Last November, she’d told the board that she was one of 76 selected, from over 400 applications nation-wide, to receive a TGC grant.

As one selected, Corbin attended a symposium at Washington, D.C. District Superintendent Dr. Ann Buechel Haack attended with Corbin.

In three weeks, Corbin will travel to Morocco and spend 15 days there, researching the role technology plays there in communication. During that time, she will write a blog, sharing experiences and thoughts with her students. Corbin also plans to have exchanges between students in Morocco and students at EL-G, some of them hopefully in real time, as there is only a six-hour difference in time zones.

Buechel Haack expressed her strong support for global education, and the program EL-G participated in. She said Corbin would share her experiences with other EL-G staff. She added that participation in global education is not supported in many schools.

Corbin agreed, saying there are only five or six states that recognize students going above and beyond in global education. “We’re way ahead in Wisconsin,” Corbin said. “It’s something that is catching fire. We’ll see much, much more of it in the future.”

Corbin told the board she’d have more to report when she returned from Morocco.

The board reviewed graphs of test results, provided by the Wisconsin Information System for Education. Data was presented several ways, one set comparing EL-G student performance with area schools, another set with students state-wide. EL-G students scored impressively well, especially sixth graders in math.

While the data was good news, Buechel Haack emphasized that it is only one part of the whole picture of what goes on in a school system.

The board received an update on how technology is being used throughout the school.

Buechel Haack reported that Neola, which manages the district’s policies, brought to her attention the need to revise about 70 policies. These are all technical wording changes, mandated by state law and not open to district discretion. The board will receive a summary of these changes.

The board unanimously approved the planned school calendar for the 2017-18 school year. In discussion, Buechel Haack said there is resistance at the state level to allowing local districts to determine how early they can start the school year. “It would be nice to have that opportunity, that the school district could decide what was right for your school instead of the state telling us what was right,” she said.

The board unanimously approved accepting several donations, and expressed gratitude for all.

Student Council representative Aryka Klemme told of the high school winter formal, which was well attended and very successful. It was attended by several short term AFS students and by students from other area schools.

Elementary Principal Deb Hammann’s K-8 highlights included Feb. 6 parent-teacher conferences, observation of the 100th day of school, professionals from the area talking to students for Career Day and Valentine’s Day activities.

High School Principal Ryan Faris’ highlights included ACT testing at the end of February, receipt of four nominations for the district’s first Distinguished Alumni Award, a new year of the Youth Apprenticeship Program about to start, student participation in the Poetry Out Loud and Forensics competitions, fundraising for Pink Heals at the Coaches vs. Cancer event and coming spring sports seasons.

Buechel Haack said instructor Beth Roehl was one of four teachers in the state recently recognized for financial literacy by Gov. Scott Walker.

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