I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.
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WILLMAR -- After a few minutes of instruction, the fourth-graders at Roosevelt Elementary School started rolling dice and learning the fun and challenge of playing Bunco. One boy called it "the best game in the world," as the students developed their skills at adding numbers quickly, listening and working together. Teaching Bunco were a group of former teachers who get together to play the game once a month. When fourth-grade teacher Cindi Kroona heard about it, she asked if they might help teach her students to play Bunco.
WILLMAR -- Five people have been removed from the Willmar School District's technology staff after an investigation into alleged misconduct and violation of school laws and rules. District staff were notified Thursday in an email to all employees. The email from Human Resources Director Liz Fischer did not provide specific reasons for the terminations. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said Friday morning that government data laws prohibited the release of more information. He did say that the situation was "nothing that involved students," and the investigation did not reveal any security is
WILLMAR -- Five people have been removed from the Willmar School District's technology staff after an investigation in alleged misconduct and violation of school rules. The district staff was notified Thursday in an email sent to all employees. Four people were terminated: Steven Giroux, Jamie Cluka, Adam Tucker and Emily Miller. Eugene Lubbers is on paid administrative leave "pending the exhaustion of his rights under the Veterans Preference Act." The district's website lists nine members of the technology team.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board began to take a closer look at how it does business this week, the beginning of a process that will lead to a new strategic plan for the school district's future. One of the next steps will be a public meeting to discuss the district's strategic plan from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the rehearsal hall at the Willmar Education and Arts Center. Consultant Bruce Miles, of Big River Group of St.
WILLMAR -- Annie Schaefbauer worked like crazy to win the top prize in the Willmar Middle School fundraiser this fall. She wanted that Apple iPad2 tablet computer badly -- not for herself but to donate it to her school's special education department. Annie, 12, who already knows she wants to be a special education teacher, said she knew the special education department needed another iPad.
WILLMAR -- First-graders work in small groups to match words with pictures and recognize similarities and differences between words. Fifth-graders in different groups read aloud or write about accomplishments. Even in places where three groups work in the same classroom, the noise level is tightly controlled, and students follow along intently. When it's RTI time in Willmar's elementary schools, everybody goes to work.
he new Smart Play Spot at the Willmar Public Library wasn't officially open, but it was already drawing little kids like a magnet this week. The Smart Play Spot will have a grand opening celebration beginning at 8 a.m. Monday at the library, 410 Fifth St. S.W. The Minnesota Children's Museum built the Play Spot, which reflects the local area. The Children's Museum used Legacy Grant funding for half the cost, and local funds were raised for the other half.
WILLMAR -- Fifty veterans and their families will pick up turkeys and all the trimmings for a Thanksgiving meal today from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Men's Auxiliary of Willmar. It's a way for the men's auxiliary at Post 1639 to show gratitude to veterans on the holiday. Auxiliary president Glen Lotthammer said the group first came up with the idea of giving away turkeys. "We felt we should do a little bit more directly for vets and for their families," he said. The idea "just kinda took off from there," he said.
WILLMAR -- It's OK for parents to set limits on how much their teenagers use technology. For instance, phones can be turned off at 10 p.m. or kept out of bedrooms.