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Pre-Service Teacher News

February 25, 2014


By pre-service teachers Kendra Froelich, Community-Based Public Relations; Justyn Lawrence, Campus-Based Public Relations; and Leah Hamann, SPEC Faculty Advisor

           The fall semester was a busy one for the pre-service teachers of the UTTC Teacher Education Department. The Student Professional Education Council (SPEC) held their executive member elections in September with the members actively coming together to layout the plans for the 2013-14 academic year.  As they prepared for the year, they were guided by three SPEC goals: professional development, community involvement and fundraising.

From Left: SPEC President Joshua Standing Elk (MHA Nation); Treasurer Alicia Cuny (Pine Ridge); Campus-Based Public Relations Justyn Lawrence (Cheyenne River); Community-Based Public Relations Kendra Froehlich; Student Senate Representative Theresa Tracke (Northern Cheyenne); and Fall Semester Secretary Lucy Fairbanks (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe).

New Executive Council Member
           Antonia Valdez was elected by her colleagues in January as Secretary of the Student Professional Education Council for Spring semester. Welcome Antonia!

Antonia Valdez (Wind River)

Professional Development
           LeAnn Nelson, director of Teaching and Learning at North Dakota United, and Mari Fridgen, assistant director of the North Dakota Education and Standards Board, made a special visit to United Tribes on October 9 to talk to the UTTC pre-service teachers about Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The latter is a state-led consortium working to develop next-generation assessments that accurately measure student progress toward college-and career-readiness. Pre-service teachers had the opportunity to ask questions to prepare for the upcoming North Dakota United Common Core Conference.
           UTTC pre-service teachers attended the ND United Common Core Conference at Century High School on October 17-18. They joined veteran educators, administrators and other pre-service teachers for an overview of the standards and achievements of Common Core with Rob Bauer, assistant director of standards and achievement. Attendees also took-in sessions that included Kirsten Baesler, superintendent of public instruction; Nikki Elliott-Schuman, writing assessment specialist for the Smarter Balance Assessment System; and Tracy Gruber, math assessment specialist and validation and pychometrics/test design work-group member for the Smarter Balance Assessment System.

ND United Common Core Conference pre-service teacher attendees: back row from left: Valene Pretends Eagle (Standing Rock); Wylee Bears Tail (MHA Nation); Jade Thomas (Turtle Mt. Chippewa); Waylon Black Crow (Pine Ridge); Justyn Lawrence (Cheyenne River); and Joshua Standing Elk (MHA Nation). Front from left: Alicia Cuny (Pine Ridge); Marlene Cook (Cheyenne River); Lacey McThias (Yankton); Angela Tochek (Standing Rock); and Theresa Tracke (Northern Cheynne). Not pictured: Antonia Valdez (Wind River) and Kendra Froelich.

Campus-Based Activities
           As the fall semester progressed, pre-service teachers engaged in various campus-based activities, includeding decorating the Teacher Education Homecoming float, attending Student Senate meetings, volunteering for the 10th annual TJES Child Find Carnival, donating sweatshirts, gloves, and winter hats to TJES, and hosting a Christmas potluck.

Pre-service teachers’ homecoming float.

Community and Campus-Based Activities
           In late October, the SPEC put together an event for UTTC children and their families by hosting a coat drive. The “Time Crunch Coat Drive” was a large success with over 100 coats donated by campus-based students, faculty and staff as well as donations from the Bismarck/Mandan community. We are especially impressed that the large number of coats was collected within a two week time frame. A special thank you to all who participated!

Justyn Lawrence (Cheyenne River) and Wylee Bears Tail (MHA Nation)

           Last, but certainly not least, is the personal UTTC campus tour offered by Wylee Bears Tail and Justyn Lawrence to the UTTC Teacher Education Professional Education Council members at the November 6 fall meeting. Mr. Bears Tail began the meeting by offering prayer. Members of the advisory committee are: Shelly Simon, West River Head Start; Dr. Jason Hornbacher, principal Moses Elementary School ; Jaymee Hoffer, Centennial Grade 3 teacher;  Linda Hoag, Bismarck Public Schools special education coordinator; Brenda Jechort, TJES Reading First; Leann Binde, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit principal; Lisa Azure, UTTC Teacher Education Dept. chair; Leah Hamann, UTTC Teacher Education faculty; Lisa Canton, General Education chair; Donovan Lambert, UTTC Admissions director; Anita Charging, UTTC Teacher Education academic and personal counselor, and Derek Shulte, UTTC Mathematics faculty.

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