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10/12/2007 11:28:00 AM
Superintendent’s Update #225
Superintendent with Student

1. Guitar-toting Prineville educator is Oregon Teacher of the Year

2. Oregon Diploma Talk

3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

4. Susan’s Schedule

The October 2007 Issue PDF of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website: http://www.ode.state.or.us/pipeline/october-pipeline-07.pdf PDF

Learn about what is new with the Oregon Diploma at http://www.getreadyoregon.org/

1. Guitar-toting Prineville educator is Oregon Teacher of the Year

Excerpt from Oregonian by Matthew Preusch

Standing in the middle of the Crook County Middle School gym, state Superintendent Susan Castillo had some hints for the assembled students about which of their teachers was the Oregon Teacher of the Year.

Michael Geisen, a science teacher at the Prineville school, learned at the surprise assembly Friday that he'd been named the 2007-08 Oregon Teacher of the Year. Geisen (known as Mr. G, or sometimes Sensei G, by students) gets a $3,000 cash reward sponsored by Intel, Oregon's largest private employer. He will also represent Oregon teachers at the National Teacher of the Year Forum in Washington, D.C., where the unassuming central Oregonian will meet President Bush.

Geisen, 34, is known for his creativity, enthusiasm and effectiveness in the classroom, say parents, administrators and colleagues. During his first two years as science department chairman, the percentage of students who met or exceeded the state's science benchmark climbed from 55 percent to 72 percent.

"Mike is the most phenomenal teacher I have ever seen," said Cathy Fall, an elementary school teacher whose son, Zach, took Geisen's science class last year. "My son came home every day excited about what he had learned."

Fall nominated Geisen for the award, given each school year by the Oregon Department of Education. Geisen, who received his master's in teaching from Southern Oregon University, was the driving force behind a 1,000-square-foot rock climbing wall at the school as well as a new botanical garden in a once forlorn courtyard. He got his start as an educator while working as a forester and a teaching assistant at the University of Washington's experimental forest. In his application for the award, he described how unfulfilled he felt while working in the woods by himself.

"That day on the rainy hillside, I realized why I was barely able to get up every morning: I needed to give," he wrote. "I needed to teach!"

For complete article go to: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1191639316319050.xml&coll=7

2. Oregon Diploma Talk

This weekly item highlights actions taken and various questions relating to the changes to the Oregon diploma.

Task forces working on the Oregon Diploma have been busy during the last several weeks. On September 26th the Diploma Implementation Advisory Task Force (IATF), a group of key stakeholders and leaders, met to discuss how best to smoothly implement the new requirements statewide. They helped identify the many partners who must work together to successfully implement the Oregon Diploma.

The Essential Skills Task Force began its work in August and September to define the Essential Skills. The ESTF met again on October 2nd in full session and created a draft version of the essential skills which will be disseminated for stakeholder input. On October 1st, a sub-group of the Essential Skills Task Force (ESTF) met to begin work on the final two essential skills (Global Literacy and Civic/Community Engagement). The ESTF has also begun to identify assessment options for the essential skills. This work will inform the Standards and Assessment Task Force (SATF) as they begin their work on a review of and recommendations for the assessment system. The SATF will begin meeting in mid-November.

Internally, ODE's Office of Educational Improvement & Innovation (EII) has begun a month-long re-organization process in part to more strongly address the needs of the Oregon Diploma work.

Detailed information regarding the work of the Task Forces can be found at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/teachlearn/real/diploma/

3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

THE PRUDENTIAL SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY AWARDS

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honor young people in grades 5 through 12 who have demonstrated exemplary voluntary service to their communities.
Maximum Award: $5,000.
Eligibility: Students in grades 5-12 who have conducted a volunteer service activity within the past year.
Deadline: October 31, 2007.

4. Susan’s Schedule

Week of October 8th – Susan Castillo had lunch with the Statewide Elected Officials, attended the Oregon Business Association Statesman Dinner, participated in a USDOE conference call regarding school improvement, and speak at the ECMC Realizing the College Dream conference.

Week of October 15th – Susan will participate in the TOPOFF 4 emergency crisis event, meet with the State Board of Education and meet with the Youth Advisory Team.

o For scheduling inquires, please visit our website at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=848

o Please forward this UPDATE to others who might find it of interest.

If you would like to be added to this list or if you would like to unsubscribe, please email Public Affairs Manager Jennifer Williamson: jennifer.williamson@state.or.us eMail.
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