Future Stars Shine Bright
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing Summit Elementary to be the cover story for the Winter 2004 edition of Ed Tech (Tinfoil Star, “Creating Future Stars”). The article was very well-written, and the cover photograph was spectacular!
The students, staff and families of Summit Elementary were thrilled with the story, and it really boosted the morale of the entire school.
Thank you for allowing us this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
—Tamala L. Martin, Principal, Summit Elementary School, Ashland, Ky.
Thank you so much for coming to our classroom to kick off our “YOUniqueness — An Inspirational Celebration of African -American History” in February. My class fell in love with you and wants you to come back! Thanks so much for the picture of Martin Luther King Jr. We let Principal Kent “borrow” it for a few days. It is now hanging up in our hallway with a plaque that says “Dream Big” and your name.
—Linda Sebetic, Teacher, East Elementary School, Zion, Ill.
A Great Relationship
It was so exciting to have an article written about our small district in Coffeyville, Kan. We are extremely pleased not only with the article, “Sttrrretching Tech Dollars” (Case Study, Winter 2004), but with CDW•G and our account manager, Angelo Selvaggio. It truly is a great relationship.
I have often thought that publishing an article on the importance of the relationship established between a CDW•G account manager and a school district would be interesting and beneficial to readers. I did not understand the importance of having an account manager until Angelo called one day, and I began telling him that I was new to technology purchasing. He immediately offered his assistance, and I cannot tell you how many times I have called and asked him questions prior to a purchase. If he doesn’t know the answer, he will find out or put me in touch with someone who does.
I also think that readers who do not take advantage of the extranet site would benefit from an article informing them of the various features and convenience of a customized site. I use the site on a daily basis—if not to purchase something, then to look up a prior purchase or to do research before purchasing.
—Sonya Cantrell, Data Management Specialist, Coffeyville Unified School District #445, Coffeyville, Kan.
As a technology manager for five counties of K-12 schools, I really appreciate your magazine, especially the online version.
Is there any way in the future to have the magazine view be PDF or text-based? Right now all the text is treated as pictures. I’d like to be able to download and reprint some of the articles for my staff and administration, and would like to use Adobe Acrobat’s highlighting feature to call attention to parts of an article that are of particular interest to our people.
The last time I needed to do that, I printed them out and highlighted each copy by hand. Not very efficient, but the results were effective (calling attention to the parts that affect us). I’d love to be able to do this more effectively.
—Michael Richardson, Network Administrator, Regional Educational Media Center #1, Hancock, Mich.
We’re glad to hear that you’ve put our articles to good use. We are looking to make some changes to the Web site, so stay tuned.
Principal Joseph Kent wants to make sure that students at East Elementary School understand that they have access to a wide array of opportunities—with one exception.
“The kids have many options available,” explains the first-year chief of the Zion, Ill., school. “But the one option they do not have is to fail.”
That’s not a message that is easily conveyed, considering that three-quarters of the school’s 307 students come from low-income families. Kent says the makeup of the student body carries with it a unique set of challenges.
“A lot of these kids don’t necessarily have the parental involvement and support systems that you’d find in more affluent areas,” he notes. “For me, that changes the way you approach everything. It changes the basic philosophy.”
One cornerstone of Kent’s philosophy is building relationships with students. He says those relationships are critical—not only to their academic achievement, but also to their self-esteem and confidence.
“If they don’t trust you or don’t think you’re sincere, then your acts of motivation will not be internalized by them,” he explains. “We hold them to the highest expectations—in the classroom, socially and in extracurricular activities. But we also have to put the tools in place to let struggling students know there is assistance for them.”
Since assuming the head post at East Elementary this year, Kent has wasted no time implementing programs to support that philosophy. A new site-based tutorial operates after school three days a week to help students with subjects they find difficult, while a two-hour “Saturday School” was established to assist students who are failing their entire grade level. Less than three months into the Saturday sessions, Kent witnessed turnarounds among participating students.
“They’re getting motivated to learn,” he says. “We’re trying to help them understand that education is one of the most important things they will ever encounter.”
Kent has also been instrumental in reinstating the school’s student council, as well as creating a chess club, an art club and the Eagle Excellence enrichment program for the school’s top achievers.
One of the year’s highlights took place during February’s African-American History Month, when Kent invited community members to speak to students, more than half of whom are African-American. “The kids are motivated when they see other people who look like them being successful,” he explains. “They need real people to bridge the gap for them.”
Among the topics of discussion was how influential historic figures, such as Martin Luther King Jr., helped shape the adults’ own lives and philosophies and contributed to their success. “Hearing these stories really helped get the kids excited about life,” Kent recalls. “It let them know that they, too, are history-makers.” —Melissa B. Tamberg
Thanks for Your Help!
At the end of last year, we asked Ed Tech readers to take part in an online survey about the magazine. We want to thank all of our readers who took the time to give us their valuable comments and suggestions.
Everyone who responded to the survey was automatically registered to win one of several products: D-Link DI-624 Xtreme G 108Mbps Wireless Router, Apple iPod Mini, Logitech Cordless Click! Plus Optical Mouse, HP iPAQ rz1710 Pocket PC Handheld and Canon PowerShot A75 Digital Camera. Following survey completion, five winners were chosen at random, and each received one of the prizes mentioned.
E-mail your letters, comments and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Letters chosen for publication may be edited for length and clarity. All submissions become the property of CDW•G.