Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Have An Awesome Summer Everyone!

It seems pretty incredible that here we are on May 30th marking one week since classes were dismissed for the summer!  As I was getting ready for work this morning, the weather forecaster was commenting that today was the last day for many other students in the area.  If you can believe it, there were even schools that were out the Friday before we dismissed!  For all practical purposes, schools that are dismissing today even seems a little early.  Part of this can be attributed to a practice of diligently pursuing an academic calendar that dismisses students prior to Memorial Day, and the other part of course can be attributed to the fact that we had a very mild winter.  In case you are wondering, state law requires school districts to be in session a total of 180 days; 178 if you consider a calendar with parent teacher conferences.  Additionally, we apply for an early start waiver that makes it possible to end school early and provide the traditional breaks during the school year.

Students and teachers working together on painting the
elementary school.
Well, I didn't really plan on going into a long explanation of the school calendar, but there you go!  Even though classes are not currently in session, the business of operating a school district continues twelve months a year!  While our students are away, we will be completing a number of substantial and significant changes and upgrades to our facilities that are not possible when classes are in session.  The biggest project that you have probably heard about is the high school parking lot, which is scheduled to begin construction on June 4th.  I would suspect that we will begin seeing equipment arrive by the end of this week.  We anticipate this project will be complete well in time for the start of classes.

Additionally, there are a  number of projects that are being completed this summer, ranging from electrical work to technology purchases.  This week we have a very hard working crew of volunteers (teachers, PTO members, students, and volunteers from Target Distribution) painting the elementary school.  I was amazed after seeing their progress this afternoon.  A special thank you to everyone involved in this wonderful project, it looks totally amazing!

We are also lining up some volunteers to work on the landscaping out in front of the elementary, so stay tuned if you are looking for something to do in the next couple of weeks, we will certainly be able to use the help!

If you need something or have any questions, our office is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.  Although we are open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Friday, you are encouraged to call ahead for an appointment. 

Finally I am starting something new this summer and hope to continue it during the next school year.  Beginning Friday, I invite you to join me for breakfast at the Amvets Hall beginning at 8:00 a.m.  Last Friday I scoped it out with Mr. Abel and Mr. Scott and found that they serve a fantastic breakfast!  If you have questions about Hudson Schools or have ever wondered how some of our decisions are made this may be the perfect opportunity for you!  In the future I envision doing this at least one time a month.  Hope you can join me!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Message from the Board of Directors to the Class of 2012

Guest Post By Tanya Higgins, Hudson Board of Directors

I have spent a considerable amount of time over the last few weeks thinking about an important and inspiring message to share with you, the graduating class of 2012.  A message that would summarize all of your experiences in high school and the many accomplishments you have already achieved, the discoveries you have made about your skills and talents and in what capacity you can apply those in your future, comments about the individuals you are and the people you aspire to be.  But I realized, I am an engineer and what I really want to talk to you about is quality.  This might seem like a strange topic for a commencement message but I think it has more relevance than you realize. 

Quality can be defined in many different ways.   It is “a measure of excellence” or “a set of characteristics that, when met, satisfies stated or implied needs”.  You have spent your academic careers learning about and focusing on quality.  You have each demonstrated that you understand how to measure excellence and what it means to be a Quality Producer, to set priorities and achievable goals, and meet and at times exceed expectations.  You have done this in your academic, athletic, and service endeavors.  You have each spent the last 12 years learning about meeting the standards of the rest of the Learner Performance Goals to be Effective Communicators, Individual Problem Solvers, Collaborative Workers, Internal Asset Builders, Knowledgeable People, and Contributing Citizens.  Meeting this set of characteristics satisfies both the stated needs for graduation but also the implied needs to realize your future goals and dreams.

Perhaps one of the most popular ways to define what quality is, is to simply state “I Know it When I See it”.  In fact, there is even a book by this title written by John Guaspari.  He suggests that defining quality really depends on listening to what your customers need and then delivering to their expectations.  The class of 2012 has consistently delivered to those expectations over the last 12 years.  Whether you leave here today planning to enter college, the military, or the business world, you are how I would define quality.  I know it because I see it in each and every one of you.  Congratulations Class of 2012.  I challenge you to continue in your journey of quality, and anyone is interested in a career in quality come see me after the ceremony.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Superintendent's Message to the Class of 2012

Candidates for graduation:  Congratulations!  One of my greatest pleasures of being superintendent is this day.  With the Administration and members of the Board of Directors, I will have the honor in a few minutes to present you with a diploma from Hudson High School.  We are all so very excited and proud of you,  and share great joy with your families.  I am sure you have been experiencing a mix of emotions these last several weeks.  On one hand you are excited to begin the next chapter of your lives, on the other you are sad that you will be parting ways with so many friends that you have grown up with.

A very long journey comes to an end this afternoon, one that was over a decade in the making.  You entered these halls as small, young, and impressionable five year olds.  Today you will leave as confident (although still young and perhaps impressionable) educated adults with a key that will unlock doors for you:  a high school diploma.

At the beginning of each school year as our faculty arrives they are inundated with an inordinate amount of tasks to perform as they prepare for the arrival of students.  I remind them annually that their task boils down into one very simple principle:  get them ready for what comes next.  For the kindergarten teachers, they are simply given the charge: turn them into first graders.  For fourth grade teachers: make them fifth graders.  And in high school; turn them into responsible adults.

Think a moment about your educational journey.  In kindergarten and first grade, you learned to read.  In fourth grade you learned about the plant cycle and photosynthesis.  During your middle school years (which is probably a time many of you wish to forget) you learned about mythology and were able to experience National History Day.  In high school you learned algorithms and trigonometry, how our government works, and proper care of plants and animals.  And let’s not forget the most important thing: you learned to drive and experienced freedom for the first time!

There were many lessons along the way, too numerous to list.  Teamwork, perseverance, and critical thinking may rank among the top.  Many of you learned about relationships, and that hearts indeed can be broken.  You learned that life is precious and sometimes cruel.

All during this decade long journey, we have been sitting back and watching, collecting data and taking notes.  Your academic progress has been monitored and dissected through multiple lenses; and we fret over whether or not you have met targeted growth on annual assessments.  While these are important numbers for us to digest and disseminate, the most important data we collect is what is yet to come.  We can boast high graduation rates, and we do.  But more important is what you do with your graduation.  What does that diploma mean?  We think it means an awful lot. Where will you go from here?  What will you do with your life?  Those are the questions we most want the answer to, because that is what makes a diploma from Hudson High School such a big deal.

You are at an important crossroads right now, and when you part ways after today, be it to go to work at the local welding shop, Coe College to study business, or Loyola to study medicine, we will all be watching, collecting our data and hoping you find success and happiness.

While you leave here with diploma in hand, there is still much to learn.  I am more than twice your age and I am still learning every day; how to be a better husband, better father, and better superintendent.  It never ends.

In closing it would probably be natural for me to wish you luck as you begin this new and exciting chapter of your lives.  However, I believe luck has very little to do with how things unfold for you from here on out.  The diploma you earn here today is not a gift or something that you received out of sheer luck.  It was earned through a lot of hard work and determination.

So then, don’t let today be an ending, but a beginning.  Keep learning.  Set goals, persevere, and remember that luck has very little to do with it.  We will be watching.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Board of Directors-May Meeting Agenda

May 21, 2012              4:00 p.m.

We create effective learning environments that result in success for all students.  

REGULAR MEETING                                                                                                                                                      
  1. Call to Order—Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of the Agenda
  4. Welcome Visitors and Comments From Visitors
  5. Consent Agenda-Monthly Matters                                                                                                    

5.1.    Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting
5.2.    Approve Consent Personnel
5.3.    School Nurse Report

  1.  Financial                                                                                                                                                     
6.1.    Approve Monthly Bills
6.2.    Review Monthly Financial Reports

  1. Reports                                                                                                                                                                                
7.1.    Board of Education               
Board Development Activity:  Tabled until June Work Session
Board/Administration Work Session
7.2.    Superintendent                                                                                                                                     
Update on Facilities Work and Review 5 year Facility Plan
                        Faculty and Staff Professional Development Update
Discussion on the Future of the School Speech Program

  1. Items for Consideration and Possible Action                                                                                        
8.1.    Open Night Policy (Board Policy Code No. 508.2) Final Reading
8.2.    Driver Education Tuition and Fees (Board Policy Code No. 604.10)Amend Policy
8.3.    Internet—Appropriate use (Board Policy Code No. 605.5)Amend Policy
8.4.    Optional Fees for Graduation and Prom
8.5.    Approve 8 Period Per Day Master Schedule
8.6.    Approval of Request from Waterloo Columbus to join the NICL Conference
8.7.    Approve Change Order For Parking Lot Project

  1. Items for Consideration                                                                                                                               
9.1.    Debrief Meeting/Items for June Business Meeting
9.2.    Commendations

Closed Session per Iowa Code Section 21.5 (1)(i) to evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance, or discharge is being considered—High School Principal Compensation
Motion to Enter Closed Session
Closed Session
Return to Open Session with Possible Action

Adjourn to Gallagher-Bluedorn Auditorium for Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching Ceremony

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Congratulations Seniors!

On Tuesday, May 8th, we gathered in the high school auditorium to honor our senior class and recognize the many scholarships and honors they have received.  This has been an outstanding class of young people who have made us proud in so many ways!  We wish them all the best in the next stage of their lives and have no doubt they will make us proud again in the future.  We will be able to say that "We Knew You When..."

This years class has been awarded a scholarships and awards totaling $884,286. Congratulations and way to go class of 2012!

Hudson High School Senior Awards                                                                                                                                   

Iowa Bar Association Citizenship Award, Justin Petersen
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa ($2000), Kelly Budreau
Community Foundation Opportunity Scholarship ($1000), Austin DeLau                      
Heiber Family Scholarship ($1000), Rachael Bair                                       
James W. and Jvone E. Maxwell Memorial Scholarship ($1000), Kelly Budreau                                     
James W. and Jvone E. Maxwell Memorial Scholarship ($1000), Claire Hawkins
James W. and Jvone E. Maxwell Memorial Scholarship ($1000), Justin Petersen  
Carlton L. Winter Memorial Scholarship ($1000), Hanna Cartney
Hudson Educational Fund Scholarships:                                  
Theora “Tedi” Whelchel ($1000), Rachael Bair                         
Stan Whelchel “Payback” ($1000), Jenna Brandhorst
Raymond and Verjean Busching ($1725), Claire Hawkins
Raymond and Verjean Busching ($1725), Marisa Evers
Deanna Wheeler ReMax Home Group Scholarship ($1000), Nick Graves
HEF General Scholarship ($700), Lynn Koenigsfeld
HEF General Scholarship ($700), Kelly Budreau
HEF General Scholarship ($700), Sara Morgensen
HEF General Scholarship ($700), Austin DeLau
HEF General Scholarship ($700), Alex McCullough
HEF General Scholarship ($700), Paul Lichty
HEF General Scholarship ($700), Stefanie Newhouse
HEF Fine Arts ($500), Ben Huber
Coonrad Family  ($525), Cody Bascom
Clifford Murray Memorial Athletic Booster Club Scholarship ($500), Justin Petersen
Clifford Murray Memorial Athletic Booster Club Scholarship ($500), Hanna Cartney
Student Leader Scholarship ($500), Chad Smith
Vore Family Scholarship ($500), Olivia Wright
Lois E. West Memorial Scholarship($500), Sam Folladori
Lincoln Savings Bank ($500), Austin Goodnight
Lincoln Savings Bank ($500), Jaimie Kramer
Wesley Epling Memorial Scholarship ($350), Lila Epling, Juliann Finn
Grundy County REC Scholarship ($250), Monica Ruiz
Russell & Elsie Mastain Family  ($175), AJ Solomon
Wilbert Meinhart Memorial Scholarship ($150), Russell Seekins
Helen J. Miles Memorial Scholarship ($500), Sarah Koch
Dorothy Stockdale Miller Memorial Scholarship($500), Sara Cartney
NAPM Scholarship Award ($1000), Rachael Bair
American Patriotism Essay Award, Rachael Bair
Lion's Club Scholarship ($500), Jaimie Kramer
Hudson Fire Department Scholarship  ($500), Jenna Brandhorst
American Red Cross Scholarship ($500), Claire Hawkins, Kelly Budreau                
Governor’s Scholar Recognition, Kelly Burdreau
KWWL Best of Class, Claire Hawkins
H.E.A. Lois West Scholarship ($750), Jenna Brandhorst, Kelly Budreau
Anton Nielson Scholarship (approx.$1000 for 2 years), Paul Lichty                          
Juli Farrell Memorial Scholarship ($1000/4 years), Kayla Klahsen, Claire Hawkins
Kenneth G. Meyerhoff Trust ($500), Jenna Brandhorst, Kelly Budreau,Sara Morgensen,Stefanie Newhouse
Wassam Scholarship  (Approx. $770), Austin DeLau                                      
Waterloo Courier Top Graduates, Kelly Budgreu, Austin DeLau, Claire Hawkins, Marisa Evers, Lynn Koenigsfeld, 
Olivia Wright, Rachael Bair
Des Moines Register Academic All- State Award, Austin DeLau                                                                                                                                                                           
Better Business Bureau Student of Integrity, Justin Petersen
Amvets Scholarship ($500), Jenna Brandhorst, Lindsay Ducker
“Nick” Nicklaus Ag Scholarship ($2000), Lynn Koenigsfeld
ECIC “Nick” Nicklaus Ag Scholarship ($500), Stefanie Newhouse
Hudson FFA Chapter Scholarship ($500), Lynn Koenigsfeld, Grant Wolfe, Brad Dufel, Russ Seekins, Stefanie Newhouse, Jenna Brandhorst
United States Marines Corps Distinguished Athlete Award, Ben Huber                                          
The “Semper Fidelis” Award for Musical Excellence, Shawna Behrens
United States Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award, Justin Petersen
United States Army Recruitment Award, Jacob Johannsen
United States Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award, Marisa Evers, Austin Goodnight
University of  Northern Iowa Presidential Scholarship ($8000/4 years), Rachael Bair
Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Good Citizen Award, Rachael Bair
Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship ($500), Rachael Bair
Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Award and Scholarship ($1000), Rachael Bair
Prudential ‘Spirit of Community’ Scholarship Distinguished Finalist – Bronze Medal Winner, Rachael Bair
President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award, Rachael Bair
Certificate of Recognition for Volunteer Work from the Iowa House of Representatives, Rachael Bair
Mayor’s Top Teen Award, Rachael Bair
Junior League Scholarship ($1000), Rachael Bair
University of Nebraska George Beadle Scholarship ($12,900/4 years), Claire Hawkins
University of Nebraska Honors Textbook Scholarship ($500/4years), Claire Hawkins
Michigan State University Scholars Award ($6000/4years), Cody Bascom
Michigan State Presidential Study Abroad Scholarship ($5000), Cody Bascom
Hawkeye Community College Achievement Scholarship ($1000), Jessica Lee
University of Northern Iowa Distinguished Scholars Award($5000/2 years), Sam Folladori
University of Northern Iowa Distinguished Scholars Award ($1000/2years), Hanna Cartney
University of Northern Iowa Distinguished Scholars Award ($2500/2 years), Jaimie Kramer
Pauline Barrett Endowed Scholarship ($2000), Jaimie Kramer
UNI Science, Technology and Math Scholarship ($2000), Jaimie Kramer
University of Northern Iowa Irvin & Dorothy Burne Math Scholarship($1444), Jaimie Kramer
Black Hawk County Farm Bureau Scholarship ($500), Jaimie Kramer
University of Iowa Scholars Award ($1000), Jenna Brandhorst
                University of Iowa Tuition Scholarship ($5515), Jenna Brandhorst
                Marine Corps League Scholarship ($200), Jenna Brandhorst
Iowa State University Academic Recognition Award ($1250/4years), Lynn Koenigsfeld
                National FFA Foundation Scholarship ($1000), Lynn Koenigsfeld
Central College Presidential Scholarship ($12,000/4 years), Monica Ruiz
                Central College Community Service Award ($500/4 years), Monica Ruiz
                Central Journey Scholarship ($1000/4 years), Monica Ruiz
                Central Multi-Culture Award ($1000/4 years), Monica Ruiz
                Special Central Grant ($1000/4 years), Monica Ruiz
University of Wisconsin-Platteville Freshmen Achievement and Leadership Award ($1500), Stefanie Newhouse
                Floy Kies Smythe Award ($500), Stefanie Newhouse
                Fredric W. Tufte Scholarship ($400), Stefanie Newhouse
                2011 Wendy’s Heisman Athletics, Academics and Leadership High School Award, Stefanie Newhouse
University of Northern Iowa Distinguished Scholars Award ($2000/4 years), Paul Lichty
University of Northern Iowa School of Music Scholarship ($500/4 years), Paul Lichty
Drake University Presidential Scholarship ($10000/4years), Sara Morgensen
                Iowa Tuition Grant ($1800), Sara Morgensen
                Federal Pell Grant ($2775), Sara Morgensen
                Federal Supplementary Education Opportunity Grant ($500), Sara Morgensen
University of Iowa Old Gold Scholarship ($3000/4years), Kelly Budreau
                University of Iowa Scholar Award ($1000), Kelly Budreau
                Black Hawk County Farm Bureau Scholarship ($1000), Kelly Budreau
                Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Scholarship ($500), Kelly Budreau
                The President’s Volunteer Service Award, Kelly Budreau
                Cedar Valley Mayor’s Top Teen Award, Kelly Budreau
                Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa Mother Moon Scholarship ($1000), Kelly Budreau
United States Bowling Congress Scholarship ($682), MacKenzie Allison
                St Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church Scholarship ($200), MacKenzie Allison
Colorado Christian University Dean’s Scholarship ($8000/4years), Chad Smith
Mayors Top Teen Award, Olivia Wright
Hawkeye Community College EMC2 Scholarship, Jacob Johannsen
Loyola University of Chicago Academic Dean Scholarship ($9000/4 years), AJ Solomon
Iowa State University President’s Scholarship ($1700/4 years), Alex McCullough
Buena Vista Presidential Scholarship ($14000/4years), Grant Wolfe
                Buena Vista Founders Scholarship ($1500/4years), Grant Wolfe
                Farm Bureau Scholarship ($250), Grant Wolfe
                Mayors Top Teen, Grant Wolfe
Loyola University of Chicago Academic Scholarship ($13000/4years), Marisa Evers
                Athletic Scholarship ($20000/4years), Marisa Evers
University of Dubuque Forerunner Award ($2000/4years), Abbey Peterson
                Dean’s Merit Scholarship ($6000/4years), Abbey Peterson
Buena Vista Founders Award ($1500/4 years), Skyler Wendling
                Merit Award ($11750/4years), Skyler Wendling
                Vocal Music Scholarship ($3000/4years), Skyler Wendling
                Buena Vista Scholarship ($1000/4years), Skyler Wendling
Hawkeye Community College Academic Scholarship ($1000), Lindsey Beard
Coe College Dean’s Scholarship ($15000/4years), Justin Petersen
                Academic Distinction Scholarship ($2000/4years), Justin Petersen
Waterloo Education Association Scholarship(approx.$500), Laura Grell
St. Mary of Mount Carmel Scholarship Award ($200), Ben Huber
                St. Mary of Mount Carmel Altar Server Scholarship Award ($200), Ben Huber
Iowa State University Grant Award ($2800), Juliann Finn
Sportsmanship Award, Hanna Cartney, Ben Huber
Athlete of the Year, Jenna Brandhorst, Justin Petersen
Bernie Saggau Award , Justin Petersen                     

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dear Parents

If you have been a loyal reader of this blog during the school year, then you have no doubt been privy to my musings about many of the wonderful accomplishments of our students this school year. The topics have been broad and far reaching. Indeed we have had a great deal of success with our youngsters this year and a plethora of instances where we can hold our heads high with pride. I spent some time this morning going back through my list of posts and found no shortage of good news about student success. From success on the stage to accomplishments in the classroom, we have very prosperous students.

This blog has also been chock full of news about legislative action (or inaction as appears to be the current case), funding issues, and news from the Board of Directors. This forum has proven to be a useful and effective tool at communicating with our district patrons as both a convenient and practical venue. In many cases, it has been used as a vehicle in which to explain or educate followers on a particular issue, or to gain insight into a decision that has been made in the district. I like to think that from time to time, this venue has been used to provide a behind the scenes look at how the district works, and insight into how I go about decision making on behalf of the school district.

But as I was scrolling back through the blog posts this week, I was a little bit disappointed in myself when I realized that while there was a number of examples celebrating the successes of our students, there was virtually no acknowledgement of the fact that these students didn't realize these accomplishments on their own. They had the help of a very dedicated and committed teaching force. Teachers who have worked tirelessly on their behalf, ensuring that they are successful not only in their studies, but later on in life.

It is no secret that an effective classroom teacher is the most influential person our youngsters are going to encounter in the school setting. Research is very clear that the teacher is the person who will have the greatest impact on a child's educational development. We have a district full of such people.

Our faculty are among the most professional and competent individuals you will ever have the opportunity to know. Please believe me when I tell you that you are very lucky to have these professionals work with your child every day. In the last two years, your child's teacher has had to live through some very stressful and trying times. They have been asked to do more with less, pick up extra duties, pay for their own supplies, empty the trash, and yes even vacuum their own classroom floor. Your child's teacher has done all of this and more, all while ensuring that the Core Purpose is alive in our school district by "Creating Effective Learning Environments That Result in Success for All Students".

They advocate. They battle. They teach.

Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

So today and this week, we honor our teachers. We thank them for all they do to ensure our students are successful.

We would also like to recognize and pay tribute to those individuals who have dedicated their careers to education and have decided to retire at the conclusion of this school year.

Terri Sikula, Elementary Art Teacher--Hudson Elementary School
Mrs. Sikula graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in art education in 1991 and came to work at Hudson elementary school that spring. During her time at Hudson, Mrs. Sikula has served in a variety of roles including TAG Teacher, Speech Coach, and Concessions Coordinator. Teri retires this year completing a 21 year career in education.

Sandy Noelting, School Nurse--Hudson Community School District
Mrs. Noelting received her preparation as a Registered Nurse from St. Lukes Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa in 1974. After serving as a full time staff nurse at Allen hospital, she accepted a position as a substitute nurse for the Waterloo Community Schools in 1986. She was hired by the Hudson Community School District in the fall of 1987, and retires this year, completing a 25 year career in school nursing.

Kathy Sharp, Special Education Teacher--Hudson Elementary School
Mrs. Sharp received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in early childhood education in 1975 and went to work as an aide in an LD self contained classroom at Orange Elementary. She served as a substitute teacher for AEA 7 for several years became a teacher in a Behavioral Disorders classroom at Peet Junior High in 1980. Kathy came to Hudson in 1989, in a shared position between Cedar Falls and Hudson. From 1990-2012 her primary responsibilities were at Hudson Elementary at a Teacher of Multidisibilites. She retired in January, completing a 36 year career.

Christy Schmitt
Mrs. Schmitt earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in elementary education in 1972 and went to work at Appling A Jr High School, in Georgia in 1973. After earner her Masters Degree, in 1975, Christy became a special education teacher for AEA 7. In 1982, Mrs. Schmitt was assigned to Hudson High School. Since 1982, her primary responsibilities have been at Hudson High School. Christy retired in December of 2011, completing a career that has spanned 38 years.

Elaine Clarke, Second Grade Teacher--Hudson Elementary School
Mrs. Clarke graduated from the State Teaching College of Iowa (University of Northern Iowa) with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in elementary education in 1967. From 1967-1970, Elaine worked as an elementary school teacher at Dike elementary, serving for two years as a 3rd grade teacher and one year as a 2nd grade teacher. In the fall of 1970 she joined the staff at Hudson elementary where she has been teaching 2nd grade ever since. Elaine earned her Masters Degree in July of 2000 and will retire this year completing a career that has spanned 45 years.

2012 Hudson Community School District Retirees.  From Left to Right, Elaine Clarke, Sandy Noelting, Teri Sikula
Christy Schmitt, and Kathy Sharp.  In total, these retirees have deveoted 165 years of service to education

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Senior Celebrations

The Senior Celebration is a graduation requirement that is pretty unique to the Hudson Community School District.  For those of you unfamiliar with the requirement, each spring our seniors have to demonstrate to a panel of judges that they have met the learner performance goals identified by the school district, and provide examples.  This project is taken very seriously, and students must pass this 'exam' before graduating.  Believe me, this is not a hoop that students jump through on the way to the graduation stage.  Not all students satisfactorily complete this requirement, in which case they have to make an improvement and present again-this time to the Board of Directors. 

Our high school students begin to be coached on this requirement when they enter the high school as freshmen.  During seminar time they are advised on the different aspects of the assignment, what to expect, and how to prepare for the presentation.  At the conclusion of each year students have an opportunity to reflect on their progress and begin formulating answers to such questions as, "This is how I have become a collaborative worker", or "while in high school, this is how I have been a contributing citizen".  There are seven such learner performance goals that the students must demonstrate competency in by graduation. 

During senior year, students are developing portfolios, gathering artifacts, and preparing a presentation for a panel of judges, who may or may not be known to the student.  Each student is given a half hour to make their case.  Most students will give about a fifteen minute presentation, which is then followed by the judges asking clarifying questions or asking for additional examples.  Final questions from the panel may range from asking what the student is planning on doing with their life, to where they are going to college, and how did they pick that particular institution.  Intimidating?  You bet.

Our Senior Celebrations were held at Hudson last night and I had the opportunity to sit in on four of these presentations, and I can say that I was very impressed with not only the quality of the presentations, but how thoughtful our students were in their work. 

As we begin the process of wrapping up the school year (by my count our seniors have just 10 short days), I want to say thanks so much to our Senior Class!  You have been outstanding leaders of our student body this year and have made us all so very proud!