We’d like to extend a gigantic thanks to Lone Star Middle School, Principal Greg Heideman, and to you, our attendees for making the 2016 conference so fantastic!
We tried out several new ideas this year, from the scheduled date to showing a film to dodgeball and more. We’re currently going through your feedback to see what you thought about some of our changes as well as what you thought about the conference overall this year.
Every school year is a bit of a race. At the end of each year, we congratulate each other on a job well done, we hug it out, he wave to those we admire and respect, and to whom we’re thankful came for the game.
And then we leave the field, knowing that the game really isn’t over. It’s just practice for the next round.
Teachers use their summers to outline new curriculum or materials, or to revise previous work. They work to learn new materials, read about new practices, and often collaborate with other teachers in an effort to find a new spark or a new idea that will revolutionize their games.
Warm-ups start near the end of summer — the administrative staff as well as the custodial and clerical staff take the field and begin making preparations for incoming students and registration days. Paperwork and policies are reviewed, printed, an organized to make those events run smoothly.
Everyone comes to a huddle to organize the coming year in a way that betters upon what happened during the previous year. We sort out new rules and new expectations, and rid ourselves of those things we thought were fantastic, but just didn’t fit our kids. The entire faculty works to find ways to make school a safe and comfortable environment, that pushes us all to want to do better. Because the truth is, we all have something to prove: that we can better ourselves and others.
Rallying cries are heard through our cities as signs go up and emails and mailers are sent out calling spectators and participants to the field.
And then they come.
They come in droves. They come during the day and they come after work, they call at night and they enter information online in an effort to be part of us, to exist alongside us. Every single one of those kids and parents and siblings and grandparents is part of our team, and we’re there to help them practice for that long race that will excite and challenge them, and will test their every ability to complete.
We’re all at the starting blocks of something we know and which we’ve practiced, but those kids whose feet are at the ready need everything we have to offer in order to help them make it to that finish line as best they can.
As the year is coming to a close, many of us take a focus on the coming year and start preparing for the changes we’d like to make. Some of us focus on instructional changes we’d like to make, some of us focus on management. Some focus on curriculum, and some of us make movements to other positions within our schools or other districts.
The IMLA board members make the same changes as well, and we’d just like to take this moment to emphasize that the IMLA board represents the broad diversity Idaho has to offer. Our board is comprised of teachers, principals, and superintendents for middle school students in public schools, alternative schools, charter schools, and a Christian school representing rural and urban districts across the state of Idaho. We’re proud to represent all of our member schools and educators as we work to meet the middle across the state of Idaho.
This year we made big changes to our annual Conference, and you’ll see even more surprises we have in store for the 2016 conference. If you know of schools, teachers, parents, or any educational supporters you think would like to be members of our organization, please have them contact their regional representative for more information.
Celebrations is a new addition to the IMLA online presence. In this feature, we’d like to share out all the fantastic things Idaho students and teachers are achieving.
Idaho Middle Level Association Congratulates Kuna Middle School Students Sophia McGregor and Olivia Stewart!
Idaho is only one of nine states chosen to participate in the Ford’s Theatre Oratory Fellows program, Two from Kuna are the cream of the crop when it comes to writing and giving speeches. They will be speaking live, on stage at Ford’s Theatre onMay 4th. Along with their speaking engagement they will meet with Senator Crapo, Senator Risch, receive a tour of the Capitol by a staff member of Congressman Labrador, they have also received letters of congratulations from President and Mrs. Obama, Congressman Simpson, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Idaho is one of only nine states that have been lucky enough to be chosen to participate in the 2014-2015 Ford’s Theatre National Oratory Fellows Program. Kuna Middle School was chosen to represent Idaho at this amazing event. On Thursday, February 12th, KMS held their Kuna Middle School / Ford’s Theatre Oratory Competition and Celebration.
Over twenty 8th graders started the program and 14 of them competed in the competition. Parents, grandparents, siblings and other relatives turned out for the event. The two 8th graders who won the competition were Sophia McGregor (Oratory Champion) and Olivia Stewart (Runner-up). Chelsea Trautman was selected as the alternate.
Wally Hames, KMS 8th Grade American History Teacher, is in his 4th year as a Ford’s Theatre National Oratory Fellow. In Mr. Hames’ history classes, students have been working with a professional actor, Mr. Stephen Schmidt, through the use of video conferencing software (Skype) to work on Oratory Skills and Podium Points that help students in their Public Speaking skills. This is also the first year that Mr. Hames has had an Oratory Club that allowed all 8th Graders at KMS the opportunity to work on historical as well as original speeches, podium points and video conferencing with Washington, DC after school. Even though this program is in its first year it has proven to be a complete success.
Between May 1st and May 7th, Mr. Hames along with Miss McGregor and Miss Stewart, will be visiting our nation’s capital city to attend leadership workshops as well as different oratory sessions. They will all work with five professional actors in preparation for a celebration on stage at Ford’s Theatre. On Monday, May 4th, Sophia and Olivia will present their original speeches onstage at Ford’s Theatre alongside students from across the United States.
Do you have a Celebration you’d like to share with the rest of the IMLA? Submit your students’ successes and photos with our webmaster, Kevin Murphy.