Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Stop at City Hall in Oxford Junction Then Off to Western Dubuque Community Schools

Oh how I love driving the highways and byways of rual Iowa! UniServ Director Bob Brown stands in front of City Hall in Oxford Junction as we stopped for a moment to capture a photo before heading up the highway to Epworth on our first stop in the Western Dubuque Community Schools.

Our first stop was at Epworth High School of Western Dubuque. Here we met up with Western Dubuque EA president Kevin McDermott. Kevin is a vocal music instructor at Drexler Middle School in Farley. Kevin was able to take a half day of association leave to be our afternoon guide. We joined other high school staff over school lunch in the staff lounge where we met up with Kevin's mother, Mrs. Dianne McDermott who is a high school Language Arts instructor. Here are the mother-son duo of Dianne and Kevin McDermott.

Our stops in the high school took us into the classrooms of Western Dubuque EA leaders. Our first leader to meet up with was Paul Schramm. I met Paul in my visit a year ago here, connected again at Summer Conference as well as NEA's Midwest Regional in Chicago. Paul is a high school Social Studies teacher and serves as TAG coordinator. Another great leader to connect with at the high school was Jerry Ross. Jerry is a Science teacher, does lots of coaching and is the long-time WDEA Chief Negotiator. We all had a chance to visit briefly about the Teacher Quality legislation that the Iowa House will soon consider.

Not far down the highway is Farley, IA. Drexler Middle School and Elementary were our last stop for the afternoon. Drexler Middle School is where Kevin teaches. We were able to visit his classroom where he instructs all 6-7-8 vocal music, teaches guitar lessons to 6th graders and conducts practice for all three grade levels of choir. Kevin's largest choir is 110+ students! I think that speaks volumes about the level of the programs he's developed, wouldn't you?!

Dr. Jeff Corkery, Superintendent of Schools, invited us into his office to talk about the great working relationship the WDEA and school district continue to have. Dr. Corkery is in his first year in Western Dubuque after many years in Tipton.
After touring the Middle School and meeting many of the faculty, we moved on through the hallways to the Elementary building. Here we connected with Pre-K teacher and association activist Tara Bockenstedt.
I met Tara first at Summer Conference and got reconnected in January at the NEA Midwest Regional. Here Tara is pictured helping one of her students try to find a smile!

It is always wonderful to reconnect with great leaders I've met along the way in my travels and at our conferences. The leaders in Western Dubuque are extra special. Thanks my friends for the great work you continue to do as leaders on Team ISEA!

1 comment:

Roy Bishop said...

You're getting close to my birth place. I wonder if they still have the sign, as you come into town, recognizing the event. lol