December 2007 Kudos

Prairie Lands at National Writing Project Annual Meeting in New York:

Jane Frick (2000 Institute), Christie Leigan, (2004 Institute) Heidi Mick (1996 Institute), Tom Pankiewicz (1987 Institute), and Valorie Stokes (1994 Institute) represented Prairie Lands at the 2007 National Writing Project annual meeting held in New York in November. At the meeting, Tom and Jane presented at the “Developing Site Leadership” workshop; Heidi described her work in facilitating Middle School Literacy Academies at the “From Preparing for Writing Tests to Assessing and Teaching Writing” session; and Jane made a presentation at the “Credit-Bearing University Courses as Strategy for Writing Project Sites” workshop. Valorie presented at two NWP Technology Initiative-sponsored workshops, where her presentation and presentation handouts were smash hits.

The St. Joseph School District’s Apple Seed Foundation recently announced its 2007-2008 grants recipients. This year’s roster of teachers being awarded dollars to implement innovative teaching projects in their classrooms includes five PLWP TCs: Tori Grable (1991 Institute), Stefanie Lyle (2005 Institute), and Amy Miller (2007 Institute), Benton High School language arts teachers, for their “Growing Readers” project; Roxanna Kerns (2002 Institute), counselor at Hyde Elementary School, for her “Assessing with High Expectations Project” grant; and Stacia Studer (2007 Institute), Bode Middle School language arts teacher, for her “Fostering Literacy Through Art and Image-Making Within the Writing Process” project. 

TCs receiving their National Board Certification this fall include: Kelly Lock (2004 Institute), St. Joseph Truman Middle School language arts teacher; Angela Dorsey (2006 Institute), St. Joseph Central High School math teacher; Luanne Haggard (2002 Institute), St Joseph Central High School social studies teacher; and Gwen Funk (2002 Institute), St. Joseph Central High School science teacher.

Susan Garrison (2002 Institute) has agreed to join our PLWP Advisory Board. Susan is serving as our Local Site Coordinator for the National Writing Project’s Research Study conducted by SRI International for the NWP, 2007-2011. She is coordinating the collection of data and writing samples required for the study from teachers and students at Maryville, Excelsior Springs, and Platte County Middle Schools. 

Mary Lee Meyer (2002 Institute), recently conducted a two-day ‘technology residency’ in daughter Stacey Meyer’s (2002 Institute) art classes at North Nodaway School. Mary Lee and Stacey worked with the students as they wrote poems and created art projects about them in digital formats.

Tom Pankiewicz has accepted an invitation to share his writing project wisdom with other site leaders and join the NWP’s Directors Retreat leadership team. As such, he’ll be part of the planning and facilitating team in modeling and leading other NWP site directors and leaders from around the country in how to become better institute facilitators and site directors at the annual NWP Directors Retreat—officially beginning fall 2008. Tom will be an active participant, however, in the 2008 retreat, July 30 – August 3. The retreat venue: Rock Creek Resort – Red Lodge, MT!

Valorie Stokes (1994 Institute) was a participant in a Paul Allison's weekly Skype live webcast at teachersteaching on November 7. You can listen to Valorie and the other writing project teachers discussing "Digital Composing at the National Writing Project Meeting" as an audio podcast at