January 2010 Kudos

Dr. Elizabeth Hendrix (2009 Invitational) has published Educators Learning to Be Socially Just Through Critical Field Experiences (McGraw Hill, 2009) with her Missouri Western University education faculty colleague Mike Flowers. The field book for pre-service teachers contains eight chapters: “Race and Racism in Schools,” “Gender and Sexism,” “Ability and Ableism,’” “Ethnicity and Ethnocentrism,” “Socio-economic Classism,” “Sexual Orientation and ‘Heterosexism,’” “Religious Fundamentalism,” and “Co-teaching and Social Justice.” Each section provides activities and observation materials for educators, grades k – 12, to become aware of and respond in a socially just manner. Prairie Lands’ 2009 Institute participants field tested and critiqued the book during last summer’s Invitational; Summer Scholars’ peer reviews which appear in the text include Kati Reid, Spring Garden Middle School communication arts teacher; Jacqueline Conn, Maryville High School language arts teacher; Chandler Cooper, Spring Garden Middle School communication arts teacher; Kira Rushing Thaler, Savannah Middle School social studies teacher; and Stacia Slagle, Savannah elementary school librarian. Elizabeth has donated a copy of Learning to Be Socially Just to our Prairie Lands Writing Project library. 

Jill Steinmetz Emerson (2007 Invitational) has published her six-word memoir in the 2010 Smith College compilation of such memoirs: It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure (Harper Collins). Jill teaches language arts at Maryville High School. 

Cayetana Maristela’s (2008 Invitational) “The Glorious Walk” appeared in the August-September 2009 edition of The New Wine Press. Cayetana wrote the article during PLWP’s June 2009 professional writing retreat held at Conception Abbey, Conception, MO. PLWP Institutes director Tom Pankiewicz, also a retreat participant, encouraged Cayetana to submit the piece to New Wine Press. Cayetana teaches ELL students at Indian Creek Elementary in Kansas City, MO. 

Dr. Jane Frick (PLWP Site Director) has co-authored “The Master of Applied Arts in Written Communication at Missouri Western State University,” with Dr. Kaye Adkins, Missouri Western English professor. The program showcase article appeared in the summer 2009 edition ofProgrammatic Perspectives/Council of Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication, an online journal. 

Amanda Moyers (2008 Invitational) received her MAS in Assessment: Writing Option from Missouri Western State University last December.Patricia Brost (2008 Invitational) and Ruth Lovejoy (2007 Invitational) completed the PLWP Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing at Western last fall. 

Sixteen area teachers successfully completed the Prairie Lands Writing Project (PLWP) 2009 Invitational Institute and received their NWP Teacher Consultant Certification last September. The teachers and their schools included Carole Bunse, Savannah high school English teacher;Gina Calvin, Platte County R-III elementary and middle school literacy coach; Tyler Carlson, Savannah high school English teacher;Jacqueline Conn, Maryville high school English teacher; Chandler Cooper, Spring Garden middle school communication arts teacher;Diane Deatherage, Lake Contrary elementary school grade four teacher; Brandon Haskey, St. Joseph Central English teacher;Elizabeth Hendrix, Missouri Western education professor; Valerie Hutton, Cameron middle school communication arts teacher; Kati Reid, Spring Garden middle school teacher; Kira Rushing, Savannah middle school social studies and language arts teacher; Yvonne Sexton, Winnetonka high school communication arts teacher; Stacia Slagle, media specialist at Savannah Minnie Cline and John Glenn elementary schools; K’Lea Snyder, St. Joseph Benton high school English teacher; Liberty Usera, MWSU English instructor; and Renee Wilson, Smithville middle school language arts teacher. 

Vicky Bryan (2002 Invitational), Sara Capra (1998 Invitational), andDawn Smith (2000 Invitational) recently received their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification. Sara teaches English at Park Hill High School; Vicky and Dawn teach at St. Joseph Central High School. Dawn is also the St. Joseph School District’s 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year! 

Teacher Consultants representing Prairie Lands Writing Project at the annual meeting of the National Writing Project, held in Philadelphia last November, included Jane Frick (PLWP site director) MWSU English professor; Patricia Donaher (2007 Invitational), MWSU English professor; Thomas Pankiewicz (PLWP Institutes Director), MWSU English instructor; Valorie Stokes (1994 Invitational), Platte County High School media coordinator; Heidi Mick (PLWP Professional Development Director), Platte County High School English teacher; Jen Vermillion (2007 Invitational), Lathrop High School French/Spanish teacher; Christie Leigan (PLWP Program Director), St. Joseph School District instructional coach; Terri McAvoy (1998 Invitational), Prairie Lands’ consultant teacher; and Amy Fowler (2005 Invitational), St. Joseph Central High School math teacher. Making presentations at the meeting were Tom and Christie, "Visioning Retreats and a Strategy for Site Development"; Jane, "Quick Fixes and Tech in Tandem," poster session, and "Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards: A Partnership and Continuity Opportunity"; Terri, "Strategic Use of Model Lessons in In-service Programs"; Amy, "Identity matters: Examining the Role of Identity in Content Area Learning"; and Valorie, "Examining Core Work Through Development of an Online Presence." 

To celebrate October 21, 2009, National Day on Writing, PLWP created a Gallery for posting writings and awarded prizes to writers for their postings. Missouri Western English professor Dr. Patricia Donaher(2007 Invitational) coordinated the project with English faculty membersMeredith Katchen (2007 Invitational), Joseph Marmaud (2004 Invitational), Patricia Brost (2008 Invitational), and Dr. Cynthia Bartels. 

Jen Vermillion (2007 Invitational) reports that for National Day on Writing her Spanish II students wrote poems about their favorite things and keyboarded pieces about the houses of their dreams and that her Spanish I students created name poems—all in Spanish, of course.Cayatana Maristela’s (2008 Invitational) ELL students at Indian Creek Elementary in Kansas City celebrated October 21 by completing a Writing Marathon (grades three and four), writing Bio Poems (grade two), writing from a “Surprise Sack” (grade one), and collaborating to write sentences describing a tree close their classroom (kindergarten). April 2009:

TCs receive 18-hour Graduate Certificates: Eight PLWP TCs have completed or are finishing the Prairie Lands Writing Project 18-hour Graduate Certificate in Writing during 2008-2009. Ann Dotson (2006, 2007 Invitational) St. Joseph Skaith grade 4 teacher ; Jerri Fischer(2007 Invitational), St. Joseph Lindbergh kindergarten teacher; and Jill Steinmetz (2007 Invitational), Maryville high school English teacher; graduated in December 2008. Receiving their diplomas at Western’s May 9 Commencement ceremonies will be spring and summer graduatesJoyce Clark (1994 Invitational) Emporia State University instructor; Tia Frahm (2008 Invitational) St. Joseph Neely grade 6 teacher; Christie Leigan (2004, 2007 Invitationals) St. Joseph Skaith grade 2 teacher;Cayetana Maristela (2008 Invitational) Center elementary (Kansas City) ELL teacher; and Jen Vermillion (2007 Invitational) Lathrop high French/Spanish teacher. Jill Steinmetz will also graduate again this summer, receiving Western’s first-to-be awarded Master of Applied Science in Assessment: Writing Option. 

Carrie Lamm Clark (2006 Invitational) returned this month from active duty in Kosovo, where she served as the Secretary of the General Staff for the Commander of the Multi-National Task Force (East). “It was an amazing experience, and I am happy to be home,” she writes. Carrie plans to travel, spend time with her family, and practice law until she returns to her full-time teaching job at Lathrop high school this fall. 

Mary Lee Meyer (2002 Institute) and her work integrating photos with “I Am From” poems in PLWP workshop are cited in Hank Kelnner’s article, “Using Photographs to Inspire Writing,” which published in the KCTE/LA Newsletter (winter 2009). 

Kathy Miller (2001 Invitational) is the recipient of a $10,000 Best Buy Teach Award for implementing innovative technology projects with ninth-graders at West Platte high school. Kathy is the A+ Coordinator at West Platte and an adjunct English instructor at Missouri Western. The grant is one of 15 awarded nationwide, and the only one awarded in Missouri. 

Rachel Spencer (2008 Invitational) had a multi-genre gallery show throughout January at Morgan Community College related to ranching and living in rural eastern Colorado. The show featured photos side-by-side with prose, poetry, and selections from “New Hometown,” the part-fiction, part-memoir piece she began last summer at the PLWP Writing Retreat. Rachel teaches language arts and sponsors FFA activities at Byers high school in Byers, CO. Read/respond to her Plains Jane blog at http://rachelchappelle.blogspot.com/

Jill Steinmetz (2007 Invitational) and Jane Frick (2000 Invitational) conducted “Blogs and Wikis in Writing: Building a Cyber-Classroom” and “Replacing the Research Paper with an I-Search Project,” workshops, respectively, at this year’s Write to Learn Conference for language arts teachers, held at Fort Osage, MO, February 26-28. 

Valorie Stokes (1994 Invitational) heads the National Writing Project leadership team that will facilitate the “Planning Your Site’s Web Presence: A Working Retreat” May 1-3 in Denver, Co. Ten teams representing writing project sites from around the country have been accepted to participate. The media coordinator at Platte County High School, Valorie serves as PLWP's web editor. In April, she also participated as an online scorer for the state of Delaware’s high school writing assessment exam, and she was honored at the Kansas Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce's Excellence in Education Banquet for service to education. 

Patsy Brost (2008 Invitational) and Joe Marmaud (2004 Invitational) gave a presentation, “Between the Lines: Developmental Writers’ Life Stories” at the College Reading and Learning Association’s annual conference held this year at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS, April 2. They described their successful teaching strategies and successes in teaching ENG 100 Introduction to College Writing here at Missouri Western.