Educational Service Unit 13
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Chadron Site
Crites Hall
Chadron State College
Chadron, NE 69337
Phone: (308) 432-6495
Scottsbluff Site
4215 Avenue I
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
Phone: (308) 635-3696
FAX: (308) 635-0680
Sidney Site
1114 Toledo Street
Sidney, NE 69162
Phone: (308) 254-4677
FAX: (308) 254-5371

Educational Service Unit #13...
Striving to achieve educational excellence for all learners
through strong partnerships, service, and leadership.

Click here to learn more about ESU 13
Click Event for Details

ESU # 13 Hosts Western Region Youth First Conference

On April 2, 2014, The Western Region Youth First Transition Conference was held on the campus of Western Nebraska Community College. 332 persons from twenty school districts participated in the event, which was the 7th annual.
The Keynote speaker was Brett Eastburn, from Indiana. Brett was born with no arms or no legs. He shared his development and life situations with the audience. He dribbled a basketball, opened a soda can, and drew a picture. He explained how he participated in shop class, welding, wrestling, and basketball in high school. He shared how he plays pool, rides a skateboard, drives a car, and travels the world as a motivational speaker. His message was one of hope and having students realize that no obstacle is too big to overcome.

Full Conference Details are at The Conference Blog:

Junior Duck Stamp Winners Announced
Area artists, Mary Hunt and Michelle Denton teamed up with naturalists from the Riverside Discovery Center, Wildcat Hills Nature Center, and the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory to travel to 17 schools to introduce the Junior Duck Stamp contest and discuss realistic representation of our local waterfowl. Sixty nine of the one hundred winners were from our region. ESU 13 organized the visits to classrooms and managed the grant while the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Scottsbluff Office, hosted this year’s contest which was judged on March 28 at the Gering Civic Center.

Junior Duck Stamp designs are judged in the K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12 grade groups, for which three first place, second place and third place and sixteen honorable mention winners are chosen. The Best of Show is then chosen from the first place winners from all age groups. The top 36 entries will be exhibited throughout the state at Nebraska Game & Parks Commission offices, Cabelas retail stores in LaVista, Kearney and Sidney, and other locations throughout the year. The Best of Show Winner by Creighton Scott of Omaha, as well as a list of the winners is shown below.
Winners by group are: 
Group 1 - 1st       Jack Timperley, Omaha                 Group 2 - 1st     Promise Raumaker, Omaha
                          Emily Gieselman, Omaha                                    Shayley Nordyke, Chappell
                                Natalie McNamara, Papillion                           Maguire Widdowson, Chappell
                     2nd     Rheo Dykstra, Chappell                         2nd     Cade Knapmiller, Chappell
                                Hunter Martinez, Chappell                                Lauren Gieselman, Omaha
                                Jaxen Buettenback, Dix                                   Skylar Edmund, Harrison
                     3rd      Chaeli Polk, Chappell                             3rd   Shelby Bewley, Scottsbluff
                                Jozlynn Randall, Gering                                Jordon Heckert, Harrison
                                Kaden Bohnsack, Gering                               Bethany Krein, Harrison
     Group 3 - 1st Creighton Scott, Omaha                    Group 4 - 1st   Tristan Stephenson, Alliance
                                Rianda Bounds, Scottsbluff                              Daniel Hinojosa, Alliance
                                Jacob Holthus, Johnson                                   Emily Moody, Johnson
                     2nd     Madeira Henclewood, Scottsbluff                 2nd     Sara Gingerich, Dix
                                Grant Schweser, Omaha                                      Sierra Thomas, Johnson
                                Brian Jackson, Johnson                                        Alan Rooney, Dunning
                     3rd      Kierra Schmidt, Scottsbluff                          3rd      Alexis Garrett, Alliance
                                Rachel French, Scottsbluff                                    Levi Clouse, Hemingford
                                Bailey Johnson, Johnson                                      Emerson Carbajal, Johnson
Honorable Mention Winners:
Group 1                Lindsie Leithead, Bridgeport                Group 2              Kristen Whaley, Scottsbluff
                                Ruthie Loomis-Goltl, Bridgeport                                 Taia Rude, Scottsbluff
                                Zachariah Koech, Chappell                                         Haylee Umble, Scottsbluff
                                Isaiah Hulbert, Gering                                                 Arika Felkins, Scottsbluff
                                Camrey Miller, Scottsbluff                                           Lucas Backus, Chappell
                                Haily Koenen, Chappell                                              Rhett Dykstra, Chappell
                                Emma Weinbender, Chappell                                     Nolan Ortgies, Chappell
                                Keenan Allen, Gering                                                 Paris Jackson, Chappell
                                Cameron Leeling, Chappell                                        Kylie Weinbender, Chappell
                                Kaitlyn Peterson, Gering                                            Zackery Ramsey, Chappell
                                ReBanna Harsh, Gering                                             Olivia Villotta, Omaha
                                Ben Hernandez, Gering                                             Abigail Beaton, Omaha
                                Cooper Kay, Gering                                                   Hailee Lyn Peterson, Omaha
                                Jada Kate Schlothauer, Gering                                   Ziphorah Starkey, Harrison
                                Eli Marez, Gering                                                      Virginia Herboldsheimer, Dix
                                Brayden Kasten, Dix                                                 Eli Schmid, Chappell
Group 3                Marisa Craig, Alliance                     Group 4                Dakota Mink, Alliance
                                Vada Burri, Alliance                                                Walker Johnson, Alliance
                                Kelsey Nunn, Scottsbluff                                         Alyssa Palmer, Alliance
                                Alyssa Cruz, Scottsbluff                                           Calie Rohrbouck, Hemingford
                                Kieyerah Twombly, Scottsbluff                                  Cooper Weber, Hemingford
                                Kristian Hughes, Scottsbluff                                        Robert Heule, Hemingford

                                Paige Peterson, Scottsbluff                                           Kolton Bond, Johnson
                                Shianne Shaver, Scottsbluff                                            Eddie Davidson, Johnson
                                Grace Heggem, Scottsbluff                                            Ryan McMann, Johnson
                                Conner McCracken, Scottsbluff                                      Tori Rowe, Johnson
                                Lauren Rairigh, Scottsbluff                                             Jamie Zimmerman, Johnson
                                Sidney Thomas, Johnson                                               Ashten Darnell, Johnson
                                Jaelynn Muhr, Scottsbluff                                                Hayley Diesing, Johnson
                                Terra Newman, Johnson                                                  Adessa Harney, Johnson
                                Brianna M Froisland, Johnson                                           Morgan Rieger, Johnson
                                Brandee Brown, Johnson                                                  Cody Kreifels, Johnson

ACES Training Completes First Year
Staff members of ten area school districts wrapped up their first year of ACES training and implementation with Diana Browning Wright. School and district groups spotlighted their progress on wall charts sharing their success with other districts. In addition Diana Browning Wright consulted with teams on problem solving around implementation of strategies for this multi-tiered system.  ACES (All Children Experience Success) is an ESU 13 initiative for the establishment of a comprehensive, school wide system of behavioral supports which match interventions to student needs..  A progressive system of intervention based on a student’s non response to school wide strategies was studied, along with a process to collect data on all students. 
Teams ended the 2013-14 eight days of training by taking a look at identification and interventions around harassment and bullying. The second year of intervention will include a summer workshop, training for new staff, ongoing implementation “road mapping” for administrators and four cadre meetings for team representatives.

The i-Pad Cohort Project announces Graduates of the Innovative Transition Grant with NDE

These lovely ladies completed all the training and assignments of the Six Part course, “Using the iPad To Promote Student Independence, Productivity, Inclusion and Communication.” The virtual trainer was Marsha Threlkeld, from the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WISE). The Onsite Trainers and monitors were Janine Barber and Craig Hicks from ESU # 13.
Pictured are: (seated) Kelli Garcia, Sherry Hara, Corinna Behrens, Tammy Shields, Sonja Marx, Angie Vorse, Peggy Welsch. (Standing) Brenda Keller, Heidi Robertus, Maria Frueh. Remote learners completing are: Jill Simmons, Michelle Daily, Brooke Shubert. Not pictured: Robin Davis.
Congratulation to all of you for being part of this very important and unique project. Your creativity and dedication throughout the year was simply amazing!

ESU13 Staff Developer Receives State Recognition
 The Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association (NRCSA) recently announced that ESU13 Staff Developer Julie Downing has been awarded the Nebraska Outstanding ESU Staff Member Award.  The purpose of this award is to recognize excellence in service to rural schools by ESU personnel.

Downing has been employed by ESU 13 for six years and serves the northern tier of schools in the Panhandle.  Her office is on the campus at Chadron State.

VALTS Celebrates Graduation Milestone
ESU13's alternative high school program, VALTS, recently graduated it's 500th student from the program. The Valley Alternative Learning Transitioning School began in 1997 by the Scottsbluff, Gering, and Mitchell School districts and now has grown to include 9 total districts. Morrill, Minatare, Bayard, Bridgeport and Kimball are now part of the program that is housed at the Harms Technology on the campus of Western Nebraska Community College.

School district representatives, former VALTS administrators, teachers, families, friends and fellow students gathered on March 11th to congratulate the seven new VALTS graduates. Students Josie Carrillo, Desiree Colleado, Allan Cress, Keely Gloria, David Hoover, Marisela Lopez and Sadrick Munoz completed the VALTS program at the end of the third quarter.

VALTS Principal George Schlothauer reviewed the history of the VALTS program that started 17 years ago at the Carpenter Center in Terrytown.  He congratulated the seven graduates noting, "this is just one small step in your journey through life, the trials and tribulations that you guys have gone through that we hear and see every day here at VALTS, you guys are an inspiration to us all."

Part of the ceremony was the seven graduates adding to the graduation "brick" wall. They each added a piece of paper in the shape of a brick with their original high school initials on to the "Building a Foundation" wall. The wall represents all of the former graduates in the VALTS program.
Migrant Education Program Success Story

The Migrant Education Program serves children and youth ages 3-21 achieve their educational goals by providing extended support beyond the classroom. One important component is our Success for Out of School Youth project. Out of School Youth are students who are 18 to 21 years old, who have either dropped out of high school, or have moved to this country without enrolling in school. Our goal is to help as many youth as possible attain their GED, and pursue their career dreams. We do this by providing educational materials such as tablets with GED apps pre-loaded, books and study guides, physical support such as transportation to and from the testing center, and strong advocacy. Our recruiters act as the youth’s cheerleader, coach, and bus driver on the road to GED completion. The program recently had two graduates, and currently has several more studying and completing coursework towards their GED tests. Here is the story, in his own words, of one remarkable young person who recently completed his GED at WNCC with support from the Migrant Education Program.


Justin’s Story
I’m Justin. I just got my GED. I’ve been trying to get my GED for years. Well, kind of. Before I was recruited by Rosie Cobos into the Migrant Education Program, I hadn’t really been putting forth the effort of any kind to do my part. Then I realized that without an education, you’re never going to go anywhere in life. You can’t find a real job. You won’t be able to do the things you want to do or be able to have the job that you dream of. My mom always told me that if I find a job I love, I’ll never work a day in my life. So that’s what my plan is. It wasn’t easy to get here. I was walking two miles to work at a feedlot and two miles back home, after working in the heat all day, 13 hours a day, every day. When I got home, I didn’t want to study. I wanted to take a shower, and go to bed. But I knew that if I didn’t study, I wouldn’t get anywhere. I only had a couple of months to get my GED. Otherwise, I wouldn’t qualify for the MEP anymore, because I’d be turning 22. So I buckled down, because I knew that I didn’t want to keep walking to work. I knew I didn’t want to keep that same job, doing the same stuff every day. I decided to do it not only for me, but so that someday I could support my daughter.

I got my GED. I surprised everyone. Now I’ve got plans to go to Wisconsin and go to UTI, which is Universal Technical Institution for Diesel and Auto Mechanics. I’m going to do that with the help of organizations out there that will help me. But it’s not easy.

To all those who are doing the same thing, maybe you can just keep your heads up. Don’t’ let hard work make you want to quit. Hard work makes you stronger more than just physically. It makes you mentally stronger. It makes you ready for the world, because the world’s coming. If you’re not ready, it’s really going to hurt. It might take a long time. It took me years. I think I’ve been working on my GED for about four years off and on. I wasn’t really trying at first, but I was working on it. But I did it, and now I don’t have to worry about not having an education. I can go ahead and further my education. Thank you Rosie. I couldn’t have done it without you being there through the times that I wasn’t trying. You gave me the motivation to get it done, so thank you, Rosie. You are my hero!

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