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The Southwestern District Health Unit has scheduled several events to celebrate April 7-13 as National Public Health Week. "The focus of public health has always been on health promotion, health protection and health prevention," said health unit Executive Officer Carlotta Ehlis. "That focus continues today. The programs may change a little bit, but a lot of that is driven by identified needs in the community." The Southwestern District Health Unit is holding an open house at its offices from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1-3:30 p.m.
Shaynna Mann's skill as a pianist was recognized during the North Dakota Federation of Music Clubs Music Festival held recently at Dickinson State University. She was awarded a 75-point gold cup -- the highest award given that day. Points come from ratings such as 5 points for superior and 4 points for excellent. The first gold cup is awarded when the student earns 15 points.
Dickinson Catholic Schools Superintendent/Trinity High School Principal Kelly Koppinger submitted his resignation to the Dickinson Catholic Schools Board of Education on Friday. The resignation is effective June 30. "It's been a tremendous experience for me as far as personally and professionally. It's been a wonderful time. I can't look back at any day that I regret. It's been a fascinating experience," said Koppinger. Kopppinger said he wants to spend more time with his family.
Crystal Hoerner is a staunch believer in the Dickinson Public School District's full-day, every day kindergarten program. She taught kindergarten half days last year and is currently teaching full days at Dickinson Jefferson Elementary. The increased knowledge of her students is apparent this semester. "They know their sounds, their letters. They are counting to 100. They only have to go to 30, but we go to 100," she said. "I'm so excited for next year when I see them as first graders. They're already writing sentences.
Dirk Smutzler looks for ways to make science interesting and relevant in his classroom at Dickinson's Hagen Junior High School. As one of four science teachers, he has five classes of seventh grade life science. "We try to engage activities whenever possible. Junior high kids like to be active," he said. "As far as labs, we'll look in-depth at pond water. We dissect an earthworm, crayfish and frog -- the big three." When the unit is about genetics, he makes the subject more relevant through an experiment about taste.
Toni Fosaaen uses more than paper and pencils to teach language arts and math skills in the third and fourth grades at Dickinson Roosevelt Elementary School. Students who could benefit from small group activities come to her classroom for lessons. They return to their home rooms for sciences and social studies. "I think there's a lot less distractions. It gives a child a lot more opportunities to interact with the teacher and not wait with 10 other kids to get a question answered," she said.
Eleanor Sand has a pretty good idea of what children like to eat after working as an assistant cook at Dickinson's Lincoln Elementary School. "Kids like pizza and hot dogs. They like tacos. We have chef's salads. We kind of know when they come through when they say 'Yuck' or 'Oh, good.' If we have any extras, we serve out seconds," said Sand. Sand has worked in the Dickinson Public School District for 35 years, starting as an assistant cook at Dickinson High School.
Bobbie Hanson and her fifth graders are taking the lead in a wellness program at Dickinson's Trinity Elementary East. "These kids are in school all day. They need activity to keep the brain and body going," she said. "We've learned how important that activity is to pump oxygen into the brain. I try to challenge my kids to be more active.
Dickinson Berg Elementary physical education teacher Pam Reichert has a new twist on the "No Child Left Behind" initiative. "My philosophy is 'No Child Left on Their Behind.' I bring new ways to get students involved in areas they may not really be interested in. I try to combine several skills and concepts," she said.