Volume 125, Number
Former Maddock teacher nominated for Teacher of the Year Award
BY CHRIS LARSON Walsh County Press (Grafton, ND)
Editor’s note: Linda Paulson is married to Maddock native Lynn Paulson. She taught school at Maddock six years in the early 1980’s. This article appeared in the October 22 issue of the Walsh County Press. Mrs. Paulson was a finalist but was not selected as the 2009 Teacher of the Year.
The North Dakota Education Association (NDEA) holds its annual statewide conference Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Oct 24-26 at the Civic Auditorium in Fargo. On Thursday morning, Oct. 24, all eyes will be on the center stage at the Fargo Civic Center as Governor John Hoeven will announce the 2009 North Dakota Teacher of the Year at the conference. Among the four finalists is Grafton High School English teacher Linda Paulson.
Paulson has been an educator within the Grafton Public School district for 22 years. Of those 22 years, 13 were spent at the middle school level.
According to Paulson, she was notified by the NDEA in July that she was a finalist for the award, which is given out annually to a teacher who is brought forth by a selection committee."I am so humbled by the whole process," she said. "This honor would not have become possible without my administration, fellow teachers, and the support of my husband, Lynn and my three children. Our building principal, Darren Albrecht, has continually encouraged me both professionally and personally. He has allowed me to explore new options in and outside of my classroom even though sometimes the ideas seemed a bit outside the norm. He has supported all the extra activities I’ve had the kids do and is very supportive of the theater program."
According to Paulson, Grafton is very fortunate to have a great set of teachers, who work miracles with the students every day. "I have learned from watching these teachers," she said. "Teaching is teamwork and the staff of Grafton Public Schools is a great team. Above all else, my family has always encouraged me to follow my heart and do whatever it takes to be successful in the classroom and to help my students."
"I felt it was important to teach my own kids, by example, that it was important to address someone else’s needs instead of always our own," she said. "I would not have been able to do everything I have without the support of my family. This honor belongs to them as much as me."
According to the NDEA Web site, nominations for North Dakota Teacher of the Year must come from a teacher, school administrator, school district trustee, local education association, student or parent. According to Albrecht, Paulson’s time and dedication to the school system is what sets her apart from some teachers.
"When I need something done, she’s the person I go to," he said. "When she does something with the students, she makes sure it’s for the betterment of the school." When she was at Central Middle School, Paulson was the director of a grant funded by federal Carl Perkins monies. The grant brought to the students career education, character education, workplace skills education and equity education.
"I and four other teachers implemented this grant for four years until the funds changed to something else," she said. "Our project at Central was chosen as North Dakota’s Outstanding Equity and Work Education program and submitted for national review."
Also, Paulson had been an equity and career education trainer for Academic Innovations, an educational company based in Santa Barbara, Calif. For three years at a time with the job at Academic Innovations, Paulson would travel throughout the United States, presenting workshops to high school and junior college educators.
"I had a sabbatical for one year and then traveled during my free time for the other two years," she said. "I also worked with the company in planning and writing new curriculum, which has been published. So I have been able to reach a wide audience."
The application for nomination to become a finalist for the teacher of the year was approximately 20 pages, Linda said. In addition to teaching English, Paulson is the homecoming advisor and is involved with the Grafton High School drama department.
One of her longtime co-directors with the drama department and fellow teachers, Peggy Bartunek, said Linda is an admirable person. "I’ve always respected and admired Linda both as a teacher and as a drama coach," she said. "She is creative, imaginative and a teacher who challenges all students to do their best. Most of all, Linda clearly cares about her students as individuals."
According to Bill Jahraus, who has taught with Paulson for several years, the fact that Paulson was nominated for this award is long overdue. "She is a true professional," he said. "Linda is an advocate for young people and has a special gift for communicating with them. She especially works well with young adolescents who are at all levels of maturity and are sometimes difficult to motivate. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom."
According to Jahraus, Linda is not afraid to try new ideas and occasionally challenges the faculty to get out of their "comfort zones" and perform for the students.
"Sometimes her ideas seem somewhat crazy, but when one realizes that they are for the benefit of the students, everyone goes along," he said. "And the students respond so enthusiastically!"
Science teacher Rick Eng, who has also taught with Paulson for several years, said she is sort of like a common mother to the student body. "Linda organizes many activities at the school," he said. "She gets a special welcome program the first day of school that involves students as well as the teachers. She handles homecoming week and all the activities that go with it."
In short, he said, she extends herself beyond the classroom and makes an excellent role model to kids.
When asked to address her philosophy on the application, Paulson said she chose the following quotes to expand on:
• "All the world is a stage and all the men and women are merely players…"(Shakespeare) — Paulson: "I want my kids to know that they will be involved in many different environments and arenas and they must be ready to work and play with all different types of people and expectations."
• "Think outside the box" — Paulson: "These kids need to realize that the world is ever changing and they must be ready to step outside their comfort zone and greet each goal and obstacle as a challenge. They can’t rest on their laurels. They’ll have to be inventive, eager and ready to problem-solve."
• "Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?" — Paulson: "I had this painted on my classroom wall. The kids have to decide what character represents them. Do they go into things looking for excitement, wanting to play an active role and wanting to learn? Or do they just sit back waiting for the world to come to them? It is a great concept and one all the kids relate to as they are so familiar with these characters."
• "The choices you make dictate the life that you lead."
Linda and her husband, Lynn, live in Grafton. Lynn is the chief executive officer of Choice Financial Group in Grafton. They have threechildren: Christopher, Laura and Luke.
Linda Paulson is pictured with her students at the Grafton School. She was a contender for the ND Teacher of the Year Award. Mrs. Paulson taught school at Maddock six years in the early 1980’s and is married to Maddock native Lynn Paulson. Carmen Paulson of Maddock is her mother-in-law.
(Photo courtesy of the Walsh County Press at Grafton)
Jack Frost paints on his canvas
Old Man Winter has arrived in the area. Wind-whipped water from Devils Lake spilled onto the shore along Old US 281 north of Minnewaukan allowing Jack Frost to create some spectacular works of art. There won’t be any more of these artworks this winter because the lake, at least along the shoreline, is frozen solid. (Photo by Trish McQuoid, Minnewaukan)
Mass vaccination clinic held Nov. 1 at the Maddock School
To help safeguard members of the region against the flu, a Regional Mass Vaccination Flu Clinic was conducted as part of an emergency response exercise on Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Maddock School. Approximately 70 flu shots were given in the two-hour period.
The objectives of this regional flu clinic were to (1) vaccinate as many people in the region as possible to help in reducing the spread of the flu and (2) to exercise and test the flow and design of a mass vaccination clinic as a Point of Dispensing (POD).
If there had been an actual emergency, the POD would have been opened to dispense the appropriate medication to meet emergency needs.
Using this clinic as part of an emergency response exercise has better helped the regional public health districts in being prepared in the event of an actual public health emergency.
The POD was under the supervision of Shelley Aabrekke, POD coordinator and Lake Region District Health Unit public health nurse for Benson County, and Justin Maddock, emergency preparedness and response coordinator for the Northeast Central Region of North Dakota.
This exercise was planned for and sponsored by the Cavalier County Health District, Rolette County Public Health District, Towner County Public Health District and the Lake Region District Health Unit (which includes Benson, Eddy, Pierce and Ramsey Counties).
As a reminder to the public, influenza season is just beginning and those who want to protect themselves and their families from getting the flu or spreading the flu should take the time to get vaccinated. For more information about flu recommendations or upcoming flu clinics, contact your local public health nurse or local healthcare provider. Shelley Aabrekke, Benson County public health nurse for Benson County can be reached at 473-5444.
POD staff members were given education before the mass vaccination flu clinic begins at the Maddock School. Seated in the center is POD coordinator Shelley Aabrekke.
The American Legion Oratorical Contest for District 3 was held in Rugby November 22. This contest was established in 1936 to instill a better knowledge and appreciation of the US Constitution in high school students. Andy Backstrom of Maddock won the contest and will advance to the Eastern Divisional Contest to be held in Maddock on January 17 at 1 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Taking second place was Teri Jo Bohara of Rolette. Andy received a $300 US Savings Bond and Teri Jo received one for $200. Left to right are Lonnie Nelson, Eastern Divisional oratorical chairman; Teri Jo Bohara, second place winner; Andy Backstrom, first place winner; Christ Heintz of the Rugby American Legion Post; Harvey Wittmayer of the Rolette American Legion Post; and David Daeley of Maddock, District 3 oratorical chairman.
Raquel Quionnes and Adam LaRoque took part in the first "Young Writers’ Conference" at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake on November 19. Presenters included ND Poet Laureate and bestselling author, Larry Woiwode; journalist Doreen Yellow Bird; and writer-professor Ron Vossler, among others.
Pictured are Read, Read, Read winners who met their classroom reading goals for November at the Oberon School. Left to right, front row, are Mariyah Ancondo, Taylah Thumb, Nathaniel Azure, Jay Littlewind, Isis Greywater and Anthony DeMarce. Middle row: Nathaniel DuBois, Renee Cavanaugh, Riah Littleghost, Carlee Wadsworth, Larissa Dunn and Bryeann Robertson. Back row: Nakia Hill, Leanne Snell, Chantel Ross, Darica Deckert, Emily Thumb, Cheyenne DeMarce and George Brown.
Jean Meyer honored
Jean Meyer of York was one of four Agri-Women who received the highest honor from the organization at its annual convention in San Antonio, Tex. She was also presented flowers from the North Dakota AW chapter. Jean, left, is pictured here with her daughter, Tammy Meyer, a member of the NDAW.
Tammy is the executive director fo the Nebraska FFA Foundation. Jean was presented a plaque from the national organization which is engraved with the words: "A woman enthusiastic about and for agriculture and a dedicated volunteer who leads by example."
Jean has been deeply devoted to learning, educating and promoting agriculture. She is keenly aware of agricultural issues and encourages others to work in these areas. Her leadership has guided NDAW’s activities for over 20 years. She is organized and always follows through on every task as an individual member, committee member and officer. Besides her dedication to Agri-Women, she has also been involved in such groups as ND Pork Producers, ND Angus Association, Farmers Union, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Leeds and the Churchs Ferry School Alumni.
Some of the regulars at the "Fountain of Wisdom" table at McQuoid’s Grocery gathered to say hello to former residents Mark and Julie Zillmer of Wisconsin, who returned to Minnewaukan for the Thanksgiving holiday. Standing, left to right, are Jane Brown, Mitchell Otten, Glen Tofsrud, Trish McQuoid and Lisa Wold. Seated are Wayne Schuman, Julie Zillmer, Mark Zillmer, Gary King, Thelma Thompson and Troy Backstrom.