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Letters to the editor

By Staff | Nov 18, 2008

To the EDN:

“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives,” (Robert Hutch), and that is what we in the Terril and Graettinger Community School districts are doing. You can walk through the halls of our schools and see students working side by side engaging in anything from science experiments to planning service projects for the community. We are instilling in our students the desire to think and inquire, to wonder and question. We are creating a curiosity in our students so they can continue the learning process as long as they live.

As a 5th grade teacher in the Terril Community School District for 25 years, and a social studies teacher for the Terril/Graettinger Middle School for the past four years, I have always known that the district has provided quality education to our students.

The staff of our school is a dedicated team that gives their all to educating those who come through the door. We are trying new methods and strategies to help students continue the learning process. For example, last year we implemented a way for students to show the community what they have learned in the middle school, which we call the Knight’s Pride. In the high school we call it Knight’s JAM. For both the middle school and high school, the students gather work from each of their classes. This could be tests, projects, journals or daily work. The students reflect upon this work by asking themselves “what have I learned from this class.” Students then prepare a presentation for members of the community and school board to share with them what they have learned. Students are thinking critically about their education and taking ownership of their learning.

This year, a group of teachers, myself included, will share this innovative program with educators and school board members around the state, at the Iowa School Board Conference in November. Our districts may be small, but I feel we are on the cutting edge of education with our teaching strategies. We have so much to be proud of here in Terril and Graettinger. We have students who work together as one student body and a staff ready to teach.

We want to continue providing the quality education you have come to expect in both of our communities. Please vote yes for the reorganization of the Terril and Graettinger School Districts on December 2. In order for this reorganization to work, we must all strive together as a community to ensure that this vote passes in December. With a successful reorganization of these two school districts, our community as a whole will only flourish, benefiting all.

For further questions, feel free to email me at jgano@terril.k12.ia.us. Thank you for your support. Let’s keep the tradition of providing excellent educational opportunities to our young people in Terril and Graettinger strong!

Joann Gano

Social Studies

Terril/Graettinger Middle School