Day: August 11, 2014

Pleasing new Weddle principal boils down to two simple rules

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The way Wendy Roberts sees it, students end up in the principal’s office for failure to do one of two things: work hard or be nice. Roberts is the new principal of Weddle Elementary School, taking over for of longtime principal Samantha Ragaisis who left for an out-of-district job opportunity at the end of the school year. “As much as anything, the new curriculums we are instituting are about communicating ideas. We have to do that with compassion for each other and while enjoying the time we have productively,” Roberts said. In other words, as a large piece of artwork in her new office announces, “Work hard and be nice.” Roberts taught at Keizer’s Kennedy Elementary School for 15 years before accepting a position at Lake Labish Elementary School as an instructional coach. She served there until the school was repurposed and has been instructional coach at Kennedy and Weddle for the past three years. Roberts felt called to be a teacher from a young age when her third grade counselor took her under his wing. “He invited me to go to the first and second grade classrooms doing little guidance sessions, and I knew from that moment I was going to be a teacher or counselor,” Roberts said. The move to administrative roles came after the former Lake Labish principal, Manuel...

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“Good Morning, Mr. Mandela” by Zelda la Grange

“Good Morning, Mr. Mandela” by Zelda la Grange c.2014, Viking $28.95 / $33.00 Canada 368 pages BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER You are entitled to change your mind. You don’t have to apologize or admit you were wrong. Just act on your new convictions and, sooner or later, someone will notice your different opinions, improved ideals, and open mind. For most of her life, author Zelda la Grange held beliefs that everyone around her shared. In the new book “Good Morning, Mr. Mandela,” she explains how those tenets changed, and who led her there. Though she was born into a “very poor” family, Zelda la Grange had it better than the black citizens of Johannesburg in 1970: as an Afrikaner “boere-meisie,” she enjoyed legal privileges that came with being white. “We were happy children growing up in apartheid South Africa,” she says, having been taught that blacks and whites never mixed. Blacks were “dangerous.” After receiving secretarial training, la Grange’s first job was with the South African government. It was a “riveting and dangerous” time then; apartheid had ended, whites feared black reprisals, and South Africa had inaugurated its first democratically-elected black President whose office happened to need a typist. Knowing very little about the man for whom she’d work, la Grange applied for the position. The first time she met her new boss, she cried. “It was all...

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Gators get new ‘pal with old ties to Keizer schools

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes For Dave Bertholf, a new job as principal of Gubser Elementary School is as much a return to Keizer as it is a chance to tackle new challenges. “Gubser was one of the schools on a very short list of places I was hoping for when I found out I was going to be reassigned,” said Bertholf. Bertholf’s first teaching job in Keizer was as part of the staff at Clear Lake Elementary School. The school, which was still housed in the building that became the Keizer Heritage Center, was celebrating its 101st year in 1992, and it was the first time there were enough students enrolled for classes to move beyond blended grade levels. At Gubser, Bertholf will fill the shoes of Jesse Leonard, who was reassigned to Keizer’s Kennedy Elementary School. “The first year will be dedicated to relationship-building. The job is always about people even when the focus is test scores. I have to do a lot of listening and question-asking and strengthen the things that are working,” Bertholf said. Bertholf moved from the classroom to administration in 2001. He took over the principal’s office at Bush Elementary School for eight years before being reassigned to Scott Elementary School, his last post before coming to Gubser. Bush and Scott elementary schools share Title I status meaning students often face...

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