Waconia teachers receive master degrees

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, approximately 53.4 percent of the state’s teachers hold masters degrees in 2013. This summer, four Waconia teachers joined that prestigious group and their achievements were recognized by the Waconia School Board during its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 14.
Michael Johnson, Michelle Melius, John Pohland and Sue Snorek were on hand for the recognition, which was led by Superintendent Dr. Nancy Rajanen, who talked about how the district really values the importance of continuing education before providing some brief background on each teacher for the board.
Johnson is a social studies teacher at Waconia High School. He earned a masters degree in Educational Leadership from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Melius teaches social studies at Clearwater Middle School. She earned her masters degree in Learning Technologies from the University of Minnesota-St. Paul Campus. Melius said her concentration was on studying the use of Blended Learning Environments and Learning Management Systems within the classroom.
Pohland, the band teacher at Waconia High School, earned a Master of Music in Music Education from Michigan State University. Snorek is the music teacher at Southview Elementary School and she earned her masters degree in Education Leadership from Concordia University in St. Paul.
In other matters:
• Clearwater science instructor Britta DeVinny gave a presentation about the use of iPads in her classroom.
One positive benefit she reported is the convenience of employing the “flipped classroom” approach, where students spend time outside of the classroom watching videos and studying guided notes that she has prepared.
When the students arrive for class, they are better prepared to make the most of out the time they have with her while actually in class.
• In recent donations, the district received $3,000 from the Southview PTO for Technology Supplies, $100 by Alerus Financial for Refer A Friend Donation, and a book from the Wild Bird Store for the Bayview Library.
• Finance Director Todd Swanson noted that a district-wide radon detection study was held over the last seven months and nothing of concern was found. The study looked for radon in multiple locations in every district building. Swanson wasn’t sure how often the district will have to test for radon in the future.
• The board’s next meeting will be a work session held at the district offices at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 28.