Educational Service Unit # 13

Serving the Panhandle of Nebraska

AUGUST, 2014 Newsletter

Welcome Back and Welcome to the New Staff members

Our theme this year is “Inspiring Minds–Empowering Schools to Succeed.” We begin with the premise of “Striving to achieve educational excellence for all learners through strong partnerships, service and leadership.” Our three goals are:


• Enhance learning by promoting best practices, innovation and systems of support.

• Expand collaboration and communication.

• Commit to accountability by implementing systemic and systematic methods for collecting, analyzing and reporting impact.


By focusing on these goals, we are able to meet AdvancED accreditation requirements.


We welcome the following new staff members this year:


Technology Department:


• Lori Biesecker – Technology Support Specialist in the Sidney Satellite Office. Lori received her Bachelor’s Degree from UNL and has been employed by Potter-Dix Public Schools for the past 17 years.


Special Education Department:


• Patricia Stroud – Teacher in the Meridian Program. Patricia earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She has several years teaching experience in Loveland, Fort Collins, Brighton, and Greeley. Last year she was employed by Scottsbluff Schools as a special education teacher.


• Jennifer Lopez – School Psychologist Intern. Jennifer will complete her Education Specialist Degree from University of Northern Colorado in 2015.


• Nicole Ulvestad – School Psychologist Intern. Nicole will complete her Education Specialist Degree in May of 2015 from the University of South Dakota.


• Heather Esterdahl – Educator for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Heather earned her Master’s Degree from University of Northern Colorado. She has experience working for Jefferson County Public Schools in Lakewood and Golden, CO.


• Samantha Boge – Educational Coach for LifeLink-NE Program. Samantha has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications/Political Science from the University of Iowa. Her previous work experience was in Iowa.


• Laura Gool – Meridian Para Educator. Laura comes to us as a Certified Nurse Aide previously employed by Heritage Estates in Gering. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education.


Alternative Education Department:


• Todd Westover – Social Studies Teacher at the Juvenile Detention Center-PACES Program. Todd earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He has several years teaching experience at Central City, Hershey, Tecumseh, and Fairbury, NE. For the past four years he was employed by Creek Valley Public Schools at a teacher, coach and athletic director.


• Stacy Johnson – Social Studies Teacher in the VALTS/NEVA Program. Stacy received her Bachelor’s Degree from Wayne State College and has been employed by Banner County Schools for the past two years. Prior to that she was a Social Studies Teacher in Bassett, NE.


• Lesley Billingsley – English Teacher in the VALTS/NEVA Program. Lesley received her Bachelor’s Degree from Chadron State College and is a first-year teacher. She was previously employed by ESU #13 as a Job/Education Coach for LifeLink-NE.


Migrant Program:


• Kathleen Fullerton – Migrant Program Tutor. Kathleen will serve Migrant students in the Cody-Kilgore area in northern Nebraska. She is a part-time employee.


We also welcome two new school superintendents—Chuck Lambert at Bridgeport and Katherine Urbanek at Mitchell.


We are fortunate at ESU #13 to have such a caring and dedicated staff that contributes so much to the success of our organization. ESU #13 is highly respected across the state for its quality staff, innovative programs, and dedication to serving our member districts. I believe the best part of our job is the privilege we have of improving the lives of children and families.

New Employee Orientation

Tuesday, Aug. 12th 2014 at 9-11am

DL Room at ESU # 13

CPR and First Aid

Wednesday, Aug. 13th 2014 at 8:30-11:30am

DL Room at ESU # 13

Asthma Training

Wednesday, Aug. 13th 2014 at 1-4pm

DL Room at ESU # 13

Medication Administration Training

Wednesday, Aug. 13th 2014 at 8:30am

Select employees only

Staff Work Day and Department Meetings

Thursday, Aug. 14th 2014 at 8am-4pm

Individual sites

ESU All-Staff Inservice

Friday, Aug. 15th 2014 at 8:30am-3:15pm

4215 Avenue I

Scottsbluff, NE