Educational Service Unit # 13


September, 2015 Newsletter

Mission Statement

Educational Service Unit #13...

Striving to achieve educational excellence for all learners

through strong partnerships, service, and leadership.


ESU 13 officially kicked off the 2015-16 school year on Tuesday, August 11 with new employee orientation. Various staff trainings continued on Wednesday, August 12th with CPR/First Aid, Emergency Asthma Protocol and Medication Administration training. Thursday, August 13th was a staff work day as well as department meetings.

Friday, August 14, was the all staff in-service day with this year’s theme being “Be a Part of it! Success.” We begin the year with a renewed focus on our mission of “Striving to achieve educational excellence for all learners through strong partnerships, service and leadership.” ESU #13 Goals for 2015-16 are:

· Enhanced learning by promoting best practice, innovation and systems of support.

· Expand collaboration and communication.

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

Focusing on our three goals helps ESU 13 to meet AdvancEd accreditation requirements.

Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Scotts Bluff, Morrill, Kimball, Garden, Cheyenne and Deuel counties will be administered through Educational Service Unit #13. On April 8, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) officially notified ESU #13 of its successful application for the $2.8 million program. The award includes Head Start and Early Head Start services to nearly 350 children annually in the counties.

Head Start and Early Head Start programs have been important to children and families in the Panhandle for many years. ESU #13 is pleased to be able to fill the important role of working with parents and schools in maintaining this resource.

In September 2014, a funding opportunity announcement was posted by ACF. In early November, Head Start Partners, including the schools in Bayard, Minatare, Scottsbluff, Morrill and Mitchell and Volunteers of America along with the Panhandle Public Health District and Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska unanimously agreed to request that ESU 13 apply for the grant. The success of the ESU $#13 application was clearly due to the collaborative efforts of so many in this region.

We are pleased to welcome a total of 71 new staff members to ESU 13 this year with 65 of them being Head Start/Early Head Start staff and the other 6 being new to the other 8 departments at ESU 13.

Educationally yours,

Jeffrey D. West

SOAR (Sharing Opportunities and Achieving Results)

The SOAR department would like to WELCOME

Amy Trauernicht

After 20 years in education, Amy is beginning her first year as a staff developer. During the past 18 years at Mitchell Public Schools, Amy has been an elementary teacher as well as Title Math and keyboarding instructor. Her last ten years were spent as Assessment/Curriculum Director for the district. She holds a MA in Education as well as a Specialist Endorsement in Assessment Leadership. She is certified to train staff in many areas of assessment as well as review schools for accreditation through NDE and AdvancED. Although her expertise lies in assessment, curriculum, and accreditation she looks forward to expanding her knowledge to better serve our schools.

SOAR (Sharing Opportunities Achieving Results) is the professional development department of ESU #13. Sharing increases resources for all. Opportunities can abound even in rural areas when community partnerships are the rule. Supporting teachers makes students achievement soar. And, results are what matters.

SPED Department

We want to welcome our new staff members this year including:

Ashley Meyer - Western Region Autism Spectrum Disorders Coordinator

Pam Brezenski - Secondary Transition Specialist

Sarah Schaaf - Speech Language Pathologist

Pam Uhl - Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

Providers are out in schools working with families and teachers to provide quality services to students with disabilities living in the panhandle.

LifeLink and Meridian

Student programs are up and running. Students are back in the halls at LifeLink and Meridian. There are some new faces and some that have been with us for years. Stop in and say hi to the students! We have great business partners this year for our adopt a school partners. We have Safeway and Riverside Zoo for Meridian and Panhandle Coop for LifeLink. Stay tuned for highlights from the programs this year!


It was a BUSY summer for Migrant Education staff and students. We held a total of 9 migrant summer school programs at the following sites. We also welcomed two bi-national teachers from Mexico. We sent them out to 7 school districts as well as to Head Start Centers. Most of our programs were before or after regular summer school hours. We provided transportation for migrant students so that they could attend both the district’s summer school and the additional migrant-only instructional time.

  • Bayard Elementary (May-June)

  • Gering - Lincoln Elementary (May-June)

  • Gordon Elementary (June)

  • North Platte Summer Science Camp (June)

  • Scottsbluff - Roosevelt Bi-national Program (June)

  • Scottsbluff - Bluffs Middle School Student Leadership program (June)

  • ESU 13 - students from 5 districts bussed in (July)

  • Cody Kilgore - (July)

  • WNCC Discovery Lab for middle school students - (July)

In addition, we sent several students to Latina Summer Academy focusing on S.T.E.M. activities at the College of St. Mary, and to Horses of the Plains summer camp, a local camp sponsored by Agate Fossil Beds, Riverside Discovery Center, and Chadron State Park.

Below are "photo highlights" of the summer!

Psychological Services

The Psychological Services Department is off to a good start this year! We are providing counseling, consultation and diagnostic/assessment services for children and youth from birth through 21 years of age. Our services are currently being contracted by 17 of our 21 districts and used by others as needed. In addition we are providing services to students in our Meridian School, LifeLink-NE program, and Western Nebraska Juvenile Services.

As with many services, there are new skills to acquire, new ways to implement them and new professional partnerships to develop, this is true of the Psychological Services Department as well. We are currently using newly updated versions of some of our cognitive, academic and social-emotional instruments; learning and beginning to use new measures of autism and adaptive behaviors; and, implementing new therapeutic counseling techniques, especially as they pertain to the effects of childhood trauma.

We welcome back to our staff Dr. Katherine Carrizales. Katie previously worked at ESU #13 and recently returned from a sabbatical. There will be more information about Dr. Carrizales and her new position at ESU #13 in next months’ newsletter.

If your child, or a child you know, needs help adjusting to the “back to school” demands, homework completion, or other school related challenges, contact your school psychologist or counselor.


Like us on facebook!!

ESU13 has made the move into social media in the past month and already have over 150 likes.

Please let the tech department know if you have anything you would like to add.

News from the Wellness Committee

ESU #13 will be receiving the Governor’s Sower Award for 2015. The Governor's Sower Award was created to encourage all businesses in Nebraska to offer wellness and health programs for their employees. This is a re-certification for ESU #13. The award will be recognized at the Governor's Safety and Wellness Conference as well as the Panhandle Workplace Wellness Conference. Great job everyone!!
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-Crystal Stock, owner of CrossFit Impel