Redbird Roundup, Vol. 19

Friday, February 1, 2019

Principal's Greeting

Happy Friday Norris Staff!


The weather has been quite the roller coaster lately. I have a feeling it will continue like that through February as well. Please keep reminding your kids to wear hats, coats, gloves etc., and we have plenty of things in Lost and Found they can use!


We had a busy week with lots of activities to share. Our winter sports are competing regularly, and there are lots of home events to check out.


Next week we have conferences week. Wednesday and Thursday are long days, but there is a break on Friday. We also host our large Quiz Bowl tournament on Saturday.


I have a few pieces below about the fundraising for Maddock and the head shaving, but will have more pictures next edition.


Have a great weekend!


Dr. Carr

February 4-8 Calendar

All Week: National School Counseling Week


Monday, February 4: Grades due; Boys Swim home vs. Beveridge; MTSS-B Vision Team Meeting

Tuesday, February 5: Girls Basketball at Beveridge; Wrestling at King; Pink Out Day for Maddock!

Wednesday, February 6: 4-7:30-Conferences

Thursday, February 7: 8-11, Teacher Planning and Preparation; 12:30-7:30, Conferences

Friday, February 8: No School, no staff report (building open until 1)

Saturday, February 9: Quiz Bowl Tournament at Norris (see Jacobberger to help!)

Pink Out Day-February 5

Thank you to all the staff who purchased Pink-Out shirts to wear for Maddock on Tuesday, February 5. If you purchased a shirt, you may wear it with jeans that day. All staff are invited to the South High Pink Out game on Friday, February 8. Girls game is at 5:30 and boys at 7:15. Please join us!

Staff Introductions

This week we will get to know Anabel Frayre, Julie Dunn, and Giovanna Zermeño.

Anabel Frayre


Name: Anabel Frayre

How many years have you been teaching? 19 Years

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? Everything


What is one of your favorite quotes? All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, also must do to them. Matthew 7:12

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Walk and Zumba

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be? 20’s

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Spend more time with my daughter

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Pay off my house and my relatives houses and go for a long vacation.

What is something you learned in the last week? There is more happiness in sharing than receiving.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for? Could be Zumba

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? Black and white movies.

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? Bible study and Zumba class

Sweet or salty? And what food is your favorite in that category? Both but Mexican food, specialty my mom’s food.

Julie Dunn

Name: Julie Dunn

How many years have you been teaching? 9

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? Teachers on 8C; I love our team!


What is one of your favorite quotes? You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Knitting is my favorite indoor activity right now.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Cleaning out closets.

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Knitting or reading

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Pay off my bills.

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? Lately, I would choose Midsomers Murders

Giovanna Zermeño

Name: Giovanna Zermeño

How many years have you been teaching? I taught for 4 years and this is my fourth year as a School Counselor

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? I truly enjoy working with our students. I am glad to be able to help them overcome some of their struggles and to be a positive influence for them. They are a very resilient group of kids.


What is one of your favorite quotes? “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not” Dr. Seuss

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Dancing

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Mopping

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be? 34....

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Getting my news from Twitter or reading a book

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Pay off my mortage, as well as my credit and student loan debt.

Sweet or salty? Salty And what food is your favorite in that category? Guacamole

Powerful Practices

Using Show Me to Model Solving Problems

Ms. Cochran has her students create their own problems, then use the microphone function on Show Me to have them talk through how to solve the equation. Having students talk through the steps is a great way to reinforce the skill. Great job Ms. Cochran!

Got it!

Mrs. Van Sickle's students play "Got it!" to practice solving equations. Students work in teams, with one partner having the whiteboard, and one having a piece of paper. The first team to hold up the whiteboard with the correct answer and say, "Got it!" gets a point, but their partner also has to write the answers on a sheet of paper in order for their team to win. Great way to keep everyone accountable and practicing!

Gallery Walk

Mr. Kohlhaas' students do a gallery walk to explore scatterplots. Gallery walks are a great way to get kids out of their seats and working with others, and also give the teacher opportunities to provide feedback to smaller groups. Great job Mr. Kohlhaas!

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

Congrats to Aracely Gonzalez Diaz!

Aracely was recognized at the board meeting last Wednesday for her participation in Civic Nebraska's Build Up Omaha. As a part of her project, she explored jobs typically held by men in order to promote more women in the workforce, as well as completed community service in her community. She spoke so well at the board meeting and was able to be recognized in front of her whole family. Congrats Aracely!

Music Fundraiser Earns College Tuition Money!

As a part of the fundraiser for the music department, money raised not only goes towards our music needs, but students also earn tuition credits they can use for college. This year, our students earned almost $49,000 towards college (several students earned $2500 each). This is amazing, and a wonderful way to contribute towards their future. Congrats to our students and our music department!

Happy Birthday 6th Graders!

Our 6th graders once again celebrate their birthdays (and half birthdays for summer). This is a wonderful monthly celebration for our kids!

Education Quest

Education Quest came to speak to our 6th graders last week about exploring careers and academics. This happens a couple times a year for our students as we seek to help them be college and career ready!

Common Sense Parenting

Mrs. Zermeño has once again collaborated with Boys Town to provide Common Sense Parenting for our parents. She even offers child care during the sessions. Great resource for our parents!

6th Grade Field Trip to the Holland

The cold didn't bother our 6th graders as they went to the Holland on Thursday this week, as opposed to their planned day of Wednesday. This trip exposes our kids to the Omaha Symphony and their many talents as they work to make our students consumers of all kinds of music. Very cool!

Girls Basketball

Our girls basketball team has started the season with some very competitive games against Hale and Lewis and Clark. Coached by Mrs. Armstrong and Ms. Rechkemmer, these girls are really showing their grit! Keep it up!

Puzzle Fun

Ms. Wakefield is bringing some awesome bulletin boards and activities to our library space! Our students love going over there after lunch and working on the puzzle. A great environment for our students!

MADD Drive

I will post more pictures with the next Redbird Roundup, but we collected over 1200 diapers for the Lydia House on behalf of Ms. Maddock. Ms. Faris' RBB was the winning homeroom and will take part in the head shaving on Friday. We have some local media coming out to take video too, so that is very exciting. Way to go Redbird Nation!

Final Thought

"Norris comes together for its staff." "Norris is an amazing community." "Norris is strong." "Norris staff looks out for each other."


These were things I heard over and over as I began my principalship here at Norris, and things I continue to hear. And it's true. When someone is down or struggling, everyone jumps in to help. Help can be by covering a class so someone can go to an appointment, or picking someone up whose car won't start. Help can be listening when someone is having a bad day, and help can be writing someone a note, or raising money or gathering donations for a cause.


I think we can all agree that Jenny Maddock has a presence in our building. That was evident to me the first time I met her. I did one on ones with the team leaders to get to know them better when I first started, and here are a few of Jenny's responses:


What is the best thing about Norris Middle? The co-workers. When it's rough, it makes it nice to come to work.


What is one thing you want me to know/understand about you? I treat kids like they're my own. Sometimes it looks like the good, the bad and the ugly, but it works out. I'm not afraid to say sorry, and I have called a parent to apologize.


As you go through this next week, wearing pink or having participated in the MADD Drive, reflect on why you do it, and think of the woman, the teacher, the mother, the coach, behind our reason to wear pink.


We love you Maddock. You make Norris stronger, and we have no doubt you will kick this in the butt and make it wish it had never found you.