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Three teachers recognized for making an impact in their fields

School board approves two out-of-state travel requests

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Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Renee Kerzman was given a certificate of appreciation by the Detroit Lakes School Board for organizing the welcoming of new teachers and back-to-school events. John Steffl, the board chair, handed her the certificate as the rest of the board applauded.<br/><br/><br/>
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — Teachers in the Detroit Lakes School District are making an impact in their fields of expertise regionally and beyond.

During the monthly school board meeting on Monday, Sept. 26, Lisa Conzemius, Janelle Hueners and Renee Kerzman were recognized for their efforts.

Conzemius, a math teacher at the high school, informed the school board she was invited to the annual conference of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Los Angeles, Calif.

Conzemius explained she was approached by Dr. Mark Causapin, a professor at Concordia College of Moorhead, Minn., a few years ago. He explained to her that he wanted to apply for a grant.

“I said, 'Sure, what do you need?'” Conzemius said. “He wanted a couple of master teachers to help him help train kids to become really good math teachers.”

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Lisa Conzemius, a math teacher at the high school, informed the school board she was invited to the annual conference of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Los Angeles, Calif., as Detroit Lakes School Board member Courtney Henderson listens.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

She explained their goal is to connect about 15 students in the college’s math teaching program with a mentor to help the new teachers remain in the profession.

“The kids get their last two years of tuition at Concordia paid,” Conzemius said, adding their two-year internship is also paid.

Conzemius reported one of her students from last year is returning this year, but the plan is to place her in another district.

“While the student teaches, she still meets with me once a week on Zoom,” Conzemius said, adding that mentorship continues during the student’s first year in the profession.

To get a mentorship and have tuition paid for, students have to work four years in a low-income district, Conzemius explained.

The grant also affords opportunities for the master teachers in the program. One instance is attending the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference, along with the students they are mentoring. A variety of topics impacting education will be discussed at the meeting, as well as how those issues are being addressed in different school districts.

“All the expenses are paid by the grant,” Conzemius said.

“Sounds like a great opportunity,” said board Chair John Steffl, before the board approved the travel.

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Janelle Hueners, agricultural teacher and FFA advisor at Detroit Lakes High School, was invited to be a teacher representative at the National Council for Agricultural Education.
(File photo)

The next teacher to request permission for out-of-state travel was Hueners. The agricultural teacher and FFA advisor at the high school explained her educational opportunity is in Indiana.

She said the National Council for Agricultural Education launched an initiative where all 50 states could apply to participate in a program that focused on equity, diversity and inclusion for agricultural education and FFA programs. If a state was chosen, training opportunities and monetary support would be offered.

Hueners said Minnesota applied and was selected. When assembling a team from Minnesota, Hueners said three state staff members in the field were selected, and she was asked to join and represent teachers in the field.

“Which was pretty cool,” she said, adding virtual meetings have been taking place in preparation for the upcoming November event in Indiana. “I’m really excited for that opportunity, and hope that I can bring my experiences from here in Detroit Lakes to the national and state level, and bring what I learn there back here to Detroit Lakes.”

Board member Amy Erickson encouraged the teacher by noting, “It sounds great” before the board unanimously approved the travel request.

Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Renee Kerzman was recognized by the school board for organizing the welcome for new teachers and back-to-school events.

Kerzman thanked the board for the acknowledgment and noted she had a great team putting together the events.

Related Topics: BECKER COUNTYDETROIT LAKES
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