Father Michael Morin
To recognize Fr. Morin’s support of writing at Pius X High School and in the Diocese, his sponsorship of three years of Embedded Institutes at Pius X, and his own involvement in the work of writing with his staff.
“In the Fall of 2003, Father Mike Morin, along with his administrative team, astutely identified as their North Central Accreditation Goal the implementation of “writing across the curriculum.” Due to his vision of a school where every teacher values writing by every student, a partnership was created with Nebraska Writing Project to ensure that his vision would become a reality. Under Father Morin’s leadership the first NeWP Embedded Writing Institute was born. As an actual hands-on participant in this year’s Embedded Institute, Father has often reflected on the tremendous ability NeWP has to help Pius create stronger communities among its teachers and how he has begun to see himself as a writer. Next year will be Pius’ third Embedded Institute and this summer Pius is offering an Open Institute to teachers throughout the Lincoln diocese based on faith and place-based writing. Father Mike Morin is truly an administrator who has valued and promoted writing across the curriculum and across the state.”
To recognize his long support of writing at Heartland Community Schools, his participation alongside his teachers in two NeWP Rural Institutes, and his commitment to writing in his community and amongst his staff.
“As the long-time elementary principal of Henderson Community Schools, now Heartland Community Schools-Henderson/Bradshaw, Ron Pauls has always been a strong supporter of reading within the curriculum. He became interested in writing when he agreed to participate in the first summer rural writing institute held in Henderson in 1997. Ron often recounts his first day at this institute; a prompt was given and everyone else began to write -“their pens were smokin'” he says! He felt as if he had made a big mistake! As the institute facilitators daily directed us to write about our own places, Ron began to write his childhood memories on a Kansas farm. From the first piece of writing that he shared, he received the validation that He Was a Writer! That next school year, he substituted for the fourth-grade teacher; he gave the kids a writing prompt and personally wrote feedback to each student. When the Henderson area formed the first Reading and Writing Club, Ron promptly joined; he brings his wife Evelyn and even though he is the sole male member, he has rarely missed a meeting. When a second rural institute was held in Henderson, Ron participated – this time as a seasoned writer! His support for writing within the Heartland district is unwavering. He exemplifies the principles of the Writing Project: he is himself a writer and he believes that students can be writers within a supportive environment. He is also a believer and proponent of Place-Conscious writing and has shared his love of the work of Nebraska author Mari Sandoz with middle and secondary students. Many teachers have commented how unusual it is for an administrator to participate in a writing institute. The Nebraska Writing Project is pleased to recognize the contributions of Ron Pauls, writer.”
Dr. Jef Johnston
To recognize his visionary and financial support in developing a multi-year partnership with Nebraska Writing Project, sponsoring a record three Embedded Institutes in one district in a single year, and valuing the personal efficacy of teachers as the key to quality education.
“Dr. Jef Johnston had the vision of having Papillion-La Vista teachers participate in the Nebraska Writing Project. Jef saw that when teachers become better writers, their students become better writers. Jef has supported this project in so many ways –from believing in individual buildings’ assessment need for writing improvement to locating a funding source and helping to write a grant to support this. He has been very concerned with making this opportunity available to any interested staff in the participating buildings. He has supported it 100% financially and was very concerned with making this a valuable experience. Without his vision and leadership, Papillion-La Vista teachers wouldn’t have been able to participate in this wonderful professional development opportunity. The Nebraska Writing Project reinforced the professional learning community Jef has sponsored in this district and has been an unbelievable experience for teachers and administrators. Thank you, Dr. Johnston, for allowing us to grow.”
~ Kathleen Krzycki and Bernie Gordon