Author Barbie Porter — reprinted with permission from Detroit Lakes Tribune
Three teachers recognized for making an impact in their fields
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.”
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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Learn more about the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship program at Concordia.