I was born and raised in Lyndon, Illinois on our family farm. I attended Prophetstown Schools. After high school I attended Mount St. Clare College and played basketball. I later coached High School Football for East Central High School in Miles, Iowa.
This will be my 16th year in education and my 8th year at Midland. I taught the first eight years of my career in Sparta, Illinois in Southwestern Illinois. I taught 8th grade Social Studies, coached basketball and was the Middle School Athletic Director. During my tenure I also attended graduate school at McKendree University and obtained my administrative license.
I have been married to my wife Michelle for thirteen years. We have two children, 9 year old Macie and 5 year old Ava. My favorite restaurant is Neil and Shorty's BBQ in Princeton, IL. My favorite television show is Chicago PD. My favorite book is The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (I highly recommend it!). I'm a diehard Chicago sports fan (we finally won it!).
I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to work with you this year! There are lots of good things going on here at Midland Middle School so stop in and see us sometime! Until then, it’s a great day to be a Timberwolf!
I wanted to take a minute to talk about some of the tools we are using in our classrooms. Over the past few years Midland CUSD 7 has made a great commitment to upgrading our technology we offer our students and parents. This commitment has resulted in a new website, Chromebooks and an infrastructure upgrade to handle the increased technology. In the middle school when I arrived 4 years ago there were two computer labs with older desktop machines. In the 4 years since we've reduced our computer labs to one, but that lab was refitted with all new computers. We also added a STEM LAB with new computers that have a variety of programs on them including drafting and 3D printing programs. Nearly all of our classrooms are also now equipped with Chromebooks with enough for each student.
Your students will be utilizing their Chromebooks on a near daily basis. You may hear a phrase from our building called 1 to 1 or 1:1. This is a ratio showing the amount of technology available per student. We are very nearly there in this building. At this point, the Chromebook carts are assigned to various classrooms throughout the building. The Chromebook doesn't travel with the student. Each student has an individual log in that they use.
Many of our teachers are using a program called Google Classroom. Midland CUSD 7 is a Google school. We utilize many parts of Google Suite (gmail, docs, sheets, slides and calendars). Teachers utilize Classroom to post classroom assignments, homework reminders or other various topics they want students to review. Students can log in and see other students questions and help their fellow students. I remember last year a teacher coming to my office to show me a message posted by a student on her classroom page. The student was asking for help on a problem. Before the teacher could answer, several students saw the post and helped walk the student through the problem. What great classmates! Students can access Classroom from home on a desktop computer or can download the classroom app to a mobile device.
Also parents, ask your child's teacher about their Google classroom account as parents can be added to get updates from the class as well. We also have many teachers using a program called Remind that will send a text message at the end of each day with what your child will have for homework that night. Again, please talk to your child's teacher to see if they are using Classroom, our website Edlio (mms.midland-7.net) or using Remind. Finally, Google Classroom also updates on some our teacher webpages. If you can subscribe to a teacher’s web page to receive updates as teachers post information or assignments.
Our goal is to nurture an environment of 21st Century Learning Skills. Many of these skills like collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking activities are at the core of our instructional practices. Thanks for reading and as always, there are a lot of great things going on a Midland Middle School so stop in and see us sometime. Until then, it's a great day to be a Timberwolf!
Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had an enjoyable summer spent with family and friends. August is here and we are counting down the days until the new school construction is complete and the building is opened. While we wait for that day, I thought I would write to all of you to talk about the upcoming year at Midland Middle School and the various changes that will be happening.
First, I’d like to introduce new staff members for this school year. Ms. Beth White will be joining us as our new Guidance Counselor. Beth comes to us from Bradley University. Also, joining us this fall is Mrs. Angie Tower to teach 6th grade English/Language Arts and Social Studies. Some of you probably already know Angie as she is joining us from the elementary school where she taught the past few years. We are very excited to have them in our building!
This year also brings about great changes in our school bell schedule. This year the first class will start at 8:23am (dismissal times are not impacted). Previously, first hour started at 8:30. A schedule change was required to accommodate a new period that I am introducing to the building. I’m calling it our Den’s Hour. It will be the time period in which our Response to Intervention (RtI) classes will be offered.
In the past, students were pulled for RtI from regular core classes. To avoid that conflict we created Den’s Hour. The course meets daily from 8:23 until 8:48. Students are assigned to a Math or English/Language Arts RtI class. During this class they will be working with staff members on learning strategies as well as having more time to work with current content in those class periods. Students who don’t meet the standards of being in the RtI class will be assigned to a Den’s Class. Students in grades 5 and 6 are combined into 4 Den’s Classes. They rotate each quarter around the following four classes: Healthy Life Styles, Current Events, Technology and Agriculture. Students in grades 7 and 8 are also combined into 4 Den’s Classes. They will rotate around the following four classes: Agriculture, Economics, College/Career Readiness and Character Education. Students in RtI will be reviewed at the end of each quarter and could be moved in and out of RtI depending on their progress. While grades will be taken in these classes, they will not count towards athletic eligibility nor will they factor in end of year academic promotion decisions.
We are excited about the creation of the Den’s classes. Previously, we did allow parents to opt out their child from RtI. At this time, we will NOT be allowing opt outs. We feel strongly about the opportunity for children to have the time to meet with staff to gain learning skills and have extra time to work on and practice current content being discussed in class.
Midland Middle School also will be utilizing a program called Moby Max. We began introducing it last year. This year we have a school wide program. Students can log in at home with Moby Max. Moby Max offers a robust intervention program for students of all abilities in every core subject area. We will be using this program as part of our Den’s Hour.
We’ve also changed how we are offering Physical Education and meeting the Health requirements for students. Previously, students in 8th grade took one semester of Physical Education and one semester of Health. After talking to students and parents it was clear that a different solution was needed. Starting this fall, students in grades 7th and 8th will be taking Physical Education on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s. On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s students will be taking a Health class. This allows the school to meet the health requirement without making students give up an entire semester of Physical Education. One other Physical Education change is that PE uniforms are no longer needed. Students in grades 7 and 8 will still change for PE, but their outfit is their choice as long as it meets school dress code policies and is not the clothing they wore to school.
This year students will also be able to have salad bar at lunch. Students may go to the salad bar even if they are getting hot lunch (there is a separate charge for both) or brought their own. A small salad is $1.25 and a large salad is $2.40. A normal hot lunch is also $2.40. Breakfast is $1.75.
For more information please visit our website mms.midland-7.net, like us on Facebook or give me a follow on Twitter at @PrincipalTwolf.
I know that was a lot of information to digest, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible. If you have questions please reach out to the office and speak to Denise, Beth or myself. Enjoy the last few days of your extended summer and I look forward to seeing all of you soon. There’s great things going on at Midland Middle School, so stop in and see us sometime. Until then, it’s great day to be a Timberwolf!
Midland Middle School