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Thompson teacher named 'Exceptional Educator'

Kim Weber, 2017-18 Title 1 Exceptional Educator, Thompson (N.D.) Public School

A teacher at Thompson (N.D.) Public School, Kim Weber, has been named the 2017-18 Title 1 Exceptional Educator by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

At an assembly for students in grades 1 through 6 on Friday, Weber was recognized for the achievement and presented with the framed award.

"It's a well-deserved honor for her," said Superintendent John Maus. "Her energy and positive approach with all the kids is amazing. She never has a bad day. The kids absolutely adore her and enjoy working with her."

Weber is in her 33rd year as the Title 1 teacher at Thompson Public School where she teaches students who are struggling with subjects such as reading and mathematics, Maus said. Her caseload varies from 35 to 45 students.

Each year, the DPI receives applications for Title 1 Exceptional Educator from schools throughout the state and awards the honor to one teacher, he said. Most schools have at least one Title 1 teacher; larger schools have more.

UND faculty members are working to bring the story of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany to Grand Forks public schools.

UND associate professor of history Caroline Campbell said her colleagues, including Donna Pearson of the UND College of Education, hope to introduce the film, "The Mission of Herman Stern," to middle school and high school students. It would be part of a lesson plan developed by Carl Oberholtzer of Fargo, a retired teacher who collaborated on the documentary.

The premiere of the documentary is at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Empire Arts Center in downtown Grand Forks. It tells the story of Stern's efforts to help 125 Jews flee from persecution and possible death in the '30s and '40s in Nazi Germany.

The film was produced by Art Phillips of Visual Arts Studio, Fargo, who intends to distribute it and a lesson plan to all North Dakota schools. It also will be available to North Dakota libraries, museums and service organizations.

Stern came to America from Germany at age 16 to work in the Straus clothing store in Casselton, N.D. At age 19, he was named manager of the Valley City (N.D.) Straus clothing store and, for the next seven decades, added seven Straus stores throughout the region.

The Red River Valley Writing Project at North Dakota State University and the Plains Art Museum in Fargo invites students in grades seven through 12 to submit original artwork and writing for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition, the nation's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition initiative for creative teens.

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 14.

In North Dakota, the number of submissions has doubled each year since 2014, when the Red River Valley Writing Project at NDSU and Plains Art Museum partnered to serve as the state affiliate.

Scholarships and special awards range from $10,000 for the Gold Medal Portfolio, the program's highest national honor, to $1,000 for other awards in categories such as exploration of issues of grief and bereavement, editorial cartoons and art or writing that promotes responsible civic life.

Students may submit creative and original work in any of 29 art and writing categories, including architecture, painting, flash fiction, poetry, printmaking and video game design.

Entries are judged on originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision or voice.

For more details, visit www.artandwriting.org/guidelines.

An exhibit of the award-winning works is planned for Jan. 30 to March 10 at the Plains Art Museum.

For more information, email kelly.sassi@ndsu.edu for writing and ncloeter@plainsart.org for art.

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