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New Teacher Interview Stephanie Shever

By Faith Schlotman

            Woodbury Central welcomes new fifth grade teacher Stephanie Shever. Ms. Shever values her friends, career and her family.

             Last year, Ms. Shever was a student teacher for third grade teacher Mrs. Paulsen; she says she loves the atmosphere and the people here at WC. After student teaching, she became Mrs. Langel’s permanent substitute teacher. She enjoys “having students tell me that they enjoyed having me as a teacher. I like knowing that I made a difference.”

             Ms. Shever has wanted to be a teacher ever since she was in elementary school, and now has a Reading Endorsement and a degree in Elementary Education. A graduate of Morningside College in Sioux City, this organized, patient and caring teacher was raised on a farm outside of Cushing, IA; her parents are Craig and LeeAnn Shever.


VictoryFront row L-R- Keely Steffen, Payge Ronfeldt, Emma Persons, Jacey Stratton, Hanna Stratton, Halle Gray. Middle Row L-R- Jakob Schultz, Anthony Gallagher, Wade Mitchell, Garret Arment, Mitchell Countryman, Jim Moss, Kalynn Manker, and Nathan Lister. Back row L-R Austin Rapp, Shawn Enstrom, Kurt Countryman, Anthony Baird, Suzanne Putze, Erin Tomoson, Maddie Paulsen, Sidney Steffen, and Brooke Bauer.

Pursuit of Victory with Honor

October 29 2015

 By Jacey Stratton

"Pursuing Victory with Honor Summit”

            A group of Woodbury Central high school and middle school students were selected by Mrs. Schultz to attend the 2015 "Pursuing Victory with Honor Summit.”  The event took place October 15 at Morningside College in Sioux City. WC was one of the many schools represented at the Summit.

            After the opening ceremony, students from three school districts gathered in four different breakout sessions. They listened to speakers to learn skills to help guide and promote better focus, toughness, integrity and personal responsibility within their schools and teams.

            Speaker Andy Winkelmann from the U. of Iowa spoke about how to manage stress, and play in the present. He talked about "good stress" which is needed to improve focus, endurance and persistence as well as "the tipping point," where good stress becomes "distress" which may lead to emotional and physical breakdowns.

Jeff Kluever of Des Moines, who focused on leading Self and others, explained the possibilities of essential skills and habits that revolve around personal and collective responsibility. Mr. Kluever stressed to students that “a leader is one who knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way.” Sophomore Kurt Countryman says he learned that “it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re doing you are a leader. Even if you don’t think you are there’s always someone watching and following your example.”

Students heard Matt Davidson talk about mental toughness, and focused on the importance of developing the right mindset. He emphasized that toughness does not come overnight, and decisions are made one at a time. “Mental toughness is more significant than physical strength,” agrees freshman Emma Persons.

Scott Rocker’s session focused on the importance of integrity and the real-life challenges of putting integrity into action.  Students learned that integrity means “wholeness.”  Mr. Rocker’s other key point is that a person with moral and performance integrity motivates, empowers and persuades others to do the same.

This year’s Summit featured research-based content about a student’s performance through focus, integrity, toughness and personal responsibility. Students learned ways to guide themselves and their teams from “good to great,” and “great to champion.” 








October 1, 2015

Ms. Long-Ms. Birdsall Student teacher interview

 By Jacey Stratton


Woodbury Central student teacher Rhonda Long-Birdsall says that her favorite part of teaching is to learn from the students. “I love when they bring up a perspective I had never thought of before,” she says. Other enjoyable teaching moments include seeing something “click” for the students if at first they don't understand.

Teaching has its difficulties and for her it is “trying to lead a discussion and you can tell the students are not listening.”  Patient, kind, stubborn, good listener, and open-minded are a few words she used to describe herself. When teaching, she finds it helpful to be open-minded, a good listener, and understanding.  To keep herself organized, she uses post-it notes, binders, paper clips, folders etc… “I create a system for myself and stick with it.” She likes to be organized and “when something is due, it is due.”

Ms. Birdsall decided to become a teacher as a senior in high school. “I wanted to teach secondary English because the students are able to hold discussions about the content,” she says.

Originally from Council Bluffs, Ms. Birdsall graduated from Abraham Lincoln, and continued her education at Buena Vista University. Soon she will graduate with degrees in social work and Secondary Education, English.

Ms. Birdsall values her friends, family, religion and pets. “They are like my children,” she says. Her dream is to live and work in Chicago. She also wants to work for the Peace Corps. Ms. Birdsall is the daughter of Jerry Ms. Birdsall and Cindy Long. She has two brothers: Chris Ms. Birdsall and Aeon Long.