Superintendent leads 22 local runners at Grandma’s Marathon

Originally published July 1, 2017 in the White Bear Press.

By Bruce Strand, sports contributor

Atop the list of White Bear Lake residents who finished Grandma’s Marathon is a man about to become one of the community’s most influential leaders, Wayne Kazmierczak.

The 46-year-old educator who’ll take over as superintendent of schools on July 1 posted an impressive time of three hours, six minutes and 23 seconds for the 26.2-mile trek from Two Harbors to Duluth on June 13. He placed 319th among 6,441 runners overall, and 13th among 344 in his age/gender group (45-49).

Photo submitted to White Bear Press.

‘Running has always been an important part of my life, although there are times when I don’t get out as much as I would like,” Kazmierczak told the White Bear Press.  “Every aspect of my life seems to go better when I’m consistently running. I tend to achieve a better work/life balance when I’m committed to a marathon training plan.”

Read More


Ann Arbor adaptive PE students use HRMs to manage their health

July 19, 2017 – A teacher’s unique use of heart rate monitors helped Ann Arbor, Mich., adaptive physical education students learn to manage their health during the school day.

Deak Swearingen (right) with colleague Gloria O’Neill.

During a pilot program directed by Ann Arbor Public Schools Adaptive Physical Education Teacher Consultant Deak Swearingen, 30 students wore the adidas Zone for IHT Spirit heart rate monitors during their PE classes. While many students have health issues — some severe — and cognitive disabilities, Swearingen saw unexpected success with students learning to self-manage.

I wasn’t sure the monitors would be able to teach [self-management] because I wasn’t sure that my students would have the cognitive ability to grasp it,” Swearingen said. “It’s something I’m extremely excited about.” Read More

How Small School Districts Are Making Personalized Learning A Reality

Originally posted July 11, 2017 by KQED News

By Wayne D’Orio

The Hechinger Report

WILDER, Idaho — Eight years ago, the principal of Idaho’s Wilder Elementary School, Jeff Dillon, made a tough decision: He pulled his children out of the district high school to send them to private school. “I took a beating for that,” Dillon admitted, but added it was the right choice because the school was doing a poor job meeting the needs of students.

Fast forward to today. Dillon, now the district’s superintendent (and still its elementary school principal) just wrapped up the first year of a personalized learning program that gives students in all grades an iPad and the ability to master work at their own pace. What’s the reaction?

personalized learning
In Wilder Elementary School, students not only pick which subjects they want to learn, but they can also spurn their desks and work on the floor if they want. (Wayne D’Orio)

Read More


Hundreds of Missouri students flock to rural school district’s free online summer school

Originally posted July 18, 2017 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Kristen Taketa

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The rural Grandview School District in Jefferson County has only 825 students during the school year. But this summer, it raked in thousands of state dollars for educating about 1,500 students through its own online school.

onlineStudents from across the state — not just from Grandview — are drawn to the summer online offerings. Some are high school students looking to make up for a class they previously failed. Others take state-required courses such as personal finance, a move that frees up their schedule during the regular school year.

Read More