LPS Podcast

A collection of interesting stories about the students and staff from Lincoln Public Schools.

School’s namesake inspires Moore’s staff with new-school message

Right from the school namesake herself …. listen to a special presentation from a former teacher and associate superintendent (and a few titles in between). She is Marilyn Moore and she recently spoke to the staff at Moore Middle School, which is set to open its doors next month. #77

Final Words with two LHS graduating seniors

Two seniors from Lincoln High School tell their stories as part of our Final Words podcast series featuring our newest high school alumni. These two stories have different paths to, in and out of LHS, but still share the ‘Link’ of happening at the same high school. #76

Through the halls and around the world with North Star seniors

Everyone has a story. These five North Star high school graduates – Kyler, Miriam, Husham, Breanna and Ruth – each have their own life experiences that have prepared them for life after high school. These interviews were part of our Final Words interviews with graduating seniors. #75

Senior Final Words: Ramey, Abram, Austin and Patrick, Southeast High School

Great insight from our four guests from Southeast High School, Ramey, Abram, Austin and Patrick. Hear them talk about their achievements, their struggles, and the journeys that made them who they are today. #74

Senior Final Words: Connor and Sydney, Lincoln Southwest High School

Connor Clanton and Sydney Schneider each worked their way to championship finishes in athletics at Lincoln Southwest High School. They also excelled in the classroom. Now that may not shock you, but you will want to listen to how a championship wrestler started high school by playing basketball, and how a state medalist and member of a state championship swim team found herself in and out of the hospital for most of her high school career. #73

Senior Final Words: Micah, Patrick and Nebraska from East High School

Today we begin a series of podcast with graduating seniors, though we recorded these during the last two week of their high school careers. We’ll start with Lincoln East High School, which is celebrating 50 years coming up this year. The seniors are Micah Wilson, Patrick Clare and Nebraska Grayson, in that order, each with a different path to success. #72

Students add to menu of accomplishments with national culinary business event

For the first time, student-teams from Lincoln Public Schools qualified for a national culinary business competition. Teams from Lincoln Southwest High School and The Career Academy attended, competed and built upon their skill sets. In this podcast, we talk with two students from Southwest. #71

Learning to love science, with a newly honored Science teacher

Will Smith has been named the teacher of the year by the local chapter of the Air Force Association. We talk about how he teaches students to love Science, how he balances scientific facts with open discussions and how his life as a young student influences him as a teacher. #70

It’s not just the shoe, but also the student innovation and creativity

We are talking about shoes. And art. And design. And students at Lincoln Southeast High School whose designs are in the top 50 in the nation! #69

Expanding the Zoo, and the Zoo School’s educational opportunities

With all the excitement of expansion plans for the Science Focus Program and the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, we interviewed numerous students about the the plans, the passion, the classes and more. #68

New activity unified bowling has its successes and fans

It’s the first season of Unified Bowling in Lincoln Public Schools, but it’s already considered a success in many ways. (rebroadcast)

Art project has plenty of North Star ‘heart’ in it

Students at North Star High School are putting their heart into a community art project. And it’s literally a heart-shaped sculpture, now being painted assorted shades of blue. You’ll find out why from Laila, Andres and their teacher Jocelyn Reiss Lippencott. #67

Accompanying art with art, and why it matters

Classical music from the art room. That’s right, we’re featuring a cross-curriculum lesson plan from Irving Middle school where art teachers Kellie Covey and Kacee Conley invited professional cellist and Irving Aardvark alum Sophie Potter into their classrooms. #66

Sixth-grader Ali takes the mic, and his vision for his future

Our podcast gets a co-host this week, with aspiring music DJ Ali, a sixth-grade student at Goodrich Middle School. He interviews his vision teacher Ben Lytle, talks about being a guest DJ on a local FM radio station, his vision challenges and more. #65

The strategic innovation happening for a school that’s not even open yet

This fall, Lincoln Public Schools will open its 12th middle school. Why does another middle school matter, is it more of the same, and how exactly do middle schools get planned, hired, and filled with students? Hear answers from the school’s first principal, Gary Czapla. #64

The impact – and numbers – of the BackPack Extra Mile Walk

This number is amazing: 1.3 million dollars raised. This one is unsettling. 5,535 Lincoln children will go hungry this weekend. Those two numbers intersect as we get ready for the BackPack Extra Mile Walk, April 29, 2017 at Lincoln East High School. We’ll hear why those numbers matter for LPS budget director Shari Styskal, and for students and staff throughout LPS. #63

In their own words: Highlights from Thank You Teacher letters and speeches

From 500 nominations, five teachers in four categories were honored at the annual Thank You Teacher event. Listen to excerpts from the students reading their letters, and the teachers responses. Truly inspirational. #62

The ‘science’ of Science curriculum in LPS

This week we head to Science class, where changes are happening. At last month’s Learning Lunch at the Lincoln Public Schools district office, we learned about the changing standards of Science curriculum. Today we bring you excerpts from that forum, and to give you a better feel, we specifically chose parts that are classroom specific, something we can all relate to. First, two teachers, then our science curriculum specialist James Blake. #61

Southwest HS choir sings ‘The Star Spangled Banner’

In honor of the anniversary of the formal adoption of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ as the United States’ national anthem on March 3, 1931, the Varsity Concert Choir of Lincoln Southwest High School sings the anthem. #60

ELL teacher has relatable experiences of living and learning abroad

English Language Learner teachers are used to a myriad of cultures and languages and experiences in their classroom. Our guest this week, North Star ELL teacher Ellen Jorgenson, has her own set of worldly experiences as a member of the Peace Corp. We talk where, when, and why. #59

School counselors offer more than ‘guidance’ for students

The term guidance counselor is an acceptable but perhaps outdated title for those who help students with a variety of issues. In fact, as the counselor roles in schools have adapted to student needs and other trends, it’s not entirely accurate either. Hear from a school counselor and a student who talk about the role of counselors in our high schools today. (This interview was recorded during National School Counselor Week.) #58

Students find obvious inspiration in ‘Hidden Figures’ movie

Female students in certain math classes at Lincoln High and Lincoln North Star high schools had a chance to watch the movie, ‘Hidden Figures.’ We interviewed four students and one principal about the impact the movie has had on them. #57

Letters, speeches and inspiration from Thank You Teacher event

Who could be more inspirational that students and teachers … in their own words? Listen in to this rebroadcast of excerpts from the 2016 Thank You Teacher honorees. Then consider nominating your favorite teacher – http://www.lps.org/apps/teacher_recognition_day/index.html. #56

Growing the number of females in engineering classes, courses and careers

Grace Larsen has gotten used to it at Lincoln Southeast High School, Rachael Wagner adjusted to it in college, and Kara Hinrichs hasn’t let it bother her in her career. What is it? They are three females in what might be considered the male-dominated field of engineering. That was the topic of discussion at recent school lunches at Southeast. Women in Engineering: what are the hurdles, if any? What are the opportunities? There are many. And are there females? Yes, yes there are. #55

‘We the People’ event reveals glimpses of student constitutional conversations

If you want to feel better about future discourse regarding constitutional and governmental issues, check out We The People. Students from five high schools in Lincoln Public Schools competed in the half-day challenge. We have sound from the actual competition, plus interviews with three students. #54

The work before and after the MLK Youth Rally

What does it take to be ready for the rally, march, speeches and performances for the 2017 MLK Jr. Youth Rally? And what do students want to happen after the event? Two students with insight to both topics in preparation for the MLK Youth Rally, set for January 16, 2017.

Going ‘backstage’ to learn costume, dancing and music

We’re backstage this week. As part of an annual LPS event, a different elementary school goes backstage with the ballet right inside their own school. The Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company teaches students about the intricacies that you will learn about from the Everett Elementary School music teacher and three students, and a member of the ballet team. #52

From teacher to superintendent, with Steve Joel (Part 2)

In the second part of a two-part series with Supt. Steve Joel, we learn more about his leadership strategy, planning for the future of LPS, hiring great talent, and what he has learned from his grandchildren. #51

From teacher to superintendent with Steve Joel (part 1)

To kick-off season #2 of the LPS Podcast, Supt. Steve Joel joins us for a two-part series. In this episode, we talk technology, physical activity, mental health, snow days and much more. #50

Trip abroad allows board members to add perspective

Board of Education members Don Mayhew and Connie Duncan report from China while on a trip to learn about education similarities and differences between the United States and China. Listen in to learn more about their experiences and insight. #49

A student honors her own teachers with nomination and honor

Sometimes an educator doesn’t know the full impact they had on a student. Recent graduate Ashley Pales made sure a teacher and counselor at Lincoln Southwest High School were well aware of their impact on her success by nominating them for a Yale Educator Award. They both won, with ‘they’ being guidance counselor Colleen Finkhouse and science teacher Jason Thomsen. Hear from the educators – and from Ashley herself as she reads her nomination letters. #48

Students trade the school bell for the opening bell

There’s a bell to start and finish, and there’s a lot of high-energy learning happening. But it’s not a classroom this time; it’s the Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge. Hear from a teacher and two students describing the event and what they learned. #47

When chaos in the classroom is by design

Take a glance at a Sarah Gergen classroom at Irving Middle School and you’ll notice students working to understand learning objectives in any number of ways. And that’s exactly what Gergen hopes for. This week we explore the teaching style of an award-winning teacher. #46

The before and after of a student’s college campus visit

A grant, a campus, a bus ride and a team of students and counselors from Lincoln Southeast High School. And of course, the campus visit to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. We talk with a high school counselor and three students before and after a campus visit to learn what they are looking for in a college, and what they are finding. #45

How they became award-winning teachers

Two award-winning teachers, two state-wide honors, one high school, and one podcast. Hear from Jocelyn Lippincott and Cara Hemminger about their craft, their profession and their joy in teaching. #44

New activity unified bowling already has its successes and fans

It’s the first season of Unified Bowling in Lincoln Public Schools. But it’s already considered a success in many ways. #43

School lunches in the eyes of middle school students and a kitchen manager

This week is National School Lunch Week. We went to Irving Middle School to talk with three students and the school’s kitchen manager to talk about school lunches. It happened to be Creamed Turkey Day, which is the most popular luncha cross Lincoln Public Schools. #42

Bubba’s Closet, and why it matters in Lincoln

Back in Fall of 1992, the Elementary School Principal’s Network began Bubba’s Closet with the hope of providing warm winter clothing to students who needed it. Twenty-four years later the event continues to grow. We sit down with the organizers of Bubba’s Closet as they describe the event and how you can help. #41

A Walking Tour of MOSAIC

On our fortieth podcast, we join Chris Haeffner, library media service coordinator, on a walking tour of MOSAIC. This collection of multicultural literature is selected by a committee to help students make connections with the many different cultures from around the world. This year, MOSAIC is modernizing with more hands-on and interactive displays to help students create more connections with the books. #40

Northeast choir with a special Patriot Day performance

This week, we release our podcast a day early, on Sept. 11, Patriot Day. For this occasion, the Vocals ‘N’ Harmony Show Choir at Lincoln Northeast High School, under the direction of Amy Thorpe, sang than National Anthem for us. #39

Two students are the first in state to attend national Econ Leaders camps

Kessa Rogers and Gau (pronounced ‘Go”) Ayaj both attend Lincoln Northeast and The Career Academy, and both were the first students in Nebraska to attend a prestigious leadership camp designed around Economics curriculum. What they want to do with their interest, the knowledge and their new leadership skills, however, is where they diverge. But they have one other thing in common: they both thank TCA teacher Carol Matthias for her part in encouraging them to apply. #38.

CLCs building momentum before, after, and in between for students and families

Community Learning Centers in Lincoln Public Schools aren’t just before- or after-school programs, and they aren’t just for students. The CLCs focus on a family-wide and community-friendly programming. And this fall, they’re adding even more: more fun, more passion and more offerings. http://wp.lps.org/clc/overview/ #37

The Chromebook as a tool for ‘academic consumption’ and ‘innovation’

As year two of student computer devices begins, we take a deeper look at the Chromebook as an educational asset, what LPS teachers learned in year 1, and how it will impact education in year 2. #36

New LPS teachers remember – and plan for – first days of school

Teachers new to the profession and new to LPS gathered for the annual New Teacher Breakfast. We caught up with a few to reminisce about their own first days of school as students, and how that impact their plans for the first day of the 2016/17 school year. #35

The teacher who climbed a mountain for professional development

Burke Morrow is East High School science teachers and mountain climber. The two go hand-in-hand, and foot-over-foot, together. Her most recent hike, Mount Kilamanjaro. The lengths, or in this case, the heights that this teacher went for professional development. Episode #34

How to teach students to learn what you don’t know (and 6 other questions)

One has to be careful what they post to social media, we all know that. For example, when Jane Stavem, the associate superintendent for Instruction in Lincoln Public Schools, posts a link to a list of seven questions for every new teacher, we were curious: What are the right answers to those questions? So we asked. She answered. And we made it a podcast. #33

Staff add up potential with new math curriculum

Students, parents, families of grades 3 through 5, pay attention: Math class may be different this coming school year, but how much will you notice? Hear from a teacher, instructional coordinator and principal about the pilot program for math curriculum at eight elementary schools. #32

Overseeing the growth in career and technical educational opportunities

On her last day before retirement, curriculum specialist Carol Andringa talks about the rise in attention, success and popularity of the Career and Technical Education curriculum efforts in Lincoln Public Schools. This past year saw a record set students, and a huge commitment to the philosophy of CTE in the form of The Career Academy. #31

Under the hood, on bus rides, routines and routes

11 million miles, 130 drivers, 92 para educators, 80-day inspections, new routes, relocated schools, field trips, ball games, activities, and one local and national issue: a shortage of drivers. Bus drivers, that is. We’re going behind the scenes of busing in Lincoln Public Schools. Bill McCoy is here, he’s next, so find a seat and keep your hands inside the window. #30

Fourth-graders, researching colleges, feeling empowered

There’s nothing all that unusual about students in Lincoln Public Schools announcing which college they will attend. Except when they are fourth-graders! Who put them up to this, and why? #29

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