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Education briefs for Nov. 16

November 15, 2011
Marshall Independent

Conference for Young Writers

The 20th annual Conference for Young Writers will be Jan. 5, 2012, at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. The conference is for students in grades 3-8 and will begin at 8 a.m. with registration and end at 1:50 p.m.

This conference celebrates writing and features a keynote presentation and three hands on sessions that introduce students to authors, illustrators and other types of communicators. Rebecca Fjelland Davis, author of picture books and young adult novels, is the keynote speaker. Through interaction with the presenters, students will discover their creative abilities and how to express their thoughts. Seventeen presenters will give classes on various kinds of writing: poetry, illustrating, journaling, fantasy or science fiction. In addition, students will create characters, give their creativity a jump start, break writer's block, write between the lines, bring an adventure to life, learn about graphic novels, explore the fast changing world of writing sports stories, try an interactive theatrical experience, and more.

Students must be registered and accompanied by an adult to attend the conference. The early bird registration deadline is Nov. 22 with the final registration deadline on Nov. 29. Register early for a better chance that your child gets the classes they're most interested in. The conference brochure and registration form are available on SW/WC Service Cooperative's website: Questions, contact Andrea Anderson at or 507-537-2257.

Moller named S.D. teacher of the year

Pat Moller, a Mitchell (S.D.) Middle School math teacher who earned a master's degree from Southwest Minnesota State University, has been named the 2012 South Dakota Teacher of the Year.

Moller earned a master's in education degree from SMSU in 2009. He received his undergraduate degree from Dakota State University, Madison, S.D.

He was one of six regional finalists from South Dakota and was announced as the winner at a state conference in Spearfish in October.

SMSU offers master's degree programs both on campus, and off. Moller enrolled in a two-year cohort master's program in Mitchell.

"I knew eventually I was going to get my master's, and the opportunity came up with the SMSU program being offered in Mitchell," Moller said. "Others in the district did it, too."

For winning the honor, Moller will receive the use of a Ford Fusion for a year, and $14,000 worth of technology for his classroom. He is also eligible for the national Teacher of the Year award.



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