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Becky Gerdes

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Greetings, I am Becky Gerdes. My educational experience includes serving as an elementary classroom teacher, special education instructional coach and elementary principal. I have been in the educational field for 20 years. I have been taking courses in the Doctoral Program in Leadership: K-12 Administration/Higher Education Administration at Bethel University and hope to be completed with my doctoral degree by Spring 2019. My husband, Scott, graduated from Bethel University in 1992 and currently works as a Finance Director in Rochester, MN. We are the proud parents of three children: twin boys (Matthew and Nathan) and a daughter, Grace. During our spare time, we like to attend community and athletic events. This will be my second course in my doctoral work.

Started at Bethel

Spring 2017

Education

  • Southwest Minnesota State University - Bachelor of Science, 1998
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato - Master of Science, 2000
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato - Specialist, 2002
  • Bethel University - Doctoral, 2019

Biography

Greetings, I am Becky Gerdes.

I started my educational journey by earning my Bachelor of Science Degree at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN in elementary education with a minor in Social Welfare. That background in social welfare has provided me with an opportunity over the years to build connections in the communities to provide parents with resources (social services, food stamps, counseling, dental health).

My teaching experience includes teaching fourth grade, sixth grade, and serving as a gifted and talented teacher. While teaching, I was actively involved in leadership opportunities. I furthered my education by completing my Master and Specialist Degree in Educational Administration from Minnesota State University, Mankato with K-12 principal licensure. Since then my administrative experiences include serving as an elementary principal for 15 years in urban and rural school districts. Along with the duty of serving as a principal, I have also served as a K-12 Curriculum Director, Staff Development Coordinator, Gifted and Talented Coordinator and Title Program Director.

My efforts as a principal focused on regularly reviewing student data and implementing best practices with staff focused on a culturally and linguistic perspective, developing strong parent and community partnerships, and focusing on the social emotional needs of the students. My primary focus in all of the schools I have served in has been on taking them from GOOD to GREAT. Making growth as an organization can be empowering for the entire organization.

In addition, I have recently completed by Director of Special Education license in the state of Minnesota. This experience has included coordinating a special education paraprofessional staff development program, developing a least restrictive continuum model for preschools programs and Early Childhood Special Education programs, implementing a co-teaching model with special education and ELL teachers and preparing for a comprehensive monitoring visit from the Minnesota Department of Education. I am currently working in the Austin School District as a special education instructional/behaviora coach and Work Skills Coordinator. This is a new position in the district. My work has focused on supporting instruction in a Setting IV special education program and in aligning two districts (Austin and Albert Lea) to merge their Setting IV programs.

I have been a member and leader within the Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association and have presented at state conferences and written numerous articles for MESPA publication.

I also serve as an adjunct faculty member at Minnesota State University, Mankato and have taught courses at Concordia University in St. Paul teaching courses in the differentiated instruction master's program.

My husband and I have three kids (twin boys who are seven years old and a daugher who is 3 years old). We are very involved in the community and with our kid's athletic events and activities.

 

Courses Taught

 

Adjunct Faculty/Course Developer and Design - Bethel University

College of Special Education                                Arden Hills, MN                                                2017-present

  • "Consultation, Collaboration and Resources (SPED 475)"

Adjunct Faculty - Minnesota State University, Mankato

College of Allied Health and Nursing                     Mankato, MN                                                    1999-2004, 2005-present

  • "Courage, Caring and Team Building (NURS 101)"-3 sessions

College of Education, Curriculum and Instruction Department                                                        1999-2004

  • Early Clinical Experience Elementary School (C&I 200)
  • Supervised MSU,M College of Education Majors

Adjunct Faculty - Concordia University               St. Paul, MN                                                       2005-present 

Masters of Arts in Education Program: Differentiated Instruction Emphasis

  • "Family Systems for Educators (ED 515)" 
  • "Education of the Exceptional Learner (SPED 580)" 
  • "Effective Practices in Differentiated Instruction (ED 594)" 
  • "Collaborative Teaching in Inclusive Settings (SPED 583)" 
  • "Conducting Research and Completing the Capstone (ED 590)" 

Administrative Intern Site Supervisor - Winona State University                    Winona, MN           2005-present

  • Supervise principal internships at Bamber Valley Elementary School

 

 

Awards

It is because of the great educators that I have worked with that my school and I as the building principal have received the following awards:

-Moved from Focus School to Continuous Improvement School--2014

-Selected as a site for MN School Breakfast Challenge Kick Off--2013

-Recognized by Duluth School Board for organizing Set Your Student Up for Sucess event--2013

-Celebration School Recognition--2013

-Reward School Recognition (highest performing 15 percent of Title I schools in the State)--2012

-Feinsten's Good Deeds School Recognition--2011

-Environmental Awareness Award--2010

-Emerging Minnesota Schools of Character Award--2010

-Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation (MAEF) School Spotlight Award--2007

-Air Force Recruiting Certificate of Appreciation--2006

-Mark Dayton Award for Excellence in Education--2006

-Dakota Riverlands School-to-Work Leadership Award--2002

-Southwest State University Student Assoication Distinguished Leadership Award--1998

Publications

Reimer, T., & Gerdes, B. (2018, June 6). Reforming dysfunctional teams [Blog post].  Retrieved from https://mespamn.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/reforming-dysfunctional-teams/

 

"Eating to Win: Promoting a Culture of Health and Wellness" MESPA Principal Advocate, Vol.XLI, No. 3, Spring 2012, p. 21.

"Bamber Valley Elementary Loves to Read: Growing Readers in Kindergarten" MESPA Principal Advocate, Vol. XL, No.3, May 2011, p.23.

"Mentoring Raises the Standards for All Teachers" MESPA Principal Advocate, Vol. XLV, No.1, Fall-Winter 2003, pp.26-28.

"Preparation and Supervision of Paraprofsesionals in South Central Minnesota" MESPA Principal Advocate, Vol.XLIV, No.2, Spring 2002, pp.8-11.

Presentations

"Transforming Culture as a Relational and Collaborative Leader"

"Response to Intervention School-Wide Framework"

"Eating to Win: Developing Special School Events with Short Term Pizzaz and Long Term Health Benefits for Students"

"Developing Extended Day Kindergarten Programs to Meet the Needs of At-Risk ELL and Non-ELL Students"

"Implementing Supplemental Standard Treatment Protocol Intervention for Math: Lessons Learned, Growth Achieved"

"Building an RTI Infrastructure"

"Response to Intervention Implementation: Where do we begin?"

"AIMSweb Overview"

"A Preview of the Principalship"

Certificates and Licenses

 

Superintendent

Minnesota Principal:K-12

Director of Special Education

Minnesota Teaching Licenses: Middle School (6-8) Social Studies and Language Arts, Elementary (K-6)

Minnesota Coaching License

Professional Organizations, Committees, and Boards

Awana Leader for Church Program

Southwest Minnesota State University Alumni Assoication Board of Directors

Small Group Leader

Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association

Hobbies and Interests

Spending time with my family and friends

Swimming

Playing piano

Areas of expertise

Transformational Leadership Response to Intervention Instructional Coaching

Research interests

My areas of interest for research include the use of instructional coaching models, professional learning communities and data-driven dialogue to ensure student achievement.

Teaching specialty

My areas of teaching specialty include: leading with a Transformtional Leadership mindset, building a Response to Intervention framework, implementing Instructional Coaching, and organizing professional learning communities.

Quote

"A leader is not defined by the things he's done but the people he's inspired." Dyisha R. Taylor