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Becky Gerdes

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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 the past 14 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 coach. 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.

Started at Bethel

Spring 2017

Education

  • Southwest Minnesota State University - Bachelor of Science, 1998

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 the past 14 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 coach. 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.


 

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

"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

"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

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

Quote

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