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I can say I have had many and varied experiences with MPLS . . .

I can say I have had many and varied experiences with MPLS.

When I came in the early 1970’s, my wife Jane student taught at MPLS and she then taught language arts for a year when a faculty member was on leave. All of our eight children attended MPLS from Pre-K to 12 in the years 1973 to 2001. As a university professor in Educational Psychology and Foundations, I have taught courses most years that relied on clinical experiences at MPLS for undergraduate teaching majors and graduate experience for school psychology students. I am deeply indebted to many MPLS teachers and administrators for the education our kids received. I am equally impressed with and appreciative of the opportunities and supervision provided to our university students. Both are important roles in the current scheme of things.

I also know the leadership role the MPLS faculty have played in developing the Iowa Core, the professional development provided to Pre-K-12 schools across the state, the numbers of National Board Certified Teachers among the faculty, and the university teaching conducted by these same faculty.

I hope that providing excellent education to K-12 students and being great models and mentors to UNI students continues to be part of the new role. I don’t know what the new role will be, but as I consider the many difficult challenges the faculty and administration of the school have faced over the years, I’m quite confident they can assume this role and do it extremely well.

That will be particularly true if the university and state can develop and nurture a common understanding of just what the role and expectations are as well as the relationship of the R&D school to UNI and to the state.

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