Friday, September 16, 2016

Terese Jurgensen - Director of Student Services - September 16, 2016

Max Garcia – Holocaust Survivor
Cresco Theater 

Tuesday, September 27th from 6:00-8:00

Max Garcia, holocaust survivor, will be telling his story on Tuesday, September 27th live at the Cresco Theater from 6:00-8:00pm. Terese Jurgensen, Director of Student Services at Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools, met Mr. Garcia while attending The Global Social Thinking Conference this summer in San Francisco.  Ms. Jurgensen reports, “Over the past 2 summers, I have been honored to attend the Social Thinking Conference which focuses on our initiatives at Howard-Winneshiek to bring Social Emotional strategies and programming to Crestwood Schools. Max Garcia is the father of Michelle Garcia-Winner, the author/creator of Social Thinking.” (For more information on Social Thinking please go to

Max Garcia’s story is told in his book, “Auschwitz, Auschwitz… I Cannot Forget You - As Long as I Remain Alive.” In his book, Mr. Garcia relates his first day at Auschwitz, “I was directed to a table where a number was tattooed on my left forearm: 139829” (page 80). During the Social Thinking Conference this summer, Mr. Garcia showed Ms. Jurgensen his tattooed arm and, while he related his story, Ms. Jurgensen states, “She knew she had to get Mr. Garcia to tell his story to the Howard-Winneshiek students and to the local communities of Cresco, not only because of his amazing history at Auschwitz, but because of his passion.” 

“The bottom line,” Ms. Jurgensen relates, “is the fact that I have been to Auschwitz, read countless books, watched documentaries and have taught books on the Holocaust to high school students over the years. However, my jaw dropped and I was in totally amazement when Max Garcia was relating just parts of his story.” Max’s reply to Mrs. Jurgensen’s surprise was, “I thought you knew something about Auschwitz! Read my book! I hold nothing back!”

When returning to Cresco this summer after meeting Max and reading his book, Ms. Jurgensen reached out to the Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools Foundation and, through their generosity, a grant was secured to bring Mr. Garcia to the students grades 6-12 of Crestwood and to the community and surrounding areas of Cresco. The foundation was thrilled to bring Max Garcia to Cresco as a means of “bringing a field trip to the school, instead of the other way around!” Scott Thomson, president of the foundation, stated, “One of the foundation’s goals is to enrich the cultural lives of our students, and we feel very fortunate to be able to bring Max Garcia here personally in order to hear first-hand the story of personal triumph for survival and for freedom at this critical time in history.”                     
                   Please Watch a 10 Minute Clip of Max Garcia from YouTube - It is Wonderful

The doors of the Cresco Theater will open up at 5:30 on Tuesday, September 27th for Cresco and surrounding communities to hear Max’s life-changing story. Max Garcia will be available and copies of his book, “Auschwitz, Auschwitz… I Cannot Forget You - As Long as I Remain Alive,” will be on sale for $20. If you would like to purchase a book prior to the event at the Cresco Theater, you may purchase a book at the Cresco Chamber of Commerce or at CUSB Bank in Cresco. Following Max Garcia’s presentation, the movie “Life is Beautiful Life,” another story about the Holocaust, will be shown for the public’s viewing pleasure.


Howard-Winneshiek CSD - School Board Meeting 9/12/16

School Board Approves District Plans

Over the past 3 months, the Howard-Winneshiek CSD, School Board comprised of Duane Bodermann, Karlos McClure, Toni Johnson, Casey Vobr, and Todd Hill, have approved several updated plans that include a wide variety of student services. The first approval was our updated Special Education Service Delivery Plan that outlines how we will close the educational achievement gap for our students with learning and social-emotional gaps. As the special education director, words cannot express how unbelievably blessed I am to be a part of an amazing special education staff which includes all grades from PK-Seniors in high school. One item many community members may not be aware of is the fact that I also supervise approximately 20 students and their services received from and in the  Decorah Community School District and in a behavioral program named Crossroads Academy. 

Todd Knobloch presenting to HWCSD school board
on the revised GAT plan - September 12th
The second plan approved was outlined in my weekly update last week and that is the district's Lau Plan that affects all of our students who are English Language Learners. Alicia Martin, is our district's .25 English Language Learner Teacher (she is also a secondary special education teacher specializing in social thinking). I would like to give her a SHOUT OUT here as she has worked diligently to correct our district's services with knowledge, grace, and care for our English Learners. 

Finally, the most recent plan updated was approved on Monday night, September 12th, is the district's Gifted and Talented program. Todd Knobloch is the district teacher for grades K-12 which includes teaching high school classes. Mr. Knobloch presented the updated GAT program and plan, which approved by the school board. 

Thank you, school board members, for serving our school and surrounding communities of the Howard-Winneshiek CSD!

The Crestwood Cadets girls volleyball teams have been having a great season! Pictured here are the 8th grade girls team led by coach, Gena McCaffrey!  

Go Cadets!

This is a happy picture of Katie Mahr's 4th grade classroom! I was fortunate to visit this week and could not resist taking a picture of them!  Thank you, Mrs. Mahr for all you do!

I took this picture last week of remaining summer flowers!

Have a great week! If you would like to purchase a book from Max Garcia ($20) or need to contact me ~ please do! 


(563) 929-6344

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