• A Vision for Grand Island & Becoming Mayor for a Day w/ Saybel Raez Almaguer, Walnut Middle School

    4 GIU 2024 · There is power in student voices. What’s more, a handful of our GIPS 6th Grade Scholars found their voices showcased on our community’s biggest stage. Why? Because they leaned into their creativity and were bold enough to share their vision for our community. Earlier this Spring, The Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Grand Island approached us at GIPS asking if we’d be interested in participating in a new student-focused endeavor they hoped could become an annual event.  They called it the, “Grand Island 6th Grade Mayor for a Day Essay Contest”. City 6th Graders could submit, at no cost, a 400-word essay answering two questions: - What do I love most about Grand Island? - What changes would you make by the year 2030? Truly a fun exercise designed to amplify area student voices. As a result, Grand Island Public Schools is pleased to share that out of a field of nearly 90 submissions, GIPS students claimed three of the top eight essay placements with an additional one an honorable mention. And most notably, one of our own 6th Graders, Saybel Raez Almaguer from Walnut Middle School, was the grand, overall winner. His prize? He gets to be “Mayor for a Day” later this month alongside Grand Island Mayor, Roger Steele. But what’s even more impressive was Saybel’s essay itself, his selfless approach to casting a vision for his home community, and how he seeks to support all people in feeling welcome and supported. In this episode, Saybel shares his story and reads his full award-winning essay.  Because our students, if we let them, will help show us the way. -- GUEST:  Saybel Raez Almaguer, Walnut Middle School HOST: Mitchell Roush, GIPS Communications Director -- Twitter: @GIPublicSchools FB: facebook.com/GrandIslandPublicSchools https://www.gips.org/ 
    12 min. 33 sec.
  • Holocaust Education & Writing On 'Moral Courage' w/ Owen Williams, GISH Junior

    21 MAG 2024 · We write about tragic history so we don't repeat it. Owen Williams, a Junior student and football player at Grand Island Senior High, joins the GIPS Cast to reflect on why writing about the holocaust was an important assignment in Mrs. Butters' class.  Additionally, he shares how Irena Sendler, a social worker in the Polish Underground Resistance rescued 2,500 Jewish children from Warsaw, became the focus of his essay on 'Moral Courage'.  Williams also shares how the writing process changed him for the better. The Institute of Holocaust Education awarded Owen with the top honor in their annual essay contest on 'Moral Courage'.  Out of a field of nearly 400 student essays from across Nebraska, Owen's essay helped him become GIPS' first-ever winner.  Because no matter how small it may be, we remember that doing the right thing is still the right thing. -- GUEST:  Owen Williams, GISH Junior HOST: Mitchell Roush, GIPS Communications Director -- Twitter: @GIPublicSchools FB: facebook.com/GrandIslandPublicSchools https://www.gips.org/ 
    22 min.
  • 3rd Grade Authors & Zoo Projects w/ Breanna Salinas, Alison Zitterkopf, & Tonia Schmall, Starr Elementary

    8 MAG 2024 · Animals, science, early childhood literacy, and writing a book! For the Starr Elementary 3rd Grade Teaching team, curriculum is just the starting point.  Breanna Salinas, Alison Zitterkopf, and Tonia Schmall join The GIPS Cast to share how they brought their collective creativity to the Animal Science unit for their students this year.  Along the way they share how CKLA curriculum connects to science; how students researched and studied an animal during the unit; the story behind bringing all Starr 3rd Graders to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo; and how they self-published a book full of student reports and illustrations. We even hear from a few 3rd Grade scholars too! Because it's about bringing learning to life for every student. -- GUESTS:  Breanna Salinas, 3rd Grade Teacher - Starr Elementary Alison Zitterkopf, 3rd Grade Teacher - Starr Elementary Tonia Schmall, 3rd Grade Teacher - Starr Elementary HOST: Mitchell Roush, GIPS Communications Director -- Twitter: @GIPublicSchools FB: facebook.com/GrandIslandPublicSchools https://www.gips.org/ 
    20 min. 36 sec.
  • Reflecting on a Career in Education w/ Mrs. Cindy Wells

    25 APR 2024 · How do you capture a four decade career in a conversation? Mrs. Cindy Wells, Grand Island Senior High Activities Director, joins the GIPS Cast to reflect on the countless students and staff she's supported through 43 years in public education.  Set to retire at the end of this school year, Wells shares her favorite memories, the "day-in-the-life" of an Activities Director, and how it all comes back to connecting with kids.  Through it all, she finds herself filled with gratitude.  Because every day in the classroom is a practice test for our students. -- GUEST:  Cindy Wells, GISH Activities Director HOST: Mitchell Roush, GIPS Communications Director -- Twitter: @GIPublicSchools FB: facebook.com/GrandIslandPublicSchools https://www.gips.org/ 
    28 min. 6 sec.
  • GISH Going "Cell Phone Free" w/ Jeff Gilbertson, Megan Stone, Adi Beltran, & Nate Helzer

    27 MAR 2024 · Cell Phones. We’re addicted to them.  Well, at least most of us are. You’re probably already familiar with the conversation of cell phones at school.  That certainly has been a topic under the microscope this year at GIPS and at Grand Island Senior High. Earlier this school year – at the midway point, in fact – Grand Island Senior High made the intentional move of going “cell phone free” in the classrooms, hallways, and lunchrooms of Senior High. So, three months deep into being "cell phone free" at GISH, we wanted to check-in to see how the new protocols are going, how students are responding, and see if we can notice a difference in social connection and engaged learning in the classroom. Throughout this episode you will hear insight from Mr. Jeff Gilbertson, GISH Executive Principal, as he shares the genesis behind the drastic change.  Mrs. Megan Stone, GISH English & Capston Teacher, also shares what the classroom experience is looking like from a teaching perspective.  Adi Beltran, GISH Senior, provides perspective on the benefits and challenges students are facing.  And Mr. Nate Helzer, GISH Academy Principal, weighs-in on being driven by student success and finding common ground with everyone in the school. Because anything worth doing requires shared vision and a committment to doing the best we can for each other. -- GUESTS:  Jeff Gilbertson, GISH Executive Principal Megan Stone, GISH English & Capstone Teacher Adi Beltran, GISH Senior & Student Leader Nate Helzer, GISH Academy of Business & Communication Principal HOST: Mitchell Roush, GIPS Communications Dir. -- Twitter: @GIPublicSchools FB: facebook.com/GrandIslandPublicSchools https://www.gips.org/
    51 min. 37 sec.
  • Becoming a State Champion & Inspiring the Next Generation w/ Anyia Roberts & Coach Evans

    19 MAR 2024 · Girls Wrestling is more than a sport — it's a community. Carving her name into the history books, Anyia Roberts became Grand Island Senior High's first ever Girlst Wrestling State Champion this year.  She joins "The GIPS Cast" to share how she found her passion on the wrestling mat and why inspiring the next generation of girl wrestlers matters. Head Coach Jeff Evans joins the conversation as well to highlight how the GISH Girls Wrestling program has become a Nebraska powerhouse in just three years.  He also shares how the girls are finding themselves and each other in the wrestling room.  Because trusting the process is all about giving students opportunities they otherwise may not have had. -- GUESTS:  Anyia Roberts, GISH Junior Coach Jeff Evans, GISH Girls Wrestling HOST: Mitchell Roush, GIPS Communications Dir. -- Twitter: @GIPublicSchools FB: facebook.com/GrandIslandPublicSchools https://www.gips.org/
    27 min. 44 sec.
  • Arranging Jazz Music w/ Kevin Parra Vazquez, GISH Senior

    5 MAR 2024 · Sharing yourself through music can be a powerful thing. Kevin Parra Vazquez is a Senior at GISH and an accomplished musician. He joins the "The GIPS Cast" to share how music changed his life in school. In addition to playing saxophone in a number of brand groups at Senior High, he's recently begun arranging and reinventing old jazz music. His piece, "Stardust", was recently performed at the annual GISH Jazz Fest earlier this month. Hear Kevin's story and "Stardust" here! Because music is all about discovery. -- GUEST: Kevin Parra Vazquez, GISH Senior HOST: Mitchell Roush, GIPS Communications Dir. -- Twitter: @GIPublicSchools FB: facebook.com/GrandIslandPublicSchools https://www.gips.org/
    26 min. 42 sec.
  • Mental Health & Wellness Matters w/ Dr. Summer Stephens & Rebecca Duran Meyer

    20 FEB 2024 · CONTENT WARNING: Please note this episode contains discussion about depression, suicide, and seeking support for those struggles. -- Wellness matters. Dr. Summer Stephens, GIPS Associate Supt., and Rebecca Duran Meyer, Elementary School Social Worker, join The GIPS Cast hoping to break the stigma surrounding mental health and wellness. Whether it's breaking down barriers of access to support, or simply stepping-up to be a trusted adult in someone's life we all can benefit from a deeper, more empathetic understanding of mental wellness. Along the way, they discuss how GIPS seeks to support students, staff, and families with what they need. Summer & Rebecca also share about the new family wellness resources GIPS has begun offering to district families for free through generous partnerships. Because everyone deserves to be supported. Information may be found at www.GIPS.org/familywellness If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, suicide ideation, or the like, please reach out to a trusted adult you have in your life for support. We also encourage folks to use the free 988 suicide and crisis lifeline. -- GUESTS: Dr. Summer Stephens, GIPS Associate Superintendent Rebecca Duran Meyer, Knickrehm Elementary Social Worker HOST: Mitchell Roush, GIPS Communications Dir. -- Twitter: @GIPublicSchools FB: facebook.com/GrandIslandPublicSchools https://www.gips.org/
    48 min. 30 sec.
  • "GIPS is Moving Forward" - State of the City Message w/ Mr. Fisher

    13 FEB 2024 · "What is the best way to help our students grow and how can we best ensure student success?" Matt Fisher, GIPS Superintendent, was invited to speak at the annual State of the City event held on February 9th, 2024. He shared insights into the growing academic performance across our schools, a budget reduction snapshot, and updates on the newly relaunched Academies of Grand Island Senior High. We're pleased to share Mr. Fisher's full message here. -- GUEST: Matt Fisher, GIPS Superintendent HOST: Mitchell Roush, GIPS Communications Dir. -- Twitter: @GIPublicSchools FB: facebook.com/GrandIslandPublicSchools https://www.gips.org/
    15 min. 15 sec.
  • CPI, Construction, & Building Grand Island w/ Angel Velasco

    18 GEN 2024 · Success is defined by finding your passion and pursuing it. Angel Velasco (GISH Class of 2015), joins the "The GIPS Cast" to share how Career Technical Education changed his life. Along the way, he speaks about the importance of finding construction opportunities in high school, how two teachers saw his potential, and how cool it is seeing the community enjoy his work in downtown Grand Island. Because there's a lot to be proud of when you build things with your own two hands. -- GUEST: Angel Velasco, AV Contracting HOST: Mitchell Roush, GIPS Communications Dir. -- Twitter: @GIPublicSchools FB: facebook.com/GrandIslandPublicSchools https://www.gips.org/
    23 min. 16 sec.

The official podcast of Grand Island Public Schools in Nebraska. The GIPS Cast is a conversation-based podcast exploring the world of public education thru the voices of one of Nebraska’s...

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The official podcast of Grand Island Public Schools in Nebraska.

The GIPS Cast is a conversation-based podcast exploring the world of public education thru the voices of one of Nebraska’s largest, most diverse school districts.

#WeAreGIPS
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