Thursday, September 24, 2009

Teach For America...not this year

Dear Admissions and Staffing Offices,

Third time's the charm? Not with Teach for America.

In the past six months I have applied to three different positions within Teach for America, one a public relations job, the other a marketing job, and finally now a teaching position. I believed in the mission of Teach for America so much that I just had to be a part of this amazing organization.

My final hope was to apply for the teaching route. I had wanted to all along, but I had to wait for the application to come out for the 2010 year. I was so excited to be able to finally apply for the main corps, because I was hoping that someday I could take my own adventure of a two year commitment to teach. So I did ALL that was asked of me I jumped through the hoops, crossed all the "T's," answered all the questions openly and honestly, studied the mission of Teach for America, and anything else to give it my best shot. Then today, "Thanks, but not Thanks"

I find it hard to believe that I didn't rise to the top, and make it to the next round. I garuantee that if you would have taken the chance to interview me you would have seen how my personallity would have been perfect for teaching, how my experience acutally teaching qualified me, and you would have heard the innovative ideas I have that would have revolutionized engaging students in the classroom. In my spare time I actually think of better ways to teach people. In my spare time I watch people and take note of how they learn. In my spare time I make lesson plans that are highly interactive, fun, and educational. If I do all that in my spare time, imagine what I could have done for Teach for Amercia. Imagine what I could have done for those students.

I want to thank you for your time. I hope you had a chance to read this email. Feel free to contact me if you want.


Dallin Koecher
Public Relations Specialist

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

USU Grant Will Look at School Trust Lands

Utah State University has received a $750,000 grant for research on the best practices for managing school trust lands in Utah and around the country.

The Landgrant Education And Research Network (LEARN) project is designed to conduct research on the use of school trust lands granted to public institutions throughout the country by Congress. The project is spearheaded by the Center for the School of the Future in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.

The study hopes to find ideas and insights on the use of school trust lands, and Rich West, executive director of the Center for the School of the Future, is optimistic about the outcome.

“We hope to learn more about the best practices for managing school and institutional trust lands,” West said. “We expect to find innovative and effective practices in many states that still have trust lands.”

In addition to the research, the grant money will be used to begin the process of educating institutions and schools on their trust holdings of land and funds.

The LEARN project has the potential to provide major improvements in the management of school trust lands throughout the nation. With a greater knowledge on the effective use of the granted land, schools will have more money to improve education and upgrade schools.
School trust lands were given to public schools as a way for them to supplement their costs through the sale, lease or use of the land.

“The funds will be used to conduct the research and analysis of data pertaining to the management of school and institutional trust lands,” West said.

Congress granted more than 140 million acres of school trust lands to public schools and millions more to universities across the nation. According to the School LAND Trust program Web site, Utah still has 3.3 million acres of school trust land. Each year these lands provide millions of dollars for Utah public schools.

According to West and the National Education Association, Utah and Utah State University are acknowledged leaders in effectively using school trust lands to generate added revenue for Utah schools. In the 2007-2008 school year, this program generated $25.3 million for school improvement projects.

Through misuse and poor management of the trust land, many states have all but lost most of this valuable resource. West and the center are eager to start the research and create a network of information on properly using the land before more it is lost.

“LEARN will research how the remaining school and university lands and funds are being administered and provide information and support pertaining to new and emerging promising practices,” said West.

Related links:
Center for the School of the Future
Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Writer: Dallin Koecher, 435-797-1350, dallin.koecher@usu.eduContact: Rich West, 435-797-1994,
Orginally published in the Utah State Today Online magazine.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Koechers for the Cure

Logan, UT - On Saturday September 12, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation held their annual "Walk to Cure Diabetes." This year's walk brought out many participants from all over the county and probably even farther. Whether it was the free food, the sunshine or the chance to show off team t-shirts that enticed participants out didn't matter because everyone was at least united in the cause to cure diabetes.

When we could be doing almost anything on a beautiful Saturday morning Amber and I decided we would do something that was more about helping others then about ourselves. The decision to joint the walk came when we both heard an add on the radio announcing the event. We both felt that we needed to start giving back to our community and take an active role in participating in local events.

Hundreds of people were in attendance for the walk. As the announcer went through the morning entertainment it became clear that most of the people there were seasoned 5k cure walkers. As for Amber and I it was our first walk...ever.

In the Greater Utah Chapter of JDRF there are five walks scheduled in the fall that extend from Orem to Boise, Idaho. We participated in the Cache County Willow park walk. The 5k started at the beautiful Willow Park in Logan and meandered it's way around the local neighborhood and on to the Logan River walk way. A person couldn't ask for a more inspiring place to take a walk for a good cause.

One of the most touching things for us as first timers to the world of diabetes fundraising was to hear the stories of young children who just found out they had the disease, and knowing forever more their lives will be changed.

Amber was diagnosed with type I diabetes just before her sweet 16 birthday. At the time it was very scary for her and her family as they faced a new challenge that none of them could have ever prepared for. Now eight years later with practice and education diabetes has become a part of her life that, with a little effort, she controls so it doesn't control her. It can be safely said that her ability to manage the disease through use of her pump and tester and other actions she takes has been greatly affected by research which was made possible by fundraisers like this.

According to their website JDRF was founded in 1970 and since then has provided our $1.3 billion for research for the disease. Now Amber and I join the fight to cure this disease so that one day others won't have to deal with the hundreds of pin pricks, changing sites, low and high blood sugar, and the constant vigilance it takes to manage the disease.