Carol Tobey to help guide leadership transition efforts
The Seven Peaks School Board of Directors is proud to announce that Carol Tobey has returned as a board member. Tobey, who made her first public appearance at Back to School Night last week, is a long-time advocate for children and independent education in Central Oregon.
“It was 22 years ago that I first became involved in planning for the creation of an independent, secular school focused on core education, including foreign language, art and music, parent involvement, and small classroom sizes,” said Tobey. “I developed a partnership and lasting friendship with my neighbor Debi Corso, who was the brain child of the school. Together, with a handful of other dedicated parents, we raised the funds to start the school that came to be called Seven Peaks.”
Working together as entrepreneurs with a shared vision, Tobey and Corso began sending out information to the Bend community to introduce the idea of an independent school.
“We needed cash for things like postage, stationary, ink cartridges, and venue room rental for town meetings. Debi was insistent that we do our homework before diving in. Once we formed the school, I took on the fundraising board position,” explained Tobey.
Tobey’s return to Seven Peaks comes alongside an executive search for a new principal and the appointment of new school board members. The board is working with a renewed focus on strategic initiatives and purpose, positioning Seven Peaks for long-term success.
“We are excited to have Carol on the board and know she will help guide Seven Peaks through this important season of transition,” said Seven Peaks School Board Co-chair Geoffrey Chackel.
Board Co-Chair Dietrich von Behren added that SPS founder Debi Corso will also serve as a special advisor to the board.
“We believe it’s a great time to revisit Seven Peaks’ original mission and vision as we carefully expand the leadership team and the school board with a focus on the future,” said von Behren.
A long time, well-respected resident of Bend, Tobey’s previous experience includes a year of start-up advisory and 10 years of board leadership and involvement.
“I am impressed with our newly restructured board and am honored to be a part of it. Together, we are united in our commitment to academic excellence and building a strong community at Seven Peaks,” said Tobey. “I truly love this school and only have the best of memories during the time my children were here and when I worked and served on the board. I look forward to meeting and getting to know our families, staff and teachers.”
Kelly has had the privilege of calling Bend home for the past 20 years. She has served in our community in both the non-profit and education sectors. Kelly graduated from the OSU Cascades Campus in 2008, with a Masters in Counseling specializing in elementary and middle grade counseling. Kelly is a licensed school counselor with a strong background in providing counseling supports for diverse populations.
The foundation of her work rests on the belief that all children have the right to learn and grow in a safe and supportive environment, and as educators, we have the obligation to provide students with opportunities to acquire the academic, personal and social skills necessary to achieve quality learning and life-long success.
Kelly is honored to join the Seven Peaks team and relishes the unique opportunity to build good relationships with students and families in our small learning community. As an outdoor enthusiast, Kelly enjoys spending her free time floating down rivers, hiking, reading, and travel and adventuring with her husband and 8-year-old twins.
Mrs. Boyd is one of our several veteran staff members. She began working at Seven Peaks School in September 2009 as a classroom Instructional Aide before she became our 4th Grade Teacher in September 2012.
Mrs. Boyd has a MA in Elementary Education and a BA in Psychology form Allegheny College. She believes a teacher’s role is to coach, guide, model, and promote student growth and learning. Her motto, “encourage every student, every day, to reach his or her highest potential”.
As all of our staff members, Mrs. Boyd is very dedicated. She is often the first onsite in the morning and sometimes spends her weekends preparing lessons. She loves SPS for its small class sizes, parent involvement and her “awesome” co-workers and thoughtful students. She is enjoying her new position this year as our 5th/6th grade humanities/science teacher.
“I leave work each day with a heart that is full, because I get to spend my day laughing, learning, and creating memories with my students. The community that is found within the classroom is my favorite part of being a teacher. It’s my passion to create a safe, loving environment where the students focus on individual growth and take ownership in their learning. When I sit down to plan and create lessons, it brings a smile to my face to envision the laughter and engagement that my student will have while learning. I have spent the last few years teaching 5th grade, and before that, I taught Kindergarten and 1st grade. I love aspects of both ends of the primary grades, and have developed curriculum and resources for grades K-6. I am so excited to be joining Seven Peaks School, and look forward to getting to know each one of my students and their passions, talents, and needs, as well as, collaborating with the parents and staff to see each child grow to their full potential.”
— Kayla Collins, 1st grade teacher, Seven Peaks School.
Thoughts on design thinking: Jeannie Wenndorf, Seven Peaks School
First of all, I want to extend a huge thank you to our SPS families for your investment in our new Design Lab, and for sending a team of teachers to the Design Thinking Institute in SF for professional development.
Before the training, I thought our new Design Lab would be a place for our students to tinker, and see themselves as creators, and not just users of products. I thought it was about giving our students access to fancy tools to increase their comfort with technology, and allow us to do more elaborate STEM projects, preparing them for 21st century careers. If I’m honest, I saw it as “one more thing” to fit into the curriculum, and wondered what I would give up in order to give students more time in the Design Lab.
Wow, was I small-minded in my thinking! I am beginning to understand that Design Thinking is not an “add-on” to our curriculum, but a lens through which to view all our learning opportunities, in every subject. Using Design Thinking, students investigate a problem, generate multiple ideas for solutions, create a prototype to test their idea, and get feedback to improve on their prototype. They might repeat (iterate) this cycle of prototyping and feedback multiple times before arriving at a satisfying solution.
This process sounds suspiciously like good problem-solving skills, which can be applied to most any problem, whether it be making sense of a new math concept, resolving a conflict on the playground, or designing a cardboard boat that will successfully carry three fifth graders across the pool at the Athletic Club. Design Thinking is used all the time in the real world, as businesses identify problems that their users are experiencing, and work toward creative solutions.
I am full of questions and ideas about how to implement Design Thinking in 5th and 6th grade math… How can I refine our approach to daily math lessons to better align with Design Thinking? What authentic design challenges can students tackle that require them to apply mathematical concepts in engaging ways?
Equally compelling, I am wondering how we might use Design Thinking to build community at SPS. What if we challenged our students to use Design Thinking to come up with ways to make break times more fun, or minimize playground drama? Ways to help new students and families feel welcome? Opportunities for friendships to develop outside of school hours? Developing meaningful connections between elementary students and middle school students?
I have caught the vision for how Design Thinking might energize, unify, and transform our Seven Peaks culture. As we embrace Design Thinking, I truly believe that we will create a generation of kids that know how to approach problems with curiosity, take ownership for finding solutions, and have the resilience to persist when things don’t go as planned. Bring it on!
Thoughts on design thinking: Kayla Collins, SPS Lower School Teacher
I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to go to the Nueva Design Thinking Institute. I have spent the last three years creating and implementing Project Based curriculum and was excited to see how Design Thinking fit into this style of learning.
Within Project Based learning my students always had a driving question as the focus of everything they did. It was a problem that the students would solve using their subject base knowledge as the foundation. For example, one driving question I had for my students was: Design a robot to take back in time for Benjamin Franklin. What problem will it solve?
Within this driving question, I was able to integrate all the subjects in a purposeful way where the students saw the relevance of what they were learning. Everything pointed back to that driving question. The students did research papers on Benjamin Franklin. We studied problems within the colonies day-to-day life. We read books about this time period, and compared and contrasted what we read to the present day. We learned computer programming and robotics, and used what we were learning to solve math problems. By the time we had completed several weeks of building our knowledge in these areas, the students were able to find a problem to solve, build and program a robot that could solve that problem, and then present their robot to the community.
This summer I was very intrigued to see how Design Thinking fit into this process. After my week at the Design Thinking Institute, I discovered that my students were already jumping into Design Thinking without the name, except for one important piece: It should be about the user and not the product. Empathy is the foundation of Design Thinking. The focus is on the user and their needs. Often with Design Thinking, the product is a gift. Students are creating for the better good of someone else, not just to create a product to present. I am excited to pull this important piece into my lessons, and see my students grow in empathy and being problem solvers within their community.
Our world is forever changing around us with the rapid advances in technology, which means that the workplace that our students face someday will look different than it does even right now. To prepare our students, we must give them critical thinking skills and confidence to be problem solvers and designers in any situation.
Kids Inc. will provide after school care this coming school year
“A grandparent’s love is strong and deep filled with memories to cherish and keep!”
It doesn’t get any better than a beautiful day, grandparents and student artwork! Many attended our annual Art Show and Grandparents’ Day and were treated to visual feast and edible one too! Grandparents were specially invited by their grandchildren to attend attend. We thank our Art Teachers, Ms. Royes and Mrs. Santucci for, once again, for providing such a wonderful show.