This summer, over 300 area educators from 31 districts attended courses offered at the 11th annual STAR Academy (July 28 through Aug. 5) coordinated by the Cooperative Educational Service Agency #11.

The academy was hosted by the River Falls School District at the high school and featured keynote speaker Mike Schmoker, who provided an afternoon seminar regarding data and results-oriented strategies with district individuals and teams to use in improving student engagement and achievement.

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Another presenter and published author, Cris Tovani, facilitated a session on adolescent literacy and improving student achievement.

Other sessions included Promethean and Smart Board Boot Camps, advanced Smart Board training, working with autism disorders, training in the CHARACTER COUNTS! ethics model, developing differentiated instruction for all students, designing plans for effective intervention strategies - Response to Intervention (RTI), and interactive technologies for participating districts in the Enhancing Education Through Technology grant.

River Falls School District educators who attended this summer's STAR Academy include: In front, from left to right: Deb Freeman, Marcia Pharis, Robin Kelley, Kim Eggimann and Shannon DeSmith; second row: Lisa Kleinschmidt, Molly Coughlin, Bonnie Lynn, Cindy Tiedke and Barb Anderson; third row: Sue Covill, Jean Westpetal, Kris Swanson, Cindy Kornmann, Candice Skow, Joan Nelson, Kim Serene and Patti Kuenzie; and in back: Ian Sticht, Kit Bruesewitz, Darrell Anderson, Kevin Dorn, Chuck Eaton, Nancy Lindquist and Lynne Altenburg.