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Middle School News


  Santa Claus made a surprise visit Tuesday to Elm Grove Middle School, but he wasn't wearing a red suit and 'he' was a 'she.'

  Principal Terrie Johnson went from room to room bearing gifts, much to her teachers' excitement.

  "I get to play Santa Claus today and make a lot of teachers and students happy and impact learning as well," Johnson said happily as she cradled a box of CPS clickers that work in conjunction with Mobi-View slates.

  After raising $11,500 from Fall cookie dough sales, Johnson had her teachers write their 'wish list' in the form of classroom grants, explaining their technology needs and how it would benefit student learning. Thirteen teachers and faculty members applied. Not wanting to turn anyone down, Johnson said they held a jeans day and school dance to raise additional funds to grant each wish. Altogether $13,000 was spent on technology ranging from iPads and Mini iPads to Promethean Boards and CPS clicker sets.

  Math teacher John Kendrick exclaimed, "Oh yeah, this is Santa!" when Johnson presented him with his gift, a set of clickers.

  "This allows our students to click their responses to questions immediately and project them on the board, so it's an instant assessment of what they know," Kendrick explained. 

  Teachers Amanda Braswell and Carolyn Edgar were equally excited to receive their clickers, as was Christy Hopkins, who said she was going to start figuring them out immediately after school and have them in use by week's end.

  "Isn't this fun?" Johnson asked as she went to retrieve the next gift of technology. 

  No, she may not have been wearing a red fur-lined suit, but she got the same reaction as Santa. For teachers on the receiving end at Elm Grove Middle School, it was like finding a bike under the tree Christmas morning. Maybe even better.