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Curriculum and Instruction department sees several hiring changes

Jena Clarson April 29, 2019 – Last November, Jena Carlson (pictured) was hired as the director of curriculum and instruction, following the departure of Nan Yurecko, executive director of teaching and learning. Click here to learn more about Carlson’s role. Since November, Carlson has made changes to the curriculum and instruction team and revisioned goals for the department. Carlson said the department’s goals are to:

  • Improve classroom instruction to support student achievement
  • Provide continuous teacher development that’s responsive to student and teacher needs
  • Develop productive and professional learning communities that serve to further teacher development and impact student achievement

Ellen Morehouse, currently the library and media specialist for Brooklyn Center Middle and High School STEAM, was hired as the curriculum and instruction coordinator, which was Carlson’s previous position.

“Ellen brings a strong passion for serving our students and staff members,” Carlson said. “I’m excited for her to help improve the educational experience for all Brooklyn Center students.”

Morehouse will work directly with teachers and schools to develop, improve and evaluate curriculum that aligns with equity goals around student achievement. Morehouse’s other duties are to facilitate professional learning; collect and monitor data as it relates to curriculum and student achievement; support teachers in their development in the understanding of standards and learning progression in content areas; review curriculum programs on an ongoing basis; and provide oversight of Indian Education programming.

“I hope that I can support Brooklyn Center Community Schools in getting and developing the right resources to create meaningful learning experiences for our students,” Morehouse said.

Morehouse graduated from Carleton College in 2010. She was hired as an educational assistant at BCS in 2010 while she was pursuing a master’s degree in library science. She was then hired as the librarian at BCS a year later.

“I love that BC is a diverse, small, community school district,” Morehouse said. “I love to learn, from books, people and experiences, and I get to do that all day working in education.”

Morehouse is currently transitioning into her new role. Applicants are currently being reviewed for the library and media specialist position.

Another current BCCS employee was hired for a position on the curriculum and instruction team. Dr. Alexandra Holter, currently a middle school Project Lead the Way teacher, was hired as the STEAM coordinator at Earle Brown Elementary STEAM. Holter’s primary duties are to lead and shepherd the transition toward full implementation of a STEAM magnet school; support STEAM writing in curriculum and creating units; develop a STEAM library for students and families; and work with teachers to write and implement STEAM units of study that align with math, science, arts and ELA state standards.

Holter will begin her new position in fall 2019. Mike Reed will continue to serve as the STEAM coordinator at BCS, which is a similar position to Holter’s role at EBE.

The STEAM coordinators will also oversee the federal Magnet School Assistance grant the district received in fall 2018. Click here to learn more about the MSA grant. Information about implementation for year two of the grant, which will start in July 2019, will be shared at a later date.

“This is an exciting time for BC as we continue to become a STEAM district,” Carlson said. “The new positions in the curriculum and instruction department will help us achieve the work of our strategic plan so all students are equipped with the knowledge, life skills, and global perspectives to contribute to society and respond to the needs of an ever-changing world.”