AP with WE: Impacting Lives in Uganda

Global…..Service…..Collaboration…..Growth Mindset…..Possible!

This year my AP Human Geography class is in the 2nd year of our AP with WE journey.  Last year the lessons learned about service by my freshmen at Enumclaw High School were abundant as we created a cooking class designed to help support those in our local community who are Food Insecure & Hungry.  Our WE Nourish: Serving Enumclaw & Black Diamond cooking class was a great success & has been continued this year as many of these students have continued their work in our extra-curricular AP with WE Service Club.  For this year’s freshmen, our AP with WE journey is focusing on helping provide Access to Health Care for those in our local community & globally.  Our chosen global focus this year is to help Something Deeper Ministries reach their dream of providing improved health care for the people of the Iganga District in Uganda.  Isaac & Rachel Mubezi are working to make their dream of building a hospital in the Iganga District a reality.  After researching the topic of health care, multiple collaborations both in person & on a Google Hangout with Isaac and Rachel in Uganda and multiple hours of brainstorming & planning my students are at the action phase of how our class will provide support to make this dream a reality.  Our focus is to provide awareness & education about the need, as well as to help raise the $1.5 million dollars needed to build the hospital.  We have multiple ideas in the works, including students organizing a local 5k event to help raise awareness & money, students helping to develop an online store to help sell aprons as a fundraiser, students applying for grants, students managing the Something Deeper website & social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and students working to possibly produce a documentary that would include visiting Uganda to obtain authentic footage to promote this cause.  We are far from being done on this journey, but we are definitely at a point that I truly love.  The point where my 14 & 15-year-old students in Enumclaw, Washington develop a growth mindset & begin to realize that they have the ability to collaborate with people around the world.  They are beginning to see the truly rewarding side of their education & how it can lead to service that can truly help make the world a better place for everyone.  We are so very thankful that Isaac & Rachel have trusted us to help them on this journey.

I am so proud of these students & I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us! 

If you too are interested in learning more about this endeavor and/or donating to Something Deeper Ministries please check out the links below or contact me for more information.

Website:   https://www.somethingdeeperministries.org/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SomethingDeeperMinistries/
“The Dream of Healthcare”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f65JcTnaVF8&feature=youtu.be

Screenshot 2018-02-27 at 10.06.34 PM


Google Classroom’s Impact on My Educational Journey

Innovative…..Modification…..21st Century…..Collaboration….Redefinition

As the 2016-17 school year comes to a close this week, I am finding myself reflecting on the journey and the growth that has occurred for me as an educator, as well as how my classroom environment has changed.  At Enumclaw High School we have committed to the innovative journey to put a one-to-one device in the hands of each one of our students. We will start the 2017-18 school year with ALL students having a Chromebook to aid them in their education journey.  However, the groundwork in my classroom has been set this year, as my freshmen were already equipped with these 21st Century devices. The mere presence of these devices in the modern-day classroom is a game changer in education, but the biggest impact for me was the use of Google tools for education, most specifically Google Classroom.  Google Classroom is one of many Learning Management Systems (LMS), but has made a significantly positive impact on the structure of how my classroom functions each & every day.  As an educator who is always looking to improve & push myself to be at the forefront on educational opportunities for students, I was exposed the concept of SAMR throughout this journey.  This is the idea of how we can best implement modern technology (i.e. Chromebooks) into our daily learning.  SAMR is referencing the use of technology and the journey from Substitution, to Augmentation, to Modification and the end goal of Redefinition.  In other words, while we may start with simply using this technology to substitute for a textbook, we eventually want to get to where we are redefining how our lessons are structured. There are many ways that Google Classroom helps enhance this move to Redefinition.

Image result for google classroom images

As I begin to plan a new lesson in 2017 I know view that lesson through the lens of Google Classroom.  In other words, one of the first considerations for the lesson is to ask how I can create a collaborative learning experience for ALL of my students.  One great way is to use the Question posting that is available.  The Question option provides a great opportunity to start the class with an introductory blog-type discussion or to end the class wth an exit task to check for understanding.  This could be done using traditional methods, but the opportunities to see & hear each class members thoughts are limited using traditional methods.

Additionally, Google Classroom is able to be set up to provide students with the ability to contribute learning materials (i.e. articles, videos, links, comments, etc.) to our learning stream.  This feature can be turned off, but I have found this to be a pleasant surprise, having had students add instructional videos to help their classmates learn or to simply contribute a current event that connects with our content.

Bottom line, I’m a better & more thoughtful teacher as a result of implementing Google Classroom into my physical classroom.  I feel that I have just scratched the surface of how to fully integrate Google Classroom into my daily teachings, but I am excited to continue to redefine education in my classroom.  We continue to have traditional style lessons, but the addition of Google Classroom and 1-to-1 devices has modernized the learning environment & helped require skills that are necessary for the modern workplace.  I’m excited to see where this journey will continue to take me & my students!

WE Nourish was a success!!! The story of a life-changing experience giving back to our community.


What an incredible, challenging & inspiring journey we have all been on throughout the creation, culmination & celebration of our WE Nourish: Serving Enumclaw & Black Diamond Cooking Class AP with WE service project.  All of our hard work culminated with our first class on Tuesday, April 11th in the home economics room at Enumclaw Middle School.  Our WE Nourish: Serving Enumclaw & Black Diamond Cooking Class to help those who are food insecure & hungry in our community was a HUGE success!  I am so proud of these freshmen students and what they created & accomplished.  It started with a dream & an idea that didn’t seem possible, but they persevered and created something significant and memorable. We are so excited to be able to have helped our community.  Thank you to all of you who have supported & continue to support us. We are not done!  This is just the beginning and we are excited to announce that we will be looking to offer another cooking class in June 2017 & hope to make it even better!

We are Enumclaw!  
Thank you for the support from the following people:
Mike Nelson – Enumclaw School District Superintendant  (@enumclawsupt)
Britt Nelson – Plateau Outreach Ministries
Susan Arbury – Enumclaw School District
Rossi Ensign – Enumclaw School District
Raeann Webb – Culinary Teacher @ EHS
Karl Karkainen – Leadership Teacher @ EMS
Shayn Williams – Leadership Student (7th grade) @ EMS
Tammy Rismiller – Youth Leader @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Thrivent Financial – $250 grant
Enumclaw Rotary – $250 grant
A sincere & heartfelt “Thank You” to Chef Ky Loop from Kelly’s Mercantile in Enumclaw, Washington for his compassion, guidance, leadership & service.  Without you, we would not have been able to make this happen.  THANK YOU!
APHG EHS Freshmen Students who designed, organized & ran the WE Nourish Cooking Class:
Cooking Class Organizers & Department – Emma Murphy, Lauren Laukala, Matthew Helmer, Michaela Schulz, Lauren Thomas
Food & Financial Donations Department – Maya RismillerMasyn Whealdon, Danyel Korpe, Madison Rubin, Lauren Bone
Nutrition Education & Menu Department – Will Basting, Bethany Blair, Jackson ZuydhoekCallia Englund, Zander Miller
Social Media & Promotions Department Ethan Blanco, Alina Adams, Shelby Callahan, Sidney Thomas, Ava Jenkins
If you know or see these students, please congratulate them & ask them about their experience.
WE Nourish Photo Album:


WE Nourish Social Media Links:
WE Nourish Logo
Original design by Danyel Korpe; digitized by Danyel Korpe & Rossi Ensign


Balancing Motivation & Inspiration in the 21st Century Classroom


Jeff Sargent – Helicopter Mechanic & Missionary
Google Hangout from Haiti

Educator…Motivator…Counselor…Coach…Facilitator…Leader.  All of these words describe my desired journey on a daily basis as a professional educator in the 21st Century high school classroom.  Make no mistake, words definitely matter, and these are powerful words that bring great responsibility.  Spring is an extremely busy time of year for me, as we push toward our AP Human Geography test in my APHG classroom, our AP Government & Politics (U.S.) test in my APGov classroom and the beginning of our EHS varsity baseball season, for which I am a varsity baseball coach at EHS.  Add to this our upcoming state tournament for my EHS girls golf team (yes, I coach our girls golf program as well) and my responsibilities at home and this is a challenging, yet rewarding time of year for me. Balancing responsibilities becomes the biggest challenge, as well as making sure I take care of my students & athletes with quality instruction and an understanding approach to the challenges in their life as well.  This is the most important responsibility I believe that I have as a leader.  This is also the biggest challenge I see for the 21st Century students and athletes I teach & coach.

How do we balance our personal & professional life in a healthy manner?  How do we make sure we are taking care of our responsibilities and be productive without losing our ability to enjoy the experiences in our life?  I have found myself filling the role of counselor and having this discussion with many of my current students in the past couple of weeks, as it seems to becoming increasingly difficult for them to manage their “academic responsibilities” in lieu of their “personal responsibilities.”  In my AP Human Geography class we have taken on the added challenge of completing a We Service project that we have created, called We Nourish: Serving Enumclaw & Black Diamond, addressing food insecurity & hunger in our community.  This project has been rewarding and is teaching my freshmen students many valuable lessons (many of which they are not aware of just yet), but it has also increased their workload, adding to the list of “responsibilities” that they have.  At the core of my beliefs as a professional in education is that I am not just a facilitator of learning, but I am also a motivator for the incredible young men & women I interact with on a daily basis.  This brings with it it’s own set of challenges, for many of the young men & women that I interact with have a difficult time finding motivation to take care of their academic responsibilities.  This can be frustrating at times, but there are a variety of factors that create this roadblock.  My goal is to provide them with the inspiration to develop the motivation necessary to strive to reach their full potential.  To reach the potential that I know they are capable of achieving.  This is the goal, pure and simple!  The challenge is figuring out what are the means that will be most effective to help them achieve this goal.

Is it best to be understanding & a calm accepting influence?  Is it best to provide them with information & awareness?  Is it best to inspire them regarding their future & the difference they can make in the world?  Is it best to hold them accountable in a “tough love” approach?  I believe it is a combination of all of these approaches, but bottom line, it has to be sincere and it has to be about concern for who they are and their future.  If I can make the young people I have the privilege to teach understand that their future success, happiness & impact has everything to do with developing a concern, committing to that concern, living consistently with a balance between what they say and do, live with courage in all decisions they make in life and carry themselves in the highest character, then I will feel as if I have made an impact.  I want them to understand that their daily productivity, their daily interactions with others, how they carry themselves and their service toward those around them matters.  If I can do this, then I will have made an impact that I will be proud of!

Video Links: 
The Science of Productivity
Made in collaboration with Sparring Mind, the behavioral psychology blog. Read the full productivity post: http://bit.ly/XRcYAY

The Science of Motivation
What’s the best way to stay motivated?
8 More SIMPLE Motivation Tips: https://youtu.be/MU9NiuguC2I

Body Language Matters – Geno Auriemma on body language and the type of players he recruits




AP w/WE Journey is Taking Shape – WENourish: Serving Enumclaw & Black Diamond


Digitized Logo created by Danyel Korpe (EHS Student) & Rossi Ensign (Communication & Alumni Specialist, Enumclaw School District)

The Journey Continues…

Inspiring. Encouraging. Exciting. Apprehension. Growth Mindset. Developing.
As we continue on our AP with WE Service project journey (WENourish: Serving Enumclaw & Black Diamond), these are all feelings & emotions that have consumed most days for me.  While this is a process that I believe in and want to continue for years to come, the initial planning & taking the risk to put my students in charge of planning has come with some apprehension.  Will we get the supplies (food & cookware donations) needed in time?  Will we be able to secure a chef to help teach the cooking class?  Will we be able to get the word out to the community?  Will the students be able to meet all the requirements?  Bottom line, will we be able to pull this off?  While these questions are constantly on my mind, I believe the answer to ALL of these questions is YES!!!  These young men & women are putting forth an inspiring effort. They have a wonderful heart & passion to give back to their community.  They are developing and understanding of how to be a part of an organization & how to approach this endeavor with a Growth Mindset, meaning they do not have to know what the result will be before they start to take action.  The process will be messy & will be a challenge, but it will be exciting!

The logistics of this process are beginning to come together.  We have aquired a $250 grant from Thrivent Financial.  Our Food Donations team of students applied for the grant & we will be using these funds to help run our first WENourish cooking class on April 11th @ 5:00 pm at Enumclaw Middle School.  We have been approved to run our start-up AP with WE Service Club to provide a sustainable program to help provide EHS students the opportunity to serve their community.  Our Cooking Class department is in discussions with a local restaurant called The Mint to have one of their chefs provide the teaching & instruction for the class.  They have also been coordinating with our Culinary Class instructor & students on how they can support this event.  Our Nutrition Department has been in development of creating menu items that are affordable, simple to make & nutritious.  With the help & consultation of our community leaders such as Mike Nelson, Superintendent of Enumclaw School District; Susan Arbury, Early Learning Coordinator for Enumclaw School District; Britt Nelson, Executive Director of Plateau Outreach Ministries (POM) & Tammy Rismiller, Youth Group Leader at Trinity Lutheran Church our hope is to not just provide food, but to provide skills & knowledge that will be sustainable.  The Cooking Supplies group is continuing their efforts to acquire pots, pans & utensils that can be used & given away to those in need at the cooking class.  Finally, our Promotions Department is continuing to promote our efforts through social media with the help & consultation of Jeff Utecht from EduroLearning (see pic below).  


Jeff Utecht from EduroLearning consulting with the Promotion Department for WENourish

The skills being learned & developed through this project are encouraging and numerous. They often are not clearly visible on the surface, but when I witness my freshmen students taking initiative to work with our district website designer to digitize her logo, volunteering to be the translator to convert our recipes to Spanish, to call to arrange a meeting with a local chef or to apply for a grant to help fund our idea or to learn to promote our efforts within our community it gives me hope & inspiration!  I could not be more proud of their efforts & I look forward to our push to make this class a reality with great anticipation.  Until next time…

If you are able to contribute to our efforts to help eliminate Food Insecurity & Hunger in our community by financial donation, food donation or cooking supply donation, please contact me. Thank you.

Blog:  https://weareap.wordpress.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014287877596
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/apwithwepsm1617
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/wenourish/

Beginning the AP with WE Journey


Original Draft Design by Danyel Korpe

Here we go! My first ever blog……..

Impact. Influence. Cooperation. Collaboration. Growing.  Making a difference.  All of these concepts were on my mind and in my heart when I decided to apply to run a pilot course of AP with WE for AP Human Geography for the 2016-17 school year.  Leadership & Service have been staple concepts within my classroom for the past 10 years at Enumclaw High School (I’ve been teaching for 19 years) as essential learning targets and this opportunity seemed to fit perfectly.  What better way to teach our global & important APHG curriculum than through a real-world service-oriented program.  I really didn’t know what to expect and, in some ways, still don’t know what to expect.  What I do know is that this group of outstanding freshmen students have grown as individuals and have inspired me, their teacher, with their willingness to take risks & their desire to improve the world around them.  We have set out to make a difference in our community in a sustainable fashion. Our “WeNourish: Serving Enumclaw & Black Diamond” project is attempting to address the issue of Food Insecurity & Hunger within our community by not just providing food access, but by teaching sustainable cooking skills and nutrition knowledge for adults and children.  Our classroom has been transformed into an organization with 5 departments (Cooking Class, Nutrition Education, Food Donations, Cooking Supplies Donations & Social Media/Promotion) and the students are beginning to collaborate & cooperate as they grow/learn and make a difference among themselves and in the community with the help of Plateau Outreach Ministries (POM).  We have secured a location for our inaugural cooking class coming up on April 11th at 5:00 pm, we have begun to organize the menus to be offered, begun the process of getting food & cooking supply donations and our social media group has started a blog (AP with WE), a Facebook page (AP WE – Ehs Ap with We), a Twitter handle (AP with WE – @apwithwepsm1617) and an Instagram (WENourish) to help promote awareness and information.  It still feels like an overwhelming amount of work to pull off a successful event, but the memories being created and the lessons being learned have already been numerous.  The goal at this point is to host a quality event that will help influence and impact our community in a positive way and will allow us all to celebrate at WeDay Seattle in April! Now it starts to take shape!  Here we go!