Stapp Inspires Educator Spotlight – A Teacher Without a Classroom

It’s that time of the month where we get to introduce everyone to our Stapp Inspires Spotlight Educator. If this is your first time stopping by, welcome! Each month we highlight a different educator in the St. Vrain Valley School district who is an inspiration to those around them. If you keeping coming back to see who we highlight next, thanks for joining us each month on this incredible journey. Often our journey takes us into the classroom where we meet teachers who make us wish we could be a part of their class. Other times we are taken on a different path and wind up in some unexpected places. This month we headed down a different path, and what a time we had!

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This month we are excited to introduce you to Ben Kalb. Ben is an Instructional Technologist who supports the Frederick Feeder system. This 2017 Apple Distinguished Educator Award winner (seriously you should check out his application video) started his career in Northern Illinois teaching AP Government and U.S. History. After surviving several years in the Illinois winter, the call back home to Colorado was to strong to ignore. He spent a year in the Poudre Valley School District before joining SVVD four years ago.

 

The first question, obviously, was what is an Instructional Technologist? Quite simply Ben teaches teachers. He teaches them how to use and incorporate technology in the classroom. For example, next week a middle school science teacher is having Ben come into their classroom to teach a lesson. During this time Ben will be instructing students how to use different Apple apps to demonstrate their knowledge of the different prehistoric eras they are studying. Ben also leads training once a month for teachers as well. For Ben every day is different. Another way to look at Ben is local tech support. Another part of Ben’s role is to produce a podcast called Vrain Waves. Ben and Co-Host Becky Peters (Program Manager at the Innovation Center) work to bring some of the most influential minds in education today and make that content available to teachers in the district and beyond. This helps create a common experience for everyone in the district.

 

I asked him about his journey to become an Instructional Technologist. This position is emerging in most districts. Ben started talking about his first year of teaching high school, which he admits was a bit of a failure. At Christmas break he wasn’t sure if he would have a job the next year. Before break his principal gave him a book to read that would radically change his outlook on teaching. The book is entitled The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner. This helped Ben see the need to refocus his teaching methods, to look at his content through a 21st century lens. This set him on a path to write a grant to the state of Illinois for classroom iPads. He was awarded this grant and started the change in his teaching. He was drawn to the idea of a student using technology to show what they had learned. From there the draw to help teachers and impact more students helped him into seeking out the Instructional Technologist roles.

 

In speaking with Ben it’s clear to see why he has been so successful in his role and why teachers are so eager to learn from him. He has a care and concern for the teachers and principals that he works with. He wants them to be successful and enjoys helping to expand their skill set. By helping teachers he has a wider impact on students in the district. For Ben, the most rewarding thing to hear from a teacher is how they took what they were taught and had success. Ben has a confident humbleness, evident of the journey he has been on. From possibly losing a teaching job, to being named an Apple Distinguished Educator, Ben has the ability to empathize and encourage teachers across the board. I got the feeling if a teacher was struggling with implementing a practice in the classroom, Ben would be walking beside that teacher providing support and encouragement along the way.

 

Ben, thank you for meeting with us. We wish you the best! And if you want to check out Vrain Waves follow them on Twitter @VrainWaves.

 

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Stapp Inspires Educator Highlight-A Reflection

We started out on this journey June 2017 to highlight the teachers, staff, administrators in the St. Vrain Valley Schools who inspire those around them. We had an idea of the type of people that we were going to meet and learn about. But each and every time we have left the interview completely blown away.

My name is Erin Wuestenberg, I’m the Digital Marketing Manager at Stapp Interstate Toyota. I have been the on the other side of the screen sharing the stories of the district this past year. I wanted to give a little insight on how our interviews are done. I have a few questions that I ask each person I’m highlighting such as, how long they have been with the district, educational background, etc. I don’t research anyone before I meet them, and I love the adventure of finding out why they were chosen to be highlighted. 

By taking this approach I have been fortunate to hear some beautiful stories. Without a planned list of “questions to ask”, I have been able to notice little things in the environment. Perhaps it was a 5k sticker, a picture from a parade, a student drawing or a college t-shirt, that opened the door to those moments where I was left encouraged and inspired. I hope I have been able convey to you, how incredible these people are. And how fortunate we are to have them apart of SVVS.

To everyone I had the opportunity to meet and interview this year, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me, and allowing me to share your story to the world. In your own unique way you are making a life long impact on each student with in the district.  A special thanks to SVVS Communications Director Matt Wiggins for making initial contact with our Educator Highlights and help in the editing process. Thank you Dr. Don Haddad for identifying the individuals who are truly inspiring in every sense of the word.

Starting later this month we will begin our 2018-2019 Stapp Inspires Educator Highlight Series. We hope you will keep checking back as we travel around the district learning about the exceptional people with in SVVS. We also created a page with our past highlights as well.  Thanks for taking this journey with us, we are excited to see who we meet next! 

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Prospect Sound Bites 2017

Summer is just around the corner. School is winding down and the weather is starting to heat up. That can mean one thing, that Prospect Sound Bites is just around the corner!

What is Prospect Sound Bites? Is a summer long concert series that starts on Memorial Day (today!) and wraps on Labor Day. This is our 3rd season to partner with Prospect Sound Bites  and we are looking forward to another great season!

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Ok, details in case you haven’t visited. The concerts happen every Monday evening in the Prospect New Town neighborhood in Longmont. The concerts start at 5:30pm and go until 8:00pm. Each week a different local band plays. Prospect Sound Bites does a wonderful job of pulling bands in from different genres.

So we covered the Sound, now about the Bites. Feel free to bring your own picnic dinner with you, don’t forget your chairs or blankets to sit on! Or better yet visit one of the many food trucks that line the park. The food options are endless. We are talking, Mexican Street Food, Wood Fired Pizza and BBQ just to name a few. Make sure you save some room for dessert. Yep, you read that right a couple food trucks serving nothing but sweet treats have been known to pull up as well.

So check out this summer’s line up of great bands and we hope to see you at Prospect Sound Bites this summer!

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Transition from Scion

By now you have heard that Toyota has started the transition away from Scion.  We wanted to touch base with everyone to let you know of the changes that are happening.

First, if you currently own a Scion and still have Scion boost in effect, there has been no changes. The program is still in effect and no changes have been made. If you are needing service for your Scion, come visit us. Our technicians are factory trained to work on your Scion and parts are still available. For more information on the changes check out Scion Service Boost Information

Perhaps you were wanting to purchase or lease a Scion and think you missed your opportunity. No worries, 3 of the most popular Scion models still live on as Toyotas. The Scion iA, iM, and FR-S live on in the Toyota line as Yaris iACorolla iM, and Toyota 86. We had a little fun with one of our new 86’s and  put it through our  Stapp I25 Custom shop. Take a look!

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We had fun with Scion and met some great people along the way. We hope that you will keep us in mind the next time you are looking for service for your Scion. If you need to schedule a service appointment click here.

What a Year!

It’s hard to believe that we are getting ready to close out 2016 and ring in 2017. Before this year slips away we wanted to take a look back at what a year we had.

This year started off with some big news from Toyota. In February, Toyota announced that Scion would cease to exist come August. With every ending comes a new beginning and Stapp I25 Custom was born.

We turned the Scion showroom into our Stapp I25 Custom showroom. This effort was headed up by Executive Sales Manager Keegan Gleaton. The vehicles he has dreamed up as well as our customers is nothing short of amazing.

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A few of the vehicle we have customized

 

As much as things have changed, they have stayed the same. Once again this year we were proud supporters of the St. Vrain Valley School District. One of our biggest sponsorships was the new scoreboard put in at Everly-Montgomery Field, home field to Longmont High, Skyline, Silver Creek and Niwot High. scoreboard

 

We are proud of the community we live and are a part of. Giving back has always been a priority for Stapp Interstate Toyota. From Paws in the Park with the Longmont Humane Society, to Women’s Work and The Empty Bowls Project, we are proud to support these organizations that help make our community a great place to live.

We also want to thank all of our customers. We can’t express our appreciation enough. Thank you for trusting us with your vehicle in service or to make your next car purchase. We will continue to strive to meet and beat our customer’s expectations each and every time you visit us. We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and hope to see you back soon!

 

 

The Empty Bowl Project

At Stapp Interstate Toyota we like to highlight and share information about other organizations that working to make this community an even better place to live. For the 2nd year in a Stapp Interstate Toyota is proud to partner with Carbon Valley’s Help Center.

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The Carbon Valley Help Center, is an outgrowth of the Carbon Valley Network, a group which has met for five years with the mission to share information and enhance collaboration between human service groups, faith-based organizations, the school district, municipalities, Weld County and non-profits serving the Carbon Valley.  At the Carbon Valley Network the need was identified to develop a center to begin to meet the immediate basic needs of Carbon Valley residents in crisis.

The help center has trained volunteers that meet with clients to come up with that plan of obtaining self-sufficiency. They will work with their clients to properly identify their needs, as well as skills, strengths and weakness. At these meetings, advice and informational referrals are presented to the client to help them regain confidence and start taking steps to their brighter future. If needed The Help Center also offers temporary emergency food assistance as well.

 

The biggest fundraiser for The Carbon Valley Help Center is the Empty Bowls Project. This event is held to help raise awareness of hunger and homelessness in the Carbon Valley and surrounding areas. All proceeds provide emergency food and assistance to those in needs.

The Empty Bowls Story

 Twenty-five years ago, a Michigan high school art teacher and his students were searching for a way to raise funds to support a food drive. What evolved was a class project to create ceramic bowls for a fundraising meal. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, and invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world.

By the following year, the concept developed into Empty Bowls, a project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens and other organizations that fight hunger. Events have been held throughout the world, and millions of dollars have been raised to combat hunger.

The Carbon Valley Help Center’s Empty Bowls Project began in 2014 as a way to raise funds to help those in need throughout the community.

 

Tickets are still available for this great event. For a $15 donation attendees are able to select a unique hand painted bowl. You will also receive a disposable bowl to enjoy a meal of soup, bread and dessert. This is truly a community event as the food you will be enjoying is donated by area restaurants and caterers.

If you are interested in attending the event it will be Saturday, November 19th 11:00am-2:00pm at Frederick High School. If you want to purchase tickets please call the Carbon Valley Help Center at (303) 833-6626. We hope to see you there!

 

What to pack when off roading

Hi! It’s Erin again. Last week we took our I25 Custom 4Runner off-roading again. We went on Greer Rd. You can get their off of Buckhorn Road. It was beautiful fall day and it looked like we missed peak color by about a week or so. Some was left, but most of the trees had dropped their leaves already. It was still beautiful, sunny and in the 60’s. Just one of those perfect fall days to get outside and enjoy Colorado. Added bonus, a few small patches of snow were in the shady areas. Our girls were thrilled to get back down to tell their friends they had seen snow.

This time I wanted to focus on what we pack when we go off roading. Keep in mind these are just suggestions, and what might work for us, might not work with your family and where you like to go. You might need additional gear depending on your trip. Always plan ahead! Always check weight limits for all your gear and make sure you get the proper gear for your vehicle. You don’t want your equipment to fail because you thought that “this should work”.  Before you go make sure that your gear is properly stored and secured.

So first things first. It might sound odd, but wear good supportive shoes. I had hiking boots on, Jeff had steel toed work boots and the girls had their running shoes. This is for a couple reasons. One, if you are the driver you don’t want your footwear sliding around. If you are the passenger, you might need to get out to ground guide and you want your feet protected. You never know when you might find a cool trail head you want to go explore. If your vehicle should become disabled, you may have to walk to find help. Many of the places we go have no cell service. In the summer we will throw water shoes/sandals in case we find a creek and the girls want to splash around. We also have a couple pair of work gloves in the 4Runner to protect our hands as well.

Right up there is food and water. We hope nothing ever happens while we are out on the trail, but it’s better to have stuff than not have it. We always have a case of water and two boxes of granola in the back. We back additional food such as cheese, crackers, summer sausage, veggies, and fruit. We also bring our water bottles and an extra jug or two.

The next thing we take is a high jack lift. This is a good idea if you have lifted your vehicle. We have a 3″ lift on our 4Runner. The standard jack that comes with your vehicle may not be able to lift your vehicle because it is sitting higher than stock. On that note we also purchased the same sized spare tire as what is on the vehicle. If you put over sized tires on your vehicle this is something that you might want to consider. If you would ever need to use the spare, it would not match. This could lead to damage to the transfer case and other components of the vehicle.

 

If you should have to change a tire out on the trail, having a wheel chock could be helpful. A wheel chock is a sturdy piece of material that will help prevent accidental movement when the vehicle is jacked up. We have a piece of wood cut at an angle, but you can purchase one as well. dscn2702

Recovery Equipment

This next group of equipment is in case you roll or need to get yourself or a buddy out unstuck and going again. We have a tow rope, D-Ring Receiver Hitch, Quick Link and Tow Hook. Again, make sure you have checked the weight limits for all your equipment to make sure it can handle your vehicle. Please further research how to use this equipment before you head out on the trail.  Know your personal limits to your skill set and the vehicles too. We want everyone to have fun and stay safe out there.

We also have an axe and shovel with us too. Just handy to have because you never know when you might have to dig yourself out. Look for something that is light and compact. dscn2708

We keep everything in an under the bed storage container. This keeps everything in one place and not bouncing around. We also secure everything with a cargo net. We also keep a couple blankets in the 4Runner at all times too.

Ok, this next piece of equipment is a little personal, but is super handy. When you are out on the trail, indoor plumbing just does not exist. So in the woods it is! This is our little portable “toilet”. Its a ziploc bag. In it is a roll of toilet paper, baby wipes, hand sanitizer and another ziploc bag for used toilet paper. We practice a pack in and pack out. We have two small girls and this has eased some anxiety of having to go outdoors. Just remember to stay at least 200 feet from any water source. dscn2717

The last thing we pack is a couple guide trail books. Make sure you know where you are going! Stay on the trail, don’t trespass on private property. Most of the trails have a contact to check trail conditions. Double check before you head out. This time of year, some trails may be closed for the season or closed because weather conditions have made the trail impassible. So there you have it! An over view of we take out on the trail!

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Let’s Go Places!