Local teachers keep busy during the summer

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With school out for the summer, many teachers can take a momentary break, but most teachers keep plenty busy over the summer months. Some teach summer school, some take professional development classes, and some pursue other employment.

Pia Payne, an eighth grade teacher from the Afro-centric Academy School in Minneapolis, plans to spend her summer teaching at Stadium View School. She will teach juvenile correction students and then take professional development workshops through Advancement Via Individual Determination (A.V.I.D.), a pre-college program—as well as finding time to spend with her family.

Paul Schmitz, a teacher from Johnson High School in St. Paul, will spend time working at school and preparing for the following school year. This year, he is a proud parent of a high school graduate. Besides preparing for the open house for his daughter, he and his family will take a trip to Yellowstone in mid-June and follow that storied Minnesota tradition of spending time at the lake in late July. In past years, Schmitz ran a temporary parking lot in his yard for people attending the nearby State Fair; this year his daughters will take over that project to raise money for their college tuition.


In past years, Johnson High School teacher Paul Schmitz ran a temporary parking lot in his yard for people attending the nearby State Fair; this year his daughters will take over that project to raise money for their college tuition.


Nancy Williams, a fifth grade teacher at Waite Park Elementary School, will take a class through will take a class through the Thinking Math Institute. She and other teachers are training for a new math series at Waite Park, and the workshop is mandatory for teachers teaching kindergarten to fifth grade. Though Williams is a veteran teacher, she still enjoys learning new approaches. She will also be teaching summer school this year to keep up with household bills.

Steve Holm, a fourth grade teacher at Waite Park, will chaperone 23 youth from his church—St. Gerard’s—on a youth mission trip to the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, where they will help paint homes for a week. They will also stop at Yellowstone and the Black Hills. Before the summer ends, Holms will take three college classes from Learner’s Edge, a company owned and operated by teachers.

Now that the month of July has come, many teachers prepare to welcome students back into the classroom for summer school. Summer school begins and ends during the month of July for Minneapolis teachers. Nancy Williams says, “Although I would like to have my summers off, teaching summer school helps pay my bills.”

Josiah Jackson is a parent advocate, motivational speaker, and author of God Called Her Josiah, An Autobiography. To learn more about Josiah, visit josiahltd.net.