US and Canadian Connections

Submitted by Rita Mortenson

These past few days, I had the honor to be invited to present in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I presented to Bedford South School which has 470 students and a dedicated, caring instructional staff.  For those of you who need a geography refresher, as I did, this is in the north eastern part of Canada just east of the state of Maine

This experience was truly amazing.  Leading up to my trip, I had many thoughts going through my head.  What would the teachers like to hear about?  What sort of technology are they using?  What are their students interested in?  What are the big “initiatives” in Canada that are impacting the staff, students and community?  I have not traveled a great deal out of the US, so I wanted to be sure I was prepared, ready to showcase what we are doing in Verona, Wisconsin and the United States.  I did “File Save” on my final presentation, closed my laptop to board the plane, and said “good bye” to Hometown USA and took off for Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

When I walked into the staff development room the morning of my first presentation, I met some fantastic teachers, who were equally passionate about the success of their students, share the same concerns we have, and have the same hopes and dreams for their students and the work force that they will graduate into.

It quickly became obvious to me that students, staff, and communities want the same thing for all of their children – to be prepared for the workforce that they don’t know yet exists for them.  A terribly frightening thought at times.  There are so many careers that have recently come to fruition in the last 10 years that it is certain there will be just as many and more in the future.  How do we prepare our students for this?  The answer might be simpler than we think. 


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  1. Peg Hartwig said:

    What a great sharing opportunity! I hope you will post more about this experience!

  2. Andy Schaefer said:

    Rita, it’s great to hear you had such an amazing experience! Looking forward to hearing more.

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