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Friday, September 28, 2018

Burgum, Baesler Announce Mapleton Elementary's Kayla Delzer as Teacher of the Year for 2019

Burgum, Baesler Announce Mapleton Elementary's Kayla Delzer as Teacher of the Year for 2019

This article was originally posted on the official webpage of the Office of Governor Burgum, found here.

MAPLETON, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum and State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler today announced Kayla Delzer, a third-grade teacher at Mapleton Elementary School, as the 2019 North Dakota Teacher of the Year.
Delzer was selected from a group of four finalists for the award, which Burgum and Baesler presented today at Mapleton Elementary during a ceremony attended by Delzer’s students, fellow teachers, administrators, staff and other well-wishers.
Delzer has 10 years of teaching experience in second and third grade and has taught at Mapleton Elementary since 2016. She is a technology champion, speaker, author and CEO whose blog,, is approaching 2 million views. Her TEDx talk, “Reimagining Classrooms: Students as Leaders and Teachers as Learners,” has surpassed 208,000 views.
“Ms. Delzer does a tremendous job of embracing technology and using innovative methods to empower and challenge her students, instilling in them a love of lifelong learning and preparing them to succeed in a 21st century economy,” said Burgum, who assigned Delzer to an advisory committee to the governor’s Innovative Education Task Force. “We are deeply grateful to Ms. Delzer, our other finalists and all of our state’s educators for their strong commitment to helping students reach their fullest potential.”
Delzer’s work with classroom redesign and flexible seating has gained national attention and is becoming a standard, and she was selected as a recipient of the Global Hundred Award, designating her as one of the top 100 innovative educators worldwide. She co-authored the best-selling book “Education Write Now” and is writing a book about classroom learning spaces and flexible seating, titled “FlexEd.” The New York Times called her “one of the tech-savviest teachers in the United States.”
“This event celebrates the thousands of great teachers we have in North Dakota. I am honored to be here with the governor to present Ms. Delzer with her award. She will be an exemplary representative of North Dakota teaching excellence as she travels to our nation’s capital with other state teachers of the year,” Baesler said.
In her application, Delzer said she believes relationships between students and passionate teachers are the foundation of successful classrooms, and that teaching is a team sport in which educators must continually share ideas to help each other improve.
“It’s hard to put into words how grateful I am for this award. It means everything to me. I am so honored and excited to lead the change and the charge of innovative teachers across the state,” Delzer said during the ceremony, thanking her fellow educators, administrators, staff, parents and students. “You (students) are the biggest reason that I’m here accepting this award. You have made me a better teacher but more importantly a better person. You inspire me, you teach me and you humble me.”
Baesler has worked to make the Teacher of the Year process more open and inclusive, and to bring public attention to North Dakota’s outstanding teachers. The Department of Public Instruction sought Teacher of the Year candidates from all of North Dakota’s 53 counties and 178 school districts.
The Teacher of the Year was chosen by a selection committee that reviewed their applications and interviewed the finalists. It was made up of Bob Marthaller, assistant superintendent for the Department of Public Instruction; Patty Barrette, director of teaching and learning for North Dakota United; Leah Juelke, an English Language teacher at Fargo South High School and the 2018 North Dakota Teacher of the Year; Tracy Friesen, assistant principal at St. Mary’s Central High School in Bismarck; Russ Ziegler, assistant director of the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders; Mark Wagner, assistant state director for the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education; and Alexis Baxley, director of the North Dakota School Boards Association. The organizations and stakeholders represented on the selection committee are specified in North Dakota law (NDCC 15.1-02-21).
Teacher of the Year applications were evaluated and scored, and a group of finalists were picked, Baesler said. Applicants were asked about their personal backgrounds, to provide examples of their teaching styles, and describe how they engaged students of all backgrounds and abilities in their classrooms. They were asked how they collaborated with others, influenced their school’s culture, and connected their students with the broader community.
Baesler said the applicants were also asked to highlight what they considered to be a major issue in public education, and how they planned to communicate that message to the public if they were chosen Teacher of the Year.
“I am tremendously happy and impressed with the quality of teachers that we have in our state,” Baesler said. “Our children, and all of us, are honored and blessed by their passion, their creativity, their humility, and their willingness to push their students to fulfill their potential.”
The initial group of Teacher of the Year applications were divided into eight geographic regions. The selection panel reviewed the top applications from each region and selected the four finalists, whom the panel members interviewed in person in Bismarck on Sept. 7.
The finalists were Delzer; Leslye Thiery, a fifth-grade teacher at Discovery Elementary School in Grand Forks; Annette Hovey, music director at New Rockford-Sheyenne High School; and Sara Medalen, a Title 1 reading and math interventionist at Sunnyside Elementary School in Minot. Medalen teaches students who need extra help in reading and math.
After completing the interviews on Sept. 7, the selection committee on Sept. 14 chose Delzer as Teacher of the Year.
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Kayla Delzer

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Every Kid is Someone's Kid

Every Kid is Someone's Kid

Summer is ending, and August can be stressful for parents, teachers, and administrators alike. Teachers: as we gear up for another school year and spend countless hours preparing our classrooms, studying curriculum, and creating lesson plans, I find myself coming back to this true focus over and over. 

Every kid deserves a fresh start and a blank slate. Every kid should receive an extra dose of grace and patience without hesitation and without fail during this transition into a new grade level with a new teacher. Believe in every single child just a little more.

I am so grateful for the parents who will hand over their most prized possession to me day after day this school year. They will trust me to love their child just like they do, and teach them all they need to know this year. They deserve open, honest, and frequent communication about their extraordinary child. 

Every kid is someone’s kid. 

What an awesome and humbling responsibility. Thank you.
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Kayla Delzer

Friday, May 11, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018

PBS Announces Educators Selected For Inaugural Digital Innovator All-Star Program

PBS Announces Educators Selected For Inaugural Digital Innovator All-Star Program

Program recognizes 30 teachers nominated by their local PBS stations as leaders in their education communities

Arlington, VA, March 14, 2018 – Today, PBS announced the educators selected for the first PBS Digital Innovator All-Star Program. Nominated by their local PBS stations, 30 educators were chosen from across the country, representing 28 states and Puerto Rico. Each of the Digital Innovator All-Stars was selected from a cohort of extraordinary educators who are doing innovative work in their schools and districts, and were previously recognized as part of the PBS Digital Innovator Program, which began in 2013.
The PBS Digital Innovator All-Star program expands on this influential work, deepening these educators’ roles as leaders in integrating technology and digital media into the classroom —supporting students’ learning through increasingly important media literacy skills.
“PBS is committed to recognizing and celebrating educators for the immeasurable work they do in their communities,” said Sara Schapiro, Vice President of Education, PBS. “We have been continually impressed with our PBS Digital Innovators and were truly in awe of the nominations we received for this All-Star program — so much so that we expanded the number of awardees. We’re excited to see the new and inventive ways these educators will support students’ learning through this program.”
PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars will spend the 2018-2019 school year deepening engagement among students, families, educators, schools and their local PBS stations. As an exclusive part of the program, they will have access to virtual and in-person events, including the PBS Digital Innovator All-Star Summit, to connect and learn with their peers and station representatives from across the country.
The PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including passion for their role as an educator, outcomes from their time as PBS Digital Innovators, connections to their communities and service to under-resourced families.
Below is a list of the 2018 PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars and their local PBS stations; their profiles and photographs can be found here.
  • Leah Aiwohi, Lihue, HI (PBS Hawaii)
  • Kristin Appiah-Word, Chicago, IL (WTTW)
  • Steve Auslander, Indianapolis, IN (WFYI)
  • Elisabeth Bostwick, Horseheads, NY (WSKG)
  • Laura Bradley, Petaluma, CA (KQED)
  • Sebastian Byers, Monroe, NC (WTVI)
  • Vinny Chiaramonte, Hoover, AL (Alabama Public Television)
  • Sharon Clark, Brownsville, TN (WLJT)
  • Kayla Delzer, Mapleton, ND (Prairie Public)
  • Michelle Garmon, Rio Rancho, NM (New Mexico PBS)
  • Heather Gauck, Grand Rapids, MI (WGVU)
  • Leigh Herman, Atlanta, GA (GPB)
  • Shawn Patrick Higgins, Portland, OR (SOPTV)
  • Julie Hildebrand, Austin, TX (KLRU)
  • Joquetta Johnson, Randallstown, MD (MPT)
  • Ashley Judd, Tyner, KY (KET)
  • Mike Lang, Las Vegas, NV (Vegas PBS)
  • Glenda Lozada, Naranjito, PR (WMTJ)
  • Chantell Mason, St. Louis, MO (Nine Network)
  • Aaron Maurer, Bettendorf, IA (Iowa Public Television)
  • Mallory Mbalia, Raleigh, NC (UNC-TV)
  • Jared Morgan, Sand Springs, OK (OETA)
  • David Olson, Madison, WI (Wisconsin PTV)
  • Regina Schaffer, Farmingdale, NY (WNET/WLIW)
  • Paige Somoza, Boise, ID (Idaho Public Television)
  • Shelly Stanton, Billings, MT (Montana PBS)
  • Roberta Starling, Land O Lakes, FL, (WEDU)
  • Debra Turchetti-Ramm, Johnston, RI (Rhode Island PBS)
  • Kara Wilkins, Lowell, MA (WGBH)
  • Larissa Wright, Anchorage, AK (Alaska Public Media)
About PBS
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
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Kayla Delzer

Friday, January 19, 2018

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Learning with a Forensic Scientist

Learning with a Forensic Scientist

Last week our school had a very special visitor from Bend, Oregon teach us all about her job as a forensic scientist. Tori Dickerson, my sister, shared about fingerprint analysis, DNA, and real life application of science and math in her job. The kids tried on real lab coats and goggles, and received hands-on experience with discovering their own fingerprints on paper using special magnetic powder and brushes. It was rewarding to hear how many students across all grade levels left excited about her job and the possibility of becoming scientists later in life. Her visit reaffirmed my beliefs about the importance of teaching kids directly from experts with 21st century jobs, and providing hands-on experiences so students can learn by actually doing. More pictures from her visit can be found on our school Facebook page.

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Kayla Delzer

Thursday, October 26, 2017

[name=Kayla Delzer] [img=] [description=Award-Winning 3rd Grade Teacher. International Keynote Speaker. Classroom Designer. Flexible Seating Guru. TEDx Speaker. Columnist. Technology Champion. Digital Citizenship Expert.]

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