My name is Diron Buglio and I am the Social Worker for Southwest Elementary and Geneseo Middle School. I would like to take a moment to welcome you all to a new school year, and also introduce myself!
I was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Libertyville, a beautiful suburb just north of the City. In 2008, I moved to Davenport, Iowa, transferring to Saint Ambrose University to play baseball for the Fighting Bees and complete my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Peace & Justice.
After graduation in 2010, I enrolled in the Saint Ambrose Master of Social Work program and graduated with my MSW in 2012. During my studies, I completed an internship at Arrowhead Ranch in Coal Valley, IL, and an internship in Geneseo at the High School, Middle School, and Elementary Schools. Both where enriching experiences that I will always value, as they provided me true insight into the world of social work. Being a new professional in this district, it has been great to have some prior knowledge of the area, people and buildings!
I am currently pursuing a second masters to further my education related to schools and school services. There is no doubt it will enable me to be a more knowledgable and effective social worker for years to come. Athletics (as well as academics) have proven to be an important factor relating to success in my life, and I feel there are many valuable lessons that can be learned when one is part of a team. My goal is to positively impact kids not only in the schools, but on the field as well– so I will be coaching Junior Varsity Baseball and 8th Grade Football this year. In my free time I enjoy playing guitar, piano, running, boxing, watching movies and trying to find the perfect dish at local restaurants! I am a big fan of the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks!
I am excited to be a part of this community and look forward to working with the great people of Geneseo for many years! There are dedicated people doing wonderful things for this district and I am proud to be a member of this team! If you would like to contact me, please email me at email@example.com
Millikin Elementary School is starting a school wide initiative based on the books Have You Filled a Bucket Today? These books were written to teach children how to be a bucket filler. Children learn that everyone has an invisible that they carry around with them. A bucket filler is someone who practices kindness and cares about others. When you are kind to someone not only do you fill their bucket but your bucket gets filled as well. When are buckets are full, we feel great. When our buckets are empty, it contains few, if any, positive thoughts.
Bucket Filling Activities: Actions or words that show someone you love someone. Saying or doing something kind. Giving someone a heartfelt smile. Helping without being asked. Giving sincere compliments. Showing respect to others. There are hundreds of wonderful ways to fill buckets. The language of bucket filling has become synonymous with being kind and thoughtful. Your bucket will be filled when, at the close of each day, you reflect on the ways in which you have filled buckets.
Bucket Dipping: Making fun of someone. Saying or doing unkind things. Refusing to help someone. Failing to show respect or being intentionally disrespectful. This is a partial list of ways in which it’s possible to dip into another’s bucket. Another is bullying, the behavior that has become the essence of bucket dipping.
Millikin has lots of special activities planned to go with their new bucket filling adventure. Be sure to ask your child about this new program.
Social skills, extracurricular activities in high school pay off later in life.
Christy Lleras, a professor of human and community development, says that “soft skills” are better predictors of earnings and higher educational achievement later in life than having good grades and high standardized test scores.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – It turns out that being voted “Most likely to succeed” in high school might actually be a good predictor of one’s financial and educational success later in life.
According to a University of Illinois professor who studies the sociology of education, high school sophomores who were rated by their teachers as having good social skills and work habits, and who participated in extracurricular activities in high school, made more money and completed higher levels of education 10 years later than their classmates who had similar standardized test scores but were less socially adroit and participated in fewer extracurricular activities.
Christy Lleras, a professor of human and community development, says that “soft skills” such as sociability, punctuality, conscientiousness and an ability to get along well with others, along with participation in extracurricular activities, are better predictors of earnings and higher educational achievement later in life than having good grades and high standardized test scores.
“That’s not to say that academic achievement in high school doesn’t matter – it does,” Lleras said. “But if we only look at standardized test scores, we’re only considering part of the equation for success as an adult in a global marketplace. Academic achievement is part of the story, but it’s not the whole story. You’ve got to have the social skills and work habits to back those achievements up.”
With the generational shift from a manufacturing-based economy to a service- and information-based one, employers value workers who can not only boast about their GPAs and SAT scores, but are also able to get along well with the public and co-workers, Lleras said.
“I think we’ve known this intuitively for a long time that employers are looking for something beyond cognitive skills,” Lleras said. “Leadership now is not an individual thing, it’s how well you get along in a team and get people organized.”
But thanks to the strict accountability measures of the No Child Left Behind law, struggling schools are increasingly cutting the extracurricular programs and activities that foster soft skills in order to focus almost exclusively on achieving adequate yearly progress on state-mandated standardized tests, Lleras said.
Consequently, low-achieving schools are put in a bind: Measure up, or lose funding. Either way, it’s a zero-sum game for students, Lleras said.
“There’s this pervasive idea that if we just teach and test the basic skills, students are going to do much better in school and in life,” she said. “It would be great if we could just snap our fingers and tomorrow everyone could read, write and do math at grade-level. But an obsession with testing and routinized thinking doesn’t foster the non-cognitive soft skills that pay off as an adult.”
Inadequate funding for education also has meant that many schools are not able to reduce class sizes or hire more qualified teachers, two important factors for “creating the academic and social environment that foster these kinds of soft skills in schools,” Lleras said.
“In addition to testing, what high-performing schools do really well is provide the kinds of opportunities through extracurricular activities, rigorous course work and
high-quality teachers that help create good citizens and good workers and foster the kinds of work habits, behaviors and attitudes that we know employers value,” she said.
If high-stakes testing is the only remedy for low-performing schools, Lleras said, “then we may fail to help those students develop the soft skills they need to successfully complete higher levels of education and secure a better job in the labor market.”
Ironically, the original version of the No Child Left Behind law had a behavioral component.
“NCLB did have this notion that there are other things going on in education besides testing, but it was grossly underfunded and targeted drug, alcohol, tobacco and violence prevention activities,” she said.
Lleras sees access to high-performing schools not only as an educational issue, but also as a social justice issue. In the course of her research, she discovered that participation in fine arts programs was associated with “significantly higher earnings” for African-American and Hispanic students 10 years later, yet those students often attended schools with fewer opportunities for fine arts participation. The same measure had little effect on the earning power of white students.
If we care about those low-achieving schools and their effect on students, it’s imperative for schools and educators to go beyond No Child Left Behind, which is “only about testing,” Lleras said.
“Most of our students don’t go on to college, and our young adults today are entering a workforce that’s very different from what it was 30 years ago,” Lleras said. “It’s a very tenuous, volatile market, especially for workers with a high school education or less, and our schools are failing students by not providing enough opportunities to develop the skills, habits and knowledge we know employers are going to reward.”
So what can parents take away from her research?
“I think that incentives are very important, particularly for adolescents,” Lleras said. “Teens need to see that their efforts in high school matter and will eventually pay off. This gives parents evidence they can use to talk to their kids about the importance of working hard, getting along with others and participating in extracurricular activities.”
This document contains a listing of resources and service providers in the Henry County area. You will find services related to Prevention, Child Care, Disability Services, Education, and Emergency services in the document. The Henry County Resource Directory will be permanently listed in the Links sidebar column.
At the GHS, “ABOVE AND BEYOND” is a positive recognition opportunity to recognize students for everyday exemplary behavior. There are so many students that might not get a chance to be recognized for one reason or another and this is an opportunity for ANYONE to be appreciated for just doing what they are supposed to do and get noticed for it.
Simply, when any staff member sees a student going “ABOVE AND BEYOND” their call of “student duty”, they fill out a card with the name of the student, check one or more of the positive “character traits” they have noticed. The post card gets sent home to parents so they can positively recognize their student for going “ABOVE AND BEYOND”! The student can bring the card into the counseling or the social work office to receive a coupon for a cookie from the cafeteria for just being “ABOVE AND BEYOND”.
This recognition program has been very positive! Thus far during one year of recognizing students school wide, there have been approximately 300 post cards sent home! Keep it up!
Check out this article regarding how exercise can actually make you smarter!!!!!
Here is a new software program that the district will be using to help teach kids basic social skills. This program uses interactive videos to teach key social thinking, language and behavior that is critical to everyday living.
Click the link to learn more about it.