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Foreign Lang: James Chvala

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Jim Chvala

Professional Biography

Jim Chvala teaches Spanish, and 2018-19 represents his 28th year of teaching, and 25th at Palmer.  He received my Bachelor of Arts in Education from Wayne State College in 1991, with endorsements in Spanish, Earth Science, and Geography for grades 7-12, and a coaching endorsement.  In December of 2017 he completed the requirements for the Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in instructional technology which will enhance the delivery of distance education courses, which he has taught since 2002.

While teaching at PHS, he has been the high school Spanish teacher since 1994, and also taught 8th grade Earth Science, K-6 Computers, and K-6 Spanish from 1997 through 2002.  He is the head girls' track and field coach, after having served as the head boys' and girls' coach for track and field from 1997-2013, and as assistant coach in 2014, bringing back the pole vault program at Palmer in 2012 after a thirty year absence; he also started the current cross country program in 2009; his teams have sponsored the Palmer Fall Festival Fun Run and Walk since 2002.  Jim is a sponsor for the Integritas house (part of the implementation of the Ron Clark Academy initiative at PHS), and a part-time bus driver.  He also serves as the community learning center manager for Central Community College, assisting adult learners with individualized courses, proctoring exams, and administering skill level exams in reading, writing, and mathematics (ASSET).

From 1994-97, Jim also taught Spanish to high school and junior high students at Elba Public School, spending half the day in Elba and the other half in Palmer.  Prior to coming south, he was the high school Spanish teacher / K-12 guidance counselor at Chambers Public School from 1991-1994, where he coached track & field, was a cub scout leader, and served on the Comprehensive Health Education Team and the Crisis Team.

Professional and Educational Goals
    To become a resource person for the distance education community
    To make a teaching presentation at one or more conferences

 Uses of Technology
    Jim Chvala uses technologies to complete various tasks during the school day.  They range from taking attendance, entering grades, and e-mailing lesson plans and activity sheets to using YouTube videos and a website to replace our aging textbooks.  He utilizes the following technology tools in his teaching:

        Canvas.org; StudySpanish.com; Kahoot.com, WordReference.com; The Shadow Poetry Page; the World Wide Web; ClassTools.com; a puzzle generator; iMovie; iPhoto; e-mail;

        MicroSoft, Apple, and Google office software (word processing, spreadsheet); and Google's Calendar and Classroom; Google Cardboard

Experience with Diversity
At school and away, I work with people from a variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.  Among other things, I have interpreted and translated for speakers of Spanish, worked cattle with a bank president, coordinated class field trips to the ethnic business district in Grand Island, shared grilled fish with natives of Laos, worked with adults from the local group home, and collaborated with high-ability learners.

Great innovators have come from all walks of life; as educators we need to give everyone the skills and tools to make their greatest contribution to society.


Click below on the "More About Jim Chvala" link to...

     ...find out about his most recent professional development activities.

     ...learn more about his professional and educational goals.

     ...see how he has used various technology tools.

     ...see more details about his experiences with diversity.

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