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Jim Chvala

Professional Biography

Hi, I'm Jim Chvala!  I teach Spanish, and 2017-18 represents my 27th year of teaching, and 24th at Palmer.  I received my BAE from Wayne State College in 1991, and hold 7-12 endorsements in Spanish, Earth Science, and Geography, as well as a coaching endorsement.  I'm working toward a degree in instructional technology which will enhance the delivery of distance education courses, which I have taught since 2002.

While teaching at PHS, I have 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.  I am the head girls' track and field coach.  I 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, and started the current cross country program in 2009; my 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.  I also serve 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, I 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, I was the high school Spanish teacher / K-12 guidance counselor at Chambers Public School from 1991-1994, where I 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
    To earn a Master of Science in Education degree in Instructional Technology in the next 2 years

 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; 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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