Southeast Polk counselor named PBIS Person of the Year
Kara Buerger, a counselor at Centennial Elementary School in the Southeast Polk Community School District, has been named Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Person of the Year.
Buerger, who has been a counselor at Centennial for 14 years, was recognized by the Iowa Department of Education's PBIS State Leadership Team for her leadership and strong relationships she has with colleagues and students.
PBIS is an important component to the health of a school. PBIS is a multi-tiered system of support for behavior and provides the framework for teachers to provide and monitor prevention and intervention practices. PBIS focuses on school conditions to support learning by providing positive, predictable and safe environments. If done effectively, PBIS has been shown to reduce major disciplinary infractions, reduce out-of-school suspension, improve prosocial behavior, improve academic achievement and improve school climate.
"Kara goes above and beyond not only find the positive in our students, but in our staff as well," said Centennial Principal Lori Waddell. "Kara is an example of PBIS to her students, to her peers, to the administration; PBIS encompasses her. In fact, it is difficult to separate Kara from her role as PBIS internal coach because it is embedded in her teaching, her decision making, and her relationships with both adults and students. Kara always puts students first and does whatever it takes to make sure their needs are being met. She is a model for us all and Centennial would be lost without her! Kara is truly deserves this recognition."
Last year's PBIS Person of the Year was Josh Youel, principal of North Tama Elementary in the North Tama County Community School District.
Schools also were recognized recently for their work in PBIS.