New principal to manage Madison Elementary
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
Janel Guse comes to Madison's public schools after serving with a school district in northwestern Iowa for 14 years -- not as much time as Dan Walsh, her predecessor, had in Madison, but still a respectable period as an educator.|
Guse said that she's had opportunities to meet with young and old Madison residents this summer, saying that some of them have sought her out to say hello.
"It's been a very warm welcome," Guse said. "I've met with quite a few parents and students during the last several months."
Guse (who pronounces her last name as "goo-zee") succeeds Walsh as the principal at Madison Elementary School after his retirement. Walsh had amassed a teaching and administrative career of 47 years with the school district.
Before her stay in Iowa, Guse, a Corsica native, had taught for nine years at several South Dakota schools. Guse graduated with a bachelor's degree from Northern State University and earned a master's degree from the University of South Dakota. She has also received an education specialist degree from the University of Sioux Falls.
She comes to Madison from the community of George, Iowa, a town of about 1,050 residents that shares its school district with the nearby community of Little Rock. Guse previously served as the superintendent/K-8 principal in the George-Little Rock Community School District with an enrollment of about 500 students.
Guse was able to spend some time with the teachers at the elementary school during their spring in-service periods, since joining the Madison Central School District earlier this year. She also met with Walsh before his tenure ended.
Similar to many other South Dakota educators, Guse sees the state's move toward teaching Common Core standards as an area where Madison educators will focus a large amount of attention during the next several years. She described Common Core as "a set of standards and benchmarks that spell out what students should know and be able to do at various grade levels."
She added that one of the program's goals involves developing a strong foundation in learning so students have skills to continue taking in new information and performing problem-solving work at each new grade level.
"(Common Core) has been adopted by several states so it provides a common language and goals among educators and students, regardless of their location," Guse said.
Common Core will also replace the Dakota STEP exams that have monitored student progress with the Smarter, Balanced Assessment.
Guse and her husband Scott have three children -- Erika, 24, Reid, 17, and Noah, 14.