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K-12 notebook column: Tax break for rural teachers?

Legislation introduced by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., could help rural schools recruit and retain quality teachers. The Incentives to Educate American Children (I-TEACH) Act would provide tax incentives to teachers in rural and high poverty school...

Legislation introduced by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., could help rural schools recruit and retain quality teachers.

The Incentives to Educate American Children (I-TEACH) Act would provide tax incentives to teachers in rural and high poverty schools.

"Attracting quality teachers to our smaller communities in North Dakota is not a luxury, it is a necessity," Pomeroy said in a statement. "Leaving 'no child behind' means ensuring that children in rural areas are taught by the best teachers available."

The tax incentives in the legislation include:

- $1,000 tax credit to educators teaching in rural communities. Teachers in roughly 84 percent of North Dakota school districts would be eligible to receive this incentive.

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- $1,000 tax credit for teachers who have earned the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certificate.

Meet Miss America

A teacher's inquiry provided an unexpected treat for Barnesville,Minn., students.

Miss America 2003 Erika Harold visited the school Oct. 15, sharing with students her message of abstaining from sex and drugs.

"She wove in personal experiences and was really able to connect with them," said Barnesville English teacher Julie Krabbenhoft.

Krabbenhoft heard on the radio Harold was coming to Fargo to attend the Women's Showcase 2003 and to speak at area schools. "I called and begged her to come to Barnesville," she said.

Students grade seven and up attended the event, which lasted about 25 minutes.

Harold, who is from Urbana, Ill., also told students how she was bullied as a teenager and even transferred schools.

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"She was really wondering about herself," Krabbenhoft said.

A defining moment came when she joined the school musical, which helped restore her self confidence.

"She helped students see that one does not have to be perfect to win," Krabbenhoft said. "Work hard and do your best, that's the message that came through."

Teachers honored

Two Moorhead teachers were among those honored earlier this month with a Certificate of Merit Award from the Valley City (N.D.) State University Alumni Association.

Jan Welken is a physical education instructor at Riverside Elementary and Ken Welken is a seventh grade math teacher at the junior high.Sixteen alumni received awards at the Homecoming Alumni Honors Breakfast on Oct. 4 in Valley City.

Student goes to D.C.

Teresa Yanish, West Fargo, will participate in the National Young Leaders Conference, which begins Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

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The conference helps develop leadership skills in high school students who have demonstrated leadership potential and strong academics.

Yanish will be one of 350 students there. She will interact with elected officials, political appointees and newsmakers.

Forum reporter Jeff Baird can be reached at jbaird@forumcomm.com or (701) 241-5535. Forum reporter Erin Hemme Froslie can be reached at efroslie@forumcomm.com or (701) 241-5534.

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