Welcome! My name is Jamie Weisz and I am excited to start my SIXTEENTH year as a special education teacher. I am originally from Bismarck, North Dakota and I am a graduate of Mandan High School. I attended the University of North Dakota from 1997 to 2003 earning my B.S. in Elementary Education and M.Ed. in Special Education. In the summer of 2001, I furthered my educational and leadership skills by working at the U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. As a Space Camp Counselor, I had the privilege of instructing children of all ages, even adults, about the history of space exploration through lectures, hands-on activities, and space shuttle simulations. It was the best summer job, ever! I spent my first seven years of teaching in Cadillac, Michigan (near Traverse City, MI). It was hard to say goodbye to a school where I felt that I had made a true difference in my students’ lives. Accepting another teaching position at a middle school in Apple Valley, Minnesota, made the transition an easy one. The past three years I have served as a special education teacher here at Coon Rapids High School teaching English and Math in a small group and co-teaching setting. Outside of school, I love to swim, bike, camp, fish, and travel. I also enjoy attending concerts at the many venues Minneapolis/St. Paul has to offer.
I am very passionate about my job and my students; I spend numerous hours designing engaging lessons and have developed a purposeful and intrinsically rewarding incentive program to complement our studies. I am also a big advocate for my students with special needs. For example, I designed the “Spin to Win” program to promote positive behaviors within the classroom by holding students accountable. The program also provides real-world application of money-management and employability skills so that my students can be successful in high school and beyond. I strongly believe that these incentives supply my students with the intrinsic motivation to be successful in school and teach them the necessary math and job skills to be responsible and productive citizens in their post-secondary or vocational pursuits.
In my Essential Math class, I have taken on the fun yet time-consuming task of implementing an incentive program centered around my classroom expectations. Each student in my Special Education math class has an opportunity to earn incentive items throughout the year if he or she successfully meets four out of five CARDS (“We are home of the “Cardinals”) expectations each day. For example, C = Come to class ready to learn; A = Arrive on time; R = Respect Myself, Others and Property; D = Do your assigned task (s); and S = Stay in your assigned space.
Successfully meeting four of five CARDS expectations each day will result in a student earning, at most, one spin for our "Spin to Win" Cardinal Cash incentive program (teacher-created interactive Smartboard spinner similar to Wheel of Fortune). The students can use their earned Cardinal Cash from the spinner to purchase a lower-priced item (reduced classroom assignment, pack of gum, district-approved healthy snack/beverage, lunch gift certificates) or save their Cardinal Cash to purchase a higher-priced item (Go Pro, Beats by Dre earbuds/headphones, etc.) or a signed item from a favorite artist/band or athlete.
Our successful incentive program would not be possible if it wasn't for the generous donations and support from local businesses, professional sports teams, agencies, foundations and record labels/management. We greatly appreciate it!
Below are a list of videos that I have coordinated for my students.
In November of 2018, Stub Hub Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Ropars/PR Director Clay Helm and their team flew out their corporate PR/videographer to interview me about my program and also surprised a group of students with tickets to the Boston Celtics-Minnesota Timberwolves game. Thanks to Stub Hub as well as Dave Hoffman (Vice President--Community Engagement), Brian Olive (Boston Celtics--Media Services Manager) for arranging a meet and greet with Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens before the game. The students were beyond thrilled and very appreciative of this opportunity. See above photo.
North Dakota native and actor Josh Duhamel has been a great supporter of my special needs program, due in large part to him being a good friend to my cousin, Scott. Josh recently filmed a movie titled "Buddy Games," and my cousin, along with a group of friends, made a brief cameo appearance. Thanks to Josh for producing this great video for my students.
Olympic hero and current UMD Bulldog goalie, Maddie Rooney (graduate of nearby Andover High School-same school district as Coon Rapids High School), lead Team USA to a dramatic overtime victory over rival Canada for the United States’ first Olympic Gold medal in women’s hockey since the 1998 winter games. Below is a video she made for my math class and another video of the full shootout (3 minutes) from the Olympics.
Simone Biles has been touted as the greatest gymnast of her generation and perhaps of all time. Thanks to Simone for "chalking up" this message!
A special thanks to Ali Z. (Senior Vice President, Communications NBC News) for coordinating this video featuring television personality and “The Voice” host Carson Daly. A great message for my students!
Minnesota native, noted chef, and self-proclaimed foodie Andrew Zimmern, along with his film team, cooked up this great video for my program.
A huge thanks to pretzel icon Dot from Dot’s Pretzels (a Velva, North Dakota product and the Midwest’s new food phenomenon) for making this video and for supporting my program.
Angie Bastian, CEO/Founder of the Minnesota-based company BOOMCHICKAPOP, has been a great supporter of my special needs program and made this video for my students.
Thanks to financial guru Dave Ramsey for making this great video and for providing my students with some financial advice.
David Barnett, the CEO/Inventor of PopSockets, has been a strong supporter of my special needs program by donating customized "CR" (school logo) PopSockets for my students to earn throughout the year. A special thanks to Michael Zakin, Vice President of Social Impact at PopSockets and also a former Golden Globe winner for "Mozart in the Jungle,” for taking time to coordinate this video for my class.
Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild has been a great supporter of my program since he was a guest speaker in my classroom back in 2002. Thanks to Zach for the kindness video message for our school as well as for the yearly donation of three signed 16x20 photos for the "Spin to Win" program.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, along with his marketing manager, teamed up with me to make a video for my math class. Additionally, I wanted to extend a thank-you to Kirk for signing one mini helmet for one lucky student to earn this school year.
Verizon Communications President John Stratton, in collaboration with his Sponsorship and Marketing Department and the Minnesota Vikings, arranged for Teddy Bridgewater to make a special video for my program during the 2016-2017 school year. For this event, each student received a signed mini-helmet, and 15 signed photos and pairs of gloves were donated for the “Spin to Win” program.
Dustin Morse, Senior Director of Communications for the Minnesota Twins. coordinated a lunch event for second baseman Brian Dozier and me so that we could make this video for my program.
Thanks to Vector Management for coordinating this great video of multi-platinum selling recording artist Rachel Platten. I have also attached the links to two of Rachel's hits, "Fight Song" and "Stand By You."
The management team of Elle King (hit song “Exs and Ohs”) and Fitz and the Tantrums (hit song “HandClap”) provided me with the opportunity to work with the tour manager to make the below videos prior to the concerts.
Last school year, my principal, Dr. Annette Ziegler, asked me to also serve as the school wide "Kindness Coordinator" for Coon Rapids High School (one of the largest high schools in the largest school district in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area) to assist the administrative team in promoting a culture of kindness in our school. Aside from my special education job roles and responsibilities, I have implemented and overseen several successful kindness activities, secured a wide variety of donated items and received several kindness messages for our "Kindness Matters" campaign. I was also featured in the May 2018 issue of Reader’s Digest (page 111) for my kindness efforts at school and within the community.
Assistant Superintendent Jeff McGonigal recognized Coon Rapids High School Principal Dr. Ziegler and I at the Anoka Hennepin School District board meeting for being the 2018 recipient of the Minnesota Promising Practice Award for our "Kindness Matters" campaign. See below links.
Each year, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center holds an event called the Unity Awards to celebrate those who have made a positive impact by addressing and preventing bullying through kindness, acceptance and inclusion. This organization accepts nominations all across the country and Coon Rapids High School’s Kindness Campaign was nominated. Coon Rapids High School was selected as the recipient for the 2018 Faces of Change award.
Jamie WeiszSpecial Education TeacherCoon Rapids High School2340 Northdale BlvdCoon Rapids, MN firstname.lastname@example.org
Essential Math IVA
Geometry Prep Co-Taught
Geometry B Co-Taught
Essential Math IVB
Essential Mah VA
College Foundations Co-Taught