ESU 4 Professional Development

Empowering educators to improve student learning.
Contact Jen Madison, Suzanne Whisler, or Sue Knickman

Professional Development News

ESU 4 Newsletter

ESU 4 Strategies

Great teachers have a keen understanding of their professional craft. They study effective techniques and behaviors, know how to replicate them, and understand why they are good to use in particular contexts. This tool is meant to be a resource full of strategies for teachers interested in reflective, deliberate improvement.

Professional Development Workshops

Check our complete listing of Learning Opportunities for all workshops not listed here.

Feel free to register online for any of the above workshops held by ESU 4.


2016-2017 ESU 4 Cadres - Creating a Revolution in Education.

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." - William Butler Yeats. Are you ready to create a revolution in education and light the fire for your students? Join the ESU 4 team and experts in the field of education for this year's content cadres. Focus areas include best practices in education, tips for the integration of technology, insights from experts in your area, and opportunities for networking with your colleagues. By request, several of this year's cadres will take place in the summer. Be sure to save the date for this year's ESU 4 cadres.


Save the date for these Summer 2017 Cadres!

  • May 30 - Grades 5-12 Science Cadre
  • June 6 - 3-12 ELA Cadre (focus on text dependant analysis)
  • June 12 - K-2 Math Cadre (Addition and Subtraction) with Dr. Kelly Georgius
  • June 13 - 3-5 Math Cadre (Multiplication and Division) with Dr. Kelly Georgius
  • June 13 - 6-12 Math Cadre
  • June 14 - 3-12 Social Studies Cadre
  • June 20 - World Language Cadre - CANCELLED!
  • June 22 - ELA Cadre - Grades K-2

Additional information about specific cadre sessions will be sent via the ESU 4 content area Google Groups. If you are not sure if you are part of your content group, please contact Sue Knickman.

Unless otherwise noted, all cadres will be held at ESU 4 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. $20 per person registration fee. Please register at least one week prior to the workshop.


Implementing the Nebraska Model of Evaluation to Promote Educator Effectiveness - from 9 AM to 3 PM at ESU 4. Locations vary.

  • June 19, 2017 at ESU 4 Learning Center

Janine Theiler from NDE will be presenting workshops on implementing the Nebraska Teacher Evaluation Model throughout this school year. These workshops are for districts that attended the June 27-28, 2016 training this summer with Donlynn Rice. If your district was unable to send a team to the June training and is interested in implementing the model, you are welcome to attend Janine's workshops this year.

Districts are encouraged to send teams to the workshops consisting of administration and teacher leaders. $20 per person registration fee. Please register at least one week prior to the workshop.


June 1-2, 2017 - ESU 4 Data Retreat - from 9:00 AM to 3 PM at Johnson County Central (Cook site).

Join the ESU 4 team for two full days of comprehensive data analysis. Using data for continuous school improvement is essential in ensuring achievement increases for all students. Analyzing multiple sources of data during the retreat will assist school teams in understanding how they are getting their results - what is working and what is not working.

One hour of college credit is available through Peru State College. Register online. $20 per person, per day registration fee. Please register your team by May 12, 2017.


June 5, 2017 (tentative) - De-escalation training for all teachers - from 9:00 AM to 3 PM at TBD.

Aimee Daily, ESU 4, will help participants understand the process of behavior escalation and to recognize that people don't act out in a vacuum. This training is for all teachers and para-educators. Aimee will emphasize the integrated process of defusing potential behavior and maintaining a therapeutic learning environment. The content will be similar to day one of CPI Training, but will not include the restraint component.

Register for the workshop online at $20 per person registration fee. Please register at least one week prior to the workshop


June 15-16, 2017 - ESU 4, 6, 9 Principals' Retreat - at Graduate Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn Downtown) - Lincoln.

Dr. Todd Whitaker will be presenting School Culture Rewired. On day one, Dr. Whitaker will be sharing strategies, tools, and tips for defining, assessing, and transforming your school's culture into one that is positive, forward-looking, and focused on enriching students' lives.

Day two will consist of working with your administrative team to define and assess your school's culture. You will have an opportunity to create a plan for maintaining the positive components of your culture and for addressing the challenging elements.

See more details at


June 21, 2017 - ESU 4 Poverty Institute - at Nebraska City Middle School from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

Did you attend the 2015 ESU 4 Poverty Institute and want to learn more about serving under-resourced students? Is this the first time you will be attending a workshop focused on poverty? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then this workshop is for you. Ellen, Jen, and Suzanne will give a brief overview of understanding class differences and the mental model for poverty. In addition, they will be sharing information on the effects of poverty on the brain, engaging under-resourced students, and building hope and optimism in under-resourced students


August 7, 2017 - New Teacher Bootcamp - at ESU 4 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

This workshop is designed to support teachers that are new to your district and new to the profession. Topics addressed during the boot camp include professional expectations as an educator, establishing a positive presence on the internet, and tips for a great start to the school year. The registration deadline is July 1, 2017. $20 per person registration fee. $120 per person per day stipend for those teachers whose districts are members of ESU 4's NCLB Title IIa Consortium.


August 8, 2017 - An Introduction to the Marzano Art and Science of Teaching Framework - at ESU 4 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

Join Jen and Suzanne for an introduction and overview of the Marzano Art and Science of Teaching Framework. The intent of this workshop is to familiarize teachers with the instructional model in order to develop a common language of instruction and knowledge of effective teaching strategies. $20 per person registration fee. $120 per person per day stipend for those teachers whose districts are members of ESU 4's NCLB Title IIa Consortium.


June 1, 2017 - Southeast Nebraska Entrepreneurship Educator Workshop - at Peru State College from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

Teachers, counselors and administrators are invited to attend the Southeast Nebraska Entrepreneurship Educator Workshop. This workshop will provide information about curricular resources available to teach entrepreneurship and help to establish regional collaborations between educators to enhance entrepreneurship education. Attendees will also learn about the Stronger Economies Together Economic Development Plan and prioritize strategies that relate to entrepreneurship education. Brent Comstock, of BCom Solutions, will be the keynote speaker. Additional speakers will include entrepreneurs, extension educators, and Department of Education officials. The workshop is being hosted by the Stronger Economies Together Committee. The workshop includes lunch and is free of charge. For more information, contact Dr. Tim Borchers at Peru State College at