GIPS High School Visioning Process

"It's not about OUR past high school experience ... 
  It's about THEIR future."

Bonnie Hinkle, GIPS Board of Education president

GIPS High School Visionion Process

A collaborative process

Grand Island Public Schools is partnering with the District Management Council (DMC), a Boston-based firm, to develop a long-term vision and goals for the future of Grand Island Senior High. Developing this clear vision and these aspirational goals for GIPS high school students will not be possible without the support and input from our dedicated and passionate staff, students, parents and community.

As I've expressed before, GIPS belongs to the people of Grand Island and we will make sure this process is as collaborative, transparent and inclusive as possible.

As part of this project, DMC will assist Grand Island in gathering information, opinions and perspectives from all district stakeholders about the high school's current performance and needs, as well as aspirations for the future of Grand Island Senior High. While in Grand Island in September, DMC will gather information through focus groups and interviews. This will include open meetings with the public.

Based on the information gathered from all constituents, an appointed GIPS High School Vision Team will help develop the goals and vision for the future of Grand Island Senior High.

Once a draft vision has been developed by the team, it will be shared during multiple feedback sessions to allow the community to respond and ask questions. Once the overarching vision has been finalized, key steps for successful implementation of the defined vision and goals for high school in GIPS will be identified.

I am excited to embark on this process and look forward to hearing your input on this most important undertaking!

- Dr. Tawana Grover


  • APRIL 2016: Initial meetings between DMC and GIPS
  • APRIL-AUGUST 2016: DMC research and analysis of best practices and emerging approaches for high school; assessment of GIPS and Senior High data
  • SEPTEMBER 2016: DMC conducts focus groups in Grand Island
  • OCTOBER 2016: High School Vision Committee drafts GIPS High School Vision based on aspirational goals, key design elements and specific next steps
  • OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2016: DMC gathers community feedback on proposed vision though engagement meetings
  • NOVEMBER 2016 & BEYOND: Refine plan and identify next steps for implementation

Opportunities for public input

The first phase of public input will occur during the September 12-14 focus groups. Specifically, there are four open meetings the community is strongly urged to attend:

  • Monday, Sept. 12, 9 a.m. at Wasmer Elementary, 318 S. Clark St.
  • Monday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m. at West Lawn Elementary, 3022 W. College St.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13, 6:30 p.m. at Career Pathways Institute - Adams Street, 1215 S. Adams St.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 14, 9 a.m. at Shoemaker Elementary, 4160 Old Potash Hwy.

There will be more public meetings announced for the later phase of the process to review the high school vision draft and provide feedback for the plan.

Additional focus groups

In addition to the four open public meetings, DMC will conduct a number of focus groups with various district and community leaders and groups, including:

  • Board of Education members
  • Dr. Grover and GIPS administrators
  • Elementary, middle school and high school administrators
  • Senior High teachers
  • Senior High support staff
  • College representatives from Doane, UNL and CCC
  • Fifth grade students
  • Middle school students
  • High school students
  • Parent group
  • Grow Grand Island and local business and industry representatives


GIPS High School Vision Committee

The GIPS High School Vision Committee will be tasked with working with the DMC team to develop the written vision. This committee includes staff and community members. 

  • Bonnie Hinkle, Board of Education president
  • Heidi Schutz, Board of Education
  • Dr. Tawana Grover, GIPS superintendent
  • Dr. Robin Dexter, GIPS associate superintendent
  • Dr. Toni Palmer, GIPS chief leadership & talent acquisition officer
  • Josh McDowell, GIPS chief academic officer
  • Virgil Harden, GIPS chief financial officer
  • Cory Gearhart, GIPS executive director of IT
  • Jack Sheard, GIPS marketing & communications coordinator
  • Jeff Gilbertson, Senior High principal
  • Maggie Mintken, Senior High assistant principal
  • Dawn Deuel-Rutt, Success Academy social worker
  • Amy Almquist, Senior High ELA teacher
  • Paul Cloutier, Senior High social studies teacher
  • Rosemary Osborne, Senior High ELL teacher
  • Selena Wardyn, Walnut Middle School assistant principal
  • LJ McCormick, Executive Director, College Park
  • Deb Brennan, Executive Vice President, Central Community College
  • Jena Mendoza, UNL College Prep Academy
  • Lisa Avila O'Connor, Doane University
  • Tonja Brown, Grow Grand Island
  • Mary Berlie, Grand Island Economic Development Corporation
  • Beth Bartlett, CHI Health St. Francis
  • Amos Anson, Famos Construction
  • Will Armstrong, Edward Jones Financial
  • Lisa Albers, Anesthesia Group of Grand Island
  • Lynne Werner, Aviation Board; First National Bank
  • Cheryl Vajgrt, Chief Industries

Additional outside consultants

  • Dr. Tom Field, UNL Innovation Campus professor
  • Dr. Ryan Foor, NDE deputy state director, career education