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Pair of Jimtown Teachers Have Books Published

Elkhart (Indiana) Truth - April 13, 2006

by Melissa Madden

JIMTOWN -- Getting a book published is a lifetime plight for some writers. Others just put their heads together.

A couple of local writers and teachers found themselves in familiar company while working to publish a book.

Adrienne Soucy and LeAnn Keller-Miller, teachers at Jimtown South Elementary School, recently got books published.

"Ultimately it speaks to the character of the two of them -- they are outstanding people," said principal Mike Stout.

Elkhart (Indiana) Truth - April 13, 2006

Soucy, literacy coordinator and reading specialist at Jimtown South, co-authored "Excel for Teachers," a step-by-step workbook that helps teachers apply Excel's spreadsheet program to their daily lives.

Keller-Miller, a kindergarten teacher at Jimtown South, wrote, illustrated and published her own children's book titled "When I grow up." It includes poems for letters A through Z that she wrote and has used for years in kindergarten classes.

She teaches students to recite the poems, which they use to put on a program for parents at the end of the year.

"This is something she had talked about and she had dreamed of doing for a while," said Stout.

Of the 1,000 books published in September, Keller-Miller has about 15 left. She's been presenting it at area libraries and schools and says she hopes to publish more in the future.

"I have like four more stories I've written, another one I've illustrated that is submitted to a publisher now," said Keller-Miller.

The idea for "Excel for Teachers," published in December 2005, came out of Notre Dame football and a chili lunch, said Soucy.

Her husband, a Notre Dame alumnus, often has old college friends over during football season.

One of his friends, Bill, is internationally known as an Excel expert. After chatting with him, Soucy realized there were about 25 ways teachers could use the program in educational settings.

"I've used it already," said Stout. "It got our staff talking about Excel and things we could do using technology."

She has 15 years of teaching experience and thought new teachers could benefit from instructions for utilizing specific spreadsheets in the classroom. It's easier to track students' long-term data, she said.

"It's very user-friendly, and the teachers would really benefit ... it's kind of unique," said Baugo Superintendent Jerry Cook.

Stout added that Soucy and Keller-Miller are great examples to the students and staff at Jimtown South and that they are both talented, hard workers.