Congratulations to Centennial School Counselor Kara Buerger Wins Iowa PBIS Person of the Year!

Kara Buerger, a counselor at Centennial Elementary School has been named Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Person of the Year! Mrs. Buerger was surprised during the morning PBIS assembly on April 4, 2018 with this award.  

Buerger, has been a counselor at Centennial for 14 years, was recognized by the Iowa Department of Education’s PBIS State Leadership Team for her leadership and strong relationships she has with colleagues and students.

“Kara goes above and beyond not only to find the positive in our students but in our staff as well,” said Centennial Principal Lori Waddell. “Kara is an example of PBIS to her students, to her peers, to the administration; PBIS encompasses her. In fact, it is difficult to separate Kara from her role as PBIS internal coach because it is embedded in her teaching, her decision making, and her relationships with both adults and students. Kara always puts students first and does whatever it takes to make sure their needs are being met. She is a model for us all and Centennial would be lost without her! Kara is truly deserving of this recognition.”

PBIS is an important component to the health of a school. PBIS is a multi-tiered system of support for behavior and provides the framework for teachers to provide and monitor prevention and intervention practices. PBIS focuses on school conditions to support learning by providing positive, predictable and safe environments. If done effectively, PBIS has been shown to reduce major disciplinary infractions, reduce out-of-school suspension, improve prosocial behavior, improve academic achievement and improve school climate.

Here is what Mrs. Buerger’s colleagues at Centennial had to say about her and the work she does at Centennial Elementary.

“Mrs. Buerger is the perfect example of what PBIS means. She is positive, a great leader, and is so knowledgeable when it comes to all things PBIS. She helps create and maintain a positive work environment for all staff and students at our school. She plans and runs our PBIS assemblies, which the students absolutely love and look forward to! They are filled with fun and celebrations, celebrating positive behavior at our school.”

“Kara is amazing. She cares for our school community as well as the community surrounding us. She is positive role model for our staff and students. She shows how kindness, caring and helping one another betters the community. Her leadership helps our students shine!”

“Kara is so much more than our school counselor. The children know that they can go to “Mrs. Buerger” when they have a problem or need to talk. She will take them under her wing, listen, and try to find answers or solutions if needed. More than once, I’ve been asked by a student, “Do you know where Mrs. Buerger is? I need to talk to her.” Kara’s coworkers know they can do the same. She is a true friend. She genuinely cares for all of us.”

“Kara Buerger has gone above and beyond in the area of PBIS for as long as I have taught with her, which has been for the past 12 years. She was already hard at work implementing PBIS as a guidance counselor at our elementary school before I started. If there is one person, one pivotal member to keeping PBIS a successful and integral part of our school climate, it would be Kara. She is the glue that holds it all together. From teaching expectations at the beginning of the year, being the leader of our PBIS teaching team, analyzing PBIS data, conducting meetings that encourage growth and reflection for all things related to PBIS, constantly being a staff cheerleader, planning and running amazing assemblies as PBIS celebrations, and making every student feel valued, important and safe at our school, Kara does it all. I can not think of one person who could deserve this award more. Our school’s PBIS success is largely due to Kara’s had work and dedication for the past several years.”

“Kara is the counselor at Centennial Elementary. She is truly the driving force in creating an amazing school environment with PBIS. I am a traveling specialist. I have been in over 15 schools in my career. Kara is by far, the strongest most dedicated PBIS advocate I have had the pleasure to work with at any school!”