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Entries for December 2015


(Rock County, WI) Anne Lindert-Wetzell, Business In Focus

Building strong regional economies is no easy task. It takes not only strategic goal setting and the implementation of tools to monitor success, but also diligence in collaboration and communication to address constantly evolving economic conditions.
The Rock County Economic Development Alliance works collaboratively with private and public stakeholders to strategically position Rock County, WI (i.e. the Janesville-Beloit MSA) for business development opportunities. This positioning involves leveraging and enhancing the area’s critical assets and systems without compromising the attractiveness, nor the efficiencies of its business climate. The work of the Alliance, particularly since the Great Recession, has played a pivotal role in elevating the Rock County into a location in which people and businesses can live, as well as thrive.

According to a 2013 survey conducted by the National Association of Counties (NACo), 93 percent of counties participate in economic development initiatives. The study acknowledges that “counties of all sizes across the country are problem solvers, able to adjust their initiatives and programs to match local assets and needs.”

The Rock County Economic Development Alliance, established in 2001, is one such problem solver. For approximately fifteen years, the Alliance has been incrementally building and implementing the necessary framework to ensure that Rock County, Wisconsin is ready to go. The efforts are paying off, as nearly 100 private sector projects – accounting for over $1.8 billion dollars of new capital investment, seven million square feet of industrial / commercial and about 3,700 new jobs –have been announced and/or completed throughout the Janesville-Beloit MSA.

James R. Otterstein, the Alliance’s economic development manager, says that the Alliance is, “an informal network of Rock County economic development interests that is anchored by the Rock County Economic Development Agency.” The Alliance functions as a pool for “financial and technical resources” and as an information sharer, collaborator and brand marketer.

Otterstein shares that the Alliance was born out of necessity. He acknowledges that Rock County, “needed a more consistent, visible and singular voice to reach an external audience … because today’s business development environment is far too competitive, complex and fluid to have mixed messaging.”

It is toward this end that the Alliance operates: dedicated to addressing economic opportunities, as well as challenges, which organically surface within any given economy.

Situated in south-central Wisconsin along the Illinois border, Rock County (population 160,059) was created in 1836 and is one of Wisconsin’s largest counties. The county provides a mix of urban and rural landscapes and is anchored by the Rock River, a tributary of the mighty Mississippi. The City of Janesville is the county seat and is located on Interstates 39/90. The state capital, Madison, is forty miles to the north and Milwaukee is about 75 miles to the northeast.

The county has a diversified economy that includes advanced manufacturing, value-added agriculture, health care and technology related firms. Recognized and leading nameplates, ranging from either a consumer or an industry perspective, have sizable business operations throughout the Janesville-Beloit MSA.

All of this, combined with efficient transportation infrastructure, means that Rock County provides an ideal location to support any and all business and industry needs.

“The combined impacts of geography and our entire transportation network create a powerful, value-added proposition for companies that are seeking to optimize their just-in-time and supply chain connections – both domestically and internationally,” explains Otterstein. “As a matter of fact, there are a number of privately-held and publicly-traded firms that call Rock County home because these transportation assets enable them to reach their customers/markets in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Rock County’s location gives it strategic access to over 125 cities with populations over 50,000, in seven states as well as the province of Ontario. Rock County is served by Interstate 39 and Interstate 90 and is the northern anchor for the I-39 Logistics Corridor. In addition, Interstate 43, as well as U.S. Highways 51 and 14, provide north/south and east/west connectivity.

Rock County businesses and residents have the luxury of leveraging five commercial airports that are located within less than a two and one-half hour drive. These offerings include: Dane County Regional Airport (MSN), General Mitchell International (MKE), and Chicago Rockford International (RFD), as well as Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW) airports, respectively.

In addition, the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport (KJVL), located in Janesville, has three modern runways – with the longest reaching 7,300 feet – to support air charter, air cargo and corporate aviation. With a FAA tower and modern navigational aids, the airport is able to operate 24 x 7. A number of aviation related businesses, including a fixed-base operator, provide an array of onsite aeronautical services for pilots and aircraft owners.

The county is served by three railroads: the Union Pacific, Wisconsin & Southern and Canadian Pacific Railway. These connections supply area businesses with critical raw materials and then provide an economical means for shipping commodities and/or bulk goods from local firms to reach customers across the nation and/or overseas.

And Rock County is the western anchor of Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #41, “which extends FTZ benefits out from the Port of Milwaukee,” adds Otterstein.

The Janesville-Beloit MSA is comprised of a mixture of urban and rural communities, with the majority of its residents and businesses tied to the cities. However, rural communities remain an important contributor to the economic landscape of the county.

Agriculture has remained a traditionally strong sector in Rock County, as any given year the following ag-related outputs rank among Wisconsin’s top producers: corn, soybeans, dry beans and peas; nursery and greenhouse products; specialty crops such as mint; and livestock. For example, MacFarlane Pheasants, “is one of the largest pheasant producers in the U.S. and it has an increasingly strong international market too,” says Otterstein. Meanwhile, the DeLong Company, “is a leading vertically integrated agribusiness,” located in Clinton, exports food grains primarily to the Pacific Rim and Cargill, one of the nation’s largest privately held firms, has an animal food blending operation in Milton.

Other food processing firms in the county include Frito-Lay, Diamond Foods, Hormel, IPMF and Seneca Foods. In addition to these firms that are directly engaged in the actual processing of food related products, there are businesses such as Kerry Ingredients & Flavours, which has their Americas Regional Headquarters in Beloit “that provide value-added ingredients and research to these producers to ensure that specific taste, texture, color and/or nutritional thresholds are met.”

Firms such DuPont and United Ethanol fall into this value-added food supplier category too, as they create components and/or blended compounds that service various food and non-food industries. The same cross-industry pollination holds true for Air Products, Evonik and Linde supply – as these businesses produce chemical applications that support a range of industry sectors.

Products used within the construction, defense, greenhouse, power control / generation and/or transportation related industries have a strong Rock County presence, as well. Firms such as Charter NEX Films, Gallina, Green-tech, GOEX, Prent and Tigre-ADS are standard names within the plastics industry. Meanwhile, corrugated and/or paper related applications have solid supply chain connections to businesses that include: Beloit Box Board, Pratt Industries, Valmet, Western Container and WestRock.

If there are propulsion, movement or emission controls / sensing, or energy storage / delivery and generation functions, that’s where firms such as ANGI Energy Systems, Baker Manufacturing, Cummins, Fairbanks Morse, Miniature Precision Components, Morgan Corp., Regal, SSI Technologies, United Alloy and Universal AET enter the equation.

For those operations that support a regional or national retail appetite, as well as provide just-in-time deliveries to key wholesale connections, then any number of the following Rock County firms have a strong likelihood of being referenced in that conversation: ABC Supply, Blain Supply, Dollar General (opening 2016/2017), Grainger, LeMan’s, Lowe’s, Save-A-Lot, Serta, Simmons and Staples.

Critical medical diagnostics and tracers that are manufactured using isotopes will soon be produced in the Janesville-Beloit MSA, as well. NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes and SHINE Medical Technologies, which are projected to represent two of the three domestic producers of molybdenum (Mo-99), are projected to be fully operational 2018-2019. With the support of the federal government and strategic private sector partners such as GE Healthcare, Rock County is positioned to eventually becoming recognized as the nation’s isotope capital.

There are some sectors in which Otterstein would like to see more growth, such as financial and professional and business services. While growth in these sectors – fueled by firms such as AccuLynx, Comply365, Data Dimensions, FatWallet and SASid – is helping to boost the County’s Gross Domestic Product and income levels to unprecedented national rankings, “the goal is to continue growing the employment and diversity of these businesses.”

Although there are several interrelated attributes that impact the growth of these technology-intensive firms, the key is creating the right environment to attract / retain talent that supports these businesses. With access to over a dozen-plus institutions of higher learning that offer in-demand, two-and-four year programming, including the likes of Blackhawk Technical College’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, the region is recognized for its ability to generate a steady talent pool. Combined with pace-setting advanced placement and industry recognized certifications, the area’s K-12 school districts are actively contributing toward developing the workforce pipeline to meet employer needs.

In addition to leveraging these workforce development resources, Otterstein affirms that the Alliance has, “a host of other value-added services that distinguish our approach from the competition.”

For example, the majority of the build-to-suit land within Rock County is owned by local units of government. This ownership structure facilitates developer of choice, as well as enables the area to provide (independently) certified shovel-ready sites for about $1 per square foot. With over 425 acres out of a total of 725 acres classified as shovel-ready, the Janesville-Beloit MSA is able to assemble land sites that range in size from three acres to over 100-acres.

These build-to-suit sites include amenities such as interstate access / exposure, rail service, compatible land uses and completed archeological, environmental and geotechnical reports. Simply stated: nearly anything and everything attributed to the acreage within the Rock County’s business and industrial park portfolio has been researched, recorded vetted and mapped.

Anchored by aggressive local tax increment financing practices, the Alliance routinely packages up various forms of financial assistance (e.g. grants, loans, tax credits, etc.) to complement its collection of certified shovel-ready property. Realizing that time is money, the Alliance has hard-wired its development related systems and processes to achieve optimal speed-to-market outcomes. This accelerated framework enables the Alliance and its partners to usually issue permits or process other entitlement processes within thirty days.

The Alliance has a seasoned team and its bench of expertise is extremely deep. These attributes enable the Alliance to leverage a combination of tools and services to attract / retain as well as start-up value-added business. One of these tools is linked to the region’s quality of life.

Rock County’s unique geographic proximity, directly at the WI/IL Stateline where Interstates 39/90 and 43 converge, creates an appealing and affordable environment that would make one want to call this place home. For starters, it offers safe neighborhoods with extremely favorable housing pricing. Schools are strategically placed within the community, which negates the need for extended bus rides or carpooling for after-hours activities. The healthcare network, which leverages four local providers that have regional affiliations, offers acute and specialized care within a 15-minute drive time – equating to more time healing versus commuting.

In terms of recreational opportunities, there are thousands of acres dedicated toward public open space and parkland that offer trails to satisfy any number of active-to-passive recreational uses during the area’s four-season climate. The county is rich in history, cultural activities, festivals and semi-professional sporting events, as well. 

For those with a passion for an even higher level of exposure to these amenities, renowned offerings can be accessed in Chicago or Milwaukee within a two hour or less commute.

In essence, there is something for everyone to enjoy. And this is all accompanied by, “a casually paced lifestyle, without sacrificing the levels of sophistication and modernity that individuals and/or families expect or want.”

Speaking about the Rock County Economic Development Alliance’s role now and in the future, Otterstein concludes, “Our team approach specializes in creating value-added solutions, usually at a pace that is much quicker than the competition … we operate collaboratively and professionally.”

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(Beloit, WI) Robert Crozier, Beloit Daily News

More housing is coming to downtown Beloit.

The former Kerry Ingredients manufacturing building on West Grand Avenue will be remodeled into about 70 apartments that could be available as soon as late 2017, according to Hendricks Commercial Properties President and CEO Rob Gerbitz.

He said the units will be market rate and “a little bit more affordable” than the ones in the Phoenix building. The company already owns the building and is currently in the design phase, he said. The architects currently are laser scanning the space to create a 3D model of it on a computer, he said. And the finished apartments likely won’t be available to lease until late 2017.

The company also has designs on the former Kerry Ingredients headquarters building, which juts out over the east side of the Rock River on Grand Avenue supported by stone columns that rise from the water. It has for the last few years housed the office of, but recently announced a move into Hendricks Commercial Properties’ Ironworks complex.

The City of Beloit currently owns the former Kerry Ingredients headquarters building, but Gerbitz said his company will soon take over ownership.

But there are no final plans in place for its eventual use.

“We’ve looked at varying things,” Gerbitz said. “It’s such a prominent location downtown.”

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has long had complaints about how the building was constructed over the river but is expected to allow it to continue in its present form until at least the 2040s, so long as it’s well maintained, according to Gerbitz.

“Clearly it needs work,” he said. “You just have to take care of it and maintain it.”

The Hendricks company’s ongoing Ironworks complex project in downtown Beloit still has plenty of space left for business and industry, according to Gerbitz.

“We could have upwards of 500,000 square feet, but it’s going to be tenant driven,” Gerbitz said.

As he explained, the building is versatile. The company refurbishes the exterior walls and the front door beforehand and later finishes remodeling the interior differently depending on each tenant’s prospective use. If a prospective tenant wants high ceilings, they can eliminate a floor to accommodate. But the tradeoff is a reduction in total square footage.

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(Janesville, WI) SC Aviation, Inc. began construction on its 36,720 SF hangar at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport. The company's expanding air charter operation, which includes both domestic and international services, and aircraft maintenance are fueling this project. Once fully-operational, the company expects to increase staffing levels by over 30 full-time employees.

"We look forward to being able to accommodate our growing customer base in our new facility and to offer additional services," said Dan Morrison, SC Aviation Sales Director.

"By expanding its facilities and adding to its workforce in Janesville, SC Aviation is building on Wisconsin's historic and growing strength in aerospace and aviation," said Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Colony Brands, Inc., SC Aviation specializes in providing air charter (FAA Part 135), aircraft maintenance (FAA Part 145) and aircraft management services. With an operational history that dates back nearly 70 years, SC Aviation is one of the most experienced private flight departments in the Chicago region and its commitment to safety is recognized by a number of independent credentialing and rating agencies.

To facilitate this project, financial and technical support were provided by the following organizations: the City of Janesville, the County of Rock and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Paulson Kimball Construction, LLC is serving as the project's general contractor.

According to James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development Manager, "Just-in-time connectivity and cost considerations are continually reinforcing the compelling business case offered by the Janesville-Beloit MSA."

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(Janesville, WI) Excerpts from Judy Newman, WI State Journal

Madison and the Janesville-Beloit area are among the most dynamic metropolitan areas in the country, according to a report by the Milken Institute. Technology, among a other key industry sectors too, played a big role in determining this year’s most vibrant economies, the study said.

Madison ranked 20th on the list of the Top 25 Best-Performing Large Cities released by the nonprofit, nonpartisan economic think tank, up from No. 30 last year. Fueling the city’s improved showing, Madison ranked ninth in the U.S. for one-year wage growth from 2012 to 2013, and was No. 11 for high-tech growth between 2009 and 2014, the report said.

Janesville-Beloit leaped to fourth place this year among the Top 10 Best-Performing Small Cities from 41st in 2014. 

The statistical categories creating the most separation between the Janesville-Beloit MSA and its competitor locations were: Wage Growth (2012-2013) and High-Tech GDP Growth (2009-14 and 2013-2014). In these categories, the area recorded national rankings of #3, #1 and #6, respectively. Firms such as AccuLynx, Comply365, Data Dimensions, FatWallet, Foremost Media, SASid, State Collection Service – as well as others – are contributing toward these GDP and income gains. A number of these firms have announced and/or completed (expansion / relocation) projects during the last four-to-six years.

For additional information about the Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities report, visit this link.

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(Janesville, WI) IPM Foods, LLC is expanding and relocating to the City's East Side Business Park, where it has signed a long-term lease for 150,000 SF. To meet production capacities, as well as to gain operational efficiencies, IPM will consolidate its operations into a single, food-grade facility. The company has pegged Q3 2016 as the targeted operations date and staffing levels are expected to double.

IPM Foods is a contract manufacturer and packager of soups, gravies, sauces, vegetables and stocks. Primarily integrated into the organic, natural and premium food markets, the company continues to expand and diverse its customer base. IPM's Tetra Recart™ platform, from global packaging leader Tetra Pak®, is the world’s first carton-based retortable food package enabling it to hold specific shelf-stable, food products. 

Originally designed as a speculative building with multi-tenant functionalities, 4298 Capital Circle is currently undergoing USDA, FDA and HACCP Certified facility improvements. 

Gilbank Construction, Inc. is providing construction services for the project, while Angus Young Associates provided the architectural, design and engineering services. Capital Circle I, which is represented by area developers Tom Lasse and Terry McGuire, owns the building. Bill Mears, Coldwell Banker McGuire Mears & Associates, provided tenant and building owner representation. 

According to James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development  Manager, "An extremely favorable development climate, facilitated by strong public and private sector partners, continues to deliver investments into the Janesville-Beloit MSA."

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(Beloit, WI) Robert Crozier, Beloit Daily News

A downtown Beloit dot-com is moving across the street and across the river to occupy space in the Ironworks complex.

“We’ve expanded our operations,” spokesman Brent Shelton said. “We want to upgrade our operations in Beloit.”

The new site will also host operations for’s sister companies and, according to a press release.

Ebates and FatWallet provide customers with shopping deals and cash back rewards, and BFAds collects lists of Black Friday shopping deals and relays them to the subscribers of its newsletter. It counts Walmart, Ebay and Amazon among the 1,700 retailers it partners with, according to Shelton.

According to Shelton, the number of people employed by the company has quadrupled since it first moved to Beloit in 2011. The company currently employs more than 200 during the peak holiday shopping season.

The company is moving out of the former Kerry building, 100 E. Grand Ave., and into the Ironworks on the 600 block of Third Street, both in downtown Beloit.

The Ironworks complex, owned by Hendricks Commercial Properties, is the redevelopment of the former one million square foot Beloit Corporation headquarters. The complex is already home to Comply 365 and AccuLynx and is planned to be the new home for the Stateline Family YMCA, among other companies.

The new space is currently under construction with a February 2016 completion date, according to a press release. The completed design will have a strong industrial feel with structural steel and brick, and it will provide high-tech amenities, plenty of natural light and a nice view of the river.

According to Shelton, the 18,500 square foot office space in the Ironworks will allow a more modern, open office feel. The new office will have less square footage than its current one, but the open concept will make it seem like more space, he said.

“It’s going to be a huge open area,” he said. “The teams will be strategically positioned so communication is as high as we can make it.”

The company already has lunch catered to its employees every day and allows them to take short breaks to play the foosball, dart and arcade games strewn about the office, which Shelton said will remain a part of the company’s culture.

“There will still be nice, chill areas where people can play games,” he said. “The idea is to make the culture even better.”

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(Beloit, W) Clint Wolf, Beloit Daily News

Beloit Health System was one of only 17 health systems out of 1,700 nationwide to be honored recently with the 2015 Guardian of Excellence Award.

The award recognizes Beloit Health System for its quality clinical care and is awarded to the top 5 percent of top-performing health care organizations.

The award was based on data from 2014 reviewed Press Ganey Associates, a consulting firm serving the health care industry.

Beloit Health System Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Kenneth Klein said to earn the award, Beloit Health System was judged on 39 clinical measures. These measures included treatment of heart failure, stroke, acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism and post-natal care, among other care. The measures have to do predominantly with inpatient clinical care, he said.

“It’s basically saying we provide excellent quality care for out patients,” Klein said. “We were in the 95 percentile for the entire year.”

Beloit Health System was only one of three health care organizations in Wisconsin to receive the quality clinical care award. St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac and Sauk Prairie Health Care in Prairie Du Sac were the other Wisconsin recipients of the Guardian of Excellence Award.

This is the first time Beloit Health System has received the Guardian of Excellence Award for clinical care. However, it is not the first time the Press Ganey firm has pointed out good things going on in Beloit health care. In 2006, Press Ganey placed Beloit Memorial Hospital in the top 2 percent of hospitals in the nation for patient satisfaction. That rating was based on patient surveys completed when patients were discharged from the hospital.

Klein said the latest award could not have been achieved without the team approach that is present among the staff at Beloit Health System.

You cannot provide this quality care at this high level without a team effort,” Klein said. “It requires communication and a team approach.”

The task ahead of the staff now is to maintain this level of quality care.

“When you are in the 95 percentile, it’s hard to get better than that,” Klein said. “You have to say, now it’s time to get to work and improve on our record.”

Beloit Health System President and CEO Tim McKevett also credited the health system’s achievement of this national recognition to the doctors, nurses and staff who work with the patients each day.

“Our priority has always been quality patient care and we continuously strive to provide an exceptional experience for all our patients,” McKevett said. “This national recognition is a reflection of the caliber of our physicians, clinicians and staff who work each day to care for all who pass through our doors.”

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(Janesville, WI) By NIck Crow, Gazette

Parker High School senior Lavonne Sieling couldn't hide her excitement Tuesday working with first-graders at Washington Elementary School.

"They're so cute," Sieling said as she helped them through an Angry Birds branded coding lesson. "I can't believe how quickly they learn."

Sieling was at the school with classmates from her advanced placement computer science class. They were on hand to talk to the students about computer programming.

Besides Washington, students from Craig and Parker high schools visited students at Roosevelt, Madison and Jackson elementary schools and Marshall and Franklin middle schools as part of the Hour of Code.

Students in the schools were given coding exercises with themes such as "Star Wars", "Minecraft" and "Frozen" aimed at getting students interested in computer programming at an early age.

The Hour of Code is an initiative by designed to help bridge the gap between the low number of computer science graduates and a growing industry demand. The event exposes students in the district to one hour of coding experience.

"We are here to break coding down so that it's simple and fun for the kids," Sieling said. "It's useful to learn at a young age. It's not hard; it's just often presented in a way that looks overwhelming. If presented at a younger age, it's easy to learn, and more kids would know how to do it."

Parker teacher Bob Getka said that in the next 10 years 1.4 million computer programmer jobs will be available in the United States with only 400,000 people trained to fill them.

Companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Dropbox and Amazon support The nonprofit organization has developed a K-12 computer science curriculum designed to be teacher-friendly, student engaging and developmentally appropriate, Getka said.

The Janesville School District is the only district in Wisconsin partnering with, Getka said.

"We are one of the few districts to offer programming classes at both high schools, but one of even fewer to extend it to elementary and middle school," Getka said.

Getka said the district will begin offering computer programming in middle school next year. Some elementary schools in the district, such as Washington, have after school clubs focused on computer science.

"A lot of kids think computer science is a really a white boy, nerdy thing to do," Getka said. "But we're trying to show kids that there's a lot of people in computer science. It's the No. 1 paying four-year degree. There's such a high demand for it, but so few have the skills." was initially launched in February 2013 after former Microsoft developers Ali and Hadi Partovi released a YouTube video entitled "What Most Schools Don't Teach." The video was designed to urge schools to create computer science classes. After it received a strong response, they began creating an organization that supports a worldwide movement to expand computer science education to every student.

Amanda Werner, fifth-grade teacher at Madison Elementary, has been involved in the agreement with the school district since its inception. Janesville is the smallest district among the about 75 districts nationwide to have this partnership, she said.

"The shift in this area of academic programming matches the shift in the job market and the desired skill sets of a graduate," Werner said.

"Our district is one of only 5 percent in the nation that offers AP Computer Science despite the intense professional demand. There are only about 30 high school computer science teachers in the state of Wisconsin, and we have two of them," she said.

"These opportunities give our students a tremendous advantage."

Werner said every elementary and middle school student in the district is participating in the Hour of Code events during Computer Science Education Week.

The Hour of Code is a one-hour computer programming event designed to build excitement and show both teachers and students that anyone can code, Werner said.

Exposing students to basic computer programming teaches problem solving, critical decision-making, persistence, collaboration and communication, she said.

"As classroom teachers, it is our responsibility to help our students master grade-level standards," Werner said. "However, we also understand that our grade level is just one rung on a ladder that ultimately hoists students to the ranks of college and career readiness."

"If we do not expose students to computer science instruction in elementary school, we rob them of these essential mindsets, so by the time they can elect to take computer science in high school, they have the misconception that it's too hard or it won't be something they'd like," she said.

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(Janesville, WI) Gazette Staff

Four area teachers have achieved certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

They are:

—Janet Albert of Janesville, Morgan Elementary School, Beloit School District, middle childhood, generalist.

—Andrea Behn of Janesville, Parker High School, Janesville School District, early adolescence through young adulthood, world languages other than English.

—Christine Munch of Beloit, Adams Elementary School, Janesville School District, early adolescence, English language arts.

—Terri Ross of Evansville, Merrill Elementary School, Beloit School District, early childhood, generalist.

Thirty-seven teachers from 24 public school districts and two private schools throughout Wisconsin achieved the certification, according to the news release.

Statewide, 972 teachers are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Certification consists of four components: a written assessment of content knowledge, reflection on student work samples, video and analysis of teaching practice, and documented impact and accomplishments as a teaching professional, according to the news release. The process takes one to three years.

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