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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-17-2007, 09:49 AM
Brandon Martus's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
Brandon Martus Brandon Martus is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Now that you've all got some free time, let's post those entries!
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Unread 04-17-2007, 04:49 PM
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sheltie234 sheltie234 is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Cyber Blue's Motto is to leave the team better than you found it, and Steve Wherry has completed that task with Gracious Professionalism. For the past 8 seasons, Steve has been mostly the "budget man", but on closer look, he has been so much more than that.

Steve has created a high level of student involvement in Cyber Blue. Through his math classes, he has recruited several students to become part of the program. Two of those students, Jason Kixmiller and Collin Fultz, went on to become Purdue FIRST scholarship winners, with Collin also becoming one of the first high school interns with our sponsor. Steve also recruited new members to create the team’s Public Relations sub-team; that team is now an integral part of what Cyber Blue accomplishes each season. Steve was also responsible for the formation of the sub-teams that make up Cyber Blue. Defined sub-teams allow several students the opportunity to develop as leaders.

Steve was also responsible for creating the Cyber Blue interview process. All students are required to submit an application and be interviewed for positions on the team. At the end of the season, he also organizes mentor input on students so that students can receive feedback during their interview for the next year’s team. This interview process was a key part of our selection as the Entrepreneurship Award winner at the 2006 Championship. The interview process has helped several team members become more confident public speakers; alumnus David Kelly said, "Before Cyber Blue, I hated public speaking, but after four years of interviews and design reviews, I have become a better speaker and feel more confident."

Steve’s major role on Cyber Blue is managing the team budget. He keeps track of student accounts, pays the bills, and organizes the sponsor lists. He makes sure there is team money left for a few small senior scholarships each year and manages the finances for the Indiana Robotics Invitational.

Steve makes the team travel arrangements for air, bus and hotel accommodations. At times, he plans his vacations to our planned Regional destinations to check out hotels for safety and security of the team members. He keeps track of release forms and coordinates with other teachers when we students will be out of the building on travel. He is always willing to help a student with homework assignments if needed while we are away at a competition.

Steve has also been instrumental in the growth of the Cyber Blue Parent Crew. He coordinates with the parent leaders and helps organize the parent crew meetings during the year, and other teams ask our team for help and guidance to create their own unmistakable parent crews.

Many on the team call him "Momma Steve", mainly from an incident in Florida in 2006. Several students ended up with the flu, and Steve stayed back at the hotel with them to help them get better. By Saturday, the students were all better, but then he had what they had been passing around!

Steve has written several scholarship letters for students and is always there to talk and listen if there are problems.

Although Steve’s job is mainly completed behind the computer, he is a key contributor to the ongoing success of Cyber Blue. Through his actions, the members of Cyber Blue have gained a respect for all of the support that is needed 'behind the scenes' to make the program work.

For all he does, Cyber Blue would like for Steve Wherry to be awarded the Woodie Flowers Award.



In Atlanta, a student read the entry to Steve infront of the team and gave him a framed copy of the submission

WE LOVE YOU STEVE!!!!!
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Unread 04-17-2007, 05:07 PM
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SPurekar SPurekar is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Here's what 226 wrote for ours. Jason won the WFA at the West Michigan Regional this year. Thanks for everything!

Jason Joye, an enigma in size 13 shoes. Best said by Warren Block, faculty advisor from Troy Athens High School, “He has the unique ability to instruct, inspire, and discipline, all with a smile on his face.” His commitment to our team is unmistakable. Mr. Joye interacts with our members on a year-round basis. Even with a full work schedule, he not only commits to the build season, but also attends summer meetings, off-season events, and volunteering activities. He helped plan and setup our FIRST Lego League Scrimmage and even stepped in as a judge when needed. Without him we would not have been able to compete at the Kettering Kickoff, an event we use to introduce our rookies to a FIRST style competition. He graciously volunteered to bring our robot and while there, assisted us in showing the rookies the principles of FIRST. Promoting student involvement, he tries to touch base with all subgroups of our team and works with as many members as he can. These are the kind of things that make him one of the most visible engineers, especially to our rookies. With unprecedented commitment and availability, one student was not afraid to call him at 2:00 in the morning, knowing she would get an immediate and caring response. “He wasn’t mad or grumpy at all. He answered my question and then talked for 15 minutes more, even though I had called so late at night. He’s always been there for us.” Approachable and young in age, Mr. Joye relates effectively with the students. He allows us to express the wildest ideas or concepts, and then decides what to say, or not say, to allow us to work through the problem-solving process. French author Antoine de Saint Exupery’s quote, “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” clearly shows Mr. Joye’s mentoring style. His compassion and humor can diffuse the stress of the most anxious student. “After working long hours on the robot, and all of us are so tired, but Jason is still upbeat and cracking jokes. He always sees the glass as half full.” Mr. Joye is a positive and supportive figure within our team. He sets an example by displaying professional and organizational skills in all his does. Leading without being over-powering, the students feel his passion for the project and connect with him on an intellectual level. Positive comments are his forte. Helpful, while allowing the students to learn, we have heard him say on many occasions, “If you break it, you break it. You learn from it. You get another piece, and you do it again.” He always seems to be the one we contact first. If we have a problem or question he is unable to address, he promptly finds someone who can. Not only accommodating with his time, he goes out of his way to help strengthen the communication links within our team. The sign of a good communicator is a good listener, and although he has aided our team is multiple ways, most of all, Jason Joye listens. For these reasons and many more, we, Team 226, the TEC CReW Hammerheads, nominate Jason Joye for the Woodie Flowers Award.
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Unread 04-29-2007, 04:25 PM
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WFA 2007 - Time to Share!

Team 1504- Jamie R3P0 Robinson

All FIRST teams face adversity, especially those in their rookie year of competition. Through strong support, the team will continue to exist and secure itself as an ongoing beacon for the high school students. On Team 1504, that support we have is named Jamie Robinson. Mr. Robinson, affectionately called “Repo” by team members, has supported the team when nobody else would, and along with his support he’s made the team's dreams of success into a reality that has helped students on and off the field over the years.
Team 1504, The Desperate Penguins, has been in a few difficult places, and Repo has come through every single time when we really needed it. Over the past two years being involved with our team, Repo has helped out the team by providing his own home as a place to finish constructing the robot when there was no other place available for us. Furthermore, he has aided the team by providing solid teaching practices that help students make the robot they wanted to create. He respects the fact that even though he could force the students to construct a robot with higher functionality, he instead lets the students work toward discovering engineering principles and obtaining self confidence. He has showed his devotion and provided his time. His time includes hours upon hours of CAD drawings up on the computer, and even more hours inspiring students for the time that he is there.
His involvement has aided The Desperate Penguins, even when that required some personal sacrifices on his part. Those sacrifices have not been easy for Repo over the years, but he has found ways to do it and has learned benefits from it too. He has taken some students under his wing and nurtures these students among the years. One such student, Nick Kappler, looks up to Repo as a second father, learning life lessons from him and improving himself along the way. Repo's tutelage prepared Nick for the leadership role of being a driver last year for our robot, and the tradition may well continue for the both of them. Nick is now a big team leader who teaches the new underclassmen that don’t know the abundance of FIRST competition. Nick’s leadership also helps out the underclassmen on how to become better leaders and better people overall in their lives. Repo's actions have created a domino effect that creates a recipe for success on this team.
Repo's tireless efforts have turned the team from a struggling team (formerly called BIG Spartan Robotics), into the team that, contrary to its new name, the Desperate Penguins, is not desperate at all. Last year, Repo volunteered to take the tools for the robot and large amounts of other necessary supplies so that the team could actually compete with the best of them throughout the FIRST program.
Team 1504 has come a long way since it started its rookie year in 2005, and Repo has been there through it all. From the team’s good times and even through the tough times that our team has had as a whole. He has helped the team establish itself to a point where it will continue even after he leaves (we hope he never does!). After all, the best mentors are the ones that not only teach the good concepts, but who perpetuate that teaching and learning so that the team will continually progress and improve with the future of the team.
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This season, I was a part of a great team, with great kids who were really inspired, and who inspired me back. That's my brag, what's yours?

Last edited by Brandon Martus : 04-29-2007 at 05:12 PM. Reason: merged into this thread ..
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Unread 04-29-2007, 08:38 PM
Bharat Nain's Avatar
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Team 25's submission for Paul Kloberg who won at CT. Written by Neil Parikh.

Quote:
The Woodie Flowers Award honors those individuals who have mastered the art of communication in the fields of engineering and design. Very few people exemplify all of the qualities necessary to succeed at this ambitious goal, and Paul Kloberg, mentor of Team 25, FIRST Senior Mentor, and mentor to numerous others across the Tri-State Area, does so with impeccable ease.

Known throughout much of FIRST as jolly, exuberant, excited, caring, tireless, and so much more, he dedicates countless time to numerous FIRST teams. From having started FRC303 many years ago, he has gone on to start more teams than anyone can count—his influence is far-reaching.

Mr. Kloberg originally got excited about FIRST when he saw the passion, dedication, and spirit in Team 25's eyes when they won the NJ Regional Event in 2000—and since then, his goal has been to bring that same passion, dedication, spirit, and knowledge to everyone. His goals are the same as those of FIRST, and he lives by and spreads the same ideologies— that "Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation," as William Arthur Wood once said. Neither domineering nor lax, Mr. Kloberg uses the perfect combinations of leadership abilities to keep kids on task, while still having them learn and teach others.

As the Senior Mentor for the New Jersey Region, he serves tirelessly to ensure that every team gets all the help it needs. Oftentimes, he spends his Saturdays visiting and checking in on four or five teams. Wayne Cokeley, coach of Team 25, boasts, "Paul Kloberg was doing the job of Senior Mentor of NJ before FIRST ever created the position"—alluding to Mr. Kloberg's sincere and everlasting dedication.

But more than his ability to inspire students, he also has a keen sense of how FIRST teams, school boards, and corporate sponsors function and is able to synthesize them into a cohesive whole for the benefit of all parties involved. One example lies in how he worked with Team 1923 from West Windsor-Plainsboro, NJ and their Board of Education to allow the team to compete using school funds. Originally stubborn, the school took a very laissez-faire attitude towards the team until Mr. Kloberg came along and convinced the school that the team was a worthwhile investment.

Incredibly devoted, he makes it a job to be there and to be someone everyone can count on. Randy Schaeffer, Regional Director of NJ/NY FIRST stated that he has the "can-do attitude that is changing the direction of FIRST," when Mr. Kloberg won Volunteer of the Year Award in 2003. He always goes above and beyond what is asked of him and extends his help graciously. Every year, he makes the arrangements for the NASA field for Brunswick Eruption, Team 25's off-season event. This past year, he also made sure that the first Monty Madness ran successfully by transporting the FIRST playing field from the Pennsylvania Robotics Challenge down to Montgomery High School in time for the competition. Heavily involved with all aspects of FIRST, he helps run FVC, FLL and FRC Tournaments across the state and has mentored (and/or helped start) teams 25, 303, 1089, 1923, 1403, and so many other teams that only he can remember all of them.

Each year at Brunswick Eruption, Team 25 awards a 'Big Kahuna' trophy to a mentor that has made a difference for the team; it represents our own version of the "Woodie Flowers Award". Mr. Paul Kloberg was the very first recipient of the honor and has since only become more active and dedicated to the cause of FIRST. Mr. Kloberg's infectious enthusiasm and unmatchable dedication make him a role model for all FIRST mentors.
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-= Bharat Nain =-

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Unread 06-03-2007, 02:09 PM
DCA Fan's Avatar
DCA Fan DCA Fan is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Here's the submission that won the San Diego WFA, Dan Rupert:

Daniel Rupert, a math and engineering teacher at the Preuss School UCSD, welcomes students every morning in his goofy voice, “Ladies and Gentlemen! Let’s build Battlebots!” Mr. Rupert’s silly jokes and easy-going persona has become a constant to his students, who find his hands-on teaching approach refreshing and enjoyable. Mr. Rupert came to Preuss in 2004 with a resume and a copy of Wired Magazine where he was photographed crouching inside a 180-pound exoskeleton lifting a 650-pound barbell. Three years later, he teaches Honors Algebra, Lego Robotics, Introduction to Engineering, and Principles of Engineering. Mr. Rupert engages 270 students, 30% of the school, in engineering. Among those, 57% are female, who aspire to break the “women can’t be engineers” stereotype.

Enthused by Mr. Rupert’s attitude about FIRST, many students go on to join team 812. He organizes the team into subgroups catering to different aspects of the competition. Students learn organization and communication through experience as leaders and responsible teammates. Providing instruction and encouragement, Mr. Rupert empowers students with skills in business and robot construction to become self-reliant. Constantly getting students to reach outside the school and team, he stresses outreach and robotics events. Beyond that, he provides transportation to give all opportunity to benefit from FIRST. Whether it’s sawing down wooden shelves for the homeless or securing the robot crate in the pouring rain, Mr. Rupert is right there with the students, working away. Under his leadership, the team has become a “model of a successful engineering corporation” [Qualcomm].

While working with Team San Diego, San Diego Regional Planning Committee and advising Team 812, Mr. Rupert stays devoted to teaching. He patiently instructs students and motivates those struggling by building relationships where students ask for help. He tutors after school and offers weekend help. Coming from a personal situation having worked multiple jobs to put himself through college, Mr. Rupert understands most Preuss students can’t turn to their parents, most of whom having little college education, for help. “Mr. Rupert is much more than just an advisor, or even a friend. He’s family” says Paul Nguyen, a 12th grader on the team. Mr. Rupert offers a place for students to learn and receive the support they need; a second home.

“I Have No Life. I Build Robots!” reads Mr. Rupert’s license plate. True; he doesn’t have a life. He teaches ten hours a day, dedicates extra hours afterward to robotics, and works on his BattleBot on the weekends. No matter how busy he is, Mr. Rupert makes time to encourage students to pursue their aspirations, especially in sciences. As a result, students on Team 812 often find themselves participating in scholarships and internships programs with UCSD and other notable institutions across the United States. “I remember in 9th grade, driving back from a work day at his house one night”, a senior member, Thien Nguyen recalls. “He said to me, “Thien! You are destined to become an engineer…” He didn’t know it then, but those words stuck with me. They’re the reason why I’m now heading to college, planning to major in engineering.”

With 80% of Team alumni pursuing careers in mathematics and science at elite universities like Amherst, Harvard, MIT, NYU, Stanford, and the UCs, students on Team 812 overcome biases attached to their low socioeconomic status. Coming from poor families, most of the team grew up thinking college was out of their reach. Everyday, Mr. Rupert takes a step further in changing that perception. For us, the Midnight Mechanics, Mr. Rupert is a role model, a friend, a parent, and the catalyst for change among students.
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2001-2005 FRC294 Beach Cities Robotics
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NEMO | San Diego Regional | Orange County Regional | FIRST California
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Unread 06-03-2007, 07:33 PM
Kyle A's Avatar
Kyle A Kyle A is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Here's the submission Team 306 submitted for Mr. Ken Morrison, that won the Pittsburgh WFA,

When Mr. Ken Morrison came across several academic programs for high school students in 1999, he presented his ideas to the school board to initiate these activities and was fortunately approved. He recruited a few high academic potential students to pilot teams to compete in a variety of competitions, of which FIRST Robotics Competition was included. Auspiciously, these events went so well that he decided to expand the program that fall to include the new FIRST LEGO League. He started six FLL teams that year, and signed up a seventh the following year. On top of being a full time teacher in the vocational wing of our school, he currently mentors four of these teams, coordinates logistics for the seven FLL teams, and serves as the primary mentor and coordinator of our FIRST Robotics team, 306.

You might expect to see someone with such a massive workload bent in exertion, completely overcome with his daily tasks. However, this man is one of the most cheerful, encouraging and thoughtful people you will ever meet. Through persistence and faith in the program, coupled with a seemingly boundless enthusiasm, he emerges as a calm, collected mentor who can always find the time to listen to a technical obstacle or a radical idea. Team members and students who have some odd concept often approach him, and yet no matter how strange it seems, he always seems to have an example to support the idea, or perhaps another direction toward which to aim.

An important methodology that employs is to never answer a question with an answer. Though it may be frustrating sometimes, we are never given our knowledge- but rather, we are gently led into it. By having to work to learn, team members can honestly say that they figured something out every day. A common dialogue heard at meetings consists of:

“How do we do this?”

“Well, what if you did this? This is used on this… Or maybe we could use this…What do you think?”

Perhaps the most important ideal our “chief” holds is that the robot and the team is built by the team. He makes it very clear that the robot is to be built by the students; he is just there to guide us in the right direction. From this attitude, he has directly inspired many alumni to pursue engineering degrees. John Hallberg, a 2003 graduate, recalls,

“Entering the program, I had decided that I wanted to be a welder for the rest of my life. A little while into the year, with some guidance from Ken, I was looking for a college to obtain an engineering degree. I’m now about to receive my ME.”

Generating interest in FIRST is also a big priority for Mr. Morrison. He has used 306 to support first-year regionals such as Pittsburgh, and even sent one of our robots to Annapolis in 2002 to spark the interest of the navel reserve there. He is currently serving as an advisor for FLL teams starting in a local city.

Without Mr. Morrison, team 306 simply would not exist. He continues to enthuse team members every day with his experience and technical knowledge, and a personality that exudes confidence. It is hard to be around him and not learn something. His faithfulness to his students and FIRST is unwavering, even through daunting challenges. Ken is truly a mentor who inspires one to aspire.
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Last edited by Kyle A : 06-03-2007 at 07:40 PM.
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Unread 06-06-2007, 04:30 PM
Candice.E Candice.E is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Here's Team 1114's winning nomination for Derek Bessette (Waterloo).


Within the FIRST community all mentors are good, many mentors are great, but very few can be called exceptional, ethical, influential and enthusiastic all in the same sentence. To hear these words associated with Team 1114's Derek Bessette would barely turn a head in the presence of anyone who knows him, because all of us, students and mentors alike, think of him as just that.

Derek was one of the founding mentors of Team 1114 in 2002, and has been immersed in the FIRST community ever since. He currently holds the position of lead General Motors mentor, and was integral in the founding of Teams 1503 and 1680 through the NiagaraFIRST collaboration. Derek is also our FRC driveteam coach. He is the coach that praises his students no matter what the outcome while keeping a calm demeanor and his ability to think quickly. Derek’s uncanny ability to bring his team together to the point that a mental link almost exists, makes it possible for our team to do tasks that for others would seem unachievable. Derek also takes time to volunteer at both FVC and FLL events using the opportunity to show and spread his ever growing passion for FIRST. Woodie Flowers Finalist Award Winner Karthik Kanagasabapathy says "Derek's passion is only matched by his desire to positively influence his students, whether through his design genius or helpful advice." If his passion isn't enough to win over his students, Derek has the personality and confidence to fall back upon. Every day Derek comes into the shop with a grin on his face, crooning along to whatever song happens to be blasting over the speakers and dancing as if the world couldn't be any better. He brings smiles to the faces of everyone who happens to be in the same room as him, and his infectious enthusiasm is always shared with the people that surround him. Derek brings the best out of every student in his midst and will never allow the shop to become a boring place to work.

At times it seems as if Derek's personal motto could be "No Simbot left behind". Many people who have had the pleasure of working with Derek say that, it doesn't matter who you are or what you have to say, he will always listen and value your opinion as if you were his equal. His actions show this more than anything as he finds roles for everyone, giving them tasks he knows they will enjoy, while at the same time teaching them something new and subtly stretching their comfort zones. His accessibility and clear explanations through whatever analogies seem to pop into his head in a flash of brilliance, never cease to amaze. Using whatever medium necessary, Derek provides the students with a complete understanding, no matter how complex the subject may be. Each explanation he gives shows more and more how much he loves engineering and the true importance of the engineering education he received. This makes it no shocking discovery that many of the students Derek has mentored over the years look up to him, and have made the decision to become engineers themselves. He has also inspired many to carry themselves with the same self-assurance and have the same enthusiasm and passion towards FIRST as he displays.

Derek is the true driving force behind 1114's success and the reason 1114 continues to exist today. There is no end to his brilliance, enthusiasm and his ability to embed fun and excitement into the FIRST experience. We owe Derek more than words can describe for the amount of time he has put into our team and the enthusiasm he brings to it.
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Unread 06-08-2007, 03:45 PM
Rich Kressly's Avatar
Rich Kressly Rich Kressly is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Keep those winning entries coming!!!
...and if you have or know where to find a picture of any of our 2007 regional winners, please let Brandon know so we can have it posted here:
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/wf...tail&year=2007
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technology, innovation, and invention without a social conscience will only allow us to destroy ourselves in more creative ways
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Unread 06-15-2007, 07:27 PM
Steve W Steve W is offline
Grow Up? Why?
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Here is team 188 entry for the GTR RWFA winner, Mark Breadner:

Since Woburn Robotics’ inception into FIRST in 1998, Mark Breadner has continued to be an indispensable source of leadership and inspiration for our team and all those around him. Not only was he one of our team’s founding mentors, he was also the driving force behind FIRST’s introduction to Canada. With the belief that the FIRST competition could make a profound impact on students’ lives, he and a small group of Woburn students spent unbelievable amounts of time giving presentations and robot demonstrations to other schools and community groups. It is not an exaggeration to say that Mark Breadner single-handedly formed over 20 teams and garnered the support of many corporate companies that still sponsor FIRST teams and competitions to this day. Their hard work and persistent efforts were rewarded with the formation of the Canadian Regional in 2002, the first competition held outside of the United States and the precursor to FIRST’s increased international presence. Today, there are over 50 teams in the Greater Toronto Area alone and the FIRST community in Canada is still growing. Mark Breadner's dedication to ensuring the international growth of FIRST has placed Canada prominently on the FIRST map, and has brought Dean Kamen’s dream of having a team in every high school a little closer to realization.

Mark Breadner’s impact on his students is striking – two former Woburn students have won regional Woodie Flowers Awards, three have won Volunteer of the Year Awards. Countless others have returned to mentor our team, gone on to start new teams, and volunteered their time to plan and run events. WFA winner Karthik Kanagasabapathy asserts, “Mark Breadner is by far the most effective leader I have ever met. He was such a role model to me that I worked twice as hard to ensure I would never disappoint him. I would not be where I am in life if it wasn’t for his guidance.”

After serving as the Regional Director for the Canadian Regional, Mr. Breadner returned to Woburn as our vice-principal. Throughout all this, he has continued to play a large role in establishing connections between our team and our local community, always encouraging us to promote FIRST with presentations to local elementary schools and corporate companies. There is not a single day that we hesitate to step into his FIRST memorabilia-covered office and discuss the progress of the robot or competition strategy with him. He is always on-hand to offer his students and fellow mentors sound advice, solid proof that despite his busy job as a vice-principal and a family-man, his passion for FIRST has never wavered. Instead, it has been strengthened into an infectious enthusiasm. Beyond motivating and inspiring students, he has also been able to convince all those around him that have never even been exposed to FIRST to become dedicated mentors and volunteers. His wife, Rhona, has become an integral part of organizing FLL and FRC teams and competitions. His three children are always seen eagerly helping out at competitions, and it is obvious that they have been inspired by their father’s unabandoned sense of spirit.

Mark Breadner is an easily recognizable face at competitions, known for his penchant for Shania Twain music and his seemingly endless wardrobe of FIRST clothing, but even more so for the dedication and guidance he has shown in advancing FIRST. After all that he has done to inspire our team and the FIRST community, there is no doubt in our minds that no one is more deserving of the Woodie Flowers Award than Mark Breadner.
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Unread 06-15-2007, 07:29 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

The other2 previous RWFA winners from team 188 can be seen at
http://www.team188.com/web/index.php...itle=Resources

The years are wrong right now but will be fixed soon.
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Unread 06-26-2007, 03:07 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

This is team 1675's Woodie Flower's award for 2007 that won at the Wisconsin Regional.

To Kevin:

This year Team 1675, the Ultimate Protection Squad, would like to nominate Kevin Kolodziej for the 2007 Woodie Flowers Award. He is not only a mentor of our team but the founder of the Milwaukee Vex League, a founding member of the Milwaukee FIRST Support Organization (MFSO), a referee and judge in FLL, team communications and team social assistant on the planning committee for the Milwaukee Regional, a full time student, referee in IRI and Purdue, and works at Novum Structures as a project engineer. Our amazing mentor has been part of FIRST for nine years, five of which were spent mentoring. Kevin is not only an amazing person; he is a dedicated, helpful, and enthusiastic mentor.

Kevin has been a part of the team since our first year in 2005. “Kevin was the mentor that truly cared that we made it as a team. He was completely in charge of everything. He did all the paper work, organized everything…and taught us the animation software. He was our contact to FIRST, the mentor for every ‘sub-team’, and the one who ‘taught us the meaning of FIRST’. That first year he was essentially the team, helping us understand what we were doing.” states Liz Widen, alumni on team 1675. That year was a crucial time for the team as the students didn’t know what they were doing. Kevin stepped up and taught the students how to run a team giving us the structure that we have now.

After more then half of the team graduated in 2005 Kevin came back to a team filled with freshman and sophomores that had no idea what needed to be done to finish a robot in six weeks. While some of the members had been a part of the Milwaukee Vex League that Kevin had founded, FIRST was in a whole different category. A “Jack of all trades and a master of none,” as many of the team members call him, he taught the animation team how to use 3D Max, coached the chairman’s committee, and educated a number of members on the team about mechanics. The team was extremely unorganized due to the small amount of returning members. Realizing this Kevin provided a huge amount of organization; coordinating many community services and helping us mentor team 1714 in their rookie year. Kevin was a key part to the drive team and helped The Ultimate Protection Squad reach 11th place in the Archimedes division, allowing us to play back up in the finals.

The previous summer, Kevin’s determined streak was really brought out. After being in a car crash that crippled his right arm, he still fulfilled obligations as a mentor. He was at the pre-season robotics meetings and went to the kick off with our team 1675 and team 1714. Through out this season Kevin has been teaching the members on this team about 3D Studio Max, logistics, and the mechanics of an arm.

Team 1675 feels that Kevin truly helps the team through organization, communication, and his teaching. One of the students on team 1675 said that, “Kevin teaches you the whole process, the math, the mechanics and physics, then he can bring that into the shop and help us translate our knowledge into a well made part.” This is truly valued on the team because the students feel that they should work on most of the robot, and not the mentors. With out the lessons the team learned from Kevin about communication, organization, and the process of engineering we would be a lot further behind in the maturity of the team.

From: Renee and the rest of Team 1675, Ultimate Protection Squad

(Not included in the submission)

This year Kevin again coached two teams. During the season Kevin helped keep the team up and running, organizing the subgroups, making everyone communicate, and teaching students how to build a phnumatics system. At the events, Kevin coached team 1714 and helped team 1675 keep moral high and the robot on the field. In Atlanta he also served as an emergency replacement coach when our regular coach was unable to attend. He even brought back the forgotten "AAAAAA!!!!!" from a Michigan team that lived so close to Canada they wanted to be Canadian. Kevin has continued to help the team after the season with a banquet and several demonstration events.

So basically, Kevin rocks. Worship him. NOW.

By: Nick and Renee
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Unread 06-26-2007, 10:11 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Los Angeles 2007 WFFA Winner Joseph Vanderway. 599's submission:
Quote:
There comes a time in every student's life when one of their teachers truly inspires them. This person patiently and humbly helps them learn and grow in ways beyond the required curriculum. For 30 kids at Granada Hills Charter High School, that teacher is Joseph Vanderway; coach of the RoboDox, team 599.
Mr. Van is the very image of the ideal instructor. He patiently works with his students to ensure that they understand what they are doing and presents everything in easy-to-understand and sometimes riotously humorous language. In his dealings with others, he always communicates intelligently and with humility that makes him admirable but very approachable. He is also a man of very strong moral fiber. He would have to be to coach the RoboDox, who are well-known throughout FIRST for their gracious professionalism and their dedication to helping other teams succeed. Though this tradition is due to the ongoing decisions of the team members, no one can deny that it is his personal integrity that inspires us to such sportsmanship.
Always a pillar of support, his contributions have been more than academic. He has time and again proven his reliability and trustworthiness to those who approach him. First-year member Miranda Bethune said:
"Mr. Vanderway is one of the most amazing teachers I have ever had. I could easily launch into a whole speech about how brilliant Mr. Van is, but I truly believe that what defines Mr. Vanderway isn't his genius or his ability to teach - it's his heart of gold that makes him who he is. Mr. Van has been there for me - not just as a coach, or as a teacher, but as a friend. He believes in me, and he has given me self-confidence and helped me to believe in myself. This has been my first year on this team, and I had known nothing about robots, but Mr. Van would encourage me to try any idea I had, no matter how ridiculous it seemed. But he's done so much more for me than simply believing in me."
Junior Megan Lysholm has been awed by Mr. Van's compassionate assistance on several occasions. Reflecting, she recalls:
"Throughout this year, Mr. Van has served as a sort of father to me. He was there for me when I needed him and no one else really could be. For that, I really could not sum him up or describe him in any better way than 'Mr. Van is awesome.'"
Mr. Van is one of a kind. He is the only coach we know of who is also a Shakespearean actor and pursues archery as a hobby. Learned, eloquent, moral, and artistic; he is a true renaissance man. One of his greatest assets is his ability to captivate the attention of his pupils. His body language, sense of humor, and animated manner of speech blend together into a theatrical, captivating, and genuinely educational whole that leaves his audience amused and enlightened. His oratory skill is so great that he has been called upon by FIRST on many occasions to serve as announcer for competitions, even in which RoboDox did not compete.
Every year, at every competition we attend, the members of team 599 watch during the awards ceremony as a great mentor is given special recognition for their outstanding contributions to their students and FIRST alike, and think, "Why not Van?" After all he's given to us, FIRST, and everyone he meets, we feel that he deserves nothing less than the greatest honor that FIRST can bestow upon an individual. He is truly a FIRST class man.
Congrats Van, you deserved it!!!!!
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Unread 11-23-2007, 03:47 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Wow... look at these examples. Has your team started your 2008 entry yet? Rules are posted here:
http://www.usfirst.org/community/frc...nt.aspx?id=452
Go!!!!
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Unread 01-23-2008, 04:46 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2007: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

How's your team doing with this? Don't forget, Amanda Morrison has agreed to help edit these entries - woohoo. And to put you in the mood to go write an entry for a deserving mentor, here's Dina Campagna's winning entry from last year!
---------------------------------
It is easy to find Team 341's mentor, Ms. Dina Campagna. If she isn't in the pits helping fix the robot, then she is in the stands cheering like crazy. To find her, just listen for the loudest voice and match it with the reddest hair. Her fun-loving personality boosts team morale, and her expertise in technological matters has been critical to our team's success. FIRST Senior Mentor, Rich Kressly, says that Ms. Campagna "not only sets a shining example for the student members of FRC 341, but also for other teams, mentors, and FIRST volunteers in all of our programs.”
Ms. Campagna is a dedicated mentor who takes personally our team goal of building people. In the shop, Ms. Campagna teaches students how to use the machines and suggests design improvements. In the media lab, she guides students through the complexities of computers and cameras. She always takes the time to sit down with students and talk through problems –and solutions. Team 341 mentor, Ken Dixon, says "she has a way of encouraging students to push-out a little bit more with a 'can-do' spirit." Despite her demanding teaching schedule, she is present 20 hours a week or more throughout build season. During the off-season, she works hard to prepare the team for our off-season events and still takes the time to help the new team members settle in.
This summer, her efforts to help our team develop a lasting relationship with a VEX team in Singapore paid off. Ms. Campagna and several other coaches and students traveled to Singapore with our robot in August to visit our sister-schools there. It was an unparalleled opportunity for members of Team 341 to explore Singaporean culture and to spread the ideas of FIRST to the students, professors, and community members with whom the team met.
Ms. Campagna knows that without a good communication system, even the most talented teams will fall apart. She created journals for the team to record daily progress in order to improve the coordination of our team, and she encourages us to post what is done on our team's online forum. For demonstrations, she helps us create multimedia presentations that effectively convey team aspects, from how our robot is engineered to our community activities. She also urges parents to get them more involved in the team's activities. She encourages them to volunteer at events like Ramp Riot and takes time to show them what exactly we do.
As a woman engineer, Ms. Campagna knows how helpful it is for girls to have role models to inspire them to pursue their interest in science and technology. Not only does she support the girls on Team 341, but she also mentors other young women in the community. Last year, as a result of a partnership between Miss Daisy and the Girl Scouts of America, she coached all-girls LEGO League team at our middle school, which went on to win the Dare Mighty Things Award at the Philadelphia FLL Tournament. She has also participated in events such as DeVry University’s HerWorld, which was a day for girls to become interested in science and technology.
Ms. Campagna works closely with mentors from other teams, such as Team 357, which has repeatedly asked her to serve as the Head Judge at their Lego League Tournament. "As a team mentor, event volunteer, FLL judge advisor, FVC coach, FIRST ambassador abroad, and friend, her boundless energy encourages all of us to stretch ourselves to become better people," says Rich Kressly. Her natural inclination for helping other teams makes her a role model for gracious professionalism. Because of all the hard work and dedication that Ms. Campagna puts into our team, she truly is a mentor that all teams could use.
-------------------------------------
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