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Adult Ed Center director receives state award

By   Erin Wood
10/19/2016

April Duchscher, director of the Devils Lake Adult Learning Center, received the North Dakota Association for Lifelong Learning (NDALL) Outstanding Leadership/Service Award during the NDALL Fall Conference Sept. 29 in Mandan.

The Outstanding Leadership/Service Award is given to a business person, school administrator, legislator or community group who demonstrates exceptional leadership in his/her area of responsibility, exemplifies and supports the NDALL purpose of 
supporting lifelong learning, and encourages others. 

“April has demonstrated exceptional leadership in her time at the Devils Lake Adult Learning Center and is constantly encouraging her students and staff to be their best,” says NDALL Past President Jennifer Kraft. “NDALL is pleased to recognize her accomplishments and commitment to helping others.” 

April has done an outstanding job leading the learning center in Devils Lake the past three years, said Bridget Hanlan, instructor at the Adult Learning Center

“As an administrator April has demonstrated exceptional leadership and responsibility. April’s accomplishments have been tremendous in her first couple of years as an administrator,” Hanlan said. “She has opened a new satellite, encouraged professional development amongst her staff, advocated for new technology improvements in all her sites to reach students with transportation challenges.”

The Devils Lake Adult Learning Center services the Devils Lake community along with satellite sites in New Rockford, Rugby, and Langdon. Under April’s supervision instruction has continued in each of those sites and each site has also produced graduates each year. April also developed a new satellite site in Lakota that now has her center offering English language classes. After a request for services April researched the need of the program, found a teacher for the program, and was able to purchase materials to get the satellite program underway in less than two months. 

She also works closely with other adult learning centers in the state for advice and to also provide guidance. 

“This shows that her focus is student achievement across the state, not just in Devils Lake. April recognizes the value of collaboration and welcomes suggestions in order to improve her program,” Hanlan said.

April encourages her staff to be their best and supports professional development opportunities. She has also spoken at numerous board meetings across town and sent out information at high school career fairs by having a booth with the reality of the GED test as well. Her dedication and “get it done” attitude is a great fit for an outstanding leader. 

The Devils Lake Adult Learning Center has continued to post a comparable number of graduates with other centers in the state with the new GED test (Devils Lake has been in the top 3 for the past two years). Much of that success is because of the flexibility and accessibility Duchscher provides. 

“She has set up flexible official testing to accommodate all students, along with successfully locating scholarships from community organizations to assist in paying for GED tests for students. The list continues to grow each week, month, and year for April’s achievements as an administrator in the ALC.”

NDALL is a statewide association that supports adult education and alternative education, its providers and clients. For more information, visit www.ndall.info.