Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!  As holidays approach I always get “overly reflective” …

  • Nancy and I are so blessed to have joined Interstate 35 CSD and the area
  • We are also blessed to be close to all three of our children and grandchild (wow did they undersell the awesomeness of becoming a grandparent!)
  • As has been shared with me by several district patrons … Interstate 35 CSD is a diamond in the rough ,,, I couldn’t agree more as this is a quality school system providing excellent opportunities for students – but I genuinely believe the best years lie ahead as we move into the future … we want to be the district that all others wish they were
  • We are fortunate to have a dedicated, caring staff … teachers, associates, secretaries, custodians, maintenance, food service, transportation … everyone is dedicated to the students of this district and what else matters?
  • Our students are awesome – they have made us feel very welcome and part of the Road Runner family

Truthfully I could go on and on … but suffice to say we’re thrilled to be here and it is an honor and privilege to serve the Interstate 35 School District.

Merry Christmas.


We were just notified that senior Josh Hughes has been selected as one of two Iowa students to participate in the United States Senate Youth Program in Washington, DC!  Is that awesome or what!  This is a very prestigious program – and highly competitive – WAY TO GO JOSH!

To read the Iowa Department of Education press release, please click here.

Geez … Time Flies When You’re Having Fun


I went to post today and noticed my last post was over a month ago … my bad and my apology.  Where exactly does all the time go … and why does it seem to just go faster and faster the older I get? 🙂  The reality is everyone gets very wrapped up in all the things going on around us … and I’m certainly no different.  In an effort to “catch up” with postings, let me share a potpourri of things … in no particular order!

  1. If you haven’t had a chance to see our Dance Team perform you’re missing a great show!  Mr. Kaster, Mr. Condon and I got the opportunity to watch our kids perform at the state competition in Wells Fargo Arena last week – they ended up placing second but there is no doubt in my mind we were the best!  Our kids did an amazing job and seriously were the class act of their competition – it was an awesome night to be a Road Runner!  Special props to Tiffany Johnson and Deann Strange for their guidance and leadership as coaches of the Dance Team – and even more special props to the participants – they work so hard and just delivered a rock solid performance – thank you for your efforts and representing Interstate 35 Community School District so well.
  2. Have you seen the new format of the Road Runner Report?  It is truly an amazing document put together by our students – the focus has shifted from simply reciting things that are happening at school to digging deeper from a journalism perspective.  The appearance of the Road Runner Report has also changed due to some new technology available to our students and staff – to me it is an extremely professional look and the quality of the writing/articles is super.  If you haven’t checked it out – please do so!
  3. If you haven’t seen, Interstate 35 School Board meetings now have a digital footprint … as a trial, we videotaped the November 25, 2014 Board Work Session and Regular meeting.  The digital tape was delivered to Interstate Communications for playing on the public access channel; it also has been uploaded to YouTube.  If you wish to watch the meetings and don’t have Interstate Communications cable television, simply go to the school’s website and look in the News section on the front page.  Please know the recording is just that … a recording of exactly what occurred at the Work Session and Regular meeting without editing.  This is being done by the Board in the spirit of transparency; the practice will be reviewed after several months to see how it is working for our patrons.
  4. The Wellness Center is now officially open for public use!  If you haven’t seen the new Wellness Center it is worth your while to stop in and take a tour.  Our I-35 students are using the facility virtually every day in physical education classes, and students are also using the facility before and after school.  The Board wanted to make the facility available for public use as long as it doesn’t interfere with the primary objective – the students.  Consequently we asked Mr. Kaster to pull together a committee and design a program for public use that would be revenue neutral, e.g., not use district funds for public use.  They came up with a very reasonably priced punch card system; punch cards may be purchased from the central office during regular business hours, from the Wellness Center during public use hours, and at various school activities.  If you have any questions, feel free to give the central office a call for more details!
  5. We’ve been working diligently in putting together a curriculum review process in our district that will include curriculum mapping (what is taught where and when), revisions to be compliant with the Iowa Core, and to align our K-12 curriculum in all areas.  This work is challenging and tedious and is not something that gets done (well anyway) in short period of time.  Our district’s initial focus with this new process will be K-12 math.  We have put together a District Math Team that is designing the process for reviewing all aspects of our K-12 math program, including focused work on mathematical shifts taking place across the country, the Standards of Mathematical Practice, and the Iowa Core – all of these are driven by research and best practices from that research.  We’ll certainly share more information as this moves along; again, this work is challenging and time consuming and will not be accomplished in a short period of time – substantive change takes time to become internalized.  While this process is going on, our District Leadership Team (comprised of teachers, associates, and administrators) is developing as well.  Subcommittees of the District Leadership Team currently include Curriculum, Professional Development, Technology, and Program Review.  We believe the structures we’re putting in place will coordinate our efforts in all of these areas as we look to the future.  Again, as these processes mature we’ll share more and more information with all of you.

Well, I could probably go on and on and on … but better move to other things at this point.  I promise to try and do a better job of posting more often … Merry Christmas everyone.