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  • Writer's pictureJamie Burdorf

BURDORF: A fresh outlook – wow!


The sun rises over the trees that line the practice football field.

I remember when my husband, Aaron, accepted the job of Activities Director/9-12 Assistant Principal in Shenandoah in 2017, we made plans to come down for a visit. It was our first trip to what would end up being our new home. I had no idea what to expect.

Aaron made plans to go through some things at the school, which left our four kids and me on our own. We drove around town exploring, and I remember stopping in at Howard’s downtown to buy some Shenandoah gear. After 12 years of black and gold at West Marshall of State Center in central Iowa, it was time for some maroon in our lives!

I had a great conversation with Darlene Howard and it turned out we mutually knew Hamburg native Ken Winkler. Winkler was a very successful football coach at West Marshall. It reminded me that everybody is somehow connected, and that conversation with Dar put me at ease that this move was going to be O.K.

The walking path between the K8 and high school buildings.

After that, we explored the school grounds. I was immediately drawn to how the Shenandoah Schools campus is set up. Having K-12 buildings within walking distance of each other was not something I was used to. I loved the sidewalk system. When I found out that all that green space and the wooded area was actually school property AND that there was a cross country course right on school grounds? Wow! Mind blown. If you’ve lived here for years, you may not realize how special that is, but I assure you that it is.

Whether it’s the middle of summer, enjoying fall colors, or even walking my dog in the middle of winter, I feel like we have a great set up. I love watching the sun come up over the trees in the morning and I love watching the sun go down and make the perfect silhouettes at night.

The cross country course turns into a winter wonderland.

If you looked with fresh eyes at our school and community, what would you see and appreciate? What are your favorite things about this place? Lots of good things are here to appreciate and good things will continue to happen.

The Shenandoah Iowa Education Foundation is committed to making good things happen for our school, teachers and students. If you’re interested in making a difference you can make a donation right here on our website. Or, if you have any questions you can reach out to me -- Executive Director Jamie Burdorf at or (515) 520-7641.

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