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  • Writer's pictureJamie Burdorf

BURDORF: Here’s to normalcy this summer!


As I type this column, it is the first of June. Part of me thinks, “How can that be?” The other part thinks, “That was quite the school year!”

When I say that the 2020-2021 school year was one for the history books, I know that I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. In a year when words like “masks,” “COVID,” “quarantine,” and “social distancing” were part of our everyday language, we adapted and we endured.

I cannot say enough about how well the Shenandoah Community School District navigated through these unchartered waters in the midst of a global pandemic. They planned and changed plans as needed. I remember getting a text from my freshman daughter early in the school year that said, “Mom, I don’t know how long we’re going to be in school. I only have five kids in my classes.”

Guess what? We did it! Through planning and persistence we were able to stay with in-person learning the entire school year. Personally, the only time my family had to quarantine was when yours truly tested positive in September. I find myself grateful that it was only one time.

Now, the halls are once again empty. Teachers have closed down their classrooms and kids are busy with ball games, gearing up for tennis camp and swim team, or maybe they have their first part in the “Frozen, Jr.” play that the Southwest Iowa Theatre Group is staging. Life feels somewhat normal again.

The graduates have heard their names announced, received their diplomas, had their tassel turned and celebrated with friends and family. For them, this summer will be bittersweet as they prepare for college or perhaps have even started working.

The Shenandoah Iowa Education Foundation, in its fifth year, awarded $27,000 in scholarships to this year’s graduates! That makes us proud that we are able to do that with the generosity of so many of you. Thank you for making a difference as these SHS grads start to make their way out into the world.

Here’s to normalcy this summer. At our house, that means a calendar full of baseball and softball games, which is just the way we like it! It is, by far, our favorite time of year. I hope you all spend it the way you want too -- fishing, golfing, reading, bike riding and whatever else intrigues you. Relax and rejuvenate. Happy summer!

If you’re interested in helping making a difference with the Shenandoah Iowa Education Foundation, go to our website at or contact Jamie Burdorf, Executive Director at or 515-520-7641.

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