• Chuck Offenburger

Community Rally for Educators

SHENANDOAH, Iowa -- A crowd of more than 150 people turned out Wednesday evening Nov. 14 at the Elks Lodge in Shenandoah to honor the faculty, staff and key public supporters of the Shenandoah Community School District during American Education Week.

The Shenandoah Iowa Education Foundation co-sponsored the reception with the Shenandoah Education Association and the Support Staff Association Plus.

You can see photos below here of the major education award winners for 2018 that were announced at the reception, and read more about them in the story by KMA's Mike Peterson, by clicking right here.

"Teacher of the Year" Teresa Hughes hugs the Shenandoah Education Association's Cindy Novinger after Hughes' award was announced, and waiting with the presentation of it is the SEA's Tammie Stettler. See more photos below here.

Guest speaker was President Dan Kinney of Iowa Western Community College, who told the crowd about the importance of building solid financial foundations to support public schools and colleges alike, especially in this era when tax dollars support of public education is strained.

"It's hard work and it takes a long time to achieve results," Kinney said. "You've got to have persistence, you have to do some research and sometimes you're just lucky."

During his 24 years heading Iowa Western, the community college's foundation has grown from $234,000 to more than $30 million, with the largest gift being farmland valued at more than $10 million, adjacent to the Council Bluffs campus.

"President Kinney’s speech was good food for thought for our foundation," said Star Ann Kloberdanz, a retired teacher who is foundation secretary. "It may have given the audience an idea about our job in raising money."

Ten people in the audience helped with that, writing checks to join the foundation's "$100 Club." And more than $600 was contributed in a free-will donations toward the costs of the meal, which was provided by Lu & Al's Catering, which has as co-owner foundation vice-president Al Armstrong.

"From a big picture standpoint,we enjoyed our time with teachers, support staff, administrators, and community members," said Corby Fichter, president of the education foundation. "This gathering just gives our foundation and our community a chance to set aside a little time to say thanks and to honor those that teach, mentor, and inspire our youth from Shenandoah. We had some great food, great fellowship, great fun, and heard from a great speaker."

Kloberdanz added that "whenever we do something like this, I think it is important to focus on school, community and foundation as we are all in this together. We show our teachers, support staff and administrators that what they do, day in and day out, is valuable to our students and community."

Named 2018 "Teacher of the Year" by the Shenandoah Education Association was Teresa Hughes.

Support staff member of the year, honored by the Support Staff Association Plus, is Toni Graham.

The "Friends of Education," picked by the Shenandoah Education Association, are George Shaw (left) and Ty Davison for their work with students in the Fire Cadet program of the Shenandoah Volunteer Fire Department.

These three Shenandoah teachers were each presented $500 "mini-grants" from the Shenandoah Iowa Education Foundation that they'll use for learning enhancements for their students. Left to right are Maria Blake, TahRae Metzger and Holly Martin. Mini-grants like these are now available to faculty members each semester, thanks to donations the foundation has received.

Featured speaker Dan Kinney (right), president of Iowa Western Community College, was welcomed to Shenandoah by one of the college's board members Gregg Connell, executive of the Shenandoah Chamber & Industry Association.

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