Monday, April 25, 2011

Staff Changes

The Sioux Center Community School District will have an experience in the fall of 2011 that is unusual for our district.  Typically, when a teacher comes to the district they tend to stay for quite a while.  I believe this a result of a supportive community and an excellent school system.  This spring seven staff members will retire.  There will be many new faces on the teaching staff for next year.  Let me summarize the changes.

Gretchen Bruhn, currently a high school language arts instructor will assume the district-wide teacher librarian duties from Char Krahling who is retiring after forty years of service to the district.  Mary Bleeker will retire after thirty five years of service to the district.  Camilla Bahrke, currently a language arts instructor at Perkins County High School in Grant, Nebraska, and Lisa Wiersma, English as a Second Language teacher in the MOC-Floyd Valley District, will assume the vacated language arts positions at the high school.  Diane Den Herder will be retiring after twenty nine years of service to the district.  Ashley Langel who is currently a long term substitute teacher in the Le mars School District will take over the Life Science position in the high school.  Michael Albarracin, the instrumental leader at West Liberty Community School District, will serve as the new high school band instructor.

Retiring from the Sioux Center Middle School at the end of the current school year is Vicki Franken, middle school guidance counselor, twenty nine years of service, Anita Van Ravenhorst, fifth grade language arts instructor, thirty five years of service, and Patty Sneller, middle school resource teacher, twenty six years of service.   Grant Willets, who is teaching in the South O’Brien School District will become the new middle school guidance counselor, Melisa Hulshof, currently teaching in the Sioux City Schools, will serve as the fifth grade language arts instructor, and Tim Rogers who serves the Remsen-Union School District will move into the middle school resource position. 

Vera Verdoorn will step down as the Kinsey School guidance counselor after nineteen years with the district.  Kari Wieking will move from fourth grade to assume the guidance duties.  Sandra Spaulding will move from kindergarten to fill the position vacated by Kari Wieking and Ashley Ebel will be the new kindergarten teacher.  Ashley is a graduate of Northwestern College.

Other changes include Brian Gesink, a graduate of Morningside College, to teach sixth grade math for Brady Woudsta who will be on a mission trip to Columbia with his wife next year.  Marcie Schuiteman, first grade, will job share transitional kindergarten with Megan Willets.  , Jody Kock will move from English as a Second Language to first grade.  LeRoy Berentschot will transfer to secondary school arts instructor and Mandi Wolkswinkel, currently assisting in Kinsey Elementary School as a paraprofessional, will move into the third grade team.  Chris Penning, also assisting l as a paraprofessional in the middle school, will be the new middle school physical education teacher.

Due to student numbers and need, Jill Harskamp will teach seventh grade language arts, Jared Ackerman, a graduate of Southwest Minnesota State will teach first grade, Kiley Landman, currently serving the West Lyon District, will also teach first grade.

WOW!  That is a lot of changes.  As Jim Collin says in his bestselling book “Good to Great”  " build a successful organization and team you must get the right people on the bus."  As a district we feel very confident that we have accomplished this objective.  The expectations are high for our staff and I believe they have the abilities, creativeness, and persistence to continue to make the Sioux center District a great school!