News

Wed
19
Aug

South Winneshiek Schools will have one new teacher this year

Kirsten Snell

 

South Winneshiek Schools will have one new teacher this year

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

South Winneshiek Community School District will have one new teacher this year. Her name is Kirsten DeJarlais Snell and she will be the Spanish teacher at the High School.

She was born and raised in La Crosse, Wis., and found her way to Iowa in 2007 as a Luther College student in Decorah studying biology and Spanish. 

“My original intent was to become a medical doctor but after several impactful experiences studying and teaching abroad, in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile and the Dominican Republic, I finally embraced my true love of language and culture and enrolled in the Regents Alternative Pathway to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL) program through the University of Iowa in the fall of 2019. I bring with me to the classroom a wealth of experience from my travels but also a deep-seated humility—I am the first to know what kind of embarrassment or hilarity can ensue from a mispronounced word or wayward verb in a foreign country,” she related.

Wed
19
Aug

Area residents start drive to help Derecho victims

Unionland employee Chelsey Matthias was amazed at the response of area residents after being asked for donations to help the Cedar Rapids storm victims. She is shown here with charcoal, paper towels and cleaner on it’s way to help those in need.

 

Area residents start drive to help Derecho victims

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

Fayette County residents are in the process of collecting items to deliver to Linn County to be distributed to those in need after the Derecho storms left widespread damage and devastation throughout the state. 

“We are coordinating with some local elected officials in Linn County to get supplies to those in need in the area. The plan is to collect items or money to purchase items and deliver them Thursday morning,” said local organizer Amy Adams of St. Lucas.

Wed
19
Aug

NFV welcomes 6 teachers

North Fayette Valley’s new teachers are all about #MaskUpNFV.  These new teachers will greet the students at North Fayette Valley Schools this fall. They are (front, l-r) Ashley Becker, Kennedy Balk (back) John Bendt, Robin Madole, Jasmine Stocker, and Shaylie Stortz. (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

NFV welcomes 6 teachers

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Six new teachers will greet North Fayette Valley students when they begin the new school year, Wednesday, Aug. 26.

The following is an introduction to these new teachers:

John Bendt

John Bendt will be the new high school chorus instructor

Bendt is a Hudson Wisconsin native. He recently graduated from Luther College in Decorah. 

Wed
19
Aug

Fair totals in the black

Fair totals in the black

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

Fayette County Fair Board Treasurer Justin Steinlage had most of the figures from this year’s fair totaled up last week. Steinlage’s figures showed the Fair made the plus side of the equation each night and showed a total profit for the grandstand events of $46,599.70.

On Tuesday night, July 21, the Fayette County Farm Bureau Free Will Donation Feed brought in a total of $5,233.04. Expenses were $1,835.37.  So there was a profit of $3,397.67.

Wed
12
Aug

NICC to resume the option of face-to-face classes

NICC to resume the option of face-to-face classes

 

Northeast Iowa Community College plans to bring students, staff and faculty back its campuses and service locations in a slow, safe and methodical way this fall. The College’s primary goal is to preserve a vibrant learning environment while keeping the college community safe. 

Wed
12
Aug

Transporting students safely amid COVID pandemic

Transporting students safely amid COVID pandemic

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The South Winneshiek school district has put a number of safety measures in place to help keep students and staff safe as it prepares to start school in the coming weeks.   

Among these measures is school bus safety.  

Experts believe that the risk of a COVID-19 spread on a school bus can remain low, if the right precautions are taken.  Masks and proper ventilation are an important component to those precautions. 

“Drivers and students will wear masks and windows will be open as weather allows,” said South Winneshiek superintendant, Kris Einck.  

Wed
12
Aug

Winneshiek Co. 4-Her donates 102 blankets to help grief stricken families

Chase Adam was the driving force behind a blanket making project that resulted in 102 blankets being made and donated to EveryStep Grief and Loss Services.

 

Winneshiek Co. 4-Her donats 102 blankets to help grief stricken families

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

For some, a blanket is a warm thing to wrap around you when you’re cold. For 15-year-old Chase Adam, a blanket means much more than that.

The blanket he received at a time in his life when he needed the kind of comfort that no blanket could actually give, became a symbol for him. A symbol that people cared and people wanted to help.

This blanket would eventually lead to Chase starting a project that would result in 102 fleece blankets being made and donated to EveryStep Grief & Loss Services located in West Des Moines.

Wed
12
Aug

WU native helps voices rise up in Utah's hills

Katie (Kamaus) Houts, daughter of Don and Marilyn Kamaus of West Union was inspired by music at a young age.  During school she was inspired by her music teachers as well as given full support by her parents. Here, the breath-taking beauty of the Utah Mountains surrounds the young choir director as she directs the Rise Up Children’s Choir in its most recent video.  

 

WU native helps voices rise up in Utah's hills

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“I remember my Grandma Ardath telling me, ‘Kate, I think you should be a kindergarten teacher.’ Little did she know this prophecy would become reality in 2019, but instead of teaching a kindergarten class, I’d be teaching kindergartners to sing!” exclaimed West Union native Katie (Kamaus) Houts, the Children's Music Director and Staff Accompanist for Hilltop United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Rise Up Junior training choir director.  

For Katie, music has always been an important part of her life.  

“I was interested in music from a young age, and many people in our community helped nurture this interest,” she said with a smile. “My parents bought a piano so I could begin lessons in first grade and purchased a beautiful French horn in eighth grade after I'd earned a spot in the state honor band.” 

For Houts, daughter of Don and Marilyn Kamaus of West Union, this support was something she carried with her as she grew. 

Wed
12
Aug

NFV to move to remote learning once a week

 

 

NFV to move to remote learning once week

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

The North Fayette Valley school board met for its regular meeting on Monday, August 10.

During the meeting, NFV superintendant Joe Griffith announced the districts most recent Return To Learn (RTL) plan as we approach the first day of school on August 26. 

“Our district is working to provide the best education possible for all the students through a variety of educational models,” said Griffith.  

Wed
12
Aug

Preparing for the classroom in the time of COVID

West Union Elementary principal, Travis Elliott helps some students (l-r) Mikah Opperman, Brooklyn Cline, and Katelynn Sadler pick out a few books at the school’s library. Students and faculty will be wearing masks during portions of the school day, as social distancing will not always be possible.  The first day of school is set for August 26.   (Megan Molseed) 

 

Preparing for the classroom in the time of COVID

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

For many families, back to school planning will look different this year than it has in previous years.  When parents are typically focusing on getting back into a bedtime and morning routine, as well as making sure their student has all the supplies on their list. 

However, this year, there are many more components to preparing for the new school year.  

With the abrupt end of the 2019-2020 school year, students haven’t been in the classroom since the middle of March, meaning the first day of school will fall over five months since the students have been inside a classroom.

It’s difficult enough in a regular year to adjust to a school schedule after summer vacation.  But this is an unprecedented amount of time.  Additionally, many families have fallen out of routine as schedules changed over the last few months.  

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