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Weekly Update: April 1, 2021


Weekly Update: April 1, 2021
Dear Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education, Staff, Families, and Friends:


Happy April Tigers! There will be no kidding around today on this April 1st day about the weather outlook for this weekend into Monday! Our 4 day Spring Break weather outlook that begins tomorrow through Monday looks amazing! I hope that you take time with family and enjoy a gorgeous weekend ahead!  



No School Friday, April 2nd, and Monday, April 5th.  The District Office will also be closed these days.

Knocked Your Socks Off!

We are featuring two staff members this week! Just a reminder to submit your email to janet.stutz@grinnell-k12.org to nominate a staff member who has gone above and beyond and knocked their socks off supporting families, students, and much more!   

Roger Henderson, Grinnell High School Choral Director, has knocked his socks off!

Roger has been a teacher for 38 years!  Most of his time has been spent right here in Grinnell. I had the opportunity to speak to a fairly new choral director in the state who shared with me that Roger is a legend. “He is a master at his craft and one that many new choral directors want to emulate”.   Roger’s nomination comes from many people in the community and former students who are grateful that he taught them how to develop their gift and love for singing.   


“Roger has been a star in the Grinnell-Newburg School district for over 20 years. He developed the music department into one of the best in the state, envied by districts twice our size. He believes all kids can sing, and works tirelessly to keep as many students as possible engaged with choir. He recognizes and develops student’s talent and love for vocal performance.


As soon as school went virtual in March 2020, Roger kicked into high gear to adapt his choir classes to a virtual environment. He communicated clearly with students and families, keeping everyone apprised to the innovative approach he would take for the rest of the school year. He quickly shared with students Facebook Live and Instagram Music Events for students to watch and reflect on. He kept kids engaged, moving his classes online, and collaborating with colleagues from afar. Roger organized his “Meet the Composer” event virtually so that students would continue to have that experience, both last year and this. He posted concerts on YouTube so kids could continue to engage with each other”. Check out the virtual performance here: 



Roger’s creativity continues this Spring as he has engaged current students, former students, and parents to participate in a virtual collaboration piece that will be the highlight of the year.  I had a chance to talk to Roger about what brings him joy and he shared, “ The kids, teachers, all the good-times and projects we have done have kept me going for 38 years. I enjoy being a problem solver and my wheels keep spinning on what we can do next.   I enjoy challenging students without pushing them over the edge.  I am excited about our next virtual piece as I have former students participating from three countries and from all over the United States.   I love teaching and although I am retiring this year the memories I will always cherish.”  Way to go Roger!  


SingingRoger Hendersen


Malissa Juni you too have knocked your socks off!  

Malissa is the Instructional Coach at Grinnell Middle School. Malissa’s kind and caring demeanor and willingness to assist anyone in need should be a model for all educators. She is positive, compassionate, and strives to do what is in the best interest of not only the GMS community but our community at large. Malissa has participated in the Grinnell Newburg School District’s Foundation and advocates to meet the needs of our teachers and students. She is creative and forward-thinking. Her nomination read, “Malissa is the heart and soul of GMS. She goes above and beyond in all that she does. Malissa is always willing to help out and cover for teachers when needed - far beyond the scope and sequence of her role. She is a kind and compassionate person that works deliberately with both students and staff alike. Malissa does those little things that make this school GO! She always puts students and staff first and is a phenomenal coach to our teachers''. Malissa is always looking for ways to uplift the learning environment at GMS. She participated in enhancing the lounge and school office with her colleague Jill Hollingsworth. It looks pretty amazing. What brings Malissa joy in her work, “Outstanding staff and students and how much they want to do their best on a regular basis to serve the school community as teams and individuals. I enjoy the new adventure each day that we all get to engage in with our students. I also get the opportunity to watch the growth of students over time”. Way to Go Malissa!

Juni Malissa Juni

Paraeducator Week:

We would like to thank our Paraprofessionals in the Grinnell-Newburg School district as we celebrate them this week! Our Para’s have been flexible as they accommodate students whether we are zooming, or in person! We could not do this work without them! They are the behind-the-scenes crew that keeps our schools running like clockwork! Thank you for all that you do!  


Davis Paras

Davis Elementary


Bailey Park Paras

Bailey Park


Middle School Paras

Middle School 

Fairview Paras

Fairview Elementary

High School Paras

High School 


Spring Sports Are Back-

After missing all the spring of 2020, spring sports are back on schedule for 2021. Face coverings are still required at all Grinnell High School home events and at almost every visiting venue. If you can social distance and are sitting within your household, they may be removed but need to be worn once you get up and move throughout common areas. Admissions will be taken as usual at all home soccer, track, baseball, and softball events both home and away. The price is $5 for adults and $3 for students K-8th grade. Middle school admission remains $3 adults and $2 students K-8th grade. Passes are still accepted. Please remember that dogs are not allowed at all Iowa High School Boys and Girls events. Some changes for the 2021 spring season include, the girl's soccer team will play home soccer matches at T.T. Cranny, while the boys will continue to play at Ahrens Park Soccer Complex. Also, the Grinnell College Country Club, which is the home course of our boy's golf team, is NOT allowing visitors. We anticipate this possibly changing before our home meet of May 3rd, but until we hear differently we are operating under no fans. 


Our student-athletes, parents, and fans have done a wonderful job abiding by the safety rules put in place previously and we expect this to continue to do so this spring.



Lauren Bolte is heading to Central College where she will compete in tennis. Congrats Lauren!


Congrats to AJ Wilkins on his signing with Wartburg, he will compete in Basketball and Tennis!


Good News from our Grinnell High School! Culinary Arts! 

Take a look at what Ms. Amy Skouson’s Culinary Arts 2 students have been up to! As posted on the GNCSD High School Page, Michele, Barker reported that “last trimester, Ms. Skouson’s Culinary Arts 2 students participated in a statewide contest sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education. Students either worked individually or in teams to create recipes incorporating local foods into the school nutrition program. Twelve recipes were chosen from across the state and Eight of Those 12 were chosen from Grinnell High School! These students will participate in a virtual cook-off and each finalist spot will earn our school a 2,000 grant!  Since we have 8 finalists, $16000 will be received! These monies will be used to figure out more local foods-school nutrition connections. Congratulations to Ms. Skouson and the following Culinary Arts 2 students: 


Maxwell Deitrich, Kyra Parrott, Brett Crawford, Tony Neeley, Parker Lewis, Ben Stringfellow, Natalie Montgomery, Jaimen Voogd, Tryston Stark, Adalyn Scheffert, Caroline Myers, Trista Thompson.  Keep checking back for updates. 


Drake Community Library hosts four “Global Storytime” Sessions with Grinnell College Students


In partnership with Drake Community Library, Grinnell College students will be leading four free virtual storytime sessions this spring. All story times are open to all ages, no previous language experience necessary! Grinnell College students will guide participants in reading stories from four different regions in four different languages, and lead interactive hands-on multi-cultural activities.


Participants can call (641) 236-2661 to pick up a free activity bag which includes a paper passport to complete at each storytime.

All sessions are at 10:30 am, CST.

April 3rd – Hindi Storytime

April 10th – Arabic Storytime

May 15th – Spanish Storytime

May 22nd – French Storytime

Zoom Link:


For more information contact:

Kayley Rönnkvist, Global Storytime Coordinator – ronnkvis@grinnell.edu

Karen Neal, Drake Community Library Assistant Director – kneal@grinnelliowa.gov




Check out the Virtual Backpack!


Just a reminder that we are on Spring Break beginning tomorrow through Monday!  Have a great 4 day weekend and I hope you enjoy the outside weather! The district office and school buildings will be closed to the public over this weekend. 





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