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Weekly Update: April 16, 2021

Dr. Stutz

Weekly Update: April 16, 2021


Dear Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education, Staff, Families, and Friends: 

It is with heartfelt sadness that I share with you that we lost a member of our Tiger Family this week, Ed Fenner. Ed was our evening custodian at Grinnell High School. Ed will be deeply missed. Please keep his family in your thoughts during this difficult time as well as all of our Tiger family.  


This past week the Board of Education met to discuss COVID Spring protocols. As we look toward the end of this scholastic year, we have modified some of our protocols. Please know that masks are required when inside any of our school facilities, and outside when entering an event. We continue to encourage social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and use hand sanitizer as needed. We would like to thank our Emergency Management Facilitator for hosting the weekly informational meetings that help us to guide our decisions related to protocols for our schools within this county. We will continue to monitor the positivity rate within our county to ensure that if COVID outbreaks occur, then we may restrict activities as needed.   


Above & Beyond:  

Congratulations to Jennifer Culham for being recognized for the Above and Beyond recognition at the Board Meeting on 4/14/21. Students from Mrs. Culham’s 7th-grade class nominated their teacher for this award and stated, “She really helps us through anything. Mrs. Culham always turns a negative situation into a good one”. Congratulations Mrs. Culham!  


Above and Beyond


Knocked Your Socks Off! Thank you to those of you who continue to send in knocked your socks off nominations to janet.stutz@grinnell-k12.org. This week we are featuring three staff members.  


Allison Pease:  

Congratulations to Allison for knocking her socks off! Highlights from her nomination read, “Allison is a dedicated employee. She comes to work each day with a smile on her face and a positive attitude. As a media specialist, Allison works tirelessly to ensure our students have the literacy skills needed to be successful in life. Oftentimes, Allison stays after school and comes in on the weekends, going the extra mile to support our students and staff. Allison also volunteers her time on the Booster Board and GNEA Board. We are beyond lucky to have her in the district”.  Allison shared, “I love to see kids grow as individuals and I am fortunate that I get to see them for the first five years of school and watch them grow as readers. Our libraries are well supported by the district office, community, Connected PTO, Grinnell College, and I have wonderful support from our Para’s every day”. Way to Go Allison! Thank you for all that you do to support teachers and students every day!   

Pease 2020Pease Library


Chellie Wilkins, Grinnell High School Instructional Coach! You too have knocked off your socks!  Chellie was also nominated by her colleagues for this recognition! Her nomination read, “Her hard work, patience, and creativity have helped us become more effective educators, and that has not gone unnoticed. 


“Chellie has been instrumental in assisting online learning, troubleshooting technical issues, developing comprehensive assessment tools, sequencing curriculum, supporting curriculum work for cultural sensitivity, while also taking the lead in setting up our ISASP testing protocols. Her behind-the-scenes support has been incredible.” 


“Chellie never turns down an opportunity to help teachers. She willingly volunteers to assist us to set up labs, research information, and try new things. I admire her patience and listening skills. These qualities allow her to develop the best ideas before sharing and implementing them. I have learned so much from Chellie and can undoubtedly say, my curriculum and teaching are better because of the strategies she has helped me perform.”


Simply put, Chellie is a rockstar! Chellie shared, “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with outstanding and dedicated teachers who are collaborative and reflective. I enjoy being in the classroom to learn and grow from what teachers are doing. They make my job easy. They are always willing to collaborate and try! It is very rewarding”. Way to Go Chellie! 


Chellie WilkinsWilkins


Dee Gibson: You have knocked your socks off!   

Dee Gibson, a first-grade teacher at Fairview Elementary School was nominated by a parent for this recognition. Her nomination read, “ Mrs. Gibson has been doing such a wonderful job providing a wonderful experience for my student despite all the challenges this school year.   We are thankful for her every day. This has been so very heartwarming to see so many Fairview staff who have coordinated efforts to navigate this school year”. I had an opportunity to talk to Dee about what brings her joy in teaching first grade. She stated, “I love children!  They are my people. I work with my students to develop their confidence and let them know that they are valued for who they are. I let them know that I love them just the way they are, and I want them to know that my classroom is a safe and happy place. I look to find each student’s strength and establish the foundation for their journey through school”. Dee also shared that during this challenging time she is grateful for her team, her principal, and instructional coach who have collaborated and supported each other to create a learning environment that is best for our students. They have been able to create online access for students who needed it, and together have seen students grow and learn. Way to Go Dee!    

Gibson 2020


Imagine Grinnell and the 1000+ Trees initiative have free trees available for homeowners in wards 3 and 4 (typically south of Hwy 6). We also offer delivery of the tree and help with planting. To inquire about a tree, call or email Imagine Grinnell at 641-236-5518, ext. 109 and info@imaginegrinnell.org



This spring, Grinnell College Dance Ensemble will lead “Dancing Storytime”, five free Zoom storytime sessions. This participatory and interactive Creative Movement experience is open to all ages. Grinnell College dancers will guide participants to use creative movement to dance their way through a new picture book for each of the five Saturday sessions. No previous dance experience necessary! “Dancing Storytime” is for everyone.


Professor Celeste Miller, director of Dance Ensemble says, “On March 6th we will fly with “Wings” by Christopher Myers. On March 13th we will make our world more beautiful with “Maybe Something Beautiful” by Isabel Campoy. On April 24th, we will chase the monsters out from under our beds with “I Need a Monster” by Amanda Noll. On May 1st, we will become

Ideas with Herve Tullet’s “I Have an Idea”, and on May 8th we will become water protectors with “We Are Water Protectors” by Carole Lindstrom.


All sessions are at 10:30 AM.

March 6, 13, April 24, May 1, and 8.

Zoom link:



For more information contact:

Karen Neal, Youth Services Director, Drake Library – Kneal@grinnelliowa.gov

Lia Schifitto, Community-Engaged Learning Fellow, Grinnell College – schifitto@grinnell.edu

Dancing storytime


Don't forget to check out the Virtual Backpack!


Upcoming Events:

Monday, April 19th

B JV/V Golf @ W. Marshall,

Lincoln Valley GC- 2 PM

G JV/V Tennis vs Ballard- 4:15

B MS Track @ Williamsburg- 4:15

FFA State Convention- ISU


Tuesday, April 20th

B Golf @ DCG Beaver Creek GC- 4:15

B JV/V Tennis vs Pella- 4:15

G JV/V Tennis @ Pella- 4:15

G MS Track @ STC- 4:15

G Track @ DCG- 4:30

B Track @ Mid Prairie- 4:30

G JV/V Soccer vs PC- 6:30

B JV/V Soccer @ PC- 5:30

FFA State Convention-ISU


Thursday, April 22nd

Drake Relays

G Golf @ Osky, Edmundson GC- 1 PM

B JV/V Tennis vs Indianola- 4:15

G JV/V Tennis @ Indianola- 4:15

G MS Track vs Osky, Pella,

STC, VS- 4:30

B MS Track @ Knoxville- 4:30


Friday, April 23rd

Drake Relays

B/G Track @ Newton- 4:30

G JV/V Soccer @ Newton- 5:30

B JV/V Soccer vs N Polk- 5 PM


Sat. April 24th

Drake Relays

B V Tennis @ Pella Invite- 9AM


Have a wonderful weekend!



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