Hundreds of Marshalltown Community School District employees – from teachers and paraeducators to Food Service, Transportation, Buildings and Grounds staff, and more – are hard at work preparing for the first day of the 2020-21 school year on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
The end of the 2019-20 school year did not go as expected, and the presentation of the Superintendent’s Star awards – given to exceptional MCSD employees – had to be delayed. During this week’s MCSD Staff Welcome Back ceremony, Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte recognized these 10 deserving Stars:
Jennifer August – Instructional coach at Fisher Elementary
Jennifer has earned the respect of her colleagues over many years of teaching and coaching. She takes the time and effort to study and understand the curriculum in order to effectively support and coach teachers as they implement the curriculum in their classrooms. She has the ability to think outside the box and come up with appropriate solutions to challenges at the classroom or system level. Jennifer has a great sense of humor and is approachable by all staff and parents. She is a great asset for Fisher Elementary and the Marshalltown Community School District.
Dee Burt – Curriculum and Professional Development Leader (ret.) at Central Office
Dee was instrumental in the District’s efforts to develop Bobcat Ready college and career readiness program for Marshalltown High School and Miller Middle School. She worked tirelessly to create substantive and mutually beneficial school-business partnerships within our community – both formal work-based learning experiences and the development of the rich, meaningful Teacher Externship Academy.
Erin Faas – Teacher librarian at Rogers Elementary
Erin has been helpful and flexible in giving students and staff one-to-one and/or small group support in academic, behavior, and technological areas. She provides a listening ear when people need to vent, breathe, or just connect. Erin takes on leadership roles in various teams and projects, and has helped the special education department when they need extra scheduling support. Her big heart extends to all, and she has gone over the top to help students, families and staff with new learning. Rogers Elementary and Marshalltown Community School District are lucky to have Erin Faas.
Nicole Holman-Lankelma – Extended Learning Program (XLP) Instructor at Woodbury, Hoglan, and Anson elementary schools
Nicole encourages all of her students to be the best version of themselves that they can be. She works with advanced students at the elementary level and does her best to meet their social-emotional health needs as well as develop their academic skills. She understands the gifted student and helps teachers tap into their potential, even when she is not at the school building that day. Nicole embodies positivity and shines wherever she is.
Troy Long – Project Lead the Way (PLTW) teacher at Miller Middle School
Troy’s entire personality is centered around building strong relationships with everyone he encounters. He humanizes his class, his teaching, and his role as an educator. He routinely connects the content of his course with real-life situations with which students can relate. Troy also connects with staff at Miller; he is a positive force who embodies the phrase “Life-long Learner.” He actively embraces different approaches and strives to incorporate best practices into his daily routine.
Ryan Miller – Paraeducator at Marshalltown High School
Ryan is dependable and performs his job up and above expectations. The special education department relies on Ryan each and every day. He shows compassion and respect to all the students he works with. He has a great sense of humor and attacks every day with a positive attitude.
Ted Piscitelli – District Transportation bus driver
Ted is one of the most caring individuals that anyone would want on their team. He is always concerned about the wellbeing of everyone and constantly goes above and beyond to make things better. Ted was instrumental in helping train new drivers and giving guidance to new monitors when they joined the transportation team. He carries his commitment on improving student experiences by making changes to his routes as needed; he is constantly looking at ways to improve pick-ups and drop-offs at homes and school. Ted is a leader through his actions.
Nancy Mayer, Calvin Scales, and Karla Sperry: MCSD Food Service Managers
Nancy, Calvin, and Karla have demonstrated their strength as a team. They rise to the occasion to get the work done so that our students are fed. They are the cornerstones for all of the positive happenings in the Food Service Department.
Nancy brings the attention to detail. She orchestrates all of the little things. Calvin has a natural knack for logistics, making sure things are done effectively and efficiently. Karla brings positivity every day, always ready to remind her Food Service team that “We’ve got this!” To say these three work tirelessly is an understatement. They continue to do more, and do whatever it takes to feed the children of Marshalltown. They pitch in however and wherever needed.
Dr. Schutte said the Superintendent’s Stars recognized this week are exceptional due to their strong moral compass, ability to build trust and relationships, work ethic, positive influence on others, problem-solving skills and motivation.
Addressing the many returning staff members during this week’s Staff Welcome Back event, Dr. Schutte said he is proud to be part of an excellent MCSD team.
“I can honestly say, having been a graduate of this fine school district, that I’ve never been prouder, I’ve never been more energized, I’ve never been more excited to do what we do on a daily basis in order to try to help all of our students and the families of our students be in a position of success,” he said.
Marshalltown School Board President Bea Niblock also shared encouraging words with returning District employees. She emphasized the importance of communication with students and students’ families, coworkers, friends, and loved ones during the school year.
“We have the best educators and staff right here in Marshalltown,” Niblock said. “Every one of you believes all kids can learn. You are an amazing group of people, and I applaud you.”