I am enjoying the recent beautiful weather, as I’m sure everyone else is, and it has caused me to pause and reflect on all of the exciting things happening in the school district and community. Each school board meeting I share “Good News” with the board and staff, and this spring has been absolutely packed with academic, musical, athletic, dramatic, and facilities high points. From middle school plays to National Merit Scholarship finalists to show choir and big band events to State swimming, wrestling, and girls’ basketball to national qualifiers in DECA, great joy and accomplishment have been present this spring. I cannot begin to catalogue everything here, but I am extremely appreciative that our students develop and share their talents this way and that sponsors, families, and community support students as they do.

I am also appreciative of the groundswell of support for the district’s year-round education (YRE) program at Irving Elementary. Irving parents, students, and staff are passionate about YRE and are making their voices heard at the Iowa State Capitol. Both Representative Scott Ourth and Senator Julian Garrett have been supportive and welcomed visitors to the Capitol. I have been very impressed by how they have listened and by how accessible they have been. It is easy, at times, to get frustrated with the Legislature when we don’t agree with decisions being made or when we get impatient for results. I am glad, though, that so many Indianola students and residents got a chance to see the legislative process in action, and I thank Representative Ourth and Senator Garrett for their dedicated service.

We continue to await answers on school start date requirements, school funding, and other pertinent topics. The district also continues to be very engaged in updating and improving its facilities. By December the significant improvements to our schools and athletic facilities, many of them funded by the 2013 bond referendum, will be nearing completion.

I continue to be impressed by the district’s students and staff and by the support of the community. In May a group of board members, parents, students, and school staff will go through a strategic planning exercise to chart the course for the school district for the next five years. School district leaders will also be meeting with leaders from the City of Indianola, Chamber of Commerce, and Simpson College to discuss plans to move our community forward. I really appreciate that the wonderful community and its citizens and institutions are committed to progress at the same time they are appreciating what they have. As I wrote in a previous blog, “There’s no place like Indianola!”