When invited to write about the school and community’s proud traditions (part of the school district’s vision, “Proud Traditions. . .Unlimited Possibilities”), Indianola Middle School’s students had some great examples to share. Following are some excerpts from essays they shared with me:

Sixth Grader Hayden Laschanzky wrote, “My generation has many inspiring people to look up to. A couple of famous people we can look up to are Casey Blake and Chris Street. They are famous in other places than just Indianola, but we also look up to many people who aren’t famous. This includes Chris Scott, Mark Tucker, Kelly Shaw, and Jim Richardson (my grandfather, who was a proud Indianola sports fan). These are just a few I could name and there are definitely more people like them. Everyone I have named not only lives in Indianola but also has touched and educated so many people that are part of our amazing community. I would like to continue all of our proud traditions and make new ones that will be a positive experience. The people I listed earlier are very great people, and I would like to help my classmates and friends be effective in our community just like they were. They made a difference in my life and I’d like to do the same for others. Indianola has many proud traditions and I am lucky to live in such a wonderful place.”

Sixth Grader Maya Gabel also took a look back as well as a look forward. She reminisced about attending Emerson Elementary and shared how she felt about the renovations there: “When I heard that the school was going to be renovated, I got a little bit sad because I didn’t want my school to change. At the Emerson Elementary Open House, I saw the renovations for the first time. I was a little sad at first, but then I was happy to see our school and community growing and becoming better. One tradition I’ve always looked forward to is seeing the seniors coming through their elementary school, looking one last time at their school and remembering their early school years. I can’t wait to do that when I’m a senior! It’s exciting to see the seniors getting ready to start the next phase in their lives. After I graduate Indianola High School, I plan to go to college to become and elementary teacher. In first grade I had a great teacher that inspired me, and I have wanted to become a teacher ever since.”

Seventh Grader Hannah Carlson also credits the district’s teachers, writing, “The teachers here in the district have inspired and encouraged students to do well and graduate with flying colors. They have taught us, laughed with us, celebrated with us, and have pushed us into doing our very best.” She went on to write, “The school has me destined to do great in the future. . .The possibilities are endless. The hard work that goes into the success of the students is evident. . .What I’m trying to convey is that the Indianola Community School District truly does have “Proud Traditions. . .Unlimited Possibilities.”

Eighth Grader Caleb Nostrala lists his piano teacher, Karen Langstraat; Indianola Cross-Country, and Little League Baseball as people and things he is proud of. He writes, “Indianola is a great town to live in with many opportunities. It has music, sports and a wide variety of activities. I am very thankful for all the adults in Indianola because they are in all my activities and without them the activities would just fall apart. These things are what I am proud of and what I think about when I think of Indianola.”

Seventh Grader Allyson Steinke is happy at home in Indianola, writing, “There is no place like home!” and noting that Indianola is “just right” like in the Goldilocks story, not too big and not too small. She is a product of the local year-round school and remembers her Irving days fondly. Allyson also described an event Indianola is well known for: “Watching the balloons take flight and land is an amazing sight, especially at night glow. To watch all of those balloons light up in the dark makes for some pretty good pictures. Everyone feels special when a balloon lands in the family’s yard or a neighbor’s yard. Indianola is a great place for everyone that lives here. Indianola has a lot of potential, has a great school district and a very nice community, and that’s why Indianola is a special place to everyone.”

These middle school students did a great job of expressing what Indianola and its schools have to offer and why this is meaningful to them. October 12 the school board will thank them for sharing their views about our proud traditions, and I thank them as well. In another post I will share what a couple of high school students have to say. Thank you to everyone who contributes to the proud traditions of the school and community!

Art Sathoff, ICSD Superintendent