Updates usher in new school year at LCS

Wednesday, August 10, 2022
(Sentinel Photo by Beverly Van Buskirk) Le Mars Community School District Superintendent Dr. Steve Webner points out the new doors at the front entrance of the middle school. The two front entrances, as well as the wall between the entrances, were replaced this summer. The entrances now also include a “buzzer system” for security, which visitors will need to punch to be allowed entrance to the building during school hours.

LE MARS — Le Mars Community School District teachers and staff will welcome students back to the classroom on the first day of school Wednesday, Aug. 24.

Parents and students will be able to meet teachers and see their classroom during open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 23.

According to Superintendent Dr. Steve Webner, the district had several infrastructure projects going during the summer months.

“This summer’s infrastructure work included a much needed high school ventilation retrofit. We have replaced HVAC systems around the building, installed a new control system, will be installing new fans and coils, and a variety of other ventilation improvements,” he said.

That work actually began at the end of the school year, with workers coming in evenings and weekends to begin the project. 

With security a concern at schools across the state and nation, work was also been done on that front at LCS.

“We upgraded our security camera systems at the middle school and high school. This past summer, the number of security cameras on the outside of the buildings were increased. Cameras were also placed throughout the inside of these buildings,” he explained. “Additionally, in order to enter the front door to the middle school, one must be ‘buzzed in’ by pressing a button alerting the office of your desire to enter upon which, designated personnel within the middle school office will determine the person’s ability to enter the building. This is a similar system to that of the elementary buildings.”

There is a new look to the front of the middle school building.

“This summer also brought about some very nice upgrades to middle school restrooms and the east entrances. The south restrooms were original to the 1972 middle school construction and were in need of repair and upgrades.

“The east entrance vestibules and walls were rusting through which compromised structural integrity and allowed critters and weather elements into the building,” he said. “These renovations will provide much needed improvements to our facilities.”

Preparing for the Workforce

There will be a new program of instruction in the high school starting this fall.

“We are excited to implement a new LCHS iJAG (Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates) program. This program provides qualifying high school students adult mentoring, academic remediation, workplace skills, and post-secondary transitioning into academic and career pathways,” Webner said. “iJAG is a proven program that helps students achieve success in school and post-secondary education and/or workplace. 

Keeping up-to-date with technology is another way to help teachers and students in the classroom.

“Director of Technology, Bruce Ludwig and his team did a good job of upgrading much of our technology. They continue to work proactively to update technology security and growing Internet connectivity throughout the district. We have a top-notch technology infrastructure thanks to a great technology team and supportive school board,” Webner noted.

Stay Alert

Webner also said the district will no longer be utilizing Plymouth Alert’s WEN system to communicate emergency notifications with the community.

“We are moving to a new system called School Messenger. This new program will provide numerous types of communication, including emergency/security alerts, weather related announcements, and communication from your child’s teacher. Please stay alert for School Messenger sign up information,” he said.

Otherwise, go to www.lemarscsd.org/ and click “School Messenger (All Alerts)” on the right side of the screen for directives.

Growing the LCS Family

The 2022-23 school year brings 15 new certified staff members on board. They are:

Heidi Anthony, Kluckhohn, 5th grade

Kyle Borchers, HS social studies, head boys cross country coach

Kendall Candor, elementary PE

Kennedy Candor, elementary academic interventionist

Tracy Comes, Kluckhohn special education

Tami Fisher, HS special education

Jocelyn Hommes, HS language arts and speech coach

Jasmine Kaske, middle school art

Josie Krook, HS vocal music

Emily Meyer, middle school family and consumer science, 7th grade volleyball and girls basketball

Katie Pottebaum, middle school vocal music

Morgan Reinking, Franklin kindergarten

Alison Ruba, high school language arts

Alison Scheevel, 5th and 6th instrumental music

Greta Prichard, high school special education

“We have been more fortunate than many districts who still have multiple teaching positions to fill. The community of Le Mars is a great place to work and live, and candidates know that Le Mars Community Schools has an outstanding educational program that is tops in the state for teacher pay. We have been blessed to have found and hired great teachers.”

Staying Competitive

A new athletic program will start this year at LCHS.

“We are excited to have a new girls wrestling program this school year. The IGHSAU sanctioned girls wrestling starting this school year. Girls wrestling at LCHS has become very popular. There are many schools around the state who have approved girls wrestling teams; it is expected to flourish in Iowa. Greer Milledge will be our head coach and Rich Hessenius will be our assistant coach for this team,” Webner said.

The LCHS volleyball team will have a new head coach at the helm. Jessica Wolles will be the new head coach. Additionally, Kyle Borchers, the new high school social studies teacher, will be the new LCHS head boys cross-country coach.

Bring on the New Year

Webner said he is looking forward to the 2022-23 school year.

“There is nothing better than having students back in the buildings to learn, socialize, and participate in activities. We have great employees, academic programs, activity programs, and opportunities for students to flourish. It will be a great school year,” he said.

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