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The employee newsletter of the Cedar Falls Community School District

Tiger Link V O L U M E

Educating students to be lifelong learners and caring responsible citizens.




The district is presenting the 10-Year Master Facility Plan, process, and options at ten community forums along with an opportunity to provide feedback. The options format includes three stations that rotate every 15 minutes. One station offers historical information on the district facilities, 21st century education, and the facilities planning process. The next station presents the options and discuss tax rates. The final station gives participants the opportunity to provide feedback. The open forums include a formal presentation and time for questions and dialogue. Additional information about the facilities planning process can be accessed here.

Monday, May 5, 5:30 p.m. CFHS Cafeteria, Options Forum Tuesday, May 6 Western Home Communities Windridge, 5311 Hyacinth Drive    

Officer Mike Leary Gold Star Teachers CFHS Retirees Applause

Thursday, May 8, 5:30 p.m. Lincoln Elementary, Options Forum Tuesday, May 13, 10:00 a.m. Cedar Falls Public Library, Open Forum Wednesday, May 14, 6:00 p.m. CFHS Cafeteria, Open Forum

We are excited about having deeper discussions with our community on the future of education in the Cedar Falls Schools. Dr. Andy Pattee Encourage your Cedar Falls friends, neighbors, and family members to attend one of the remaining forums.

Tiger Link is distributed monthly to employees of the Cedar Falls Community School District. Please send comments, contributions or questions to Cedar Falls Community School District 1002 West First Street Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-553-3000

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Community Forums: 10-Year Facility Master Plan

Remaining Forums

Inside this Issue:


Please mark your calendar for the 2014 Service Recognition Reception Tuesday, May 13 -- 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Pheasant Ridge Club House Very Informal Cake – Punch – Coffee – Conversation Family members and friends are also invited Employees who resign or retire after serving the district for at least 10 years will be recognized


CF Gold Star Teachers


Jared Pirkl

We are thrilled to congratulate Kelly Loughren; she brings enthusiasm and experience to the classroom. She is committed to building relationships with her students and families. Deb Beving Mr. Pirkl is an outstanding educator and consistently strives to engage his sixth graders in meaningful learning opportunities. He is certainly deserving of this award! Tara Estep Mrs. Jan Williams demonstrates an energy and caring that are without boundary. She has such strong belief in her students and their ability to learn at high levels. Jason Wedgbury


Jared’s wife, Lincoln Elementary first grade teacher Kelly Pirkl, and his colleagues knew before him, but Jared had no idea that something was up until he saw the gold star balloon! “I thought Tara (Estep) was making her regular rounds and happened to have visitors with her,” said Jared. “I knew that I applied but didn’t pay that much attention to the timing of the award announcement.” He may have had a few other things on his mind with the birth of twin sons (and two older sons) a couple of months ago! This is Jared’s third year teaching sixth grade at Hansen Elementary and his tenth year teaching. One of Jared’s favorite teaching memories is visiting with a former student at her high school graduation party. She shared with him how much it meant to her that he attended the party and how he impacted her career choice. Part of her decision to pursue special education was because of her volunteer work at Special Olympics, a volunteer experience arranged by Jared.

Even though letting go is one of the toughest aspects of her job, she feels rewarded sending her ninth grade students on to the high school. “They mature so much in those three years and are moving closer to independence and living on their own,” said Jan. She also appreciates the support for her students from student-leaders at Peet.

Kelly Loughren

“It must be related to Blue Zones or Leader in Me,” thought Kelly when the committee entered her room with the Gold Star award. “But when I saw my parents, knowing all they’ve done for me, I knew this was something really special,” said Kelly. “I’ve never once doubted my decision to teach,” said Kelly. “It’s a mission that I’ve always known is right for me.” She’s been with the district for seventeen years, first at Southdale and now at Lincoln. Kelly says that the best part about When the entire special education teaching is the relationships. “You want to department at Peet Junior High paraded into know what’s going on in their lives and it Jan’s room, along with the Gold Star award helps with classroom management as well as committee, she was overwhelmed! being a powerful teacher.” Jan has been with the district Kelly is so touched by all the good for nineteen years; thirteen in her wishes from her friends and colleagues. She current position and six as a even received notes from a couple of her paraeducator. She went back to former Gold Star teaching mentors! school for her master’s degree in special education in part because Kelly, Jan, and Jared all expressed immense of having a daughter with special appreciation for their coworkers and positive needs. “Being a parent helped teaching environments. raise my awareness,” said Jan.

Jan Williams








These excerpts are from the April edition of the Tiger HI-LINE. Want to see more from the Tiger HI-LINE? Click here to see the print, online, and video publications by CFHS students, under the direction of Brian Winkel.

Charlie Blair-Broeker

By Editor in-Chief Mallory Valentine

It seems that yet another teacher is reaching a big milestone on psychology’s social clock: retirement. After it spread all over the school, psychology teacher Charlie Blair-Broeker dispelled rumors when he announced he would be retiring from teaching after 36 years from CFHS. Early on in his career, he was a substitute teacher. He also taught for one year in Kearney, Nebraska. Then he came to CFHS, where he has remained for 36 years. He has taught several subjects over the years: Asian, Latin and African-American history, honors social studies, American Government, U.S. History, and psychology. Blair-Broeker said that his favorite part of teaching has been the people. “Teaching is about the people, both students and colleagues,” Blair-Broeker said. The worst part of teaching for him has been grading essays, cafeteria supervision, and faculty meetings, and although teaching has its ups and downs, he appreciates the career he’s had. In his retirement, Blair-Broeker isn’t quite sure what he’s going to do. He hopes to do some teaching as an adjunct if anyone will have him, and he thinks he’ll probably continue to write and conduct workshops for psychology teachers.

John Black

By Ellen Wallingford

Next in the line of a slew of CFHS staff moving on for next year, biology teacher John Black has announced his retirement, or as he likes to call it, “transition.” John taught at Monticello High School for 35 years. After that particular “transition,” he and his wife, CFHS Spanish teacher Patricia Black, moved their children to Argentina to get to know Mrs. Black’s relatives and learn some of the Argentinian culture. While in Argentina, Mr. Black taught biology at a bilingual high school. After that, the Black’s moved to Cedar Falls, where Mr. Black has taught for six years now. Mr. Black said he always enjoyed science but he did not always plan to teach. “I was always interested in insects,” Mr. Black said. His father had experience as a veterinarian assistant so Mr. Black intended to study pre-veterinary medicine at UNI. However, his brother was a teacher, and Mr. Black liked that direction as well, so instead of a vet, he became a biology teacher. Throughout his time here, Mr. Black has most enjoyed his interaction with the staff. Because CFHS has four other biology teachers, Mr. Black loves being able to share ideas with other teachers, something he was not able to do at his former schools.

Social Media

us on d d n i F an ook b e c Fa ter. Twit

Applause Matthew Switzer, conference presenter at the National Professional Development School Conference in Las Vegas, along with UNI’s Dr. Curt Nielsen. My two biggest revelations revolve around how UNI has become an integral part of my school district. A message that was abundantly clear from the conference is that UNI’s full-time highly qualified field coordinators are the envy of other large teacher education programs. Further, the experience that Level 1,2,3, and student teachers receive from our partnership is rigorous, impactful, motivating, and refreshing for all of our learners in the Cedar Valley. Matthew was also a presenter at UNI’s recent Literacy Conference. Southdale, Lincoln, and North Cedar Elementary Schools for holding Leader in Me events in April. “We couldn’t have done it without each and every staff person,” said Andrea Christopher. Lincoln students created a video explaining the 7 Habits and taught students the “Lincoln-lude” dance. Josh Carnelley, staff winner of the Exceptional Effort Award at CFHS. Mr. Carnelley is an awesome school counselor and spends endless hours at school. He is very caring, considerate, and just a great person. He is relied on very heavily for his perspective and input in many important decision in our school. As a second note, he worked hard on our Dangerous Intruder training. He has a passion for supporting this effort, along with the effort in bullying. CFHS Student Senate for hosting the third annual Tiger Trot 5K and raising $1,205.42 for families currently unable to meet basic needs. Holmes Junior High and the Cedar Falls School District for donating space to the Cedar Falls Ministerial Association’s Feed My Starving Children Moblepack event. More than 500 volunteers packed 100,000 meals which will be sent to missions and humanitarian agencies in 70 countries.

Food For Thought “The first follower is actually an underestimated form of leadership in itself… The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader.” Derek Sivers

Faces and Facts Officer Mike Leary, School Resource Officer, admits that he didn’t always make the best choices when he was a high school student but was thankful for the positive role models around him. Now he wants to be that same role model. “My door is always open for students,” said Mike. “The same goes for teachers who have students where they think I might be able to help build a connection.” Mike coordinated Safety City for Cedar Falls and loves being around kids and making a positive impression.

He also worked with the D.A.R.E. program as a police officer in Waverly, and was responsible for training new police officers. Mike graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and is one year away from earning his master’s degree from St. Ambrose. He’s been a police officer since 2000 and with the Cedar Falls department since 2006. Mike and his wife, Julie have two girls, ages 4 and 5, with their third daughter due this August. He participates in I always wanted something to marathons, triathlons, enjoys do with the school attempting to fish for environment… teaching and Walleye, wood working, and helping and being a positive construction projects.

role model.

It is the policy of the Cedar Falls Community School District not to illegally discriminate in either: its educational programs on the basis of race, religion, creed, socioeconomic status, color, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability; or its employment practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ethnic background, age or disability. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to t his policy please contact the District’s Equity Coordinator, Dr. Adrian Talbot, Director of Human Resources, James L. Robinson Administrative Center - 1002 West First St. Cedar Falls, Iowa, 50613 - (319) 553-3000.

2014 april tiger link  
2014 april tiger link