Partners in Education 2023

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Sunday, April 23, 2023

Superintendent’s Message

On behalf of Waterloo Schools, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the businesses, organizations, churches and families who partner with us. Your partnership – in a variety of forms – provides our students, families, and sta with enhanced and enriched experiences as part of our Waterloo Schools family.

We are now in our 37th year of the Partners-In-Education program. Thank you for your support!

We continue to seek out new partnerships and grow existing ones. Waterloo Schools is on a mission to empower students to take ownership of their future. And, with us, their future is NOW.

We also know the future of the Cedar Valley and global economy depends on preparing our young people for careers that are either currently unfilled or have yet to be created. We are truly blessed to work with some of the best businesses and organizations in the Cedar Valley to assist in this endeavor.

Through our academically rigorous and engaging programs, we have created (and continue to create additional) innovative opportunities for students to do more of what they love and what they’re good at – now.

For instance, the Waterloo Career Center (WCC) continues to expand its o erings which include hands-on training in cyber security, culinary arts, digital media, plumbing, construction, early childhood education, health sciences and more. We’re making learning more relevant for students by connecting content to careers and using industry-standard equipment to train students on their path to discover where passion meets profession.

By joining us as Partners in Education, you’re supporting innovative learning experiences that inspire students to be ambitious, be brave, be dauntless, be adventurous, be assured, be bold. We embrace diversity and celebrate the di erences that enhance our learning environment and promote student growth and reflection. We take bold steps to make dreams for parents, our students, and the community come true. Involvement and support from our Partners is critical to career and technical education, bringing both time and talent to our entire district. The support we receive goes far beyond anything we could provide within our usual resources. We are truly grateful and appreciative of everything our Partners help us accomplish:

• We are proud to be the only district in the state of Iowa o ering the International Baccalaureate (IB) program districtwide. The IB Program is a premier, highly-challenging two-year program for juniors and seniors, which extends students’ perspectives, deepens their knowledge and allows them to broaden their understanding of national and international studies.

• We are the only district in the state to o er LifeLab which provides outstanding, hands-on, outside-the-classroom experiences that connect real life to curriculum for every child in every grade.

• We’re the fifth largest school district in the state and are proud that our student population represents the global majority. We translate our communications into five languages (Burmese, Marshallese, Bosnian, French, and Spanish) and prepare global-ready students in a global-powerful culture.

• Our 2022 East and West High valedictorians are attending Stanford and Harvard respectively — on FULL RIDE scholarships (thanks to their participation in the IB program we mentioned above).

• We are home to Expo Alternative Learning Center which is the first alternative Lighthouse in the world, the first Lighthouse high school in Iowa, and the third Lighthouse high school in the nation.

• Our alumni include a gold medal Olympian, a Pulitzer Prize winner, an international blues music champion, and an international basketball champion. (To name a few!)

We are the only school district I know of that’s this bold. And it’s because we, together – all of you and us – believe in bold ideas, bold goals, bold ambitions, bold steps to build a more vibrant and economically powerful Cedar Valley. Thank you for partnering with us!

Three decades of Partners in Education

Since 1986, Waterloo Schools has been working with area businesses to provide learning opportunities, encouragement, and financial support to the education of our students. Today, the Partners in Education program has grown to include more than 50 businesses across the Cedar Valley, encompassing enterprises from a variety of industries and professionals from all walks of life.

One of Waterloo Schools newest hires, Kelly Martin, is manning the helm of this expanding program. Acting as the strategic partnership coordinator, Martin is working to match local businesses with partnership opportunities, and finding unique and impactful ways for them to connect with today’s students. One of the goals of PIE is to enable Waterloo students to learn about local career paths, and build relationships with individuals who can help them make their dream jobs a reality.

With partners like John Deere, Veridian, VGM, Hawkeye Community College, and First Security State Bank, students are exposed to their own limitless potential through events such as Career Inspire and job shadows.

“I would describe my role as a liaison be-

tween our students and business partners in the community,” said Martin. “I chose this position because it will allow me to help bridge the gaps currently in our community.”

Currently, Martin is working on a new volunteer program, called Greeters for Greatness which helps give students a spark of encouragement at the start of their day, as volunteer community members welcome them into school. Martin says this simple gesture of kindness and care from the community reminds students that they have people all across the Cedar Valley rooting for them. Additionally, it gives students the opportunity to meet folks from various professions and walks of life, whom may become helpful advisors to students throughout their life.

“It’s really about getting the kids plugged in at a young age,” said Martin. “We want them to know there are people and careers right here ready for them once they graduate or begin searching for their first job as a teenager.”

Je Frost, executive director of professional technical education, says Martin has been warmly welcomed in this role, and has been

Please see PARTNERS, Page 11

WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTO Greeters for Greatness
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Partners are stakeholders at Irving

WATERLOO —Irving Elementary School joins with nine Partners in Education to support their students.

They are Church Row Historical Neighborhood, CUNA Mutual, First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, Ravenwood Nursing and Rehab Center, ISG (formerly StruXture Architects), Heartland Vineyard Church, Dupaco Community Credit Union and the Waterloo Exchange Club.

“Our Irving students, families and staff are blessed to have thoughtful, committed and enthusiastic

Partners in Education,” said Principal Zach Zimmerman.

“Our Partners are important stakeholders in the function of our schools,” said Media Specialist Tiffiany Evans. “Our Partners not only support Irving with financial support, but also with human interactions with our students such as being volunteer readers and mentors with our students.”

Second-grade teacher Hayley Bakula agreed. “Irving is able to provide so many opportunities to our students and families because of our PIE members.

We value and appreciate the commitment they show to our staff, students, and families. Our Partners have longevity with Irving, and they are a crucial part of our Irving team,” she said.

Partners support the school’s “Baskets of Love” Christmas donations, as well as supporting Teacher Appreciation Week and distributing Thanksgiving meals to 50 families.

“Life is not a solo act and we need to work together for our students, school, families and community. Our Partners in Education

focus on students, staff and families and their efforts are appreciated,” said Cory Arensdorf, physical education teacher. “Their contributions, time and dedication are essential because it allows Irving Elementary to be successful. We can’t thank them enough for all they do.”

Partners provide snacks for students for ISASP testing, donations for school supplies and support school events. They are Reading Buddies and Pen Pals and help students enjoy Christmas Luncheon. Students

Partners are visible, supportive at Kittrell

WATERLOO – Kittrell Elementary School has added new Partners in Education to their roster this year.

Hy-Vee Crossroads, Five Point Family Chiropractic and Fareway-Waterloo have joined with Kittrell’s long-time Partners: Veridian, Olive Garden, Other Place-Ridgeway, Target, Hammond Avenue Brethren Church, Crossroads Church of the Nazarene, Unity Presbyterian Church, INVISION Architecture and Optimist Club.

“Our Partners are an integral part of Team Kittrell! They support us in a vast array of activities that take place throughout the year. Anything we ask for, they strive to provide. They al-

low their staff to be visible in our school and for that we are so appreciative. We are thankful for the contributions made by each of our Partners,” said Principal Audrey Wallican-Green.

Partners provide treats for staff (teacher apprecia-

tion) and students and dinner for staff, as well as volunteer as Pen Pals for students. They volunteer for Math and Literacy Night, LIM Night, Junior Achievement, Reading Buddies and guest readers. They also participate in Family

Christmas Adoptions.

“Partners have really impacted and enhanced projects going on in classrooms and supported staff with class projects. We are thankful for our Partners in Education,” said John Barker, family support worker and coordinator for PIE.

“Our Partners In Education are great in providing different life lessons and experiences that they may not have had the chance to do otherwise,” said Stephine Johnson.

Jen Kinder offered her thanks for Partners’ continued support for staff and students. “We are so grateful for everything you do,” she said.

sing Christmas carols for their Partners, too.

“The best part about our relationships built within PIE is how connections branch out into all aspects of our school life. We have Partners that now volun-

teer at the school, bring us a schedule of all meals served in the community and continue to talk to other people about the synergy happening at Irving. It truly is a special thing,” added Laura Meyer, lead teacher.

Fred Becker in rebuilding mode with Partners

WATERLOO — Fred Becker Elementary School is rebuilding its relationships in the Partners in Education program.

“Becker Elementary is so excited to start some new partnerships and maintain our relationship with Monster Cookies and More. We are looking forward to collaborating in more ways to

share all of the potential in our community with our students right here at our school,” said Abigail Norgren.

Other Partners at this time are Maple Lanes, Vine Valley Real Estate, The Surgery Center at United Medical Park and Three Pines Farm. Sidecar Coffee is expected to become a Partner, Norgren said.

Partners provide encouragement for Carver students

WATERLOO — George Washington Carver Academy shares Partners in Education with Allen College, part of UnityPoint Health, and Hy-Vee, Hope City Church, St. Paul’s United Methodist

Church and MidWest One Bank

Allen College has provided etiquette classes for students, along with donations at Christmas time. Hy-Vee provided discounts for food

during student recognition celebrations, and Hope City Church provided donations during Teacher Appreciation Week.

St. Paul’s Church donated winter hats, gloves, coats and

scarfs, and MidWest One Bank has provided donations for different times of the year.

“We are appreciative to have our Partners In Education support George Washington Carver Academy. The

time and resources they provide extend the level of support and encouragement we provide for staff and students here at George Washington Carver Academy,” said Principal Josh Payton.

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WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTO irving Elementary School students Becker Spirit Squad WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTO WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTO WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTO George Washington Carver academy principal Josh payton with student.

Lowell students appreciate their Partners in Education

WATERLOO — Appreciation for Partners in Education runs high at Lowell Elementary School, said Latisha Leyh, lead teacher.

“Whenever we need anything at our building, our Partners are always willing to support and be involved,” she noted.

Partners in Education are Black Hawk County Courthouse, Lincoln Savings Banks in Cedar Falls, Grace Fellowship Church, Greenwood Pharmacy , Horace Mann Insurance, Nestle, Image Pointe, New Beginnings and the Sayer Law Firm.

Grace Fellowship Church provides the teacher luncheon, prizes for the PBIS Cougar Cart, snacks for state assessments and has Pen Pal Partners with fourth graders. Black Hawk County Courthouse and the Sayer Law Firm also participate in Pen Pal Partners with fifth graders,


as well as providing prizes for the PBIS Cougar Cart and snacks for state assessment.

“When our students get their pen pal letters back, they are always excited to see what their pen pal wrote to them. They look forward to writing a response back and getting to know their pen pal,” said fifth-grade

Partners provide Bunger students, staff with positive experience

WATERLOO — Bunger Middle School has five Partners in Education: The Other Place (Evansdale); Peters Construction; First Congregational Church of Christ; John Deere Waterloo Foundry and New Hope Missionary Baptist/Impact Church of Hope.

“Our Partners do a great job of supporting our staff and students to ensure

PIE benefits Central Middle School

WATERLOO — Central Middle School benefits from its Partners in Education involvement.

Community in School, PTO, UNI Talent Search and Texas Roadhouse.

teacher Sami Neese.

Fourth-grade teacher Maddy Milks said, “My students love writing back and forth to pen pals. They like getting the journals back from their pen pals.”

Partners, along with other community organizations, local businesses and families “adopt” a family in need for the holidays,

providing food and gifts. Partners provide items such as coats, hats, gloves, backpacks, pencil boxes, and other school supplies. In addition, Partners help provide funds to purchase clothing items and maintain a supply of dress code items at school for students’ families unable to purchase these items.

The school shares partnerships with John Deere PEC, YMCA, Upper Iowa University, Cadillac Lanes, Payne AME Church, Viking Pump, RH Miracle Central,

John Deere PEC is active in Women in STEM activities at the school. Texas Roadhouse assists the school with fundraisers, while the YMCA and Cadillac Lanes provide supplies for PBIS Incentive.

a positive experience at Bunger Middle School. We very much appreciate them making it possible to have our Student of the Month lunch,” said Steven Schwikerath, counselor.

Secretary Karla Matt said, “The Adopt a Family event in December is a great way for us to come together with our Partners in Education to support families

in need. We are thankful for this wonderful experience.”

Partners also provide support for ISASP.

“Bunger Middle School is very thankful for the donation of whiteboards

from Peters Construction. These will be used in many different classrooms to impact student achievement,” explained Carmen Barker, seventh-grade literacy teacher.


West High School values its partnerships

WATERLOO — At West High School, the Partners in Education program provides support to students throughout the school year. Those partnerships are valued by both students and faculty.

Hope City Church, John

Deere and The Other Place on Ridgeway are partnered with the high school.

Partners are involved in Student of the Month recognition and provide support during testing and a variety of other activities.

PARTNERS IN EDUCATION Sunday, april 23, 2023 | 5
COURTESY PHOTOS Elementary School students hold up their pen pal journals. Fourth- and fifthgraders are pen pals with their partners in Education. WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTO Central Middle School students WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTO Bunger Middle School students as medical detectives.

Partners make positive impact at EXPO

WATERLOO — Henry Shepherd, assistant principal at EXPO Alternative Learning Center, appreciates support provided by Partners in Education.

“Our community Partners have had and continue to have a positive impact on the staff, students, and families at EXPO-ALC,” he said.

Each year the school partners with Waterloo Sunrise Exchange Club to recognize students for the Sun Rise Exchange Club’s Accepting the Challenge of Excellence Award. The award recognizes individual students who have overcome barriers and struggles, turned their lives around and are graduating to pursue higher education. Students support help clean up Sunrise Exchange Zoo and get it ready for the upcoming season.

Orchard Hill Church in Cedar Falls organizes Christmas in Walnut at Boys and Girls Club, and Lighthouse students and staff volunteer. Leftover items are donated to the PBIS Store at EXPO. This spring, the church surprised EXPO with a check which will be used to organize Lighthouse Youth Leadership Retreat Day in June.

The annual Holiday Meal is enhanced by Partners from Texas Roadhouse, Fareway and Cedar Falls Brown Bottle. Texas Roadhouse donated their world famous hot rolls and cinnamon-butter to the holiday meal. They also donated several dozen packages of frozen rolls for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital fundraiser and certificates for the Students of the Month program. Fareway donated food items for the holiday meal and Cedar Falls Brown Bottle donated turkeys to make the meal a success.

Marcus Theater provided gift certificates for Students of the Month. They also supported PBIS and Leader in Me Programs at EXPO.

Cunningham School describes their Partners as ‘A Cut Above’

WATERLOO — Dr. Walter Cunningham School for Excellence enjoys support from their Partners in Education.

“Our Partners In Education are ‘A Cut Above’ the rest. They generously cater to the needs of the children and families that we serve. Simply stated, they are the best,” said Sheila Butler, a family support worker at the school.

Their Partners are: the City of Waterloo; Waterloo Public Library; Community Bank & Trust; Delta Sorority; First Presbyterian Church in Waterloo, St. Timothy’s United Methodist Church; VGM, KBBG and Hope City Church.

“We are so thankful for all that our partners do to support our students. They are invested in the success of ALL of our Cunningham STARS and go above and beyond in so many ways. We are looking forward to continued collaboration in the future,” said Principal Neldrekka Whitaker.

School counselor Lorrice

Thomas enjoys working with Partners. “They are always there for our students and looking for ways to support.”

School activities involving Partners includes:

„ S.T.A.R. Breakfast—Monthly award breakfast to celebrate students who have demonstrated outstanding behavior

„ Adopt a Family—Donations of Christmas presents to families

in need

„ Assisting and supporting the Cunningham Carnival

„ Halloween Math Night and Trunk or Treat

„ Donations to the school store

„ Hy-Vee Cash 4 Students

Receipt Collection—Proceeds go directly to the school

„ Donations of snacks and drinks for staff during Conferences

„ Clothing Drives—Donations of winter gear, school clothing, and other needed items

„ Support of students during the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP)

„ Sharing information and social media posts about Cunningham with their members and constituents

„ Attending student events, including concerts and graduations

“Our Partners are always willing to step up to the plate and provide whatever it is that our students need. They are so committed to supporting the success of our students at Cunningham. This community support is so important to our staff, our students, and our families,” explained Jake Hartman, a first-grade teacher.

Fifth-grade teacher Ashley Paulson said, “We are incredibly grateful for our Partners and all they do for our students and staff. We appreciate all the time and resources given to help make a difference here at Cunningham.”

Orange, Partners planning new service learning program

Third-grade teacher Amanda Harris believes Orange Elementary School Partners in Education “are on the cusp of helping us do great things at Orange.

“I enjoy being a part of our PIE committee because we are working on building a stronger connection between our community and the students. I am excited for what our future holds as we dive deeper into giving back to our community through service learning. Through this we are partnering with our Partners to help us launch a sustainable service learning program in the upcoming years,” she explained

Each grade level would have a project to allow students to potentially experience six service

learning opportunities before they leave for middle school.

Partners are Hawkeye Community College, University of Northern Iowa–KDP, Amy Wienands Real Estate, Kimball United Methodist Church, South Waterloo Church of the Brethren and Harmony House.

Partners helped provide 10 Thanksgiving baskets for families days; adopted eight large families for Christmas; and provided snacks/mints for ISASP testing for students.

Members from two churches are Reading Buddies. Community members read in each classroom during an African-American Read-In in February.

Orange teachers have adopted

several Harmony House residents. Harmony House helped chaperone a December dance, partici-

pated in school clubs and brought bugs and plants to share with kids who signed up for their club.

6 | Sunday, april 23, 2023 PARTNERS IN EDUCATION
WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTO Walter Cunningham School for Excellence students WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTO Orange gives partners in Education a ‘high-five.’

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Poyner students feel appreciated by Partners

EVANSDALE — Partners in Education at Poyner Elementary School are First Security State Bank, Prince of Peace Church, Tyson Fresh Meats, Tyson Prepared Foods, Hy-Vee Crossroads, Barnes and Noble Book Store, City of Elk Run, St. Mark’s Church, Evansdale Fire Department and their newest Partner, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Students make seasonal decorations for Partners. Partners have donated to provide Thanksgiving gift cards, adopted families for Christmas, provided snacks for students during ISASP testing, May baskets

for students and staff and provided many other items

during the year. They also volunteered as needed.

Fifth-grader Sofie Yim said, “It makes me feel

Hoover Partners open to new ways to increase connections

WATERLOO — Hoover Middle School is partnered with League of Women Voters (Black Hawk & Bremer Counties), RE/ MAX Home Group, Friendship Village, Fareway (Waterloo) and Wild Wood Ranch.

Partners participate in the Adopt-A-Family program at Christmas and provide additional support by presenting household items, toys, clothing and gift cards. RE/MAX donated several $100 gift cards to support Hoover students and families.

Each year students participate in a 500-word essay contest with League of Women Voters. Winners receive a check and certificate for grades sixth, seventh and eighth. Breakfast Club rec-

ognizes students of the month and Partners support academic and behavior celebrations, volunteer for mock interviews and help students fill out job applications for career assessments in a potential career.

Eighth-grader Daniel Putman said, “I participated in a mock interview for my Communications class and it helped me realize how important it is to have a positive attitude, get good grades and be a leader and not a follower.”

Sixth-graders are pen pals with Friendship Village, which also collaborates on the career day event.

New to the school district, Tom Harskamp, lead administrator said, “I really love how our Partners are

open to trying new ways of increasing connections.

As I get more comfortable in my role I am looking for other opportunities to partner and expand our Hoover school community to the Waterloo community

good to make artwork for our Partners. I know my art is appreciated.”

St. Mark’s Church provides volunteer readers and one member has helped first-graders start their own library. There are two annual book fairs at Barnes and Noble and PIE supply books requested by teachers.

The City of Elk Run hosts a monthly luncheon with the Mayor attended by students from each grade level who demonstrate good citizenship.

“I was really happy to have lunch with the mayor. It was nice to be rewarded for doing my job,” said

fourth-grader Liam Sager.

“As a Partner in Education with Poyner Elementary School we feel better connected with our community. It’s been amazing to see the students work toward goals and to be able to celebrate that accomplishment with them. We donate to special causes, and the students and teachers also donate back to us with card making for Veterans, or other special events. It’s a relationship where we give some, but we get back so much more. It’s a winwin,” said Pastor Lisa Kruse of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.

Highland Partners volunteer, support students

WATERLOO — Highland Elementary School shares their Partners in Education program with Nazareth Lutheran Church, Petersen & Tietz Florists and Greenhouses; VGM; Lincoln Savings Bank, John Deere and Ron Protzman.

Many Partners are volunteers in classrooms helping with STEM projects, acting as reading buddies, or volunteering to support classroom teachers and volunteers.

Partner-related activities include: ISASP bike and scooter giveaway, PAWS-4YOU monthly staff recogni-

Highland students

tion; Adopt a Family Holiday Gift Program; holiday book giveaway; carnation sales; Earth Day activities; and staff dinners at parent-teacher conferences. Partners also raise funds for school improvements and student needs.

Southdale shares lengthy partnership

at large.”

School counselor Stephanie Chandler said Partners are invested in Hoover students “to help them discover ways to carry out our mission of ‘influencing the world and serving others.’”

CEDAR FALLS – Southdale Elementary School has enjoyed Texas Roadhouse as their Partner in Education for seven years.

The restaurant provides teachers a meal during

each of the parent-teacher conferences, and rolls for the school staff on random occasions. They also provide student rewards that teachers can hand out as the students earn them.

8 | Sunday, april 23, 2023 PARTNERS IN EDUCATION

Partners support learning at Cedar Falls’ Lincoln elementary

CEDAR FALLS —Principal Ralph Bryant at Lincoln Elementary School in Cedar Falls “is proud to have many Partners to support learning. We are pleased to share relationships with First United Methodist Church, Sidecar Coffee College Hill,

Oakridge Realtors and various departments from the city of Cedar Falls.

“Thanks to each group for supporting our school,” he said.

First United Methodist Church volunteers support reading improvement

Holmes receives generous support from Cedar Falls Community Credit Union

CEDAR FALLS — With generous support of the school’s Partner in Education, Cedar Falls Community Credit Union, “we are able to provide learning opportunities for our students and valuable services to our community each school year,” said Holmes Junior High School Principal Jeremy Jones.

“After a two-year hiatus

due to COVID, this year we were able to host our annual Veterans Day Assembly again, which was attended by a record number of veterans from the Cedar Valley. This event is always a highlight for students, staff and the community,” he said.

The school partnered with CFCCU on several projects, including the Canes for a Cause adopt-

through the “Change A Child’s Story” program which allow students to receive extra reading opportunities. The church has donated time and monetary donations to the school through this partnership.

First United Methodist

Church also supports students during the holidays by requesting gifts through a Mitten Tree.

Sidecar Coffee College Hill has donated a percentage of sales to the school to support the Mitten Tree, which allows the school to

support Christmas gifts for families in need. Students have contributed art for their walls and designed cup holders.

Oakridge Realtors support the Parents and Lincoln School (PALS) group during the school’s annual

fundraising work. Oakridge always surprises the school with special gifts.

Several City of Cedar Falls departments help to support work with students. Police and fire departments have virtually visited kindergarten and first-grade classes.

a-family fundraiser which raised thousands of dollars to support local families during the holiday season.

Each spring, the school and CFCCU partner to raise funds to support the Children’s Miracle Network.

Partners provide important support for Hansen students

CEDAR FALLS — Partners in Education are an important support system at Hansen Elementary School. The school has been partnered with MercyOne Cedar Falls Medical Center since 1990; First Bank since 2000; Amy Wienands Real Estate since 2018; John Deery since 2019 and Oakridge Real Estate

since 2019. Sidecar Coffee is the most recent Partner, joining in 2022.

This year, each Partner sponsored a Hansen family in need and provides gifts and a food basket for Holiday Gifts for Families.

At the sixth-grade celebration ceremony, each Partner has designed an award

that reflects their business values and honors a sixthgrade student who has been nominated by their peers or teacher for recognition.

All Partners donate to various Hansen activities, such as PTA Carnival, teacher appreciation and other special events. Students, with help from the art teacher, deco-

Partners support Aldrich activities


Streeter Aldrich Elementary School, “we love having the support of community partners at our school and look forward to doing more activities,” said Principal Kim Cross.

Skogman Builders, Oakridge Realtors, Panther Builders, Western Home Communities and Texas Roadhouse are Partners.

Skogman Builders and Oakridge Realtors provided dinner at Fall Parent/Teacher

Conference nights for staff. They also provided ice cream to students and staff to start the school year.

Panther Builders provided dinner at Winter Parent/Teacher conference night and provided reading

rate a tree for the annual MercyOne Festival of Trees.

Employees of Partners have served as an audience for student writing projects. After composing an opinion piece, students have shared their writing with one of our Partners, and their employees provide students specific feedback.

coupons to purchase books in the past for orders from Scholastic.

Students made Valentine’s Day valentines for residents at Western Home. Western Home donated colored pictures that residents made to decorate the school. Texas Roadhouse provided lunch during the August kickoff.

PARTNERS IN EDUCATION Sunday, april 23, 2023 | 9
COURTESY PHOTO Holmes Junior High School students and Cedar Falls Community Credit union par tnered on Canes for a Cause to raise funds to support local families during the holidays.

A slice of PIE

In Waterloo Schools, school and community partnerships are cooperative arrangements between schools and businesses, agencies, service clubs, etc., for the purpose of sharing resources to meet Partner needs.


10 | Sunday, april 23, 2023 PARTNERS IN EDUCATION
lincoln Elementary School, Waterloo East High School Kingsley Waterloo Career Center WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTOS


making a positive impact from day one.

“We’re received so much positive feedback, our community is very excited to have him in this position,” said Frost. “He’ll be working to help Waterloo Schools maintain our local business relationships, ensuring our community partners feel valued and heard.”

While PIE businesses offer support to a dedicated school building through financial donations, many staff groups enjoy interacting with students through specific programming. At Kittrell Elementary, staff members from InVision Architecture, Veridian, and Hammond Avenue Brethren Church have participated in pen pal programs with fourth grade and special needs students.

As a Veridian employee, Waterloo Schools alumna and Junior

Achievement of Eastern Iowa volunteer, Sylvia Hanson says that helping students learn about financial literacy has personally meant the world to her.

“This is my school district, so being able to impact kids here is something that comes around full circle for me,” said Hanson. “It’s always fun and full of energy. Be-

ing able to give them a role model is something I really enjoy.”

Tyler Coan is a Poyner parent, PIE volunteer at First Security State Bank, and Waterloo alum-

nus who advocates for businesses to give back to their local schools, helping the Cedar Valley to grow and flourish.

“Supporting PIE is a simple gesture to enable future leaders, future coworkers, and future community members to succeed and solve the problems of our world. Supporting the systems that educate our youth is very rewarding. The staff, students, and families take notice and appreciate the support Partners in Education provides to our schools,” Coan said.

Businesses who would like to become PIE participants, can connect with Martin at martink2@ to begin the formal process through Waterloo Schools’ board of education. However, for businesses looking to make a one-time or recurring donation to a school, the Waterloo Schools Foundation offers a portal for community members and businesses to give direct financial support to a specific school and/or program.

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WATERLOO SCHOOLS PHOTO poyner students at Evansdale parade
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