Neil Gray


Observer Columnist

Now that we’ve fully adjusted to a well-deserved summer vacation following a long school year with double-digits in no-school snow days, it’s time to gently peek ahead to what’s new at Northeast for the 2019-20 school year. 

By the time you read this, online registration at Northeast should be available through the school’s website.

The school year is set to start for Northeast students with a full day of classes on Friday, Aug. 23 — that’s only slightly more than a month away! 

Along with the many people who have called to ask, you may be wondering why we’re starting school on a Friday of all days. Well, legally, August 23rd is the first day that students can begin classes in the state of Iowa. So, unless our legislators change the current law, it’s likely that the only time we wouldn’t start school on that date would be if it lands on a weekend.

New faces 

There will be many new faces on the Northeast staff next year. Two highly experienced teachers, Kathryn Twist and Aubree Tanzillo, will be stepping out of their own classrooms this fall and into others’ classrooms as instructional coaches. Sadie Andersen and Kendall Foley will be filling those classroom teacher roles as new teachers in the elementary and middle school, respectively. 

Troy Hansen will also be leaving his high school science position to take over as full-time activities director. Holly Hoelting will be joining our teaching staff to replace him. 

Eric Anderson will be our new high school social studies teacher and Rachael Molidor will be teaching middle school language arts. Andrea Welch will be serving as a middle school special education teacher along with Lindy Lu Hart, and Aubrey (Burmeister) Dalldorf is joining the elementary special education teaching staff.

Lastly, the need to add a third preschool section brings Christine Shepard on board as a preschool teacher. New teacher associates for the 2019-20 school year are Kelly Hosette, Karlynne Kustes, and Cindy Ploog. 

Co-curricular changes at Northeast this fall include Mark Lee as head football coach, Jacob Schaefer as head volleyball coach, and Susan Cox as co-cheerleader sponsor. 

Laura Roberts will be taking over as high school student council advisor and Rachael Molidor will be middle school student council advisor. Darla Hasken will be serving as National Honor Society advisor while Debb Pataska will serve as junior class after prom advisor.

Upcoming events

A “renewed” event at Northeast this fall will be the Athletic Boosters’ Rebel Run, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24th. Click on the link from the Northeast website for more information.

There’s plenty of time to register yourself for this fun run and/or cajole your friends and family members into registering. This 5K run will be held on school grounds with proceeds generated supporting Northeast student-athletes.

The Northeast Rebels 2019 Football Team will be playing a home game at the Nelson Corp Field (formerly Ashford University Field and Lumber Kings Stadium) against Dyersville Beckman on Friday, Sept. 27th at 7:30 p.m. Tipton and Camanche will be playing the first game at Nelson Corp Field that night beginning at 4:45 p.m. Come early as it’s one admission price for both games!

If you have the chance before the start of the school year, please welcome our new school staff and encourage them in their roles at Northeast. We’re all trying our best to make a daily difference in the lives of our students. Regardless of one’s role in any learning community, that’s not an easy job and there will be many challenging days ahead next year. Just like our students, school staff feeling supported, encouraged, and appreciated will make a world of difference — one day at a time.

Neil Gray is the Northeast Community Schools superintendent.