Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will deliver her annual Condition of the State address at 6 p.m. Jan. 12. As part of that speech, she is expected to include a nod to the Clarinda Community School District for its efforts to provide in-person learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clarinda Superintendent Chris Bergman said she was contacted by officials with the Governor's office Jan. 6 asking for a brief summary of the actions Clarinda has taken this school year.
"They called and asked me to explain some of the things we've done because the Governor wants to highlight some of the ways our staff has gone above and beyond to care for our kids," Bergman said.
After working with school administrators, Bergman said she submitted a written reply detailing how an "All-Hands-on-Deck" philosophy has become the mantra of the district from the first day of the school year on Aug. 24.
"We decided to roll up our sleeves and lean into the opportunity to focus on what was within our control and made decisions with students, staff, health and safety in mind. Daily collaboration with the Director of Page County Health, hiring nursing services from the Clarinda Regional Health Center to provide greater care for our students with the most fragile health and even having an administrator drive a bus route are examples of how we have kept learning in a face-to-face environment," Bergman wrote in her response.
After submitting the response, Bergman said the speech writers again contacted her and honed in Clarinda High School Assistant Principal and Activities Director Josh Porter driving a school bus for the district this year. Bergman said she explained the telephone call she made asking Porter to drive the bus and her offering to attend an Athletic Director meeting for him.
"We have had a lot of swapping of responsibilities and people going wherever they have been needed. That is what they are going to highlight. I'm not sure how big or small it will be, but it is neat to be invited to participate in her speech," Bergman said.
Given the diligent work turned in by everyone in the school district to ensure the health and safety of the students and families of Clarinda during the pandemic, Bergman said it is a well deserved honor to be recognized by Gov. Reynolds in her speech.
"Having spent quite a bit of time with the Governor over the years, I know how much she cares about kids. She also understands how hard educators work every single day to provide the best care and support to kids," Bergman said.