THE RAPTOR | Issue 9-10
A NEWSLETTER FOR THE NORTH FAYETTE VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL COMMUNITY
Introducing TigerHawk Hardware
A new enterprise has been started by students at North Fayette Valley High School called TigerHawk Hardware. This new “business” has been developed as part of the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program and a plan put together by the five teachers in the department through the federal Carl D. Perkins grant program.
For a number of years teachers have discussed the importance of providing students with a real life entrepreneurial experience. The first step was the development of the Chicken Shack that focused on hatching chickens and turkeys in our agriculture program, raising them in a coop built by students in the industrial technology program, and then using the meat for cooking activities through the family and consumer science program. Now, TigerHawk Hardware is taking this kind of an experience to a new level.
A few years ago, a plasma cutter was donated to our Industrial Technology program as a teaching tool. That tool has now been replaced by a new one, and with the skills our students have developed, they are producing quality products that are now being offered for sale. However, that is not all!
Students are divided into teams, each with specific tasks and skills. There are those that design and produce metal signs, as well as those who market the items. Market research has been done, and a website has been created that includes online ordering and purchasing. The website is at: www.tigerhawkhardware.com. In the future, new products will be designed and offered for sale in this new opportunity for our students.
IN THIS ISSUE
Each month NFVHS Principal Todd Wolverton shares his thoughts on a variety of topics, most of them having to do with school!
Hey Mr. Clark!
School counselor Bill Clark shares pertinent information relative to the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students.
WHAT’S GOING ON AT NFVHS
16-17 Iowa Grad. Rate91%
In Iowa, 91% of students graduated from high school in four years.
16-17 NFVHS Grad. Rate96%
At NFVHS, 96.3% of our students graduated from high school in four years.
by Todd F. Wolverton
This time of year a lot of attention from school folks is focused on what is happening in Des Moines at the capital. In the past fifteen or so years, elected officials have become much more involved in public education than they were before. Most often the issue that most people keep tabs on is school funding, as that is incredibly important to the management of local school districts. However, a week ago I ran across an interesting bill that has been introduced to the Iowa Senate, referred to as SF 326.
I won't get into the details of the bill, but in essence it would result in the shut down of the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) and force the two organizations to merge into one. Iowa is the only state that has separate organizations governing their high school athletic programs, and in my opinion, it is time for that to end. The primary reason given for the bill is a waste of money and a duplication of services. I am obviously not the only person that feels this way, as I know our superintendent is in favor of this as are every other school administrator that I have talked to about this topic. In fact, I wonder who is actually in favor of keeping them separate, other than perhaps the people that are employed to staff each organization and those school administrators serving on the various boards.
Something else that I hope they consider is to force the Iowa High School Music Association and Iowa High School Speech Association under the same umbrella and while they are at it, offer sponsorship of dance rather than leaving it to an association that does not have the same mission as other interscholastic organizations.
There needs to be some consistency and equity for all of our students that participate in activity programs. The IHSAA, commonly referred to as “the boys’ association” is a cash cow. An investigative report a number of years ago by a central Iowa television station showed that it had over $6 million in cash reserves, which is certainly higher now. They have two big “cash cows” that continue to add money to their coffers, the football playoffs and state wrestling tournament. On the girls’ side, no such major event exists to build its reserves, and in fact a handful of years ago leadership made no secret that they were expanding from four classifications to five due in large part due to a need to raise revenue. The IHSAA also benefits from major sponsorship and a television contract, while the IGHSAU does not have the same support and relies on its state contests being live-streamed and on state-wide television. (Note: it was a lot easier and affordable to watch the state girls’ basketball tournament this year than it was the state wrestling tournament!)
The issue of classification is another reason that having one organization would resolve. Why do we have four classifications for baseball, and boys’ basketball and golf, and five for softball and girls’ basketball, volleyball, and golf? From a local perspective, once we get into the state tournament series, our girls compete in the 3A classification where we are smaller than most of the teams we compete against, whereas the boys compete against school that we are mostly bigger than. How does that make sense?
The high schools in the state of Iowa have oversight on the state organizations, but it does not seem like leadership listens to what is being discussed among the membership. It seems unfortunate to me that it has taken a legislator to propose action to do what leadership of the IHSAA and IGHSAU should have done years ago. There is no question that high school sports in Iowa have benefitted from the efforts of the two organizations, particularly girls when they had opportunities long before their sisters in other states. That was necessary in the early years of our previous century. However, those days are long gone and it is time for the groups to come together, pool their resources and talents, and move high school activities forward for the benefit of our students.
Perhaps nothing demonstrates the need for this more than the emerging sport of girls wrestling. People have approached the IGHSAU to sanction it as a sport, but the association has no process to adopt new sports! That is ridiculous, but beside the point. It is a girls sport and yet everyone that has experience with the sport of wrestling is affiliated with the boys association, the IHSAA. And, the IHSAA is the organization that is promoting its growth by working with member schools to add girls wrestling to tournaments so these young ladies can compete. There was actually a state tournament for female wrestlers this season that actually came from the efforts of coaches of boys teams because they want to see the sport grow.
There is currently a working relationships between the IHSAA and IGHSAU as they co-sponsor state level competition in some sports, such as track and cross country. It is time they pull together for all sports, as well as music, speech, dance, and any new ones that rise in popularity, like girls wrestling, and perhaps someday rugby and lacrosse!
Hey, Mr. Clark!
by Bill Clark, School Counselor
Let Your Teens Choose Their College Major, It’s Their Future, Not Yours
From: Grown and Flown: Parenting Never Ends
As parents, we spent 18 years planning, contemplating, weighing, discussing, and deciding on a million little things for our kids, all in the name of not only protecting them, but also trying to ensure their success as adults. We didn’t do it selfishly, we did it instinctively and out of love, because as their parents, we’ve been there and done that, and we think WE know what’s best for our kids.
And then they go to college, and that privilege rug of being allowed to plan and decide what’s best for them is suddenly pulled out from under us. The stark reality is that your teen’s college major (and ultimate career choice) is now THEIR choice.
It’s the college years when parents must finally come to grips with the painful truth that even though these are the years when we’re supposed to encourage independent minds and more personal responsibility, it’s difficult to untie the apron strings. It’s difficult to allow our kids to make this huge decision on their own.
We may give our input, we may give advice, we may even try to nudge them one way or the other, but in the end, forcing the issue and/or not fully supporting their choice of college major will only complicate things more, adding disproportionate animosity and increased distrust between you and your child.
Susan Reed, a college English professor, wrote about how many of her students have admitted to majoring in one specific thing because it’s what their parents wanted. In an article for the Washington Post, she wrote,
“Every semester, I see quite a few sad students in my college freshman English class at a large four-year university. They’re not bummed about a bad grade, or roommate problems; many of them are frustrated because they’re unhappy with their major. When I ask them why they’re studying whatever their current field is if they’re not interested in it, I always hear the same answer: ‘My parents want me…”
Reed goes onto explain that many parents feel like they should have a “say” in what their student studies because they’re either footing the tuition bill entirely, or have co-signed on student loans.
But for most college graduates, being 100% workforce ready doesn’t necessarily translate into being 100% satisfied and content with job and career choice. And while earning a decent income and securing employment right out of college is of course ideal, it’s not necessarily the only goal we want our college graduates to achieve.
Do we want working bot kids that clock in and out, and are resentful with the career their parents choose for them, or do we want to allow our kids to navigate college as independent adults?
Whether we can or not, we should certainly make every attempt to TRY. Parents of college students have to continually practice and self-talk their way out of hovering, planning, and deciding everything for their kids. We have to allow their interests to develop without our interference.
Reed puts it best when she stated, “But truly doing what’s best for your children means letting go of simple solutions and allowing them to engage with the complexity of the world. Parents should channel their anxiety over their children’s futures into helping them find viable paths, not just dictating what they should do. That’s part of helping them grow up. College students need guidance while they navigate a difficult series of choices. The kindest thing is to support them, rather than taking those choices away.”
PROUD TO BE NFV!
Two NFVHS TigerHawk bowlers earned all-conference honors this season.
It’s hard to tell what’s going on with these two at a recent staff training!
The Class of 2019 presented their Capstone projects last month and did an outstanding job!
March Madness: Year 2
Staff at NFVHS are getting ready for our second year of March Madness, an experiential two-day learning opportunity for our students that is out of the classroom and out of the norm in terms of content and experiences. It was put in place last year on an experimental basis while about a third of our students were on the music trip to Washington, DC. Upon evaluation and feedback from teachers and students, it was decided to do it again this year with all of the students.
An adjustment made this year is that rather than three days, this year’s version will be two. In addition, students only had a choice of taking one course for the entire two days. The “madness” will take place on March 7 and 8, with students and teachers engaged in a broad variety of learning experiences.
Some of the courses from last year are being repeated, in large part due to the popularity of some of them. The Tribes of Volga Park will spend a couple of what look like cold days in an outdoors classroom, learning wilderness skills and being engaged in team building activities. A large group students will get an up close look at conservation and natural resource in northeast Iowa. Geocaching and escape rooms also return as options for the students.
On the flip side, students have a choice of some new and exciting courses. Among those is a script writing course as well as one where students will produce their own original music compositions. There are two film classes, one focused on the classics and another on Clint Eastwood. And, one is being offered for those that have nothing to do!
North Fayette Valley High School Staff
Administration and Guidance
Todd Wolverton - Principal
Bill Clark - School Counselor
Ron Imoehl - Liaison
Robin Albert - Secretary
Barb Schroeder - Secretary
Stephanie Wagner - Nurse
Cassie Peterson - Interventionist
Brent Kuker - Teacher
Jacob Pedersen - Interventionist
Antwyan Cullar - Associate
Debbie Ruroden - Associate
Neal Bentley, Garrett Crandall, Megan DeBack, Stephanie Ellis, Darcy Einck, Tim Feldman, Cassie Gruman, Kathy Hageman, Elaine Hanson, Kyle Harms, Cyndy Hinton, Molly Holthaus, Ryan Holthaus, Dan Hovden, Amy Ihde, Kelli Kovarik, Matt Krambeer, Jon Kullen, Bob Lape, Brooke Lodge, Julianne Meyer, Tracy Nuss, Sarah Pisney, Kayla Pollock, Ted Schacherer, Molli Steffens, Kari Straube, Rachael Strong, Denice Vandersee
Bobbi Jo Koch