Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Walks of Life

Back to School


Homerooms around the metro have reconvened, and youngsters are trading in their sun block, sandals, and those late summer nights for backpacks filled with textbooks, big yellow buses, and the unmistakable happy feeling of jitters induced by first-day-of-school adrenaline. Central Iowa families sent kids back to class in August. As such, CITYVIEW rounded up some insight from four local educators.

Michelle Lettington

Associate superintendent of teaching and learning at West Des Moines Community Schools

The West Des Moines School district is the 11th largest district in Iowa. Last year, 9,544 students enrolled in its 13 different schools. 

That’s a lot of people, but even with the difficulties created by the global pandemic, teachers and families were able to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances, according to Michelle Lettington, associate superintendent of teaching and learning at West Des Moines Community Schools. She says the staff and teachers should be proud. 

“They did an amazing job,” she says. “It’s evident our kids come first.”

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

For this new year, the slogan will be: “Reflect. Renew. Refocus.”

Source: Jordan Creek Living, August 2021; by Jackie Wilson

Louis Fountain

Johnston Community School District’s director of equity, inclusion and belonging

Tackling equity initiatives in the Johnston school district is Louis Fountain’s new job at Johnston schools. The district has more than 7,400 students who attend five elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. When the bell rings, Fountain will serve as director of equity, inclusion and belonging. He joins the team after a career establishing, implementing, restoring and sustaining systems to give underrepresented youth, families and communities tools for success. 

“I am excited to join the Johnston Community School District at this important time in its growth as a district,” he says. “I look forward to working with leaders across the district to serve as a thought, strategy and action partner in these important areas.”

Source: Johnston Living, August 2021; by Ashley Rullestad 

Dr. Fairouz Bishara-Rantisi 

Principal of Waukee’s new Northwest High School 

The Waukee School District is the seventh largest school district in Iowa, and half of the high school kids, approximately 1,300 students in grades 10-12, will attend the brand new Northwest High School.

New principal Dr. Fairouz Bishara-Rantisi says it will be a cultural shift for these inaugural enrollees. Making new traditions might be a difficult adjustment. Instead of purple and gold, for instance, the Wolves logo will be royal blue, white and gray.

“We have a lot of students whose families all attended Waukee High School and now their last sibling will graduate from Northwest,” she says. “It’s an emotional shift, yet it’s exciting as well. There will be a lot of new ‘firsts’ with our students.”

Source: Waukee Living, August 2021; by Jackie Wilson

Dr. Erick Pruitt

Superintendent, Ankeny Community School District

Ankeny Community School District welcomes its new superintendent, Dr. Erick Pruitt. Pruitt most recently served in Chicago Public Schools as the deputy chief of high schools.

“Ankeny Community School District shares my commitment to academic and lifetime personal success for every student. I want to be part of a district that is proud of its success but seeks ways to continuously improve outcomes for students,” says Pruitt. 

“Ankeny is the kind of community my family and I want to be a part of and the kind of district my career has prepared me to lead. I look forward to working with students, staff, families and the community to realize our shared vision of elevating leadership, innovation and achievement.”

Source: Ankeny Living, August 2021; by Ashley Rullestad n

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