Pekin school year underway
PACKWOOD — The 2014-15 Pekin school year began with a well-attended open house on the evening of Aug. 18.
Elementary and middle school students found their classrooms, brought supplies and met their teachers. Pekin seniors McKenna Gambell, Shelbi Talley, Maggie Brown, Madelyn Baker, Whitney Horras and Mallory Reed greeted middle and high school students, answered questions and handed out schedules.
At 7 p.m., Karen Gale from the FBI spoke with parents and students about Internet safety. Gale reminded parents that just as the school has rules for computer usage, parents also needed to have rules. She encouraged parents to talk with students regarding their technology usage and to set expectations.
Despite the rain, Pekin Community School District students went to school Wednesday, with high expectations and great excitement. The year began with the presentation of the colors by Richard Bond, Frank Neff, Leroy Robison, Jim Archer and Paul Steele. The Pekin student council president and vice president presided over the elementary and secondary student body recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Next, Pekin High School music students led the singing of the national anthem.
Pekin secondary students stayed in the gym for information regarding schedule changes, the opportunity to zipline with the National Guard in physical education classes and meet new staff.
New Dean of Students Tim Hadley gained the students’ and staff’s attention when he appeared to drop a baby. He used the opportunity to remind students that a school year is a new opportunity —so “don’t drop the baby.”
Middle school students returned to class, while high school students began an informative morning.
In high school DENS, students received their new 1:1 technology tool. The Pekin school board approved the purchase of Dell Chromebooks for all sixth- through 12th-grade students. Despite some glitches, students signed Chromebook agreements and had an opportunity to explore their device.
Throughout the morning, students heard about the multiple opportunities Pekin has for involvement. Tim Magill, student council supervisor, talked about homecoming, while fine arts teachers Erin Almelien, Brenda Hagedon, Derrick White and Chandra Snicker encouraged student participation in vocal music, art, instrumental music and speech and drama. Antoinette Wittrock and Joe Donovan spent time going over the state’s No Pass No Play policy, Pekin’s academic eligibility policy and Pekin’s community service and silver cord requirements.
Thursday morning, students continued with Google lessons, zipline rides and discussions about the student handbook. Seniors and juniors had opportunities to discuss graduation and prom. Jostens representatives provided information to sophomores on class rings and seniors on graduation.
Indian Hills Community College staff, Sigourney Superintendent Dave Harper, Sigourney Secondary Principal Shannon Webb and Pekin Principal JoAnne Morenz, welcomed students to the Keokuk County Career Academy at orientation Thursday evening. Magill and TAG coordinator Lori Eads met with Pekin students taking online college-credit classes through Indian Hills Friday. All Indian Hills classes, both online and through the Keokuk County Career Academy, began today.
Students attended their morning classes during the afternoon Wednesday and their afternoon classes during the afternoon Thursday. The week culminated Friday with the fall sports preview and a back-to-school dance sponsored by yearbook sponsor Erin Almelien and her class. Students in attendance at the dance received their 2013-14 yearbook.