With only 2 days of school left, we found some awesome people in our community to help keep our learning exciting and fun 'til the end. This morning we were able to enjoy a nice walk downtown with our 2nd grade students. Our first stop was at Frontier Bank. When we arrived they divided our students in to three groups according to the small coin paper they were given (quarters, dimes, and pennies). The students were able to tour and learn about the vault, various offices, and machines throughout the bank. Our 2nd graders were treated to dollar sign sugar cookies and juice, learned all about stocks, and brainstormed some companies that might be smart to invest in. They were reminded to keep working hard in school but especially in Math, if they want to work at a bank someday! Regardless of their career choice, they were encouraged to keep saving their coins and money for their future, which hopefully includes college. They learned that Frontier Bank even has super neat prizes they can earn there for opening their own savings account! Everyone was so kind and hospitable. Thanks for "investing" your time in our 2nd graders today, Frontier Bank! Everyone thought it was well "worth" it!
Next, we walked over to the Lyon County Sheriff's Office. Our students were divided in to three groups there as well. With Lyon County Sheriff VanderStoep our 2nd graders were able to tour an interview room, the jail kitchen, and learn more about the rules of the jail. He shared the memory wall in honor in Lyon County Deputy Schreurs and also expressed the sadness everyone has felt with the recent passing of their K9s, Ethos and Rizzo. Last year the K9s stole the show (and our hearts), but he shared that the department is planning to add another German Shepard to their force as soon as he is done training. In the dispatch room, Marie Kruse told our students all about her responsibilities for answering 9-1-1 calls, alerting ambulance and fire rescues, and communicating with the deputies. We had to be very quiet a couple times as she received two non-emergency calls while we were visiting. Lyon County Deputy VanBeek let everyone explore the inside of his police car, sound his sirens, and even let them sit inside. Amy Borman, the Ambulance Director at Lyon County Ambulance, and Paulette DeWeerd, an EMT at Lyon County Ambulance, talked about what happens during an ambulance ride, let everyone sit inside the back of the ambulance, and sound the sirens. Thank you to everyone at the Lyon County Sheriff's Office and the Lyon County Ambulance for taking time out of your busy day to teach our students just how valuable your role is in our community. You are very appreciated!
The 2nd grade students have been learning about the importance of conservation and the role that trees and healthy soils play in it. In Art class, with Mrs. Sieperda, they have been working on designing their own creative soil pictures. The Lyon County Conservation representatives came to our classrooms in April to share lots of information and give each student a Common Purple Lilac shrub to take home and plant in their yard. Today for lunch they came back and treated the entire 2nd grade to a pizza party, tree sugar cookie, and gatorade for everyone's participation in the conservation poster contest. They announced that Hudson DeWit, in our class, was the winner of the county-wide competition and his poster will be sent on to the state competition. Way to go, Hudson! Thank you, Mrs. Sieperda and the Lyon County Soil and Water Conservation office for the opportunity to participate and grow our knowledge of the importance of healthy forests and healthy communities. Happy Spring!
CAFE' OF ACTIVITIES: This year the Central Lyon Broadcasting May Term team decided to make a video highlighting our extra-curricular activities. We focused on some of our lesser-known activities at Central Lyon. Our video featured a café setting with Chief Chef Kylee and her assistant Oliver baking up a storm while interviewing some of our advisors of these activities. The extra-curricular activities featured include FCCLA, Speech, Quiz Bowl, Student Council, and media center organizations. Thank you to these advisors for taking time out of their busy schedules to come in and talk to us about activities that we might not know too much about. We had great fun making this video together. There were lots of laughs while learning more about opportunities at our school. We hope you enjoy our videos!
BRAIN TEASERS! The Central Lyon Broadcasting May Term team made another video, this time featuring Tristen as the lead reporter. She and the rest of the team made an outstanding video asking some fun, brain-boggling questions to CL students and staff.
May term has been a part of spring at Central Lyon for 26 years. Many new classes are offered during the last four weeks of the school year, including lifetime recreation classes proposed by teachers in their passion areas.
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Students enjoy the range of classes from which they can choose. Louise Meyer appreciates May term because students get different class options, yet she wishes there were more "fun" class offerings. She stated that "schedules are often full of required classes which only leave one or two class periods for fun ones." Eli Jansma likes "taking a break at the end of the year from the grind of all the tough classes." Eli has fond memories of making and eating different foods in classes baking & pastries and food on the run. He also liked making barbeque sauce in Mr. Rockhill’s food science class. Anna Warntjes appreciates that May term allows her more time in her passion areas of theater and music, yet she wishes there were even more music option classes. She fondly remembers the May term play, yet dislikes the stress of continuing required classes during May term. Senior Cael Schulte likes how he can learn about things he wouldn’t normally learn about during the rest of the school year.
Fifteen core classes continue during May term, including band, chorus, general science, Spanish, American history, all math classes, and some English classes. In addition, several elective classes dive deep into a single academic topic, such as Civil War, ATC prep, oceanography, farm management, broadcasting, or workplace readiness. May term also allows time to fulfill a service learning graduation requirement and offers a menu of optional recreation classes.
Lifetime recreation classes are some of the most popular and are often filled by upper-classmen. Just one example is strategic gaming which has grown from one to two sections since it was first offered in 2016. In this class students learn and participate in pinochle, a card game brought to America by German immigrants, that requires strategy, teamwork, social skills, and card counting. To add a cross-generational social element for the students, we have invited in community guest players of all ages (pre-Covid); Principal Engleman continues to occasionally stop by as a guest player. Strategic gaming teachers Mr. Gerleman and Mrs. Snyders enjoy sharing their love of pinochle, as well as other staff who love sharing knowledge that spans outside their core subject areas. May term continues to be a great end to each school year.
Mentoring is a service learning opportunity where high school students assist in elementary classrooms during May Term. The high school students appreciate the opportunity and learn a lot during their time in the elementary. The following are a few final thoughts from a couple high school mentoring students:
“Some strengths that my teacher had were that she made the class and this experience so fun! She had a lot of fun with her students yet they were still learning. She lets the students have fun but she still gets things done. I enjoyed getting to spend these couple of weeks with these kids and this teacher!”
“Mrs. Van genuinely cares about her students. I feel like as time continues, that's not always as important to the newer teachers as it is the experienced ones. Elementary teachers leave a huge impact on the students that I don't think teachers always realize. I began breaking out of my own shell with Mrs. Van. I was always the super shy kid and look at me now. I am performing on stage and giving speeches. I don't think my parents ever thought I would be doing that. But Mrs. Van was the start of pushing me out of my shyness. At the time I might not have been too happy about it, but looking back, I couldn't thank her enough. She not only wants to teach her students reading and math, but she wants to try and teach them about themselves and how to live. She leads by example and has been doing so for years. I really have loved this experience, and I am so glad I got the opportunity to, even if it was only for a short time. I haven't had the desire to teach for many years, but this experience has reinforced my desire to help children. I have loved every minute of working with my kids.”
The Kindness Squad at Central Lyon consists of all fourth-grade students and their teachers Mrs. Groen, Mrs. Van, and Mrs. Metzger. Each week Thursday, they find a way to encourage and spread kindness to students, teachers, and the community. The Kindness Squad idea came from a Florida Teacher named Joanne Miller. She has an Instagram account called “Head Over Heels for Teaching” where she shares what her Kindness Squad does. Mrs. Groen, Mrs. Van, and Mrs. Metzger hope that their 60 students encouraging others will lead others to do the same. “Kindness breeds more kindness.”
Each week they focus on a different group that they can share kindness with. One morning, they created greetings to welcome students at CL back to school. They colored clothes pins, wrote messages on them, and clipped them onto students backpacks. For seniors' lockers, they made posters with encouraging notes or messages. The Kindness Squad took time out of their day to teach the second graders some new recess games that they might not have played before and also played with them. Another morning they spent time cleaning up the playground and the school ground. These are some of the things the Kindness Squad does every Thursday.
Central Lyon employs a total of 20 high school substitute teachers, needing around 10 each week. There are many factors in deciding who to call for a sub. Some substitute teachers are available certain days of the week and a teacher may also request a particular sub. If it is last minute, the subs that live in town are the first to receive a call. Central Lyon tries to use all our subs equally. The substitute teachers at Central Lyon are flexible for they all try to do their best to adjust their personal schedules to help us out if we need them. During COVID, the demand for subs increased which made it difficult to keep up with the demand, as some substitutes chose to not sub for a portion of the year due to the pandemic. Many of our subs are retired staff members who want to keep in contact with the school and students. Others are individuals who work part time or not at all, so they love to come in and interact with students and staff. They get to see students from a different light in the classroom, compared to outside of the school. They also get to meet new students that they may not have if not for subbing. Not many people get the chance to interact with students in the classroom setting, so when subs come in and give encouraging feedback about the students, it is a great feeling!
Our substitutes highlighted this spring are Jan Meester, Randy Meester, Heather Heimensen, Kyra Waletich, Bruce Eckenrod, and Barb Foltz.
Mrs. Meester has been a sub for the past eight years at Central Lyon, the only school she subs for. Before she was a substitute teacher, she was an English/Spanish teacher for 30 years at Central Lyon. Her husband also subs at Central Lyon; he previously worked as a middle school science teacher at GLR. Mrs. Meester limits her subbing talents to Central Lyon and does not have another part time job. Students appreciate her humor and her ability to tutor/help them review for Spanish tests. They both like to know ahead of time if she is needed as a sub, but accept morning calls because they live right across the street from the school! What Mrs. Meester likes best about subbing is keeping in communication with students and faculty. Although she prefers to substitute grades 7-12, her experience in lower grades has been very positive. Outside of being a substitute teacher, Mrs. Meester enjoys visiting children and spoiling her grandchildren, reading, doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles, painting, crafts, gardening, and watching her husband rearrange furniture!
Mrs. Heimensen is married to Corey and has three children, Zed, Hayden, and Grace who are all graduates of Central Lyon. Mrs. Heimensen has been a sub for one year at Central Lyon. Before she was a substitute teacher, she worked as a Victim Witness Coordinator at the Lyon County Attorney’s office. We are lucky to have her at our school for she does not sub at other schools and does not have another part time job. She enjoys interacting with the students as much as the students like interacting with her. She enjoys substituting for all grades from elementary to high school. In her free time, Mrs. Heimensen likes to read, bake, and she enjoys the outdoors.
Mrs. Waletich has been subbing for two years while also working at the school as a para! Since she works at Central Lyon when she’s not subbing, she does not sub for any other school. She really enjoys working with kids to see what they are currently working on. Mrs. Waletich has worked with all grade levels and each has its own qualities that she enjoys. This is her fourth year working as a para. She has been working on her teaching degree and next fall she will be working on her student teaching at Central Lyon.
This is Mr. Eckenrod’s first year subbing for Central Lyon, after retirement in 2021. He previously taught 7th and 8th grade social studies for several years here at Central Lyon. Other than substituting for us, he also is a substitute for West Lyon and is a groundskeeper for Central Lyon! Mr. Eckenrod’s favorite thing about subbing is getting to see former students. He prefers to work with 5th-12th graders. Mr. Eckenrod is married to Rachel, and they have two kids; Kiley and Kalen who is married to Emileigh. In his free time, he loves golfing, going to sporting events, and fishing.
Mrs. Foltz was an elementary teacher for 42 years; 39 of those years were at Central Lyon and her first three years were in South Dakota. She has been subbing at Central Lyon, West Lyon, and occasionally in Sioux Falls for nine years. Mrs. Foltz loves to interact with students of all ages. She believes that we can learn a lot from listening and talking with them, and most have an encouraging zest for life! She thinks working with younger grades is fun because the students are cute and will say whatever they think or feel. Mrs. Foltz has four children, Chad, Jen, Kelli, and Michael. She has nine grandchildren with the oldest being almost 21 years old and the youngest is 19 months with a sibling on the way! She loves to travel, meet people, and see new places!