Friday, May 26, 2017

District Perspective
Superintendent / Activities Director
John Carver
Office: 563-547-2762
Twitter: johnccarver      
SKYPE: johnccarver

This is the class of 2020 taken in 2012, in front of the one room school house Norman Borlaug attended.  Now in 2017, they just finished their freshman year of high school and this fall will be sophomores. WOW has time flown by. The goal of #2020HowardWinn was by the time these kids graduated from high school they would be the most recruited, best prepared kids on the planet. CADET NATION continues to make progress to this goal.  

Looking back......
Five years ago the District was identified as a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) District In Need of Assistance.  The physical plants in Elma, Lime Springs and Cresco all were in need of repair. The stadium bleachers and track physically were deteriorating. Enrollment and State funding was declining.  In that there were many challenges, we also discovered many opportunities. Along the way we moved through the peaks and valleys to get to where we are today: INNOVATIVE, CREATIVE, CONNECT and ACHIEVING.  

The transformation of Howard-Winn did not happen because of one person, it happened because a community came together, committed to serve and prepare our young people! 

This vision and direction forward was first charted with the Board of Education in 2012. Directors Duane Bodermann, Karlos McClure, Doug Berg, James Kitchen, and Scott Fortune set the foundation to discover a kids passion and skills and connect them to a profession. As Mr. Fortune, Mr. Berg, and Mr. Kitchen left the Board, this thinking has continued forward with present Board Directors Todd Hill, Casey Vobr, and Toni Johnson.  #2020HowardWinn is in their debt. 

In the last five years hard choices had to be made, like closing Elma and Lime Springs/Chester schools. Courageous choices were also made to allocate financial resources to provide every student K-12 with a digital device. With ALL students having a digital device, embedding STEM in to instruction, teachers transformed and reinvented themselves.  CADET NATION embraced change and ALL began to think differently.  

Today the #2020HowardWinn brand is nationally known. The District has moved from NCLB District in Need of Assistance status to Crestwood High School in 2016 being designated by the Iowa Department of Education as being high performing (top 13%) and Elementary students having double digit increases in MAPS and State assessments.  Technology is used as a tool for learning and is embedded seamlessly into instruction. Project Lead the Way classes starting in 7th grade, STEM skills and experiences happening in Pre-K through 6th grade, secondary kids earning hundreds of community college credits, Howard-Winn has "stepped through the looking glass". 

Through Social Media and video conferencing learning at Howard-Winn is no longer limited to our Zip code. 

Learners at Howard-Winn have broken out of classroom silos. Howard-Winn teachers and principal are 21st century change agents! 

Thanks to the servant leadership from Building and Grounds Director Larry Trende and his TEAM, the Howard-Winn campus and facilities are now second to none!  

Transportation Director Brian Swestka and the Bus drivers each day covering 1,700 miles, bringing kids to and from school safely. His TEAM ROCKS!  

TECH Department Harold Jensen and Heather Klenke are the true "behind the scenes" heroes! Maintaining our internet infrastructure and overseeing the digital hardware, their work has positioned Howard-Winn as THE technology template for the State!  

Food Service Director Cheryl Dickman and her TEAM have fed us well throughout the school year and her leadership with the summer feeding program keeps us "full" in June and July! 

Cadet Nation is strong and ready for what ever comes next!

Going FORWARD......
This week we say good by and THANK YOU for your service to Rita Altman, Jan Cray, Deb Day, Dory Fravel, Diana Huhe, Marsha McCabe, Doug Murhpy, Jim Obermann, Diane Schmitt and Mary Watt. You have touched many lives and your contributions helped to shape CADET NATION!  THANK YOU!

It is EXCITING to know that CADET Ted Ihns is coming home to lead CADET NATION forward as the next Superintendent. He will do a FANTASTIC job! 

There are challenges on the horizon, but just as before, Howard-Winn will meet and overcome them all.  

Please know it has been my extreme pleasure to be a part of the adventure and I truly value and appreciate all that we have learned together.  

With my GREATEST respect.
John Carver