Pella Middle School

November & December 2021

Important Dates

  • 1/4 - Class Resumed
  • 1/7 - Semester 1/Quarter 2 Grades and LiM Rubric published @ 4:00
  • 1/12 - 90 Minute Early Dismissal
  • 1/14 - 8th grade orientation & tour at Pella High School
  • 1/17 - MLK Day - NO Classes
  • 1/19 - 8th grade students register for HS courses (4:15-5:15 or 5:30-6:30)
  • 1/26 - 90 Minute Early Dismissal
  • 1/2 - 90 Minute Early Dismissal
  • 2/7 - Staff Work Day
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Preparing Everyone to Learn, Lead, and Achieve.

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Congratulations to our Retirees!

I would like to recognize those Pella Middle School staff members who are retiring at the end of this academic year.

They have a combined total of 202 years of Pella Middle School specific experience. Include additional educational experience to that and just think of the impact they’ve had over the years!

Our staff is grateful for their leadership, wisdom, and most importantly their heart for serving the middle level learner. We plan to find ways to celebrate each of them during the second semester, and we wanted to be sure you knew in order to help us recognize and honor these outstanding educators.

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How do you replace 203 combined years of Pella Middle School Experience and nearly 250 total years of educational experience? It won't be easy...

Mrs. Amy Belding, Physical Education & Health for 17 years

Amy's journey:

1988-1991 Hartley-Melvin/Sanborn Elementary

1992-1998 ISD#763 Medford, Minnesota Elementary

1998, 2002-2004 Coaching at Oskaloosa CSD

2005 - Present Pella Middle School

Amy has also coached middle school volleyball for many years, an adjunct professor for Wartburg College, Upper Iowa University, Central College, William Penn University, and she has been in education for 33 years.

Mrs. Hazel Bogaard, English Language Arts, Science, and & Resource Teacher for 28 years

Hazel's journey:

Started in the BLUE room at COC in 1986, and she was a case manager for one year (1988-1989). She served at Twin Cedars from 1989-1994.

Hazel came to Pella Middle in 1994, and this is her 28th year in Pella giving her 35 years in teaching.

Mr. Robert Boots, 7th and 8th Science for 33 years.

Bob's journey:

1982-1989 Osage 8th and 9th Science

Bob started in 1989 at Pella Middle School teaching Science and coaching track, and this school year made his 40th year in education.

Mrs. Jodi Knight, English Language Arts for 30 years

Jodi's journey:

1984-5, Kindergarten at Ames daycare

1986-1990, Substitute teacher for Davenport School District

1992-1994, Associate at Pella Middle School

Jodi started in 1992, and she has taught 7th & 8th social studies; 6th, 7th, and 8th language arts/reading; 6th G/T; 7,8 technical literacy; & 8th digital media and yearbook giving her 35 years in teaching.

Mrs. Tracey Murphy, Physical Education & Health for 28 years.

Tracey's journey:

1989-90 Ruidoso MS, HS & MS Coach, New Mexico

1990-91 University of Northern Iowa

1991-93 Marion MS/Springville HS Coach/Lisbon MS/HS Coach

1993-94 Central College/Coach

1994-95 Pella High School/HS & MS Coach

1995-02 Pella MS Associate/Coach

2002-04 Lincoln & Webster Elementaries

2004-07 Jefferson Elementary/MS

2007-14 Lincoln Elementary/Jefferson Intermediate

2014-22 Pella MS/Coach/Official

This was Tracey's 33rd year in education.

Mrs. Joan Nikkel, English Language Arts for 29 years

Joan's journey:

1983-1988 4th grade at Grant Elementary in Oskaloosa

1994-1999 Reading Plus K-5 at Jefferson, Webster, and Lincoln in Pella

Joan started full time with the Pella Middle School in 1999 giving her 34 years in teaching.

Mrs. Andrea Van Wyk, Art Teacher for 38 years.

Andrea's journey:

1984 to 1988, Pella Christian High School art instructor

1984 to present, Pella Middle School visual art instructor

1996-1998, Pella Community High School drawing and painting instructor

1999-Present, adjunct professor of Elementary and Secondary Methods of Art Education at Central College

2016-present, adjunct professor of Art Appreciation for DMACC at Pella High School

I am sure you have observed her artwork all over Pella. Andrea is a professional artist, so look her up if you are in need of some art work. This makes Andrea's 38th year of education.

It is rare to see this kind of longevity in a single school, and this special group of educators have been the foundation and main reason Pella Middle School is not an ordinary middle school. It is a place where students are loved, valued, seen, and heard for who they are while getting an outstanding experience. Thank you does not adequately express our genuine appreciation and gratitude for what they mean to our school, district, and community.

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8th Grade Student & Parent Meeting at Pella High School ~ January 19

January 19, our 8th grade students will be registering for their high school courses from 4:15-5:15 or 5:30-6:30 in the Pella High School Auditorium.

For complete details, please click the link below for the information that was also sent out prior to break.

High School Course Registration Information LINK

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GREAT Rubric OUT & Leader in Me Rubric IN!

Now that our district is officially a Leader in Me (LiM) school district, we felt the need to transition from our traditional GREAT rubric to a revised Leader in Me rubric that aligns with the principles of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful people. Please be watching for the updated rubric around life and employability skills that will be emailed to you when grades are published on Friday at 4:00 PM. Staff and students will provide input on the new rubric.

*Please know this is our first attempt, and we welcome your feedback.

WHY a LiM Rubric: We believe in educating the whole child, and we want students and parents to have feedback on the "human" skills of our students. They will impact their lives forever!

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The Patriot Pen - 7th Grade Students Honored

Post Commander, Patrick Stark, was at Pella Middle School to honor three students for their patriotism and civic mindedness. Brooklyn Sorheim earned first place, Evan Smith earned second place, and Ellie Plants earned third place with their outstanding articles on, "How can I be a good American?" Well done!

Creators Wanted Experience at Vermeer

Pella Corporation and Vermeer Manufacturing hosted a Creators Wanted opportunity for all Pella Middle School students in November. There were several manufacturing simulations as well as an escape room. It was a great opportunity for our students to get a small taste of what these tremendous companies have to offer as future careers, and we thank them both for allowing all of our students to participate.
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Fluctuating Temps Create Messy Floors

Students never hesitate to step in and step up to help at Pella Middle School. They willingly clean up messes when they occur in our building, and we are grateful for their support. These boys stepped in without hesitation to clean up mud drug in from recess after temps had risen and created a sloppy playground. Thanks guys!
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10th period LEAD Time - Little Leaders Club

Mrs. Haley Bjustrom brought students to Madison Elementary to work with the younger students. What a great mentoring and leadership experience for our students, and we are not sure who learned more, the big kids or the little kids!
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Student Council Delivers again at Christmas for CrossRoads ~ Adopt a Family

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The weather outside was frightful, so I settled in next to this virtual fireplace to warm up and catch up with Joeley, Madison, and Ellamae. What awesome students!

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Pella Gear and Apparel Needed

Do you have any Pella gear or apparel that no longer fits or you'd like to get out of your closets? If so, Pella Middle School and Jefferson keep green and white on hand for new students, and we welcome any Pella gear and apparel that you would like to get rid of. It can be dropped off in our main offices. THANK YOU!
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Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

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The Counselor Connection

The next counseling small group will be beginning after the first of the year. The Social Club will focus on identifying communication styles, practicing positive communication skills, self-advocacy, and conflict resolution. If you would like me to speak to your child about participating, please email me @

If your student is in need of winter gear, please contact me and we can assist!

Merry Christmas! And Happy New Year!

Jourdan Van Wyk, School Counselor

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Pella Community School District Vision, Mission, and Elements

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10th period Lead Time - Little Leaders Club

Mrs. Haley Bjustrom brought the Little Leaders Club to Madison Elementary to work with the elementary students, and I am unsure which group of students learned or appreciated it more!