Eagles' Voice Newsletter

Clayton Ridge Schools: September 2019

Where Excellence is the Tradition

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Back to School

On the first day of school, Clayton Ridge Elementary Students took part in PBIS Lessons to learn how to show Eagle Pride in several different locations throughout the building. At Clayton Ridge we have Eagle Pride: Ready, Respectful, Responsible, and Safe!

I'm Gonna Take My Horse to the Old Town Road

Actually, Superintendent Shane Wahls takes his horse, Tazer, down Highway 52 to get from Garnavillo to Guttenberg. Mr. Wahls has been working on breaking the wild Mustang. He brought Tazer to the staff inservice to illustrate the analogy of building a relationship to the horse to building a relationship with students. The four points he emphasized are practicing patience, empathy, respect and trust. (Photo by Ellen Johnson)

Guttenberg Germanfest

Submitted by Mrs. Laura Bilden, CRMS/CRHS Principal


The Guttenberg GermanFest is a celebration of our German heritage and traditions; one of the best ways to embrace a tradition is by sharing it with those you love. We have had a Sauerkraut contest at GermanFest for about 5 years, it is a fun way for sauerkraut enthusiasts to share their talents with others. This year we would like to take it a step further and encourage the sharing of this German tradition by doubling the prize money for the winning entries IF they are made by a team in which one member is sharing their sauerkraut/cooking expertise with a friend or family member (kids especially!). We hope this will be one more opportunity for families to become invested in their community.

Hearing Screenings for Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 2nd Grade

Mrs. Renae Kraus, School Nurse


The Keystone AEA audiometrist will conduct hearing screenings for students in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades, and any new student in grades 3-5 on October 15th. Students who do not pass the initial screening will be rechecked on October 29th.


If a student fails the second testing the parent/guardian will be notified via a letter from the audiologist. Notification is not sent out for students who pass the screening.


Students in 7th grade will also have their hearing tested at some time during the school year; that date has not yet been determined. All other students are tested on a request basis. Please contact school nurse Renae Kraus if you would like to have your child’s hearing tested.

Returning to their Roots

Ms. Ellen Johnson, School Board Member and Writer for the Guttenberg Press


Author Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You can’t go home again,” but in the case of two new Clayton Ridge teachers, that is surely not true. Both young women are graduates of the local school district and are pleased to be back teaching on familiar ground.


Walking into Miss Katie Fassbinder’s classroom, a high-five to a student was happening, as this teacher built pride in the student for the hard work she had done. Miss Fassbinder had not long ago been a student at Clayton Ridge, graduating in 2014. She continued her education at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, majoring in Elementary Education with certification as a Special Education Instructional Strategist II and is presently taking classes to receive her certification as a Strategist I. Each allows her to teach students with different levels of learning ability.


“I’ve always liked children,” Miss Fassbinder shared eagerly. “I loved the Stretch and Strut with the elementary kids when I was on drill team in high school. I also did a lot of babysitting and spent a lot of time with a young child with disabilities. That made me think seriously about teaching and special ed, and I never looked back!”

Although this is Miss Fassbinder’s first official teaching job, she was called on to substitute often the last year. She did a fairly long-term job for a teacher who had surgery as well as jobs from kindergarten to high school.


“It was valuable experience to be able to teach at all different levels,” she said. “I also became familiar with many kids here.”


Miss Fassbinder admits it has been a bit weird at first working with teachers who had taught her, but she has gotten so much help from them as well as others.


“Mrs. Michelle Fassbinder, who happens to be my aunt, has been a great mentor,” she shared. “And Mrs. Lori Bunting, who is the Special Education Coach, has been a huge, huge help.”

When school starts next fall, she will no longer be Miss Fassbinder; her students will call her Mrs. Winch. She will marry June 20, 2020 Austin Winch, also a Clayton Ridge graduate. Austin works for Alpine Communications in Elkader.


Outside of school, this young woman spends time outdoors with Austin and their dog, Piper. She enjoys being with her sister, Taylor, and their parents, Tom and Sue.


Miss Fassbinder works with middle school special education students in small groups or on an individual basis.


“Some kids are so misunderstood,” she said sincerely. “The world needs to build more acceptance.”


Mrs. Michelle Scott took a detour before she returned to teach at Clayton Ridge. After graduating from the University of Dubuque in 2015 with majors in Special Education and Secondary English, she spent three years teaching in various positions at Allamakee Community School in Waukon. Since has recently completed her Masters of Education through Morningside College.


“In those three years, I taught special education at all three levels and then the third year, high school English,” explained Mrs. Scott. “I also was assigned the yearbook, the school newspaper and speech.”


Like Miss Fassbinder, some of her colleagues are former teachers and she finds that she enjoys teaching with them as much as she enjoyed having them as teachers.


Mrs. Scott’s husband, Chris, works for the Clayton County Sherriff’s Department as a correctional officer. He is also an assistant football coach for Clayton Ridge.


She has a younger sister, Brianna, who is a senior at the University of Dubuque. She will also be a teacher when she graduates, but her goal is to be a high school science teacher. Her parents are Mike and Lynn Finnegan of rural Guttenberg.


Another member will join the family in a few months. Mrs. Scott and her husband are expecting their first child.


The couple has moved back to Guttenberg from Monona. They have been fortunate to be able to purchase Mrs. Scott’s former grandparent’s home.


“It is the perfect house and the perfect location for us,” she smiled.


“It feels good to be back home at Clayton Ridge,” Mrs. Scott concluded with enthusiasm and her huge smile, which are often experienced in her classroom. “The school is smaller, and I can build more connections with the kids.”

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Clayton Ridge Celebrates Homecoming

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Queen Candidates from left: Grace Meier, Claire Krapfl, Anna Harwick, Hannah Ruzicka


King Candidates from left: Brent Wahls, Nathan Helle, Spencer Kuempel, Cody Kulper

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CRMS September Awards

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The Rainforest Visits CREL!

Mrs. Stephanie Thomas, EL School Counselor


On September 11th, Clayton Ridge Elementary Students were treated to a Rainforest Animal Assembly. Students saw a Black and White Tegu from South America and an African Gray Parrot. Sophia C., Tyler G., and Madilynn S. show us some Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. Sophia R. pets a Blue Tongue Skink from Australia. Mrs. Palmer and Mrs. Thomas show the students a Milk Snake.

CREL Teachers Learn Coding with Hummingbird Kits

Mrs. Stannard and Mrs. Lawrence attended a Hummingbird Robotics Training at AEA! They learned how to code and build robots. They will bring these back for their 5th-grade students to use!
Hummingbird Vid 1
Hummingbird Vid 2

EAGLES+ Classroom Update

Ms. Karen Gueder, Gifted and Talented Teacher and Early Interventionist


The EAGLES+ classroom has been a busy place so far this school year. The EAGLES+ students started out the year taking different Learning Style Inventories and Multiple Intelligence tests to see the ways they learn the best.

After that, the students studied GROWTH MINDSET the first three weeks of school. The students now know the difference between a Growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset. The EAGLES+ students learned about the parts of the brain and how neurons make connections that help us retain information.


One of the main things the students have learned is that it is okay to make mistakes because we learn from them. If we keep practicing something we can improve. They learned that they just need to have a positive attitude and not give up. Yet is a popular word in the EAGLES+ classroom. You will often hear the students say, “I do not know how to do that yet.” Below are some pictures of students hard at work in our classroom.

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Rad's Pads

This is the FB page for the volleyball sports company! Mr. Radcliffe is famous!

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Guttenberg Public Library Events: June

Nancy Ruzicka, Assistant Librarian


Toddler Time: May 10 at 10:30 a.m.

Join Miss Nancy for an hour of stories, song and dance, crafts, and playtime.

Ages 2-4


Adventure Hour is back! May 17 at 3:45 p.m.

Stop in and join us for crafts, games and stories.

Open to kids of all ages.


For more information on any of these programs, please contact the Guttenberg Library at 252-3108 or guttlib@alpinecom.net.
Find us on Facebook too!

October Menu

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Words on Wellness

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About Clayton Ridge Community Schools

Clayton Ridge Community School District has both a north and south campus. The northern campus is located in the midst of the rolling prairie of Garnavillo, Iowa and currently serves students in grades PK-5. The southern campus is situated among the picturesque Mississippi River bluffs and boasts a magnificent view of the mighty river and Lock & Dam 10 in Guttenberg, Iowa. The south campus serves middle school (6-8), and high school (9-12).