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For Immediate Release

Iowa-Grant School Board Engages Community

Date: November 1, 2022

Contact : Michael Shimshak, Iowa-Grant School District Superintendent

(608) 330-1158

On October 26, 2022 thirty Iowa-Grant School District community members and their families enjoyed a meal before hearing about district needs and plans in a board sponsored community engagement forum. Superintendent Michael Shimshak provided a short presentation outlining student needs and how the district intends to use $868,472.00 over the next two years. The funds are largely intended to support efforts which will address learning loss due to the pandemic. So far, the district has allocated $70,000 for a staff position to support mental health and social-emotional learning. Mr. Shimshak suggested that an investment in curriculum, textbooks, materials, and support for the district’s English language learners (ELLs) would pay dividends long after the funds are no longer available.

Community members were asked to engage in discussion and to respond with their vision for the school district and what they perceived as the district’s most pressing needs. Each group concurred with supporting the district’s ELL population and district curriculum update efforts. Other suggestions included improving facilities, offering a district sponsored child-care program, an after school activity bus, more options for career and technical education (listed as education for the real world), and anything that would make Iowa-Grant Schools attractive to young families.

Evaluations from the evening’s event were nearly unanimous in requesting more opportunities like these to keep the lines of communication open and transparent. School Board President Ross Leix, said he believes the board is committed to community engagement and expects that the district will host more of these events in the future to better understand the community’s expectations, and concerns.


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11/4 Noon Release - End of 1st Quarter

11/5 7:00 AM IGHS Pasty Making @ IGEMS

11/7 Start of 2nd Quarter

11/7 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM IGHS Blood Drive

11/1110:15 AM Veterans Day Program @ IGHS

11/11 7:00 PM HS Musical presents Freaky Friday

11/12 10:00 AM Basketball: Girls JV Scrimmage vs Multiple Schools @ River Ridge

11/12 10:00 AM Basketball: Girls Varsity Scrimmage vs Multiple Schools @ River Ridge

11/12 7:00 PM IGHS Musical Freaky Friday

11/13 2:00 PM IGHS Musical Freaky Friday

11/14 6:30 PM Board Meeting

11/15 6:00 Basketball: Girls JV vs Pecatonica (Away)

11/15 7:30 PM Basketball: Girls Varsity vs Pecatonica (Away)

11/17 6:00 PM Basketball: Girls JV vs Highland (Home)

11/17 7:30 PM Basketball: Girls Varsity vs Highland (Home)

11/21 4:30 PM Basketball: Boys JV Scrimmage vs Multiple Schools @ Highland

11/21 4:30 PM Basketball: Boys Varsity Scrimmage vs Multiple Schools @ Highland

11/21 6:00 PM Music Parents' Meeting - IGHS Band Room

11/22 6:00 PM Basketball: Girls JV vs Parkview (Home)

11/22 7:30 PM Basketball: Girls Varsity vs Parkview (Home)



11/29 6:00 PM Basketball: Boys JV vs Highland (Away)

11/29 7:30 PM Basketball: Boys Varsity vs Highland (Away)

In Remembrance of our IG Classmates

In remembrance of our Iowa-Grant classmates who have gone before us and in special memory of Matthew Niebuhr -

“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”

The fence art was donated by the class of 2009 and put up before Homecoming in October.

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2022 Homecoming Court

King - Owen Laufenberg

Queen - Elizabeth Volenec

Senior Representatives - Jonah Hoeper and Julia Searls

Junior Representatives - Cyle Steffl and Bentley Cutts

Sophomore Representatives - Lucas Christiansen and Georgia Haase

Freshman Representatives - Treaton Loeffelholz and Quinn Hoeper


Fall Sports Senior Spotlights - Thank you Seniors for all of your hard work, dedication, and for the memories! Go Panthers!


10/13/22 - SWAL Conference Meet

Results at Fennimore

Top 15 All-Conference Awards:

Mason A. 2nd place

Caden P. 4th place

Bret C. 5th Place

Owen L. 14th place

Hope C. 3rd place

Boys team 1st place.

SWAL Conference Champions!!

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An Amazing End to an Incredible Season

Cross Country wrapped up their season with a trip to the WIAA State Meet. Hope Connolly ran a strong race by placing 40th in the 149 runner field. She finishes her cross country career as a 3x All-Conference runner, a 2x State-qualifier, and the school record holder for cross country in the 5K. The boys team qualified for the 7th time in program history, placing 3rd in the Division 3 race. This wraps up a year where the boys team won 11 straight meets, including the SWAL Conference Meet and the Sectional Meet.

On behalf of the team, thank you very much for your support this season. From the notes of support, the social media comments, the signs around the communities, and the words of encouragement - we definitely felt the love.

We are looking to build on the success of this past season by encouraging more students to join the team. Our goal is to have at least twelve boys and twelve girls on the team for next year. Incoming Freshman for the 2023 school year, along with current Freshman through Juniors are encouraged to talk to Coach Winkler or Coach Stevens to get more information about getting signed up.

Homecoming Trivia- Results

Each day during IG Homecoming Week, students had the opportunity to answer questions pertaining to Iowa-Grant. The fastest student to respond with the correct answers won a Homecoming prize!


Trivia 1- The IG Football team is in a new conference this year. What conference are they in?

Answer: Ridge and Valley Conference

Winner: Elyse L.

Trivia 2- How many yards is the width of the IG Football Field?

Answer: 53 and a ⅓ yards

Winner: Hunter L.

Trivia 3- What year was the Iowa-Grant FFA Chartered?

ANSWER: 1960

WINNER: Bekka S.

Trivia 4- How many chickens are in the Iowa-Grant FFA Chicken Coop?

Answer: 18

WINNER: Alexis G-G


Trivia 5- In which area of the school was the old auditorium located?

Answer: IMC/gymnasium storage.


Trivia 6- In what year did the Milk Can game originate for football?

ANSWER: 1970

WINNER: Rachel R.

Trivia 7- What volume is the yearbook this year?

ANSWER: Volume 63

WINNER: Jayden B.

Trivia 8- What year was the Iowa-Grant School District formed?

ANSWER: 1958

Winner: Jonah H.


Trivia 9- How many total pine trees are planted on the IG school grounds?

Answer: 438…Thanks Todd Prohaska for your hard work getting this answer.

Winner: Nina B.

Trivia 10- In the official school song “Across The Field”. How many words are in the song?

Answer: 52

Winner: Bronson M.

Trivia 11 - How many times has Mr. Gotto worn the full Panther mascot?

Answer: Only One! Back in 2020…We can’t wait for time #2.

Winner: NO ONE WON with only two guesses…A lot of great guesses though!

Trivia 12-Name a teacher currently in the IG School District who was a part of the 1989 state volleyball tournament team?

Answer: Mrs. Kris Liddicoat

Winner: CJ S.


Trivia 13- How many paid staff members are at IGEMS and HS?

Answer: 114

Winner: Jeran R.

Trivia 14- How many state champion wrestlers does IG have?

Answer: 14

Winner: Hope C.

Trivia 15- How many times have the Panthers won Conference MVP or Player of the Year in volleyball?


Winner: Amiah F.

Trivia 16- What IG baseball player has the most wins on the mound?

Answer: Kyle Spurley (9)

Winner: Lillian W.


Trivia- 17 What place did 2021 graduate Nick Connolly get at the 2020 State Cross Country Meet?

Answer: 3rd place

Winner: Ivy L.

Trivia 18- What is the maximum length that a spike can be in a cross country racing shoe?

Answer: 1/2 inch

Winner: Jonah W.

Trivia 19- What was the boys basketball head coaches name that won the last conference championship?

Answer: Toby Tripalin

Winner: Adriana J.

Trivia 20 - When was the last time Iowa-Grant Boys Cross Country won the SWAL Conference Meet? (We are hoping for the next in 2022!)

Answer: 2000

Winner: Will F.

Congratulations to our 2022 Inductees for the Iowa-Grant Volleyball Hall of Fame!

Congratulations to our 2022 Inductees for the Iowa-Grant Volleyball Hall of Fame!

Our inductees include Hilary (Haas) Lilla, graduate 1992; April (Nechvatal) Hancock, graduate 2001; Jaclyn (Zimmerman) Bevan, graduate 2001; and Emmalee Albers, graduate 2008.

These 4 women had stellar careers as Panthers but more importantly, are successful in their careers now!!

We are so happy to start up our Hall of Fame again after being off the past two years due to COVID.

These 4 Panther alumni will be inducted October 13th during the Panther volleyball match with the Redbirds ~ hope to see you there!

Congratulations Hilary, April, Jaclyn and Emmalee!

95th National FFA Convention and Expo

Day 1:

Nine Iowa-Grant FFA Members and two Chaperones traveled to Indianapolis with four other schools from Wisconsin - Cashton, Tomah, Sparta, and Brookwood. They stopped along the way to tour Fair Oaks Farms. The students got to see and learn about their robotic milking system and their 72-cow rotary parlor while they were in use! Students had time to explore the Cow Birthing Barn, along with the Pig and Crop Adventure. Some students even got to try some ice cream made from the milk on the farm!

Day 2:

Students had time to explore the FFA Career Show and Expo and several students got to meet Dale Brisby. They attended the First General Session of the 95th National FFA Convention and got to hear from Keynote Speaker, Tamika Catchings. For entertainment that evening, our FFA members attended The World’s Toughest Rodeo!

Day 3:

In the morning, FFA members stopped for a tour at Teter Organic Farm. Teter Organic Farm is an outreach mission of Noblesville First United Methodist Church which grows over 40 varieties of mixed vegetables on five acres. Their mission is to combat food insecurity, build community through meaningful relationships, and educate children and adults on the importance of environmental stewardship and care. During the afternoon and evening, FFA members stopped for a tour of the NCAA Hall of Champions. They explored the FFA Career Fair and Expo and watched the 3rd General Session where they got to listen to the Retiring Address of the National FFA Central Region Vice President, Courtney Zimmerman (from the Spencer FFA Chapter in Wisconsin)!!!

Day 4:

Iowa-Grant FFA members spent the whole day at the 95th National FFA Convention. They attended a variety of workshops, explored the career fair and expo, and went to the Lucas Oil Stadium for the 5th General Session!

Day 5:

FFA members attended the American Degree Ceremony, which honors the top 1% of FFA members in the Organization. This year 4,000 students from across the country received their American Degrees. After the ceremony, they headed back home to Iowa-Grant! A great trip was had by all!

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From the desk of Jennifer Gallagher

November. The month of gratitude. I am so grateful for the outstanding students, parents, and staff we have at Iowa-Grant Elementary Middle School. Everyone works together to make a difference for the students in these beautiful rural communities.

Many things are happening all around us. The boys have started middle school basketball, and we are finishing up the first quarter. Please remember it is a noon early release on Friday, November 4th. Remember that there is also no school from November 23-25 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The bus situation is going much more smoothly. Please let the office know if there are any bus issues. We appreciate the staff, parents, and Southwest Bus for helping with bus supervision and support in making transportation to and from school safe.

As always, feel free to reach out if you need anything, and have a fantastic season of gratitude.

Connection - From the desk of Jodi Bast

Recently I met with our superintendent to review my professional goals for this school year. During this meeting, I was asked to reflect on a lengthy list of words and to circle ten words which resonated most with me regarding the values I bring to both my work and my personal life. After discussing the ten words, I was then asked to pare the list down to five words, and then three, and finally one. The last word remaining on my list was connection. I particularly like the following definition of the word from an article entitled, The Power of Human Connection by Maggie Wooll, “Human connection is a deep bond that’s formed between people when they feel seen and valued. During an authentic human connection, people exchange positive energy with one another and build trust.”

Studies have shown the importance of social connection on one’s mental and physical health. Since I wrote my last newsletter article, I have attended three funeral services for close family friends and the wedding of our youngest daughter. Such moments shine a light on the significance of human connection.

Schools are one place where people are able to connect with others over common interests and shared experiences. I appreciate what our staff members do on a daily basis to show up for our students and for each other. I truly believe it makes a difference.

Health Update -- Head Lice

Ideas for Prevention of Head Lice in Schools -

Head lice are spread from person to person through close body contact, or through sharing combs, brushes, hats, and other headgear. Lice do not infest classrooms, carpets, and chairs.

Person-to-person spread can be minimized in the school environment by doing the following: (1) Space desks and chairs apart so that children are not sitting shoulder-to-shoulder.

(2) Have children hang coats and hats separately. Do not pile them on top of each other.

(3) Space children apart when standing or walking in lines.

(4) During head lice outbreaks, minimize close contact games and sports, such as wrestling.

(5) During outbreaks, minimize the use of shared head-gear (such as earphones, helmets, etc.) and clothing (such as hats and costumes in drama classes). Always hand-vacuum head-gear between users.

(6) Provide head louse prevention education to children, such as not sharing combs, brushes, hats, headbands, or clothing.

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3rd Grade Pen Pals

On September 30th, 3rd-grade students met their Pen Pals during our Fall Meet and Greet. The students and pen pals exchange letters once a month during the school year. Our Pen Pals consist of retired teachers, IG alumni, current and former area residents, as well as family members of staff and students. This is the 5th year of our Pen Pal program. Thank you to our Pen Pals for your participation and support. Also, thank you to our custodial staff that prepared Room 100 for our program!

First Grade Christmas Store

The IGEMS first graders will once again be sponsoring a CHRISTMAS STORE. This store allows all elementary students to buy two gifts for only 50 cents each. If you have any gently used items that you would like to donate to our store, we would gladly accept your donations. We will need gift donations to be no bigger than 8X4 inches. Donations can be dropped off in the IGEMS office. The Christmas Store will be open the week of December 5th.

We will be placing our gifts into homemade gift bags made by our students.

We will not need volunteers to gift wrap, but we appreciate all of you that have been so helpful in the past.

Thank you for your generosity!

Britany Lynch, Molly Leibfried & Brenda Wasley

Middle School Community Service Groups:

Students in 5th through 8th grade are being given the opportunity to meet during their recess times on Fridays to serve their school and community. They will be doing weeding around the school, making animal toys for the local humane societies, making homemade jump ropes to include in Operation Christmas Child boxes, and making fleece blankets to donate to the hospitals or homeless shelters. In order to complete the projects planned we are in need of donations of fleece (2-2 1/2 yards), ribbons, and bells. Thank you for supporting our middle school service groups!

Panther Packs:

The Panther Packs Program is up and running and we will be helping over 30 students make sure they have healthy food to eat on the weekends. If you are interested in donating to help keep the program running we are in need of cups of fruit, individually packaged meals such as chef boyardee and mac and cheese packets, individual cereal boxes, and healthy snacks such as granola bars, fruit snacks, and crackers. Thank you for your generosity in helping our Panther families!

Annual Iowa-Grant Toy Drive!

Celebrate the season of giving by sharing your new or gently used toys (please no stuffed animals!) and books with the families of the Iowa-Grant School District! If your child has outgrown a toy or that toy they had to have last year has been sitting on the shelf for the last 6 months, now is the time to send it to a new home where it can be loved by another child! Please make sure toys are in good shape and have all their pieces! Toys and books can be dropped off at IGEMS from November 28th through December 7th. We also will accept things for our older students such as new blankets, jewelry, craft kits, sports equipment, card games, etc… If you are interested in sending in a monetary donation please make checks out to the Iowa-Grant School District and mark the envelope Toy Drive. This money will be used to fill some of the specific wish list items.

Any toys and books collected will be made available to families in the district who struggle financially to provide for their families during the holiday season.

Families who are in need of a Santa Sack can contact Darcy Breuer at to sign up your family. Please include the following things in the email: your name and the best way to contact you, child(ren)’s age and gender, and a wish list of 2-3 items for each child.

Staff members will make up a “Santa sack” for your family and you will be notified when your sack is ready to pick up at the school.

If you have any questions please contact Darcy Breuer at

Thank you for your generosity and for helping us bring the Christmas spirit to our community!

Please join us after the PTC meeting. We will be creating our annual Gingerbread Village in IGEMS for students. Parents and Community Members are welcome to come and help.

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