WMU District Newsletter

Motivating Life Long Learners

Happy November

We have now completed the first quarter of our school year. Staff and students are both settled in and working together to go deeper into content knowledge because of this we are celebrating progress both academically and in their social-emotional learning. As we enter November, we look forward to continuing strengthening our partnership between school and home. One way to stay connected is to attend Parent-Teacher Conferences on November 1st or November 3rd. We are excited to welcome parents into the building so we may inform you of your child's progress and collaboratively plan for their future success. We hope to see you during Parent-Teacher Conferences and we hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Yours In Education,

Mr. Maeder, Mr. Edwards, and Mrs. Wahls

Spotlight on WMU Music Department

Some of the best-attended events at WMU are concerts, and it’s no surprise either, given all of the talented student musicians in our student body! Music programs at WMU are open to all students, and students have opportunities to perform a wide range of musical styles from country to classical, folk songs to jazz.

Elementary students begin their official music classes in Kindergarten. From Kindergarten up thru fifth grade, all elementary students receive music instruction twice a week. You never know what kind of exciting activity there may be in elementary music class. Singing, playing instruments, learning about composers, reading notes… The opportunities for fun and learning are endless! This year, elementary general music students are being led by Mrs. Jill Townsley. Mrs. Townsley has brought a great amount of energy and enthusiasm to the department, and some days, it’s hard to tell who is having more fun--her or the students! They are already making plans for their winter concert, which will be here before we know it! Go ahead and mark your calendars now for the WMU Elementary Winter Concert: Tuesday, December 13th, at 7:00. You won’t want to miss it!

This year, Mrs. Pogmore is teaching 6th-12th grade band and choir. Band and Choir are open to students who want to participate. Choir typically performs in three or more concerts per year, with selected students having opportunities to participate in honor choirs and in community performances, including singing the national anthem before ball games. All secondary choir students have the chance to participate in conference music events in the spring, where they sing with other local area students. All choirs meet every other school day.

Band begins in 5th grade at WMU, with students starting on instruments in the fall to prepare their very first concert in December of the same year! We have a wonderful class of beginners this year, and one of the biggest groups in a long time! After 5th grade, 6th-12th grade band members meet every other day in either 6th grade band, JH Band, or HS band. The band program is really growing, and our band members have tons of talent! You may be able to hear the bands at concerts, football or basketball games, assemblies, or at competitions. The WMU Jazz Band has a great tradition of qualifying for the Iowa Jazz Championships, and we are planning on another great year and another great group this year. The 6-12 Grade Winter Concert will be held on Monday, December 19th, at 7:00 PM.

Elementary To Upgrade Classroom Technology

The focus of WMU is to provide the most current tools and resources to our students. Increasing access to technology is essential, and we were recently given the opportunity to upgrade our classroom devices in the elementary using grant funds. We chose to go with iPads as we believe that they are one of the best learning tools for our students. The use of iPads in the classroom is a way to empower students to maximize their full potential and to prepare them for secondary education and the modern world. According to studies and school reports, students who use a computing device in a one-to-one education environment are more organized and engaged learners. Using iPads in the classroom will advance our student's knowledge and understanding of technology, and in the process they also will become better critical thinkers as they use the tools to express their ideas and demonstrate understanding of what they are learning. We are excited to get the new iPads into the hands of our elementary students and give teachers the tools to make learning fun and engaging.

WMU Welcomes New Staff

Cara Kiesewetter

Meet Cara Kiesewetter and who is very excited to be the Preschool Teacher at Winfield Mount Union. Cara is thrilled to be here and Ioves Preschool and all the fun, exciting learning that they get to do. She was born and raised in Veedersburg, Indiana on a row crop farm.

Cara attended college at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education with a minor in Kindergarten. She also received my Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement at the

University of Northern Iowa. Cara has taught Preschool to First Grade.This starts is her 25th year of teaching. She has taught in Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee. Her husband (Bruce) and her previously lived in Letts, Iowa for 18 years with our two sons Kale and Will.

Their sons graduated from Louisa-Muscatine School. During that time she taught Preschool at Wapello for 12 years and then she and her husband moved to Tennessee where she taught Preschool for four years.

Their oldest son Kale (26) lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma where he graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Major in Agriculture and their youngest son Will (21) lives in Washington, Iowa. Will graduated from Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny in Agriculture.

When Cara is at home she enjoys being with her husband and helping with the cows. She also enjoys being with her two Australian Shepherd dogs Jade and Willow and her cat. Cara loves visiting her family in Indiana, reading and working outside in the yard. She is looking forward to a great school year this year at Winfield Mount Union.

Mendy McCreight

WMU welcomes back 2000 graduate Mendy McCreight. Coach McCreight is the new girl’s head basketball coach, taking over for her former high school coach Mr. Wachs. Coach McCreight played college basketball at Iowa Wesleyan College where she earned her teaching degree in English Language Arts. Corning Middle School is where Coach McCreight began her teaching career in 2007 before moving to Creston Middle School where she taught for nine years. She is currently teaching English Language Arts at Mt. Pleasant Middle School. Coach McCreight has an extensive background coaching basketball at all levels; junior high, junior varsity, and varsity. Corning High School made it to the regional finals under Coach McCreight’s leadership. That was the deepest run for a Corning girls basketball team since 1982. Coach McCreight is looking forward to returning to her hometown and joining the Wolf Pack once again. She is excited to build relationships with her athletes and says we can look forward to a fast paced game, especially with the new shot clock rule. In her free time she likes to go boating and to the pool with her family. Coach McCreight has two children that both attend WMU. Be sure to come out to welcome and support Coach McCreight as she leads the Lady Wolves this season.

Busload of Books Was Amazing

WMU had an exciting opportunity to spend time with author/illustrator team Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr. They are in the midst of a yearlong tour of the United States, visiting one title I elementary school in each state.

After seeing information about the Busload of Books tour on the First Book website, WMU Band Director Lindsey Pogmore wrote an essay to express what a visit like this would mean to WMU's students, and everyone was very excited when the announcement was made that WMU was going to be the Iowa stop on the tour!

Students were treated to interactive presentations about two of the books that the dynamic duo have written. Preschool thru 1st Grade learned about the book "Everywhere Wonder", while 3rd thru 5th Graders delved into some of the inner workings of the creative process that brought "Ben Yokoyama and The Cookie of Doom" to fruition. The students had many questions, and it sounds very. much like there may be some budding writers in the elementary student body!

In an effort to make it a full day of celebrating literacy, WMU welcomed former teachers and paraeducators to participate in "High Five Friday" and give students high fives to start their day, as well as be guest readers in elementary classrooms. Students were able to dress in book character costumes, and received a hardcover book by Robbi and Matthew. Students then spent an afternoon watching a movie that's based off of a book, complete with popcorn. Secondary students weren't left out either, all secondary students were able to select a book thanks to funding from Build a Bear. WMU Student Leadership Council members took the good book vibes on the road to neighboring Morning Sun Elementary School to read to those students, and provide them with books as well!

Hailing from Maryland, Robbi and Matthew, their 4 kids, and their very grumpy dog converted a school bus into a visually exciting tiny home on wheels. It was a real pleasure and meaningful opportunity for WMU's students.

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Community Survey

A recent survey was conducted by the W-MU School District to gather ideas on ways to improve and ensure the viability of the district over the next 15-20 years. Questions were geared toward getting feedback from current students, staff, parents and community on what people thought were things we need to keep doing, as well as things we need to do more of to make sure W-MU continues to be a school of choice in the area. The results will be used in planning and development of district goals, as well as identifying shared values and priorities. A school improvement committee meeting will be held Nov. 16th made up of students, staff, parents and community members to begin this process.

Upcoming Events

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Thursday, November 3rd~All School Assembly~34th Army Band (42 Romeo)

Friday, November 4th~No School

Friday, November 11th~Veterans Day Assembly

Wednesday, November 16th~Food Drive

Wednesday, November 23rd-25th~Thanksgiving Break~No School