September 13, 2019

DMACC Career Discovery Days

DMACC Career Discovery Days are open to 9th–12th grade students, educators and parents. Explore career pathways through hands-on activity sessions, learn about educational opportunities by hearing from DMACC instructors, and connect to future careers and professionals by touring related businesses. Click here for more information.

Activities Minute

Upcoming home events -

* Mon, Sep. 16: 7 volleyball v. Pella - 430 PM

* Tue, Sep. 17: 7 football v. Chariton - 430 PM

* Tue, Sep. 17: JV2/JV1/V volleyball v. Davis County - JV2/JV1 at 530 PM, Varsity at 715 PM

* Thu, Sep. 19: Girls Swimming v. Des Moines Lincoln @Indianola YMCA - 530 PM

* Fri, Sep. 20: 9-10/V football v. Chariton - 9/10 at 445 PM, Varsity at 730 PM

** Marching Band performance, Dance Team performance

Big wins this past week - football over Saydel; volleyball over Albia!

* Our volleyball team is off to a fast start! They are currently 2-0 in South Central Conference play, 9-0 overall, and ranked #13 in Class 4A in the latest IGHSAU rankings!!

All home events in the Knoxville High School gym and all school concerts in KPAC will be streamed LIVE on the NFHS Network! Go to for more details!

Get schedules for all extra-curricular middle school and high school activities by going to and then clicking on "Activity Calendar". You can even sign-up for email notifications so whenever we make a change to a schedule - you can be notified immediately.

Follow the Knoxville Activities Department on Instagram! @knoxvilleactivities

KHS Student Senate's Homecoming Parade Entry Form

Parade: Friday, Oct. 11, at 3 p.m. The theme this year is “Panthers Strike Back”!

Driver Education

Driver Education will be offered at Knoxville High School through Triple ‘R’ Driving School again this fall. Classes for the fall session will begin Monday, October 28th and conclude on Friday, November 8th. For more information, click here or see registration form below.

Big picture

Meet the 7th Grade Teachers!

Mr. Jamie Vander Veer, Math

I attended Central College and have been teaching for 4 years. I teach 7th grade math and Geometry and am also the middle school cross country coach. My wife, Hannah, is the Chamber of Commerce Director. In our free time, we enjoy spending time outdoors, including fishing, hunting, boating, camping, and kayaking.

Mrs. Ann Kingery, Special Education

*Attended Iowa State University for her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education and is in her 21st year in education. She will graduate from Buena Vista University in December with a Master’s degree in Special Education.

*Husband, Tom (married for 22 years), is a mechanic at Hormel

*Children are: Cole, who is a 2019 graduate of KHS, Madalyn, a senior at KHS, Quinn, a 7th-grader at KMS

*Spanish and Special Education endorsements

*Graduated from KHS in 1993 and husband did in 1990

*Lives on a farm south of Knoxville

*Enjoys being outside, reading, studying history, hiking, and gold prospecting

Mrs. Katie Kinnamon, Social Studies

My name is Katie Kinnamon and this is my fifth year teaching 7th grade Social Studies. Previous to that, I was a district Teacher Librarian for 14 years. I attended the University of Northern Iowa and received my degree in Social Science Education. My husband, Josh, and I have two daughters; Meghan, a senior, and Olivia, an 8th grader. We also have two dogs and six cats. I love to explore the outdoors with my family, watch movies, garden and read books.

Mr. Jim Uitermarkt, Math

*Attended Knoxville Schools, University of Northern Iowa and has 25 years of teaching experience all here in Knoxville

*Wife Angie who teaches at North

*Two children- Tara 16 and Carson 13

*Varsity girls basketball coach

*Email is a great way of contacting me

*Thoughts on teaching- “I really enjoy the challenge associated with teaching 6th//7th graders, and I look forward to working with this year’s groups and their parents.”

Mrs. Sara Finnegan, Science

*This will be her 18th year of teaching.

*Originally from Audubon, IA and graduated from Simpson College.

*Husband Tim is a Quality Control Tech at Vermeer Mfg.

*Has twin 7th grade boys; Jensen and Joseph and a 4th grade daughter; Molly.

*Enjoyed spending time with the kids this summer; traveling to the Tetons, Yellowstone and the Black Hills.

*Thoughts on teaching- “Teaching Science is turning ordinary life events and daily situations into extraordinary learning experiences that students will remember forever! Students should learn by doing and be able to apply what they have learned to their lives and the lives of others. Students should be held accountable and be expected to do their best- always. Science encompasses using math and language arts skills to explain the world around them.”

Mrs. Claire Cole, Language Arts

My name is Claire Cole, and I am beginning my second year teaching English language arts at Knoxville Middle School. Prior to teaching in Knoxville, I taught language arts for two years in Fargo, North Dakota, making this my fourth year teaching in total. I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Teacher Leadership through Northwestern College. I reside in Knoxville with my husband Jeremy who is a chemical engineer at Cargill and my chocolate lab, Murphy. In my spare time, I enjoy taking my dog for walks, reading young adult literature, and spending time at the lake in northern Minnesota where I was born and raised. I am very much looking forward to a year of learning and growth!

Sydnee Van Wyk, Language Arts

My name is Sydnee Van Wyk and this is my 7th year of teaching. I teach 7th grade ELA, Advanced 7th grade ELA and 8th grade ELA. I live in Pella with my husband, Cameron, and three children, Zack, Tyeson and Lillymay with a fourth arriving in October. We are a very active family that loves sports and being on the go. I am looking forward to this school year and getting to know each student and helping them work to their potential. Language arts is where students develop essential skills such as reading, writing and communication.

Big picture


Students listened to the book "Have You Filled a Bucket Today" by Carol McCloud. They learned about filling others buckets by being kind and talked about how they can fill buckets each day they are at Northstar.

Big picture

Reading Room

Welcome back to school from the Reading Room! We’re so happy to hear that many children read over the busy summer. FAST testing will begin on Wednesday, September 11. Kindergarten and First Grade will be given the Early Reading assessment. This allows teachers to screen and monitor a student’s progress in developing reading skills. Second grade students will read from 3 different grade level passages. Teachers will be recording results and are looking for fluency and accuracy of the reader. Results of all of these tests will be shared with parents. The data is used to determine which students need additional interventions at school.

Paw-sitive Panther Time

2nd graders have been learning about Respect during our Paw-sitive Panther time. Each day we have a morning meeting which includes a message, greeting, sharing time, and activity. We show respect by giving our classmates eye contact and active listening. During the greeting, each child is welcomed by name and practices welcoming others. It sets a positive tone for our day and provides a sense of recognition and belonging.

Building this classroom community transfers to academic work as well. Students collaborate and work together better!

School Picture Day: Sept 18

School pictures will be taken at each school building for PK-12 students and staff on Wednesday, September 18.

Substitute Authorization Course Information

If you hold a bachelor's degree, obtaining a substitute authorization is easy. Sign up to become a sub today through the Heartland Area Education Agency!

  • Complete calendar is linked here. (Click on calendar above for one-page format.)
    • Choose your preferred format (week, month or agenda).

    Reminder: Birthday Treats need to be store bought, or, even better, support your student's school by purchasing HOMEMADE treats from the school kitchen. We take care of the baking, delivery, plates, napkins, etc. Click here to see all options, prices and order information.

    Also, please keep in mind that if you would like to send the teachers some love, you can have us make and deliver treats to the teacher's lounge on your behalf.

    Thank you for your support, we look forward to working with you!

    Jason Swanson, KCSD Child Nutrition Director

    641-842-6551, opt. 8

    New Vaping and Tobacco Cessation Program for Teens

    According to the 2018 Iowa Youth Survey, 22.4% of 11th grade students, 8.3% of eighth grade students and 2.4% of sixth grade students currently use e-cigarettes. The long-term health consequences for youth using these products are unknown. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) now offers a special program for teens who want to quit using tobacco, including e-cigarettes.

    The new My Life, My Quit program includes educational materials designed for teens and created through focus groups with teens, subject matter experts and community stakeholders. Teens can text or call a toll-free number (855-891-9989) dedicated for teens, or they can visit for real-time coaching. Through the program, teens work with a coach who listens and understands their unique needs, provides personalized support, and helps them build a quit plan to become free from nicotine.

    My Life, My Quit provides youth access to tailored resources for quitting, including:

    • Free and confidential help from a quit coach specially trained to listen to teens, help teens navigate social situations that involve tobacco or vaping, and find healthy ways to cope with stress
    • Five coaching sessions via live text messaging or by phone on a dedicated toll-free number (855-891-9989) or online chat
    • Simplified online and mobile program registration to get teens to a coach quicker
    • Dedicated teen website at with online enrollment, live chat with a coach, information about vaping and tobacco, and activities to support quitting and stress relief
    • On-going text messages for encouragement throughout the quit process
    • Certificate of program completion

    IDPH is one of nine states collaborating with Quitline provider National Jewish Health to offer the teen-focused tobacco cessation program.

    September is Suicide Awareness Month

    Big picture
    Big picture
    Big picture

    Neighbor Helping Neighbor

    Neighbor helping Neighbor is every Monday - Wed 1-3pm. It is located at the First United Methodist Church activities center downtown. They have vouchers for food, personal care items, toilet paper, laundry detergent, and diapers at times.
    Big picture
    Big picture
    Big picture
    Big picture


    The Panther Press is a weekly collective newsletter for parents & community members. If you have an article or flyer to share, please submit to for consideration.

    Stay connected by frequenting our website or following us on social media!

    Rate us on!

    Big picture