Recently, I was asked, “What makes East Central so special?”
Having been part of EC as a high school student at its inception, then teaching my entire 32 year career in Sabula, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to attempt to answer this question.
And while I am anxious to tell anyone and everyone why EC is special, it’s more of a “feeling” than something that I can necessarily express in words.
Certainly I could go on and on about particular curriculum highlights, qualifications of our teachers, the hows and whys of test scores, but that’s not what this paper is about. It’s about "family."
Just walking the halls of each building one can get a sense of the teachers, staff, and students who have made EC their second home.
There is a keen sense of “family” here. Even though each elementary teacher is assigned a particular group of students each year, we teachers feel that all the students are part of our family.
We care about what each student accomplishes, whether they are in our classroom or not. Students know that any teacher here is ready and willing to help them with anything from classwork to problems that life may be handing them with which they need assistance. We find the right resources to match their particular difficulty.
I can’t tell you how many times staff from the AEA (psychologists, speech pathologists, etc.) have told me that they love coming to work at East Central. They often mention that the atmosphere at EC is unique.
Students feel loved here. They feel safe here. They know they have the opportunity to shine.
While we expect students to learn and use the pillars of Character Counts (respect, fairness, caring, trustworthiness, citizenship, and responsibility), they know it goes both ways. Our teachers love our students.
Among my favorite things is when former students come back to visit. While that may not seem unique, it is far more unusual for it to occur in an elementary school than a high school setting, and we DO have many, many students come back to visit. They know we care.
With the possibility of East Central not existing any more, I have had a great number of former students contact me wanting to make certain I knew how they felt about EC.
I recently had an online conversation with a student who was in my classroom back in the 1980s. I think her words still ring true for many of East Central students:
“I often felt like such a burden. Somewhere along the line (well... the last 15 years anyhow) I figured out a few of things. One: I actually like to absorb information and love to learn. Two: EC (and the staff there) made me aware of just what I am capable of. Three: I realize now my home life may have been a bit tumultuous... and EC was really my rock.”
Another thing that we can be very proud of at East Central is our integration of technology. While we don’t have shiny new buildings, the infrastructure that we are most proud of is the number of available computers and networking that we have for students.
Our school leaders have always made technology a high priority, no matter the financial difficulties we faced. They wanted our students to be prepared for 21st Century Skills and the world of work. Having tools like Skype to actually visit other classrooms without leaving ours, Promethean boards, and the ability to utilize the most up-to-date, accurate information on the Internet at a moment’s notice allows us to provide experiences for our students that others envy.
Because I am fighting hard for East Central to stay open, I have been accused of many things. Let me tell you from the heart, that I just plain old love East Central, its students, its staff,….its uniqueness. It’s too special to lose.
Brenda McKone is a National Board Certified Teacher. She teaches sixth grade at East Central.
Recently, I was asked, “What makes East Central so special?”
- We must work together to prevent gun violence Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a national coalition of 50 denominations and faith-based organizations, will celebrate the second annual Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath on March 13-16, which will include prayer events from coast to coast. Orga
- Lack of communication hinders planning It's not often that City Council members play the role of mediators. However, on Tuesday, Rules and Regulations Committee members were in the middle of a disagreement between three downtown entertainment entities. The Clinton LumberKings, Clinton Ar
- More needs to be done to clean up mercury spill The mercury spill at ADM seems like a major environmental and health issue. Seems as though very little has been done since the spill on Nov 8. This is shameful. Surprising to me that Clinton and the state of Iowa seem to be reacting to this rather
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Be proud of our Clinton middle school students
On Friday, Feb. 21, there was an awesome coming together — Lyons Middle School and Washington Middle School came together on several buses and traveled to Chestnut Ski Resort.
Perhaps it's time to loosen Iowa's fireworks ban
Legalization of fireworks in Iowa is an issue on which we see both sides.
- Humane society must work to balance wants with needs It is no secret the Clinton Humane Society has traveled some bumpy roads over the years while on the path of caring for strays and homeless animals. While in the business of healing and helping to find homes, the local humane society has at times car
MEIER: More robo-call news
I wrote in early January 2014 about robo-calls on free medical alert systems. Robo-calls are recorded messages sent out by automated dialers, often by the thousands every minute.
- Tougher penalties will prevent kidnapping The Iowa Senate unanimously approved legislation to increase penalties for child kidnapping in response to the kidnapping and murder of 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard of Dayton last year by Michael Klunder. Our goal is to deter others from perpetrating
- Bills pass through Iowa House This week the House passed HF2253 which toughens penalties for those convicted of crimes against children, specifically kidnapping. This bill was generated after a last summer's kidnapping of Kathlynn Shepard and Desi Hughes which resulted in the mur
United Way makes large impact on the community
United Way of Clinton County, Iowa has nearly completed the Fall 2013 Campaign to raise funds for 26 local programs. Some of which include: n Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Big Brothers Big Sisters to mentor at-risk children and youth; n Felix Adler Chi
- More Opinion Headlines