A NEW YEAR | News, Sports, Jobs


-Photo of the messenger by Kelby Wingert

Thomas Arnold, 6, kindergarten student in St. Edmond, and Jaycee Arnold, 8, third grade, pose for a quick photo of the first day of school for mom Ronni Arnold on Monday morning.

A buzz filled St. Edmond Catholic School Monday morning. It was the back-to-school buzz for the 600 students and 70 school staff.

“You can just feel the excitement in the building” Principal Tabitha Acree said. “The kids are just thrilled to see all their friends and meet their teacher. “

Teachers are also excited about the new school year, she added.

“Just to hear the laughter and the noise in the hallways – I mean, that’s why we do what we do for our kids,” Acre said.

The school kicked off the school year with a pair of flag raising ceremonies – one for elementary school students and one for middle and high school students – led by National Guards with the local 133rd Test Squadron. After the students recited the Pledge of Allegiance in unison, Reverend Brian Feller blessed the school year to begin.

-Photo of the messenger by Kelby Wingert

Elementary students from St. Edmond Catholic School attend class on the first day of school on Monday morning.

“I think it’s great that we started with raising the flag and then also blessing our students, staff and parents,” Acre said.

Although Acree is new to the helm of St. Ed’s, she has been director of the Riverside Early Learning Center for the past six years and has noted that the first day of school this year was very different from the first day of school. last year. On the one hand, this year parents were allowed to enter the school building, many accompanying their children to their classrooms before the first bell.

“I think they appreciate that too, because we had new families who came in last year and they had never been to school before,” she said.

Although the situation has improved since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over and the school will take action to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.

“It is always our priority because we want to keep the children in school” she said. “This is our goal. Kids learn best in person, so we really want them here.

-Photo of the messenger by Kelby Wingert

St. Edmond first-grade teacher Michelle Rogers guides her students in the pledge of allegiance during Monday morning’s flag-raising ceremony for the first day of school.

Students will be allowed to wear a face mask if they wish, but they will not be mandatory. The school also always has a cleaning program to regularly clean high contact areas like doors and ramps throughout the day.

St. Edmond welcomed seven new staff this year, Acree said.

“I had to do an orientation for the new teachers with them and they’re just a good bunch, and they bonded a bit too. “ she said.

One of the new employees, Emily Boutin, came from the state of Maine to teach in St. Edmond.

“We are very happy to have him” Acre said. “This is our new language arts teacher in grade seven.

-Photo of the messenger by Kelby Wingert

Elementary students from St. Edmond Catholic School return to school after the flag raising ceremony on Monday morning.

Boutin graduated from the University of Maine in May and was looking for a teaching position in Catholic schools when she found a position in St. Edmond.

“I had my interview and it went well and when I was offered (the job), I decided to come here”, she said. “I just had a good feeling about it.”

She said she was also looking specifically for an English position in college so this was the perfect fit.

While Boutin may be new to St. Edmond and Fort Dodge, she is not new to teaching. She previously taught English as a Second Language in Taiwan for four years prior to her graduate studies.

Acree is optimistic for the 2021-2022 school year and her first year as principal.

-Photo of the messenger by Kelby Wingert

The Iowa Air National Guardsmen with the 133rd Test Squadron raised the flag of the St. Edmond Catholic School’s flag-raising ceremony on Monday morning.

“We are just delighted to be here with our students and look forward to meeting them all. “ she said. “I have a lot of names to learn. One of my goals is to learn the names of all my students.

-Photo of the messenger by Kelby Wingert

Middle and high school students at St. Edmond Catholic School recite the pledge of allegiance during the flag raising ceremony on the first day of school Monday morning.

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