Coming full circle


Elaine Gassett and Elaine DeVries


Elaine Gassett has come full circle. She is the new three-year-old preschool teacher, or should we say the old preschool teacher. No, we are not insinuating anything about her age, just that she used to teach Spring Ahead Preschool and is teaching it again this year.

Gassett and Cheryl Grosvenor were co-teachers when the preschool began, in the fall of 1982. Grosvenor left several years later. Gassett stuck around until the fall of 1991, when she started teaching Kindergarten at the Lime Springs-Chester Elementary School.
Gassett got in on the planning of the preschool on the ground floor. “It took about a year to get organized,” she recalls. “It started as just four-year-ols, one day per week and then the three-year-old group was started in 1985 or ’86.”
Since its inception, the preschool was held in the basement of the educational wing at Lime Springs United Methodist Church. The basement area had three rooms. With sixth grade moving to the Junior High this year, that classroom was available in the elementary school. “It was hard to get everything into one room when we had three rooms before!” she explains.

2010-11 Lime Springs-Chester Elementary Staff

Lois Leifeld is the kindergarten teacher at Lime Springs-Chester Elementary.
“I have taught three-quarters grade, kindergarten, first grade, title 1 reading, multi-age groups, and sixth grade. I am very pleased that I have the opportunity to work with the lower-elementary multi-age groups focusing on kindergarten. I am very proud to be a part of such a top notch teaching team. My goal as a teacher is to instill a lifelong love of learning in each student that I work with.”
Ms. Leifeld grew up on a farm east of Lime Springs “riding horse and driving Ford tractors.” She earned her teaching degree from Winona State and her master’s degree from Viterbo University.
“I have a sixth grader who enjoys baseball, 4-H, football and farming.  I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, gardening, cooking and watching Mitchell’s sporting activities.”
Dory Fravel and husband, Leonard live and farm near Schley. They have been married almost 27 years. They have two children—Christy, 22, and Brian, 20.
“I wanted to be a teacher from before I even started school myself. I went to the University of Northern Iowa and started my teaching career in Waukon, where I taught for three years. I have been in Howard-Winneshiek for 29 years.
“I taught at Lime Springs and Elma as a K-6 resource room teacher when I first moved here. Since then I have taught fourth, fifth and sixth grades. Now I am teaching in Lime Springs in the upper and lower elementary classrooms as well as serving as the resource teacher again. I’m really loving it.”
One of her most embarrassing moments was when the day she dressed up as Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus books. “I had a parent drop in for the afternoon, and he looked at me like I was crazy.  It was pretty funny.”
She says, “The greatest reward I get from teaching is when a student gets that sparkle in his/her eyes and you can just tell that they understand what you’re trying to teach them. I love the little kids’ enthusiasm.”
Sara Peterson grew up in Oshkosh, Wis. and then headed west to Minneapolis/St. Paul to attend college.  She acquired a bachelor’s degree in psychology and then went to the University of Minnesota for her teacher’s license and Mmster’s degree.
“After we were married, my husband and I decided to move to Decorah to be near his family and to start vegetable farming. We now have a vegetable farm six miles north of Decorah.
“I have three girls – Meg, who is eight; Mairi, who is five; and Nina who is 18 months. When I am not teaching, I am chasing after them.”
Ms. Peterson became a teacher because she loves to read and wants everyone to love to read.  “I also love to work with children. I have taught for the last 12 years at Ridgeway where I taught kindergarten, first grade and then a one-half combination.  I am excited to be working with a fantastic group of students, parents, staff and community members.”
Marian I. S. Lyndgaard, art teacher,  and Kyhl were married this summer on June 26.  She grew up in Wesley, Iowa, where her mother still lives.  “I enjoy throwing pots at the Clay Studio in Decorah and running.”
This is her fourth year teaching art, and her first with the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District.  “I enjoy making art and being around children, so I have found teaching art to be a natural career choice.”
Mrs. Lyndgaard teaches at Cresco, Elma and Lime Springs.  “My position is part time, so I am only at Lime Springs-Chester on Wednesday afternoon.”
She has many satisfactions while teaching, expecially when she tells a student they are doing a great job.
One of the funniest things a student said was when “one of my kindergartners called me Mrs. Lyndergarden.  I got a kick out of the combination of kindergarten and Lyndgaard.”
She doesn’t enjoy when she trips on the portable wall’s wheels.
“I’m very happy to be part of the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District!”
Harlan Larson has been married to Mary for 34 years. Their three children are Christina, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio and is pursuing her doctorate in Art History; Michael lives in Rochester, is studying for his RN degree and will be married on December 31, 2010; and Ericka is a nurse at Iowa City Hospital and lives in North Liberty.
Harlan enjoys bicycling, walking and is a Twins and Iowa Hawkeyes fan.
He has been a custodian for five years in Lime Springs and three years in Cresco. “My primary goal is to help the teachers when the need arises.”
One of his most satisfying duties is waxing floors in the summertime.
One of the funniest things a student ever said, “I asked a blonde first grader (after her mom dyed red streaks in her hair) ‘How you doing red head?’ She took a couple of steps and said, ‘How you doing grayhead?’!”

UM Harvest Auction. . . —Let the bidding begin!

Yes, once again it’s time for an evening of fun at the Lime Springs United Methodist Church on Monday, September 27. The fun starts as soon as you arrive, but the auction starts at 7:00 p.m. SHARP!

Firemen’s soup supper

Ted Roberts, Tony Roberts and Neal Stapelkamp with brand new jaws.

The Lime Springs Fire Department is having a soup supper this Sunday, September 26 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Chili and chicken noodle will be served, along with beverages and dessert at the Lime Springs Community Center.

The free-will offering will help pay for the new Jaws-of-Life the department ordered. An Alliant Energy Hometown Challenge matching grant of $2,000 was received with the stipulation the fire department hold two fund-raisers.
The soup supper is the first fund-raiser and kicks off the second fund-raiser, a raffle drawing to be held at Christmas in Lime Springs on December 5. Some early raffle gifts include fire extinguisher and smoke alarms from CIA Insurance, a black powder rifle from Jerry Robinson, two half hogs from Greg Mahr, A bag of goodies from Wemark Chiropractic, two half-hour massages by Sarah Moore, a savings bond from C US Bank and a gift certificate from Lime Springs Feed & Equipment.
Desserts and volunteers for the day are needed. Contact Barb Robinson.

Donating to SALC

C US Bank in Lime Springs kick started the Capital Campaign for the Spring Ahead Learning Center. The local bank donated $10,000 to the project. Pictured are bank employees, from left: Duane Johnson, Evelyn Truka, Scott Thomson, Pam Kranzler, Jamie Niewoehner, Libby Schwade (SALC Capital Campaign Chair), Carla Ness, Karen Stevenson and Jamie Wemark.
SALC needs to raise $100,000 locally for a daycare/learning center/tornado safe room at the elementary. Grants and pledges have already been received to pay the remainder of the cost.

Fire Department gets new Jaws of Life

Fire Chief Tony Roberts was authorized to purchase the set of Jaws of Life firefighters have been training on for the past several months. The cost of the equipment was around $15,000. The Auxiliary is paying $5,000; the Fire Board is paying $5,000; and donations and grants will cover the remainder of the cost.

Latham answers questions in Cresco

Representative Tom Latham talks with Gary Gassett and Rex Kleckner after the town hall meeting on September 8.

It may have been a small group who met at NICC on September 8 to listen and ask questions of Representative Tom Latham, but the discussion was as informative and lively as any town hall meeting.

Latham started off by saying Howard County was 23 out of 27 town hall meetings he was attending during the August-September break. “And right now my highest priorities are the economy and jobs.”
As always, a big issue with those present dealt with the Health Care bill. Latham explained, “The bill was supposed to hold down costs. Now the administration said it won’t.” He said he did not like that money was being taken out of Medicare to fund new and separate entitlements.
“We are seeing signs in doctors’ windows in this district saying ‘We can’t take Medicare patients.’” That is a huge deal when one-sixth of the population is on Medicare.
Amy Bouska of Cresco wondered what Latham would do to make health care better. He said allowing children to stay on insurance until they were older was a good thing. His biggest change would be to allow health insurance competition across state lines. Other solutions would be to continue having electronic records available and to cut down on the number of lawsuits. Because of lawsuits, Latham said, “Only 32 counties in Iowa will deliver a baby.”

Library reports to council

Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Bill led the Lime Springs City Council meeting, on September 7, in the absence of Mayor Barb Robinson.

Wemark building story

In the September 9, 2010 issue of the Lime Springs Herald, a history was given of the building Sheila Wemark recently purchased, the old Senior Citizens building. When talking with some folks in preparation of the story, some of the information may have been confused with another building or two on the same block.

Pioneer Day at Lime Springs landmarks

When Larry Reis pulled out the full-grown brown snake, native to Hayden Prairie, the students rushed toward him as teachers and aides backed WAY up!

On September 9, all the fourth graders in the Howard-Winneshiek School District (Cresco, Elma, Notre Dame and Lime Springs) attended Pioneer Day in Lime Springs.