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N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
February 14, 2019     N. Warren Town and County News
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February 14, 2019

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OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR mkde mama? Milk NORWALK COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT N orwalk Warriors Warren (2 SMALL AUWN PAPtRS J/WESIHAHHUAUAVE tadtLianu VVA snbnq~5d4r l”,I3's,Ilulus’lqa‘uhilllilljlln]vinnllxlujqItlgigslq and News 50¢ Vol. 51 No. Norwalk, Iowa 50211 USPS No. 395-120 Phone 981 -0406 email: news@ norwalknewspapemom Thursday, February 14, 201 9 Norwalk Community School District Receives Counseling Program Recognition Norwalk Community School District has been named a District of Distinction by the Iowa School Counselors Association (ISCA). This designation recognizes school districts that are committed to implementing comprehensive school counseling programs which address the career, academic, and social-emotional development of all students. The school counseling program at Norwalk CSD is led by Melissa Smith, Rachel Chapman, Jan Jensen, Sonya Chittenden, Marla Frantum, Sarah Adams, and Chad Wiedmann. To receive this designation, school counselors must complete an extensive application documenting all aspects of their counseling program across the entire school district, showing their commitment to students through best practices for school counseling programs, utilizing state and national standards. This distinction recognizes those school counselors who have committed to reflective practices and districts that support"& comprehensive‘school ‘ counseling program as an integral part of the educational experience for all students. “This year’s District of Distinction recipients exemplify the collaborative nature of school counselors in impacting student success,” said Sheryl Cline, ISCA President-Elect. “The recognition . encourages school counselors across Iowa to continue to strive for excellence.” This year is the inaugural year for ISCA’s District of Distinction and Norwalk CSD is one of four districts in Iowa receiving the recognition this year. Recipients are announced during National School Counseling Week (Feb. 4 — 8, 2019) and will be recognized in person by their peers at ISCA’s annual conference in November. To learn more about the Iowa School Counselor Association and this recognition, visit www.iowa schoolcounselors.org L‘\ Preschool‘Op‘tionis in N orwalk Two upcoming events are being planned for Norwalk families to learn about preschool options: An Early Childhood Fair will be held Saturday, February 16th from 9:00 11:00 am. in the Oviatt Elementary School cafeteria. All local preschool programs will be present to answer questions and share information about their programs. The Norwalk Public Library, Parks & Rec, ISU Extension services, and AEA will also be present to share services and supports for preschool families. An Open House will be held Tuesday, February 26th from 5:00 — 7:00 p.111. The universal preschool partnership preschool programs (Norwalk Christian Academy, Serendipity, Crayons2Pencils, Lil Hands Big Dreams, and Oviatt Preschool) will host open houses where you can visit each program to see their facilities, meet staff, and have questions answered. You are welcome to visit one or all. We have scheduled a “snow day” for Thursday, Feb. 28th from 5-7 p.m. if weather is not cooperating on the 26th. Judy Corcoran Honored as Norwalk Chamber’s Citizen of the Year Judy Corcoran was chosen as the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, and was honored at the annual chamber banquet held on January 25th at Echo Valley Country Club. Judy Corcoran is described as one who “failed in her plan to quit volunteering.” Today she’s proudly Norwalk’s Citizen of the Year, based largely on her active volunteerism in the community, according to the Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce. But when Judy retired from Wells Fargo and moved to Norwalk in 2012, she told friends she was no longer going to be a “super volunteer” after years of serving on numerous boards and projects. She also vowed she wouldn’t do anything similar to her 40-year career in news reporting and corporate public relations, events and communications. That lasted only six months before she offered to create press releases for a small fundraising project. Then in 2013 she applied for an open position on the board of trustees of the N orwalk Easter Public Library. “I’m a dedicated library user so I thought the trustee role meant discussing favorite books for the Library to purchase,” she said. “Instead, I’ve learned that as trustees we discuss everything from HVAC systems to power surges to patron online access to programs to encourage kids to read.” Her desire to meet more people in the community soon led to other volunteer roles, often with young people. She began reading weekly with a third grader through Everybody Wins Iowa which pairs students with a reading mentor for books and conversation. Since then Corcoran has read dozens of books with students at Lakewood Elementary School and is especially proud that her Bristol Street neighborhood now sends six volunteer readers to Lakewood every Thursday. More kids entered her life when Corcoran returned to teaching 4th grade religion in the weekly Parish Religious Education Program at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church. “Fourth graders are a lively and very curious group,” she says. “I’ve learned so much just trying to keep a step ahead of their questions.” The PREP role led to involvement in the parish’s Vacation Bible School which she has coordinated since 2013. Her volunteerism moved into high gear in 2018 when at one point she had 10 volunteer roles, each signified by its own three-ring binder on her bookshelves. She asked to be involved in the new Norwalk Hometown Pride committee but almost left the first meeting as she wasn’t sure she was a good fit, She was nudged into the official group photo which meant she had to stay involved. “I’m so glad I did because Hometown Pride has led to friendships and involvement in several rewarding projects, especially Norwalk Music Fest, our first full—day outdoor music event ‘onga ‘ver'y rainy day last September,” she says. “Our committee is pumped to do it again and we’ve already started planning the next one: Sunday, September lst, at Warrior Run.” Corcoran credits her own street for another Hometown Pride project that helped her earn Citizen of the Year recognition by the Chamber: Front Porch N orwalk, three summer evenings which encouraged residents to gather on porches, driveways or lawns to get to know their neighbors. Corcoran knew of research that showed residents of many communities don’t know their neighbors because houses are designed without front porches. Her own Bristol Street has had informal Tuesday gatherings for six summers so she took the idea to Norwalk Chief of Police Greg Staples who saw the events as a way to promote public safety. Volunteers Christie Petersen and Kelsi Messer joined the project and by summer’s end more than 80 homes hosted the informal gatherings which drew visits from Norwalk Police Officers, City Council members and other city officials. The three have already set dates for Front Porch Norwalk 2019 — June 18th, July 9th and August 5th — and will again be working with Chief Staples and the men and women of the Police Department. Now she’s working on another idea to foster communication in "the community. “I hope we can make it happen because Norwalk has a great story to share with Central Iowa about a community coming together amid rapid growth and its citizens getting to know one another,” she says. “I’m proud that we could share that message from front porches all over the city and we’ll do it again in 2019.” Information for this article was provided by the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce. orwolk Area Chamber at