Adv. Biology Students Take Hospital Tour

4 days ago, no responses

The students of Hudson High School Adv. Biology class were able to spend a morning touring parts of Allen-Unity Point Hospital.  Staff and Faculty at Allen made themselves available to answer questions about their professions and offered advice to students […]

Hudson board member honored for excellence

1 week ago, no responses

Des Moines, Iowa – At the Iowa Association of School Boards’ (IASB) 71st Annual Convention on Nov. 17, Hudson board member Karyn Finn was honored with an individual Award of Achievement for 2015-16. The IASB Better Boardsmanship Awards Program highlights […]

Library Donation Remembers Hudson Teacher, Linda Dober

1 week ago, no responses

Hudson students are especially grateful this holiday season after a generous donation to the school library from the family of long-time Hudson teacher, Linda Dober. A portion of the donation was used to purchase 45 new books for our school […]

Journalism Students Awarded Yearbook Honors

4 weeks ago, no responses

by freshman Jenna Twait freshman Lexi Bergmeir, contributor The 2016 Hudson Community School District yearbook was awarded 3rd in the state for Class A by the Iowa High School Press Association (IHSPA). The award, which was announced during the state’s […]

Blast from the Past

1 month ago, no responses

A blast from the past!  Almost 33 years ago, students, parents, and community members enjoyed several evenings of the musical, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying! (Directors: Mike Carroll, Cheryl Einsweiler)  Years later, under direction of Casey Tecklenberg, Hudson students […]

Hudson FFA members compete and participate at National FFA Convention

1 month ago, no responses

INDIANAPOLIS- Members of the Hudson FFA Chapter represented Iowa FFA in the National FFA Marketing Plan Career Development Event (CDE) in Indianapolis, Indiana, from October 19-23. The Hudson FFA team of  Maddie Herring, Alex Fouts and Maria Geisler placed 4th in […]

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Voss Blog Log

    Education in Iowa Public Schools

    Dr. Anthony D. Voss, Superintendent of Schools

    As discussed in a previous post, we have had a lot to celebrate in our school system recently. Successful athletic teams and great musical performances do a lot to boost morale and strengthen a culture that exudes school pride. Indeed, when the sports teams are winning it seems like everything else in the school tends to operate much more smoothly! Although I readily admit there is a lack of empirical evidence available to suggest a lower rate of absenteeism or fewer disciplinary referrals. Yet there is no mistake that everyone seems to feel a lot better about their school when the volleyball and cross country team(s) end the season as the state tournament runner up! These are the kind of successes that we can easily point to that make us feel good. We can see them, touch them, and celebrate when our team wins.  However, I would suggest that there is so much more below the surface to be proud of-successes on a much grander scale that you are in all likelihood blissfully unaware. 

    I submit that miracles happen in our classrooms each and every day of the school year. Unfortunately those miracles are often known only to a handful of people. Miracles in that small space of time when a teacher connects with a student in a way that unlocks a great mystery of learning that had; until that very moment seemed insurmountable. Moments when the teacher reaches into their toolbox of strategies and grasps for their very last idea, and it works. It is then; almost as if you can see the barriers to learning fall away with an expression of wonder on both the face of the teacher and the pupil. For some of our learners this may not only be an instance of jubilant satisfaction and revelation, it can bring both the teacher and student to tears. Success!

    Freshman English students learning about lyric poetry recently.
    Fortunately for me, I oftentimes have a front row seat to bear witness when these moments of success occur. I have observed the high school student who makes a profound statement about the danger of global overpopulation, where they previously may not have grasped the enormity of life outside our community. And I have seen a second grade classroom perform a 'Readers Theatre' where each and every student, regardless of ability has an opportunity to shine. Some of those students, just weeks prior may have read in halting phrases, painstakingly sounding out words that made it all but impossible to understand and follow a main idea. Or how about the student we were so unsure of, who walks across the stage and receives their high school diploma?

    We know the miracle that was witnessed is a result of the hard work that is happening between the teacher and the student. The result of painstaking application of time and field tested strategies. Intense remediation, and the practice that happens during classroom instruction. The extra time and effort that the teacher spends with a student before school, after school, or in what we refer to as 'Pirate Time'.

    So while we celebrate with great pride all the success that our school district has had this fall, let's not forget where the real magic is happening! At the end of the day, the score that really counts will be the one in the classroom, and I can tell you those scores indicate that we are winning!

    Posted: December 7, 2016, 2:07 pm
    The Hudson City Council voted on Monday night to move forward with a developers proposal to build a series of apartment buildings in the vicinity of Springfield Avenue. Conceptually, the project includes five apartment building consisting of twelve units each. The school district is supportive of this endeavor and encourages the city to move forward with this and other projects like it. Housing inventory that meets a multitude of income ranges is critical to the future of Hudson, and the Hudson Community School District. Since my arrival in Hudson almost seven years ago, the Board and I have lamented the fact that Hudson needs more housing inventory that is affordable for young families. This project is a good first step. 

    As Superintendent of Schools I field numerous inquires year round from families who wish to enroll in our outstanding school system. One of the first questions I ask is, "Where do you live?" Often times and unfortunately we are unable to enroll many of these children because they are not residents. When I encourage them to move to Hudson they are unable; either because they can't afford to--or there is a lack of affordable housing inventory. While open enrollment is sometimes an option, families are often devastated to learn their application has been denied because of enrollment policies in place in their own respective resident district.

    A lack of affordable housing isn't a phenomenon exclusive to Hudson or the Cedar Valley, as was recently discussed in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on November 20th. The editorial that day did an outstanding job of separating fact from fiction. For starters, the idea that affordable housing will negatively impact educational quality and drive down test scores is nonsensical. In fact, according to the Gazette, "Safe, affordable, and stable housing is a critical key to family stability that enables students to take root and thrive". We need to look no further than some of our own families in the school district who move frequently. It puts undo stress on them and leads to educational gaps, especially when a youngster may be moving from one school district to another. 

    We fully understand the unique role the Hudson Community School District plays in our community. Furthermore, we are proud of the symbiotic relationship that exists between the school and the city, and want what's best for Hudson. At the same time all must certainly recognize that our success is interdependent on one another. In order for our city to thrive, so to must our school. And as the council pointed out at this meeting, the economic benefits of this decision are good for the entire community and will grow our tax base. Further, according to the National Association of Realtors, most studies indicate that affordable housing has no long term negative impact on surrounding property values, and some research indicates an increase in value (Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 20). 

    Let's also be sure we understand what it is we are talking about here. This is affordable housing, which is a distinctly different paradigm from low income or subsidized housing. Affordable housing is just that: designed for young families that are working and simply don't have an income at this point in their lives that will enable them to make an investment in a home mortgage. When I graduated from college so long ago, I spent the first five years of my career living in an apartment complex that was affordable, in a small town not much unlike Hudson! 

    Schools exist where there are children to educate. Obviously without children, there is no school and we have seen the devastating impact this has had on small Iowa communities all around the state. In fact, we don't need to look too far from Hudson to see how this played out. This project is certain to bring children to our community, which will have the benefit of growing our student enrollment as well as the population of our town. We are very lucky in Hudson, people want to move here! This development will provide a solution to a problem I have a front row of observing on a regular basis. When families want to move to town and have their children enroll in school, we will have a place for them to live. 

    Hudson is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. People throughout the Cedar Valley recognize that. Our community must continue to move forward and I applaud the City Council on their progressive agenda of growth. I am incredibly proud of the progress that has been made over the last year and support this bold vision. Just look around: development is occurring on the Northern Tier and the second addition of Upper Ridges is open for residential construction. In fact, I eagerly anticipate moving to my new home in just a few short weeks. This apartment project is the next piece needed to move us forward. Again, I offer my strongest endorsement of this project. The school district stands ready to work with the city in any capacity that is requested. 

    Posted: November 29, 2016, 9:23 pm
    I am confident that we will remember this fall not for the brutal political campaign that we just endured, but for the outstanding success of our students. They excelled in everything they did this fall, and we were lucky enough to be along for the ride as we cheered them on to victory or watched with awe as they transformed us to another time and place during the musical. Hopefully these students will serve as inspiration to the next generation of Hudson Pirates who are eager to make their mark when the time comes. Our fall season came to conclusion this past weekend and now we turn the page and begin preparation for our winter season. We can now look forward to basketball, wrestling, and show choir. I am sure that we are going to have a lot more to cheer about in the coming months! Congratulations to all our students on their success so far this year. Here is a recap of 'An Autumn to Remember'!

    Mr. Tecklenburg directs the choir in a rousing crescendo
    during the fall concert.
    Concert band takes the stage, while Mrs. Davis
    approaches the podium stage right.
    Perhaps there was some nervousness last year when our long time music teachers decided to retire from Hudson. This no doubt because the music department had a reputation, and all wanted to ensure that reputation and tradition remained intact. I can assure you that both Mrs. Davis and Mr. Tecklenburg knew there would be some pretty big shoes to fill. Excellent musicians in their own right, they were bolstered by a deep pool of very talented student musicians. And those students were certainly up to the challenge! Most recently we were treated to the fall musical, "How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying". I don't know about you, but the singing in this production was awesome! Out of fear of forgetting to mention someone by name I will refrain at this time, but to all the students that took part in this show, you set a new bar for excellence in our school! I might also point out that giving our singers the opportunity to perform with a live pit band was a great touch and super experience for our students.

    Cast of 'How to Succeed in Business Without Even
    Trying performing in the First Act.
    But by the time the musical rolled along we weren't all that surprised that our music department was going to continue to function at a very high level. We had already enjoyed a taste of the level of musicianship that was on display during halftime of football games. Our pep band has done an outstanding job, and there is talk of taking a major step in the future. I don't want to spoil it, but I think it is going to be pretty neat for our kids! We can now look forward to hearing the pep band at basketball games this winter.

    Hudson Volleyball captures runner up trophy in first
    ever state tournament appearance.
    Nevertheless, we don't want to forget about the amazing concert our music department had on October 25th! Both our high school concert band and choir performed that evening. It is not uncommon for the first concert of the year to sound like a first concert of the year. That wasn't the case this evening however, as our musicians sounded like they were in mid year form! Fact is, I think they were contest ready!

    Football team hosting North Tama during homecoming.
    Girls cross country posing with state qualifying banner.
    The team will go on to finish as state runner up.
    Now, we can't talk about how memorable this fall has been without mentioning the success of our athletic teams! For starters, how about that football season? If what I heard was correct, our team finished the best season they had in twenty-two years, ending up with an 8-2 record overall! We once again made the playoffs, and although our playoff run ended earlier than we would have liked, I think it is important to note that we entered the playoffs with a higher seeding than we had in the past. Finishing second in our district is quite an accomplishment, and I for one am very proud of these young men. Congratulations to Coach Brekke and his staff on an outstanding season.

    Boys cross country posing with state qualifying banner.
    The team will go on to finish in 8th at the state meet.
    I think one of the toughest sports in which to compete has to be cross country. Think about it for a minute. You are out there all alone, competing against yourself. Sure, it is a team sport where points are awarded according to how each athlete finishes, but you are basically out there by yourself, with no one to blame if things go array. It's not like you can blame someone for a missed block, right? Both our boys and girls team had an awesome season and qualified for the state cross country meet. Our girls team finished as runner up while our boys finished in 8th place. Way to go student-athletes and congratulations to Coach Selenke and staff!

    That brings us to volleyball. Did anyone catch that season we just had? Wow, they were amazing! This team made school history by being the first Hudson volleyball team ever to qualify for the state tournament. Not only did they qualify, but our girls dispatched two quality opponents to find themselves in the final match! The Pirates ended the season as runner up, which is pretty astounding considering their first trip to the state tournament yielded such a successful run. A lot of credit goes to these athletes and congratulations are in order to Coach Baird and staff.

    Congratulations once again to all the student athletes, musicians, and coaches on a successful fall. We are looking forward to many more great experiences!

    Posted: November 17, 2016, 1:32 am