The Clinton Community School District and the Clinton High School Hall of Honor Committee are proud to announce the inaugural 2019 Hall of Honor Class.  The first inductees are William D. Conner, Sandra Fullerton Joireman, Kyle Ketelsen, Dr. Fred Luthans,  and Krista Voda (Kelley).

William D. Conner was a 1893 graduate of Clinton High School and was a career United States Army officer who became superintendent of the United States Military Academy after originally serving in the Corp of Engineers.  While stationed in the Philippines, he participated in the Spanish-American War and was awarded a Silver Star for heroism in combat.  From 1909 to 1916, he was with the War Department General Staff, was promoted to colonel from the United States, and in 1917. appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the American Expeditionary Forces.  In July 1918, he was promoted to brigadier general and earned a second Silver Star.  For his World War I service, Conner was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, as well as receiving the Order of the Bath from Britain.  He also received the Croix de Guerre and was named a Commander of the Legion of Honour from France.  Conner retired in 1938, but was recalled to service during World War II, from 1941-42.  He passed away on June 16, 1960, and was buried at West Point Cemetery.

Sandra Fullerton Joireman was a graduate of the CHS class of 1986 and is currently the Weinstein Chair of International Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond.  Joireman has spent the majority of her career working in humanitarian endeavors.  She has published four books including Where There is No Government: Enforcing Property Rights in Common Law Africa (New York:  Oxford University Press 2011) and Church, State, and Citizen (New York: Oxford University Press 2009).  Joireman has written numerous articles on hunger, poverty, property rights, and war in developing countries.  She has served on several organizations, including the African Politics Conference Group and the Editorial Board for Human Rights and Human Welfare.

Kyle Ketelsen, a CHS graduate from 1989, is currently an international opera performer.  Ketelsen’s love for singing began when he was a member of the A’Capella choir under John DeHaan and extended to when he was studying with Albert Gammon at the University of Iowa.  He earned his Master of Music degree from Indiana University under Giorgio Tozzi.  In regular demand by the world’s leading opera companies for his vibrant and handsome stage presence and his distinctive voice, Ketelsen has garnered great critical acclaim for his portrayals in major theaters around the world.  He has won first prize in several international vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council, George London Foundation, Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, National Opera Association, and the Liederkranz Foundation.

Dr. Fred Luthans, a 1957 CHS graduate, has had a distinguished academic career as a teacher, author, mentor, and leader.  Last year, Web of Science, an online scientific citation indexing service, named Dr. Luthans to the “Top 1% Citations” list of researchers around the world in all fields.  In an article in Scientometrics, a peer-reviewed academic journal, a new study of citations over the past ten years in all fields of Business and Economics, also recognized Luthans in the top 1% of all business and economic professors in the world.  Luthans has published over 50 books and 200 academic articles and currently works at the University of Nebraska.

Krista Voda (Kelley) is a 1992 graduate of CHS.  In 2003, after attending the University of Northern Iowa, Voda began her career as a NASCAR broadcaster and co-anchor of Totally NASCAR on Fox Sports Net.  She was also co-host on NASCAR Nation when that show aired on Speed Channel.  Before moving to FSN, she worked at local television stations in Iowa and Kentucky, including WLEX in Lexington.  In addition to NASCAR, she has covered college football (including the Cotton Bowl Classic), the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, the Kentucky Derby, the World Series, the PGA Championship, and the National Football League.  Currently Voda is the pre- and post-race host for NBC Sports’s NASCAR coverage, which includes hosting NASCAR America on NBCSN.  One of her first radio jobs was working at KROS.

The mission of the Clinton High School Alumni Hall of Honor has been established to recognize those who attended Clinton High School and have distinguished themselves in their careers, communities and personal lives. These individuals are held up to Clinton students as examples of citizenship and success.

The induction of the 2019 Hall of Honor will be in conjunction with the Academic Awards night scheduled for April 12, 2019.


RSAI 2019 Legislative Priorities

Clinton Community School District is a member of Rural School Advocates of Iowa.

Rural School Advocates Set 2019 Legislative Agenda

FFA Enrichment Center, DMACC Campus, Ankeny, Iowa October 24, 2018

Representatives from member school districts of the Rural School Advocates of Iowa convened their Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Oct 24, at 4:30 PM at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny.  RSAI is beginning its sixth year of advocacy on behalf of the students, parents and communities in rural Iowa, to ensure that all students have access to a great Iowa education, regardless of where they live.  RSAI members include over 100 Iowa school districts, but a few are actually larger districts, such as Davenport. As Dr. Bob Olson, Chair of RSAI and superintendent of the Clarion-Goldfield-Dows school district reminded the members, “this is an organization of rural schools with a common mission of equality, not an organization of small schools.”

School transportation costs were a key focus of the group.  Dennis McClain, Superintendent from Clay Central-Everly Community School District, and at-large representative on the RSAI Leadership Group, shared statistics of the miles traveled getting to and from school.  “For us, those route miles we run to get students to school take away from the instruction we could provide.  This is an equity issue. Our students are disadvantaged because of the funding we must spend getting them to the door.  Isn’t their education just as important as all other Iowa students’ education?”

Tim Mitchell, Superintendent from Riverside Community School District, NW Representative on the Legislative Group, weighed in on the priority of extending the state penny sales tax for school infrastructure and property tax relief.  “The pending sunset restricts our ability to borrow. Schools that need to borrow to do work in the district, will only have property taxes as a funding resource if the penny tax is not extended.”  Many districts buy 1-1 computers out of sales takes fund. A lot of districts have elevated student learning out of this fund. Some districts have been able to lower their physical plant and equipment levy property tax (PPEL) and their taxpayers appreciate that.  All districts are thinking about staff and student security, and the state penny provides a resource for safer entrances, monitoring technology and other safety improvements.

Despite being one of the most complicated school finance issues discussed, student equality of Iowa’s school finance formula rose to a level of top priority for RSAI members. Sandy Dockendorff, school board member from the Danville Community School District and SE Representative to the RSAI Legislative Group, explained, “This $170 difference per pupil has no rational explanation, other than the history of what schools spent when the formula was created in the early 1970s.” “This issue of formula equality is about fairness,” Dockendorff continued. “The way the formula works today, some students generate more than others. . . . SF 455 was signed into law during the 2018 Session.  The state has made a small but lasting commitment to close the gap by $5. The state has a long way to go to close the rest of the gap.”

RSAI members discussed the resources needed to provide a good education for students, including a meaningful increase in the state cost per pupil to make up for lost ground and resurrect education as the number one priority of the legislature. “We have 44 fewer school districts than we did just 20 years ago,” stated McClain.  “School funding primarily pays for people. The teachers, counselors, librarians, administrators, nurses, secretaries, coaches and custodians in our schools.  Low funding inhibits our ability to attract and retain staff and to remain competitive with the private sector in Iowa’s growing economy.”

RSAI members also included the following issues as additional priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session:

  • Funding adequacy and equity for students at-risk of not succeeding in school
  • Funding for 3- and 4-year old preschool at a 1.0 weighting, to help provide full day and cover transportation costs in rural schools
  • Improved instruction and educator shortage, including additional staffing flexibilities, to ensure students in rural Iowa have access to great teachers and multiple opportunities to meet their needs.
  • Extension of the reorganization and whole grade sharing incentives scheduled to expired in 2020.
  • Student mental health services, especially for Iowa’s rural students living in communities without mental health providers.

Position papers on key issues and a Digest of the 2018 Legislative Session are available on the RSAI legislative web page,  or by contacting Margaret Buckton, Professional Advocate, RSAI 515.201.3755



Dr. Robert Olson, Superintendent, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, Chair, RSAI Leadership Group,, (515) 532-3423

Dennis McClain, Superintendent, Clay Central-Everly, Vice Chair, RSAI Leadership Group  (712) 933-2242

Duane Willhite, Superintendent, North Fayette Valley, Secretary/Treasurer, RSAI Leadership Group (563) 422-3851

Dan Smith, Board Member, Harmony, Chair, RSAI Legislative Group



I would like to remind you that nominations for the inaugural Clinton High School Hall of Honor are due no later than November 1, 2018.  The Hall of Honor Committee will screen and make selections by December 15, 2018.  Nominees will be recognized at the Clinton High School Academic Awards Night in April 12, 2019 and at a community reception.

The mission of this recognition program is:

The Clinton High School Alumni Hall of Honor has been established to recognize those who attended Clinton High School and have distinguished themselves in their careers, communities and personal lives. These individuals shall be held up to Clinton students as examples of citizenship and success.

The criteria for Hall of Honor nominations are:

  • Nominee must have graduated from CHS at least 10 years ago.
  • A person may be nominated more than once.
  • Nominations are considered for 3 years.
  • Nominee must possess outstanding moral character.
  • HOH recognition may be given posthumously.

Nominees will have distinguished themselves in one or more of the following areas after high school:

  • Accomplishments in Academic Fields
  • Accomplishments in the Arts
  • Humanitarian Endeavors
  • Professional Career Accomplishments
  • Public or Community Service
  • Exceptional Contributions to the Clinton School District
  • Distinguished Military Service

Nomination forms can be found on the district website:

Nominations may be turned into the superintendent’s office at 1401 12th Ave N, Clinton.


2018-19 Parent Education Series

The Clinton Community School District is excited to announce an awesome opportunity for parents and community members to learn about issues that are important to them through the Parent Education Series.  The Parent Education Series is a series of 13 informational sessions that participants can attend throughout the region.  The goal of these sessions is for communities and schools to work together to help children become healthy members of the community.  All the sessions are free and open to all parents and community members.

The first session is Wednesday, September 26, 2018, from 6:30-8:00 PM at Central DeWitt High School in DeWitt, Iowa.  This session “The Blunt Truth About Marijuana,” is a look at how teens are being impacted by marijuana legalization in Colorado and what parents need to know, presented by Ben Cort.  Living in Colorado, Ben has been part of the recovery community in al-most every way imaginable. Ben has a deep understanding of the marijuana issue and a personal motivation to see the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse minimized. Ben will explain the difference between today’s corporately-produced marijuana and what was grown naturally & consumed in the past; identify current forms of THC consumption including edibles, vaporizers, & concentrates; clarify the science of today’s marijuana and the harms associated with it; and share what is happening in Colorado due to marijuana legalization.


The second session is Thursday, September 27, 2018, from 6:00-8:00 PM at River Church in Clinton, Iowa.  This session “The Heroin Epidemic” is a story of heroin addiction incarceration, and losing a son to an overdose.  This session is presented by Tim Ryan.  Despite a successful career, heroin stole half of Tim’s life and eventually took his own son.  Today Tim is a National Thought Leader on the Heroin Epidemic, delivering riveting, practice speeches to equip and motivate families and communities.

All sessions are free and open to any parent or community member.  We encourage all parents to attend these presentations!  For details or more information please call 563-241-4371 or visit:

The Camanche School District, Central Clinton School District, Clinton Community School District, Riverbend School District, and St. Joseph School are partnering with the Camanche-DeWitt Coalition and the Gateway ImpACT Coalition to offer the 2018-2019 Parent Education Series.


Among the standards that Iowa school districts must teach and assess are the 21st Century skills.  Among those are Employment standards.  Among the essential skills under the employment standard is “Demonstrate productivity and accountability by meeting high expectations.”  Here are the descriptors for this skill for a freshman in high school:

Deliver quality job performance on time

  • Recognize and understand required standards needed for successful completion
  • Set goals and establish timelines to reach required standards
  • Establish assessment checkpoints throughout work processes
  • Identify quality control issues and makes needed adjustments to correct problems
  • Take initiative to see job completed without compromising quality
  • Reassess process on a regular basis to identify any opportunities for improvement
  • Demonstrate ethical behavior and works responsibly, reliably, and collaboratively with others

Demonstrate accountability for individual performance

  • Come to work regularly and is on time all of the time
  • Stay productive when on the job
  • Take initiative to help others when own work is completed
  • Accept responsibility for errors and corrects errors
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Follow through with work assignments
  • Demonstrate willingness to work overtime
  • Demonstrate flexibility to crosstrain

The Clinton Community School District administrative team has been working with the Clinton County district attorney’s office on procedures to support the attendance criteria listed above.  The conversations have revolved around the importance of attendance in the workplace and school is the workplace of building those skills.  Therefore there will be an increase effort by the school district working with the county attorney to hold students and families accountable in teaching this skill to the students.





Appropriate Times for Cell Phone Use

As we begin the start of the 2018-19 school year, school personnel are reflecting on current and best practices in the classroom. One of the biggest issues among teachers, administrators, and students is the appropriate use of cell phones at school.
One discussion point is whether cell phones are enhancing the educational environment or hindering it. In surveys given at the middle school and high school last spring, over 80% of the teachers reported cell phones are used inappropriately in the classroom, and that they would like a procedure developed to eliminate their use. Among the inappropriate cell phone activities that our administrators have had to address last year are cyber-bullying, gaming, and pornography. Unfortunately, these are not random occurrences and certainly unacceptable.
I believe that our youth need to learn that cell phone use is a privilege and not a right. Also, there are places in our society where cell phone use is limited or prohibited. Examples are jury duty, at the movie theatre, in certain hospital areas, at certain times in an airplane or train, while driving a car (10 states totally ban cell phones while driving), in a locker room, etc.
There are many employment areas that restrict use of personal cell phones during working hours. Understanding appropriate times to use your cell phone is a workplace skill and it needs to be developed in school. This year, the Clinton Community School District is defining the classroom as one of those prohibited areas. The district has made a major investment in technology so that it is available at anytime for instructional activities.
At the high school, there will be a guest network available before school, during the lunch period, and after school so students can check their messages.  Middle school students will be expected to keep their cell phones in their lockers throughout the school day.  We feel this approach provides the best balance to maintain the integrity of the classroom and the needs to communicate through the cell phone.

We will continue to evaluate the changes to follow best practice for students in the classroom.

Update on International Students

As we begin the school year, the school district has spent a significant time planning for the international students to be served at Clinton High School, starting this month.  There have been several developments I’d like to update you on:

  • The Confucius International Education Group (CIEG) has created a name for the new school, which will be providing classes that are not offered at Clinton High School.  The name is the Pangaea International Academy.
  • The former Ashford property has a new name also:  the New Six Arts International Education Park.
  • Deb Olson has been named by CIEG as the first superintendent of the Pangaea International Academy.
  • Clinton High School will be scheduling some of its course offerings at the New Six Arts International Educational Park at the start of second trimester, which is November 28.  Clinton High School is waiting for an amendment to be approved by the federal government on its I-17 application to add the New Six Arts location as an instructional site.  This is expected sometime in October.
  • Clinton High School will serve 15 international students at the start of this school year.  This is fewer than the initial goal of 72.  We have learned that the prime recruiting window for international students falls between December through February.  Since the agreement between Clinton High School and CIEG occurred later than that window, many international students had already made their decisions.  We believe we will add some additional students for the second trimester which begins on November 28.

This has been a learning opportunity for all involved.  It is truly exciting to see a partnership between a public and private organization that is focused on providing an educational opportunity that most high school students never experience.  The opportunity to experience diversity, to share resources between the organizations, and to have high school students use the best STEM labs in the state makes this an exciting time for all of us.

Let’s have a great school year!