Before and After School Programming

As we move closer to the beginning of the school year on August 23, I would like to remind all parents of the purpose of two childcare services that will meet before or after school.

The first is the Student Adventures Afterschool Program in which your child must qualify based on academic  need.  The criterion for students to qualify is to fall below the 40th percentile as measured on the Iowa Assessments.  The program is available at all four elementary schools and the middle school.  Its description on the district website is as follows:

Our program has an emphasis on academic assistance and academic enrichment activities. The youth experience learning through visits to museums, science and art activities, multi-cultural activities, health and physical fitness activities as well as tutoring in math and reading and general homework assistance. Additionally, youth participants have the opportunity for recreational activities such as swimming, roller skating and bowling, among others.

If you have interest in or questions about this program, please contact Erica at or Loras at

The second childcare service is offered by the YWCA.  Based on demand, after school childcare will be offered at the following elementary schools:  Jefferson, Bluff, and Whittier.  At this point, not enough interest by Eagle Heights’ families has been shown.  However, transportation to the other sites will be provided if an Eagle Heights family would like childcare.  Unlike the school based program, there are no requirements to qualify for the YWCA program.

If you have interest in or questions about this program, please contact Shannon Sander-Welzien at

Thank you for your support of Clinton Schools!




CHS Adds Show Choir

Clinton High School has had a long history in the fine arts area.  We are excited to announce that CHS is adding Show Choir to this list of fine art opportunities for the 2019-2020 school year.

Mrs. Donica Vonderohe has spearheaded the effort to get this program off the ground for the upcoming school year.  If you are familiar with Show Choir, there are many components to fill:  costuming, platforms, choreography, and a pit, to name a few.  The plan for next year is to compete at State competition, along with presentations for some community events.  In subsequent years this may lead to Saturday events that are highly competitive.  Since this is a co-curricular event, a student must be in choir to participate in Show Choir.  Auditions will be held in September.

We are happy to provide this positive activity for our high school students.  Please contact Mrs. Vonderohe at for more information.

Childcare offered at CCSD Next Year in Partnership with YWCA

The Clinton Community School District is excited to announce a partnership with the YWCA to offer before and after school childcare at elementary school sites for the 2019-2020 school year.  This result came from the fruits of an Iowa Big project led by high school students in looking for solutions for the shortage of childcare options for Clinton families.  After extensive research into the current services offered in the community of Clinton, looking at childcare services currently being offered in the Rock Island, Davenport, and Pleasant Valley  School Districts, and the results of two surveys sent to parents of preschool and elementary parents, the data showed that this is a solution for many of our families.

The YWCA will be reaching out later this month and throughout the summer to get commitments for before and/or after school childcare for the 2019-2020 school year.  The YWCA will send out their fee schedule, with opportunities for  discounted rates or DHS assistance, if families qualify.

The goal is to have enough demand at each of the four elementary schools to offer it at each site.  If there is not enough demand at one or more sites, the school district and/or YWCA will make arrangements to transport back and forth to the nearest site.

One of the most exciting options of this service is the opportunity of the YWCA and Clinton Community Schools to work in partnership on joint priorities.  For example, the YWCA currently was a 20-minute reading initiative built into their services that will complement district initiatives.  Also, the YWCA offers a wellness initiative in terms of exercise and healthy nutrition education and practices.

Please be on the lookout for childcare information coming out in the next few weeks and months.  Thank you for your support of Clinton Community School District!

Update of Clinton County Regional Career Technical Education Center

The five Clinton County school districts, along with Eastern Iowa Community College, are continuing to move forward with planning on a regional center for Career and Technical Education for this part of the state.  After multiple meetings with business, workforce, and educational leaders, a wish list of career pathways has been developed to serve the future students of Clinton County.  The following are the recommended educational career pathways to be offered:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Welding
    • CnC
    • Engineering Technology
      • Electrical
      • Robotics
    • Architecture/Construction
    • Health Services
      • Nursing
      • EMT—Career Regional meeting
      • Medical Assistant
    • Auto/Diesel
    • Agriculture
    • Computer Science
      • Coding
      • Networking
      • Programming
    • Human Services
      • Education
      • Culinary arts
    • Transportation, distribution, and logistics

These defined pathways will help Eastern Iowa Community College develop a design of a future  regional center.  The concept is that juniors and seniors from the five Clinton County high schools would have the opportunity to participate in  high quality educational experiences, have an opportunity for concurrent enrollment (receive high school and college credit), earn professional certifications, and find apprenticeship opportunities.

The target date is September 2020 for Eastern Iowa Community College to put this proposal before the voters.  However, there is much work to be done to develop shared curriculums between the Clinton County school districts and to provide a common foundation for students in grades 7-10, so that all juniors and seniors are prepared for the rigor of a regional center.  The school districts understand the importance of communicating the vision of the regional center to its residents, Clinton County businesses, and students, as we try to best meet the needs of the future.

Thank you for your support of Clinton County schools!

Krista Voda

The Hall of Honor Committee has asked current Clinton High School students to interview the 2019 living inductees and write a press release to share with you.  The 2019 Induction ceremony is Friday, April 12 and is open to the public.  Reservations may be made to Deb Deters,


Clinton High Professional Career Accomplishments Inductee into the Academic Hall of Honor

By Riley Kramer and Prushia Golden

Krista Voda is one of the first nominees to be inducted into the Clinton High School Hall of Honors. This Hall serves to commemorate many Clinton High alumni with notable achievements in character and in their field. Currently, Voda works as a sportscaster, most notably for NASCAR, but she has hosted many other television programs throughout her career. As a 1992 graduate of CHS, she reminisced fondly about her time there, and how her participation in academic life helped contribute to her character today. She believes that CHS “prepared [her] for life as a professional,” and her time there allowed her “to establish a foundation” for herself. But the path she is on now is not necessarily one that she had expected. Her life experiences have afforded her many wonderful moments of inspiration as well as challenges. Upon her induction into the CHS Hall of Honor, Voda took the opportunity to reflect and expound upon her life. Her comments make it clear why she was chosen to receive such an honor. Ms. Voda serves as a mentor to students at CHS, and students everywhere, who strive for greatness and who never give up the pursuit of their dreams.

Even before Voda’s time at Clinton High, she partook in activities revolving around sports. “I always enjoyed sports,” she stated. She was involved in volleyball and track during middle school. Voda was also a gymnast for the majority of her childhood years.  She spent “a large part” of her childhood competing in various gymnastic meets. The time and effort put into succeeding at those meet “helped form [her] work ethic at a young age.” She carried this success into her high school career, indirectly taking courses that would later help prepare her for her future in broadcasting. Her profession was not always so clear to her. “I wanted to be a sports medicine doctor,” she said. However, she quickly realized that this path “wasn’t a passion” for her. She had “always felt comfortable speaking in front of crowds.” She also furthered her literary skills, realizing “if it was comfort I found in speaking, it was fulfillment I found in writing.” The goals she set then were to “reach further… [to] grow.” Now, she focuses on giving her daughter the same opportunity.

In her pursuit for fulfillment and growth, Voda has looked to many role models. She is very open about those who have inspired her, and those who have been mentors to her in her career. She mentioned the names of sportscasters whom she has worked alongside, including Steve Byrnes and Bob Costas. These two individuals, in particular, taught her “various skills” that she still uses today. She believes the impact of their actions on her “aren’t as much skills, as they are life lessons.”

During her time in Clinton, at CHS, and in the pursuit of her passion, Voda has learned many life lessons. She emphasized one piece of advice: “Don’t be afraid to fail.” In fact, she urges all who read this to “relish the experience.” Not only have failures taught her more than her successes, but also “the lessons learned from the missteps will lead you to greater climbs.”  Voda reflects her 1992 class motto: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”


Fred Luthans

The Hall of Honor Committee has asked current Clinton High School students to interview the 2019 living inductees and write a press release to share with you.  The 2019 Induction ceremony is Friday, April 12 and is open to the public.  Reservations may be made to Deb Deters,


Clinton High Accomplishments in Academic Fields Inductee into the Academic Hall of Honor

By Ryann Hubbart

“To be in the inaugural Hall of Honor group is just unbelievable…To be in this group, I feel very honored and humble. And obviously I’ve gotten a lot of awards throughout the years but this is near or at the top of the list for me. This provides a lasting recognition to a proud River King alum,” stated Luthans, a 1957 graduate of Clinton High School and new inductee into the CHS Hall of Honor.

Dr. Fred Luthans is an All-University and George Holmes Distinguished Professor, now Emeritus of Management, at the University of Nebraska. A pioneer in his field of positive and behavioral psychology in management, Professor Luthans has recently been recognized as being in the top 1% of citations among all researchers in all fields worldwide. On April 12th, he will be inducted into the inaugural class of the Clinton High School Hall of Honor. His resume includes an impressive list of honors, consultancies, citations, and publications, but what struck me most was his sense of gratitude for every individual and opportunity that helped him along the way, especially for his hometown.

Fred Luthans was born into a Clinton family in 1939 that strongly valued education. Like current Clinton kids, he grew up spending time on the river and working on the farm. During his high school career, he “wasn’t exactly an intellectual type,” instead he played sports all year long: baseball in the summer, football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track in the spring.

He continued his track career at the University of Iowa, running hurdles. It’s where everybody went, his older sister added. “We didn’t really think about other places to go,” he said, though he emphasized that he never regretted it. And he clearly must not have. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, he stayed on at Iowa to earn an MBA and then a PhD in Organizational Behavior/Theory and Management and Social Psychology. “As far as I’m concerned I had the greatest grade school,  junior high, high school, and then university education that I could’ve had anywhere in the world.”

While at Iowa, Luthans went through the ROTC program, being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. However, he was granted a delay from active duty while he continued his education. The day after graduating with his PhD, he went off to infantry officer training at Fort Benning, Georgia, right at the build up of the Vietnam War. He would’ve been sent in an infantry unit to Vietnam but took it upon himself to look into the teaching catalogue at West Point. He was qualified to teach some of the courses, so he talked to his Colonel, a West Point graduate, and was able to attain an active duty assignment teaching psychology and leadership to the Cadets.

“I was very fortunate because every one of my classmates at Fort Benning…went on to Vietnam and many didn’t come back…My education, more or less, probably saved my life.” Professor Luthens taught at West Point from 1965 through 1967. “The sad part of our stay there was that more and more of the great young men I had as seniors my first year were now being shipped back from Vietnam in caskets to be buried at the West Point Cemetery. I believe the Class of 1967 had the largest mortality rate of any in the history of the Academy.”

After West Point and the end of active duty, he looked for an academic position elsewhere. He had interviews and offers from Columbia, the University of Michigan, and Missouri, but ended up choosing Nebraska. Why Nebraska? “Well, I did it because I’d be close to Clinton!” (especially his family in Iowa). Family has always been the most important part of his life. His parents and sister, his wife, Kay, their 4 children, and 8 grandchildren were always at the center of his life. Speaking about his wife of 56 years, he said, “I owe every success I have had to her.” His career advice is “Have a good family relationship and always put them first.” With his family behind him, Professor Luthans was among the first to engage in groundbreaking research and application combining business management with psychology.

It started with behavioral psychology. Professor Luthans coined the term “Organization Behavior Modification,” the use of operant conditioning to increase performance. While organizational behavior is now the biggest subfield in management, it was revolutionary work then.

After publishing his first textbook he proceeded on to establish the ground floor for positive psychology, the focus on healthy individuals realizing their full potential. With his colleagues at Nebraska, Luthans worked to find a research-backed determination of what can be built on to improve well being and performance, that he termed “Psychological Capital.” By chance the four points he found that lead to psychological capital created the acronym “HERO”  (Hope, Efficacy (confidence), Resilience, and Optimism).

Luthans has traveled around the world consulting groups on how to increase their inner “HERO.” Federal agencies, the US military, NASA, and Boeing are among the long list of places where Luthans and his work have had an impact. And his impact can be shown in the use of his work beyond Nebraska. In 2017, Professor Luthans was determined to be in the “top 1% of citations” around the world in all fields. For him, this shows objectively that his work has had an impact on the world around him.

What advice does Professor Luthans have for the current students of his alma mater? Work hard. “I’ve never claimed to be a big intellectual or anything like that, but I do claim that I’ve always worked hard.” You have to work hard and have hope, confidence, resilience, and optimism. “Bring out the HERO within.” Professor Luthans is overflowing with positivity and gratitude for the path he’s taken and has worked hard to make an impact. Clinton High is proud to welcome Fred Luthans into the Hall of Honor.



Kyle Ketelsen

The Hall of Honor Committee has asked current Clinton High School students to interview the 2019 living inductees and write a press release to share with you.  The 2019 Induction ceremony is Friday, April 12 and is open to the public.  Reservations may be made to Deb Deters,


Clinton High Performing Arts Inductee into the Academic Hall of Honor

By Evan Harden

In April, Clinton High School intends to honor alumni that have made a difference and an impact on the world. Within the inaugural class is Kyle Ketelsen, a world renowned opera performer.

Ketelsen was a 1989 CHS graduate. In a recent interview, Ketelsen stated that he was contacted by Jennifer Graf and Gary DeLacy about whether he could stop in Clinton to perform and work with current students. Graf and DeLacy then told Ketelsen, while in Clinton, that he would be inaugurated into the CHS Hall of Honors Class. Ketelsen stated that this was a “pleasant surprise” and “a milestone in my career.”

When asked about his childhood in Clinton, and his life at CHS, Ketelsen replied, noting fond memories. “I’d go everywhere in town on my bike,” said Ketelsen. “I loved my childhood in Clinton.” Clinton, at the time, had a good music community. Ketelsen expressed his love for music. “Music moves you.  It’s something of value.” Ketelsen developed a passion for music, driven by the teachings of John DeHaan. He stated that DeHaan “demanded excellence” and taught his students different, complex music. The choir students learned to depend on each other.They performed nationally and ranked above other schools. His times in the choir room gave him lasting memories.

Outside of the choir room, Ketelsen excelled in mathematics. His aptitude placed him in advanced math classes. Another class Ketelsen really enjoyed during his time in CHS was physics. His teacher, Mr. Gunzel, was passionate about what he taught which left an impression on his students.

After CHS, Ketelsen attended the University of Iowa. While there, his love and understanding for music grew even more. He was taught by Albert Gammon. Gammon gave Ketelsen “excellent guidance” in his early career. Ketelsen was taught to make things his own in music. After Iowa, Ketelsen attended Indiana University to earn a Master of Music degree. He was taught by Giorgio Tozzi, who was another great influence in Ketelsen’s life.

Before long, Ketelsen began to perform internationally. He stressed the importance of having your own voice. Having your own voice is most natural. Ketelsen has won first prize in many vocal competitions around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the George London Foundation, the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, the National Opera Association, and the Liederkranz Foundation.

Although after being in this business for the last 20 years, Ketelsen also how important his family is to him. Ketelsen that he “found the right partner,” and they “made it work for 20 years.” The downside to what he does is travelling and being away from his family. However, Ketelsen makes time to be at home. An opportunity in Vienna presented itself, but he had to turn it down due to it taking too much time away from his family, which includes two children.

Influencing young, impressionable students has kept Ketelsen humble. He has often said, “If you have an interest, then it could become a vocation. There is a way to get what you want in life, through dedication and hard work.” He stated he loves what he does and getting paid for doing something he loves is a “gift.”

On April 12, Ketelsen is hoping to see people from his past. He hopes to reconnect with teachers because human interactions fulfill him. He will be performing in Clinton High’s Vernon Cook Theater on April 11.