Letter to the editor: Rick Schupbach


As we embark on a new school year, I have been reflecting on my 28 years as a teacher in this community. I could not have imagined a better place to teach. Reflecting on my teaching career reminds me of the tremendous gratitude I have for calling Grundy Center home and reminds me of why Lisa and I still reside here today.

However, reflecting on the new school year has also caused me concern. When I taught, it was rare for a teacher to leave our district. Grundy Center was seen as a destination job, not a stepping stone. It was uncommon for teachers to leave for another teaching job and ever rarer for a teacher to leave the profession. That is no longer the case.

In my role working as a health consultant with the School Administrators of Iowa the past 7 years, I have become keenly aware we are now at a crisis point in education where we have an administrator, teacher and coaching shortage. And that shortage is at our doorstep in Grundy Center. We had numerous staff positions this summer that we were fortunate to fill for this upcoming year. Many schools have been unable to fill all of their positions, as there are not enough candidates for all the jobs, even as states, including Iowa, have watered down requirements to enter the profession. Is this good for the education of our future generations? Of course NOT!

So what can each of us do? Simple: I ask that all students, parents and community members treat our educators with dignity and respect. Nothing more, nothing less.

As community members we can let our educators know how much we appreciate them investing their time and energy into the students. As parents, I encourage you to build and foster positive relationships with educators and when problems inevitably arise, reach out to them personally and meet with them face-to-face looking for solutions. Your child will  be the beneficiary of that process.

If we perform these simple actions repeatedly, I believe more educators will want to stay in Grundy Center long-term. The educational future of the children in Grundy Center is at stake and we each can play a pivotal role in shaping it.

In my dreams, I imagine Grundy Center being a destination job for every educator who comes here, just as it was for Lisa and I. Now it is up to each of us to do our part to make that dream become a reality!

My first step is to simply say; educators, thank you and keep making a difference in all you. Rick Schupbach



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Grundy Center, IA 50638
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