Jessica Wallace is Clarke’s new science teacher teaching freshmen integrated science and man & the environment. Wallace graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with her Bachelor degree and earned her Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska and this is her 11th year teaching.
“An elective I took in undergrad that was in the Health and PE department helped me feel like I was surrounded by “my kind of people” and chatted with the instructor about what I wanted to do for change of major….my heart was towards Family and Consumer Sciences or Health/PE…I went the HPE route and it just felt right. As a teacher, by desire to continue being a teacher is to help students personally, towards professionally, and number one, know that they are heard and worth it and why we put our time into doing what we do. It’s a partnership….I can’t do my job without them, they can’t do their job (as a student) without me,” said Wallace.
It was a phone call that drew her to Clarke as her previous placement had only been part time and this was a full time position.
“I’m excited about getting to know my students, teaching a new subject and age level (have always only done college or elementary Health and PE), and not to sound like a nerd, but I really like the concept and what could be of teaching opportunities within the Advisory course,” said Wallace.
Dale Erickson is Clarke’s 8th grade English Language Arts teacher. Erickson graduated from Iowa State University and this is his 20th year teaching.
“What drew me to teaching was a few good teachers and probably visiting my mentors classroom when I was college age,” said Erickson. “And well, dang, I just love kids. My ‘dad’ sense of humor seems to fit right in anyway here.”
Erickson came to Clarke because he wanted to be closer to home. It was also chance to be in a very good work environment as well as an opportunity to return to general education after spending seven years in special education.
I’m excited to be at a smaller school and a chance to be more involved in the community closer to my home and lifestyle,” said Erickson.
Katie Nelson is Clarke’s new 6th grade science and Intro to STEM teacher. She graduated with her Bachelor degree from the University of Northern Iowa and earned her Master’s degree from Drake University and this is her fourth year teaching.
“I want to make a difference in the lives of the students,” said Nelson.
Nelson graduated from Clarke in 2011. Throughout college and a few years after she traveled to different parts of the world and lived in different parts of the U.S. After being gone so long she decided that she wanted to come home to be with friends and family.
“I’m most excited about being part of the community and getting to know my students and their families,” said Nelson.
Kristi Dierking is Clarke’s new PreSchool-12th grade Social Worker. Dierking graduated with her Bachelor degree from Graceland College and earned her Master’s degree from Drake University. This is her fifth year in education and 20th year working in mental health.
“One of my biggest passions in life is helping and working with people, especially youth. This is the perfect combo and provides the opportunity to make a difference in student’s lives,” said Dierking.
Dierking is excited to serve Clarke students and work alongside so the staff at the elementary and high school.
“This is my first position serving Pk-12, so I’m excited to have a variety in age groups,” said Dierking.
Lydia Bruns is Clarke’s new first grade teacher. Bruns graduated from Augustana University in South Dakota and this is her first year teaching full time.
“I always loved school, but when I was in high school I was a full-time volunteer in a kindergarten classroom at a year-round school in my hometown and fell in love with teaching,” said Bruns.
When Bruns first applied to Clarke she wasn’t sure how she would feel about teaching an a smaller district but after asking some question in her interview she had a really good discussion about the school climate and culture. That conversation helped her see how much everyone cares about the students and how much the teachers care about one another.
“I am excited for many things, I am very excited to build a classroom culture centered around books and being kind, caring and empathetic,” said Bruns.
Alisha is Clarke’s new Middle School Principal. Evans graduated with her Bachelor degree from Grand View University and earned her Master’s degree from Grand Canyon University and this is her eighth year working in education.
“I desired to have this role at Clarke because I hold the same values, beliefs and high achievement standards as the Clarke Community School District. The Clarke District has felt like home since I was first welcomed in 2020,” said Evans. “The community’s amount of pride and support for the district is like nothing else I have ever experienced. I am thrilled to create a positive culture that will engage and support our student body and families, develop our faculty, and partner with the elementary and high school administrators to ensure seamless transitions across the district.”
Evans is looking forward to building relationships with staff, families, students and the community and working with stakeholders to promote pride within the Clarke District.
“I also look forward to engaging students in school and developing supports that help all students excel as students and successful members of our community,” said Evans.
Ysabelle Kanagy is Clarke’s new third grade teacher. Kanagy graduated from Iowa State University and this is her first year teaching.
“My decision to become a teacher was influenced by thinking of the number of lives I’d have the chance to impact and my nephew and nieces,” said Kanagy.
Kanagy made the decision to come to Clarke after feeling very supported and welcomed during her interview and tour of the district.
“I’m most excited to make connections within the Clarke community,” said Kanagy.
Katie Enos is Clarke’s new Curriculum Director. Enos graduated from Drake University and Viterbo University and this is her 19th year working in education.
“I am passionate about learning new teaching methods and strategies and am excited to help support administrators and teachers engaging students in meaningful learning opportunities,” said Enos. “I’m most excited about building relationships with staff, students and community members as well as working with a district team that is focused on building transformational leadership skills.”
Bailey Tinderholt is Clarke’s new 4th grade teacher. Tinderholt graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and this is her first year teaching.
“I am so excited to make memories and laughs this year with my new class and co-workers,” said Tinderholt.