February 26, 2024

Clarke elementary principal to resign

=Clarke elementary principal Jody Kerchal submitted her resignation to the Clarke Community School Board and superintendent Kurt DeVore Jan. 23, effective at the end of her 2023-24 school contract. Her resignation was approved 5-0 at a special meeting of the Clarke Board of Education on Jan. 24; board members Edith Flores and Robin Galvez were absent.

In a letter to DeVore and the board, Kerchal wrote,

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to each member of the Clarke Elementary family, parents, the Admin team, and the Community of Osceola. Your commitment to education, passion for our students, and unwavering support have been the driving force behind our success. I am confident that under your continued leadership, the school will continue to thrive...It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the Elementary Principal, and I am truly grateful for the relationships formed and the experiences shared.”

Kerchal has been the elementary principal since 2019. She grew up in Nebraska, and began her career in education in Lincoln in 1998. In 2007, she and her family moved to Urbandale, where Kerchal took on various leadership and administration roles in Des Moines schools area before coming to Clarke.

Other school news

Clarke elementary nurse Andrea Miller’s resignation was approved 5-0 at the Jan. 24 special meeting, with her last day to be Feb. 8. Miller has been the elementary nurse for five years.

A revision to the 2023-24 school calendar was also approved 5-0 at the Jan. 24 meeting, with three makeup days - Monday, April 1; Thursday, April18 and Friday, April 19. April 18 was originally scheduled as a teacher in-service day with the other two dates as no school, but will be used to satisfy required hours after missing school due to the weather in January. As of now, the last day of school for Clarke remains May 22.

The board also approved the following public hearings 5-0:

• Feb. 12 - 2024-25 school calendar

• March 26 - Proposed property tax levy for the 2024-25 school year

• April 8 - Fiscal year 2025 budget

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.