New teachers take reins in Perry Community School District

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The Perry Community School District welcomed some 20 new teachers to their ranks this week for orientation, including, from left, Maddie Tucker, Blaine Schmidt, Brianna Derick, Laura Balmer, Lydia Winkler, Ben Phillips, Olivia Wood, Addie Cook, Naomi Veldboom, Shayla Filson, Jinni Dingel, Abby Peterson, Mackenzie Sutton, Morgan Glienke, Chad Sorber, Chris Dardanes, Ryan Koch, James Kingsley and Noah Sharp. Most of the educators will meet their students Aug. 23. Not pictured are Erin Holmes and Claire Marburger.


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Twenty new teachers — either new to teaching or new to the Perry Community School District (PCSD) — will lead the community’s youth when classes start Monday, Aug. 23. About half the new district employees will be working at the Perry Elementary School.

Perry welcomes the following educators:

  • Laura Balmer will teach third grade in the Perry Elementary School. She graduated from Iowa State University and has siblings in Des Moines and Iowa City.
  • Adeline Cook will teach elementary special education in the Perry Elementary School. She is a graduate of Iowa State University.
  • Chris Dardanes will coach wrestling and supervise the at-risk study hall at Perry High School. The Chicago native studied sports management at the University of Minnesota.
  • Brianna Derrick will teach third grade at the Perry Elementary School. The Iowa State University graduate has worked with teachers in Boone, Des Moines, Urbandale and State Center.
  • Jinni Dingel will teach preschool special education in the PCSD. She studied early childhood education at Iowa State University.
  • Shayla Filson will teach second grade at the Perry Elementary School. After graduating from Central College, she taught first grade for two years in the Fairfield Community School District.
  • Morgan Glienke will teach kindergarten at the Perry Elementary School. The Alta, Iowa, native has a degree from the University of Northern Iowa.
  • Erin Holmes will be teaching Title I reading in the kindergarten and first grade class at the Perry Elementary School. The 2005 graduate of Perry High School studied elementary education at the University of Iowa.
  • James Kingsley will teach fifth grade in the Perry Elementary School. The Cedar Rapids native and Iowa State University graduate has substitute taught in the PCSD.
  • Ryan Koch will teach seventh grade science at the Perry Middle School. The graduate of Montana Technological University now lives in Polk City.
  • Claire Marburger with be the sixth grade through 12th grade online learning coordinator and the new head girls basketball coach. She is a graduate of Perry High School and Luther College and a second-generation teacher in the PCSD.
  • Abigail Peterson will teach music at the Perry Elementary School. The Shenandoah native and Simpson College graduate has worked for the Des Moines Public Schools.
  • Benjamin Phillips will teach seventh grade social studies in the Perry Middle School. The Upper Iowa University graduate’s sister, Jessica Phillips, is a PHS graduate, and his mother, Melissa Simmons, once worked for the PCSD.
  • Blaine Schmidt hails from the Quad Cities. He took a B.A. in music education and a B.M. in musical performance from the University of Iowa and directed the Iowa City Community Band.
  • Noah Sharp, whose dad grew up in Madrid, will teach seventh grade special education in the Perry Middle School. He graduated from Buena Vista University and has one year of experience as a paraeducator.
  • Chad Sorber has owned and operated Sorber Service in Perry for 30 years, and now he is the automotive instructor at the Perry High School.
  • Mackenzie Sutton will teach eighth grade special education in the Perry Middle School. The Northwest Missouri State University graduate taught one year in the Des Moines Public Schools and has coached softball in Adel since 2016.
  • Madison Tucker will teach third, fourth and fifth grade mathematics at the Perry Elementary School. The Olivet Nazarene University graduate is starting her seventh year of public school teaching.
  • Naomi Velboom will teach preschool in the PCSD. The Grinnell native graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, and her sister, Emmaleah Beam, also teaches in the Perry school system.
  • Lydia Winkler will teach special education at the Perry Elementary School. The Williams, Iowa, native graduate from Buena Vista University and taught for two years in Florida before returning to the Midwest.
  • Olivia Wood will be the online learning coordinator for the kindergarten through fifth grade classes. The Waukee native studied elementary education at the University of Northern Iowa.

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