August has hit and while there remains many questions about the upcoming academic year, local residents can rest assured teachers are back in action and making plans along with district administrators.

USD 415 Superintendent Lonnie Moser said new teaching staff gathered Tuesday for new teacher orientation at the Hiawatha Middle School commons area. This provided room for the new staff members to spread out and maintain social distancing and several were wearing masks.

Teachers gathered in groups outside for photos of new staff per each building, spread out again to maintain social distancing.

Hiawatha Elementary

Hiawatha Elementary has several new instructors this coming academic year. Leighanna Stewart and Mikaela Lehew are new third grade teachers. Nancy Linck and Jackie Reneberg will join the fourth grade teaching staff. Jamie Van Peursem moves from her third grade teaching position to kindergarten. Also joining staff at the elementary school will be Cassie Trader, new kindergarten Special Education instructor.

Hiawatha Middle School

At the middle school, Brady Mulligan will be a new sixth grade history teacher. Crystal Willich will be a new fifth grade ELA (English/Language Arts) instructor. Whitlea Simmons will be a new HMS social worker. Teaching band will be Kylah Bateman.

Transferring from the grade school, Marissa LeMay will be a new Title reading teacher, while Kelsey Lee will join the seventh grade staff teaching FACS and Science, while Andy Runer will be moving over to teach FACS and Social Science.

Hiawatha High School

Bateman will also be joining the HHS staff as band for 9th-12th. Also at HHS, Jeremy Bittner will be a new science teacher and Hannah Hoffman will be a new math teacher. Carl Parman will be a new PE/weights instructor and Christi Waggoner will join the staff as the high school counselor. Kelly Griswold is joining the HHS staff as the new JAG-K instructor.

Teachers will be back in the buildings Aug. 12 prepping for the upcoming academic year, which has been pushed back until Sept. 2 for kindergarten, fifth and ninth students with the remaining starting Sept. 3. Online enrollment begins this week.

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