The meeting was called to order by President Mark Patton at 7:05 am

Dave Parsons led us in singing.

Consistent with our program on education, President Mark quizzed us on two words:

  • what is a five letter word that becomes shorter when you add two letters to it to make the word shorter?  SHORTER
  • what word includes all the vowels?  UNQUESTIONABLY

Sergeant-at-arms report:

Guests:  Rotarians LaDonna Wicklund, and Kermit Shekker, both from the IC Noon club

Make-ups:  all those attending the month opener were asked to stand;  additional make-ups were had by Karin Franklin; Brad Langguth; Pat Schnack; Ann Langenfeld; and Deb Ockenfels.

Rotarians in news:  Mark Patton with Lisa Bluder for the Habitat Womens’ Build. President Mark thanked all the Rotarians who attended the Habitat fundraiser

Where in the world are the Turks and Caicos Islands:  Deb Ockenfels reported the Turks and Caicos consist 8 major islands in a string of about 40 islands in the Atlantic north of Cuba and Haiti.  The main island is Providenciales.  There are 68 clubs in the area.  Their District Conference includes PETS training.  Average temperatures are in the low 80s.   Like us they do a dictionary project.  All agreed doing PETS in the West Indies was preferable to PETS in Minnesota in March.  Discussion followed of the origin of the name Caicos…..with no one really knowing but the usual suspects offering the usual comments.


Pam Ehly announced that the new book to be given in honor of our speakers will be Every Last Drop: bringing clean water home .

President Mark announced that this Friday is the regular meeting of the presidents and president-elects of the area clubs.  Any one with a topic to discuss should see Mark.

Tickets for the Joint Service Club luncheon on Oct. 9 are now available and are $15/ticket.

A thank you note was received from last week’s speaker, Patty McCarthy.

President Mark displayed the new Rotary International logo.  It consists of a plain cogged wheel and the name ROTARY next to it in the Rotary blue.  Instructions are to keep what you have but anything new should use the new logo.

Ladonna Wicklund announced a fundraiser, Literacy Champions Party, at the home of Linda and Bill Bywater from 5:30 to 7:30 on Thursday, 9/11.  Tickets are $25 and support the literacy program I Can Read. 

Brian Adamec announced that he will again do the Rotary nuts fundraiser for RYLA; the hope is to raise sufficient funds to send at least 4 young people to RYLA .  Brian will bring order forms next week.

Roger Christian reported an on-going need for dishwashers. 

Elaine Shalla stated she has updated the standing committees on the website.  The committee chairs can add any new members to the lists.;  Any member can go to the website to see what committees are available and should contact the chair if interested.

Happy Bucks:

The following people all had happy bucks:  Casey Cook; Mike Messier; Peggy Doerge: Deb Galbraith; Toby Hyde; Tom Novak; Dick Huber: Chris Ockenfels; Sue Cronin; Nan Johnson; John Ockenfels; Gary Hammond; and Pat Schnack.


Pam Ehly introduced our speaker, Steve Murley, who is Superintendent of the Iowa City Community School District, who would give us the state of the school district.

Steve started relating a couple of events that he observed recently that were resonant with Rotary’s involvement with clean water and with Habitat.

Steve indicated the new year started with the District welcoming 300 new students.  The first week was warm and with a number of schools being without air conditioning, early outs were planned for the whole week.  The District is working on improving the air conditioning situation.  Things started moving very quickly with kids getting into the flow of things.  Class size is looking good.  The District is starting to be challenged with space in the high schools, so are likely to close to open enrollment.  Southeast Jr. High is also crowded so closing it to open enrollment is also being considered.  Steve pointed out that we are fortunate in that unlike districts where schools are closing, ICCSD is one of the few districts in Iowa who are growing.  This is a sign that our communities are prospering.

Today the Board will start strategic planning.  The Board sets what they want kids to know.  They also do “superintendent directions” which is outlining those things they do not want the staff to do to attain the goals.  One thing the Board has struggled with is goal setting.  They have only done the process twice since Steve has been superintendent.  On thing they will focus on is Board governance.  The Board is trying to shift focus from infrastructure to teaching and learning goals; community engagement; and learning supports or how to enable teachers. 

Steve pointed out that ICCSD does rank highly in the State and in the nation; have two schools that rank 2nd and 3rd in the nation.

There are challenges.  Since Steve arrived, the student population has increased by over 1400 kids, which is the total size of some small rural districts.  ICCSD is high in Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) students, at just short of 40%; and has a significant number of English as a Second Language students.

Steve then  discussed some of the new schools.  The new elementary on Sycamore will hold about 500 kids and the District is working with the City to expand the size of gym for mutual usage.

In fall of 2017, at American Legion and Taft, a new elementary named Hoover will be built.  It will be used as a transition school for Longfellow in  2017-2018  and Mann and Lincoln in 20182019, while those existing buildings are being refurbished.  In 2019 it will open to new students.  This enable a shorter window for the rehab work and is much less disruptive to learning.

Currently, Twain is being rehabbed and modulars are being used.  One can see modulars at Wood as well but this is due to overcrowding.  An advantage of modulars is they are air-conditioned.

The Christine Grant school will be built at the corner of North Liberty Road and Dubuque Street, across from the proposed new high school.


  • What is future of Hoover?  This is unknown but City High is pinched for space.
  • Is land for new schools purchased or donated?  It has been a combination of both.
  • Who is Alexander, after which the elementary is named?  Archibald Alexander.  Bios of all the people after whom schools are named is on the District website.
  • When will all the buildings have air-conditioning?  There is a 5-year plan.
  • With Ross Wilburn leaving, will the Equity Director position be redefined?  Steve is looking at attaching some responsibilities for staff recruitment of people of color.
  • How do you engage people with out kids in school business/elections?  Through community engagement efforts and getting the word out of what is happening in district.
  • Is there planning between the District and the City as to school locations relative to infrastructure?  Yes, the District works very closely with the City for site locations.
  • What is the correlation between FRL and learning? It relates to reading.  Statistically lower income kids have fewer words in their vocabulary and fewer experiences for reference.  Getting them to read at the start is very important and the District has found that the longer the student is in the District, the more likely they are to succeed academically.

President Mark thanked Steve for his presentation and indicated a book would be given in his name to a school in the District. 

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 am.

Minutes submitted by Karin Franklin