October 01, 2022

The List: Many areas to be proud of, many to work on

Something I probably hinted at last week in my column but failed to outright mention is that we need to be continually focusing on the positive things our communities have going for them, and especially at Nodaway Valley schools.

After all, the issues we’ve dealt with the last two weeks are just one side to what’s going on. While we don’t want to put the blinders on and pretend there aren’t problems, we have to try and guard against only focusing on our problems.

Let me take you for a look back on the last several months:

• Over the spring semester, Nodaway Valley graduate Toby Bower, who was in a bad car accident in October 2021, gave an inspiring message to incoming National Honor Society members about overcoming trials in life in stride. I have no doubt that his outlook is, in part, because of the educators and coaches who impacted him at Nodaway Valley

• In June, elementary principal James Larson took the school board through test scores the district had recently gotten back. Mathematics was one area the district was excelling in, while the area of reading was just behind averages

• The Nodaway Valley baseball team welcomed a couple of kids from Orient-Macksburg. It allowed the team to field a starting lineup at the varsity level that was almost exclusively juniors or seniors. The Wolverines had a great season that was one of the best in the Nodaway Valley era in terms of win percentage

• Also over the summer, the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer were glad to have Riley McCall on board, another Nodaway Valley product. She did an internship with us following her first year of college and she was a dynamite writer for us. We’re excited to have NV senior Eleni Jameson with us for the school year as a high school intern

• Just last week, I saw photos online of high school students reading to younger students. I also interviewed Willy the Wolverine, NV’s resurrected mascot. Look for a story on him in an upcoming edition.

We have lots to be proud of with many areas to work on in our communities as well. I’m thankful that last Wednesday’s meeting was in open session, for the most part. While there was a lot to cover in one story, we hope we did it accurately and without bias in any fashion.

It seemed communication and follow-through across the board are areas we can all work on going forward. I wonder what it would look like if the school (and more organizations, for that matter) would hire a communications coordinator. It might go a long way to streamlining everyone’s long list of duties.

I’m planning to write on this for one more week, then we’ll put it to bed. It’s good to have some of our problems out on the surface so we can deal with them. In the meantime, let’s focus on the positives. In many ways, it was a great homecoming week at Nodaway Valley!

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.