Many Hands for Haiti has some familiar faces joining them in the country of Haiti – Shelly and Darryl De Ruiter of Holland, Michigan will join MH4H in Pignon, Haiti, filling in newly created senior management positions there. Shelly will fill the position of Spiritual Direction Manager while Darryl will serve as Organizational Development Manager. Darryl was previously at Holland Christian Schools in Michigan, where he spent three years as the high school principal. Prior to Holland, Darryl was principal for the Pella Christian School District for 12 years; in Haiti he will oversee the programs involving education, leadership development and agronomy. Shelly has been a physical therapist for 26 years and has completed a one-year spiritual director program through the Dominican Center in Grand Rapids. As spiritual direction manager in Haiti, Shelly will support leadership in-country, focusing on mentoring, prayer, staff support and spiritual development. Darryl plans to start his position on July 1st; the couple plan to relocate to the country sometime between October 1st and January 1st of 2019.
Kirk Korver, the youngest brother of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyle Korver, has died at the age of 27, according to a statement from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cleveland Cavaliers tweeted yesterday evening, stating that Kyle would not be playing in this evening’s game due to his younger brother’s death. Joe Vardon, who reports for cleveland.com, reported that Kirk had become seriously ill last week. At Pella Community High School, Kirk was a first team all-district and all-conference selection while playing basketball, according to Yahoo Sports. He also played basketball at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 2009-2014, according to the university. The Des Moines Register also named Kirk to the third-team all-state his senior year of high school. Korver is the son of Kevin and Laine Korver of Pella. He has three surviving brothers, Kyle, Klayton and Kaleb.
Launching Arrows, a non-profit organization in Oskaloosa, will host a second prom for individuals with special needs in the surrounding communities. Called “A Night of Stars”, the event goes from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. on May 12 at the Vermeer Global Pavilion, located at 2110 Vermeer Rd E. in Pella. Pella Middle School special education teacher Kelsie Sheets created Launching Arrows, an organization that keeps students who might have financial difficulties active within their community or school, a few years ago in Oskaloosa. Sheets got the idea for a prom from the Tim Tebow Foundation, which holds an annual prom for people with special needs. Sheets was invited to volunteer at one of the Tim Tebow Foundation proms by her sister, where she says she fell in love with the program, and thought the event could be held locally. The first local “Night of Stars” special needs prom was held in May of 2017 and was a big success, thanks in part to great support from volunteers and the community. This year’s prom has been moved up one hour; A light dinner will be provided for attendees, and anyone over the age of 12 can attend the prom, adults included.
The Pella Police Department will be huffing and puffing tonight as they bus tables at the Pella Pizza Ranch and deliver pizzas in an attempt to get your support for the 2018 American Lung Association Fight for Air Climb on Sunday, April 8th in Des Moines. Pella Fire Chief Doug Van Gorkom says the department will be at Pizza Ranch from 5-7:30pm tonight busing tables for tips; they’ll also be delivering pizzas in a fire truck to raise additional funds for this very important cause. Pella Fire was the top fundraising department at the last two Iowa Fight for Air Climb events.
Big changes may be coming to the grading system at Oskaloosa High school as the district considers changing from a letter grade system to a new standards-based system. At the Tuesday, March 13th School District Board of Directors meeting, Curriculum Director Steph Wilson and math teachers Michael Comfort, Bret Foster, Beverly Jenkinson and Cory Sheely gave a presentation regarding standards-based grading. Traditional grading is based on percentages and letter grades. Standards-based grading focuses more on mastery of what the student has learned and assigning a number between one and four.
State Representative Greg Heartsill has announced that he will not run for re-election to a fourth term. Heartsill said after experiencing many changes within his family in recent years and consulting with them, he has decided to shift his focus to his family. Heartsill went on to say that he has enjoyed building relationships on both sides of the aisle, and it was truly an honor to serve as representative. State Trooper Jon Thorup has declared his intentions to run for the open seat. Thorup says he is running because there are several things that he thinks need to be improved urgently including safety preparedness, the Knoxville VA Campus, and mental health care. Thorup will be at the Marion County Republican Convention tomorrow at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum should anybody wish to meet and discuss issues.
National Geographic’s Iowa State Bee champion is returning to participate in his final bee this year. Grant Pedersen, from Cardinal Middle School in Eldon, brought home a victory last spring. George Kuhter, Iowa State Bee’s director, said he definitely remembers Pedersen from last year, saying it was great to see such a confident young man. National Geographic’s bee is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject and increase public awareness about geography.