Friday, August 14, 2015

Courier News

Courtesy of the 8-12-15 edition of Ida County Courier (

O-A/ BC-IG welcomes Kenealy as superintendent
The Odebolt-Arthur/ Battle Creek-Ida Grove school district welcomes Terry Kenealy as the new superintendent, effective July 1. He replaces Dr. Nick Ouellette, who resigned. He will serve as a shared superintendent for the O-A/BC-IG districts and the BCIG district will hold his contract. His salary and benefits are split evenly between the two districts.

Kenealy grew up in northwest Iowa and felt that coming to this district would be a positive move, not just for his career, but his family as well. “Most of our family is close by. With the grandchildren growing up, we wanted to be able to watch them grow and be active in their lives,” Kenealy said. “And, with my background in reorganization and shared school districts, we felt this district would be a great fit.”

While he knows there will be challenges to face, he has set goals to tackle them. “My first goal is to get to know the staff, the community, the students. I’m new here and I want to get to know people and be familiar with the district. The relationships with the staff in both districts are top priority, as those relationships are what builds a stronger system,” said Kenealy. “I’ve been trying to meet with each staff member before school starts. I really want to get to know my colleagues.”

He knows that there have been struggles in the past, but wants to push the district into the future. He’s excited to work with the blended communities. “Districts like O-A/BC-IG are becoming more and more of a reality across the state as smaller schools struggle financially to operate alone,” said Kenealy. “These districts that work together create environments for students that allow for more opportunities, more offerings not just in the classroom but outside of school as well.”

He wants the community to be active and to have a voice in these schools. “We have a fiscal responsibility to be a strong school system. But we can only do so much with what we are given. We don’t have a blank check. So while there are building changes and additions, they come at a cost.

But we can’t let the buildings just go either.”

Kenealy is a native of Beebeetown and graduated from Kingsley-Pierson High School. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in secondary education with a major in history and a minor in political science from Wayne State College. He continued his education at Wayne State and received a Masters Degree in secondary school administration and an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

He taught history and government for eight years in Nebraska. Following teaching, he moved into the position as secondary principal at Grand Island Northwest in Nebraska, a position he remained in for 14 years. He then became a superintendent, including nine years in York, Neb., five years as superintendent at Galva-Holstein, Allison-Bristow and Greene-North Butler. Last year, he was the superintendent of the Hamburg School District.

In the past, he has been involved in organizations like the Knights of Columbus, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and Kiwanis. Kenealy stated, “I like to stay active in the community. I have already attended meetings for the local Kiwanis chapter and look forward to continuing with that.”

Kenealy has been married for 16 years to his wife, Judy. They have five children: Gordy, Heath, Shannon, Michelle and Brian. He also is a grandfather of seven and recently learned that he is going to be a great-grandfather for the first time.

Two things came to mind when asked about his free time: family and golf. “I look forward to getting out on this course in town. I haven’t golfed in a while, but I really do look forward to getting back out there,” said Kenealy, “but most of my free time is devoted to my family. We try and be active for the kids, be at their events and watch them grow.”

Civil War quilts featured at quilt fair Sept. 26-27
Visitors to the Sac County Quilt-a-Fair will have the opportunity to see civil war replica quilts, along with many other varieties of quilts, Sept. 26-27, at the Sac County fairgrounds in Sac City. The quilt displays will fill two buildings on the grounds. Show hours are 9 a. m. to 4 p. m. each day.

When the Sac County quilters realized that the 2015 Quilt-a-Fair would fall during the 150th anniversary year of the end of the Civil War, they decided to feature civil war history during the show.

The 2nd Battery Iowa Light Artillery will be present both days of the show. Keith Mentzer of Early will talk about weapons; Barry Bergman of Arthur will give the Confederate point of view; and Marvin Roose and Larry Kropf, both of Lake View, will show medical instruments and talk about medical treatments during the war.

Mary Roose of Lake View and Kathy Mentzer of Early will demonstrate the role of women during the war and women’s clothing, and Terry Gerdes of Wall Lake will handle discussions about camp life, including uniforms of the war years, food and cooking utensils.

Group members will be in authentic dress, and there will be tents set up at the campsite.

Quilts and the women who made them played an integral part in the civil war. Women on both sides made and donated quilts to raise money for the war effort. The southern women made quilts and had competitions between communities to help purchase gunboats for the war. As the war continued, women made utilitarian quilts for soldiers’ bedding. Some historians have estimated that more than 250,000 quilts were made for Union soldiers alone. Soldiers who died were often buried in their quilts, and surviving soldiers simply wore out their quilts during the long years of the war.

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