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Nora Heaton

Devoted to serving kids

Youth librarian Cassi Elton ready to reach out to Solon

SOLON—Solon’s kids were welcomed to the library’s Storytime with a ukulele last week, as new Youth Services Librarian Cassandra (Cassi) Elton sang and strummed “If You Want to Read a Book” to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
Elton, who began in her new role on Sept. 18, will be facilitating and planning weekly Storytime, instructing Babygarten, and organizing early-out activities and teen programming.
Working with boisterous children sounds like a fun challenge to her, rather than a scary task. She loves kids’ contagious enthusiasm.

A family affair at the Johnson County Fair

Solon's five Düsters participate in Johnson County Fair

SOLON– Seven ribbons and five days later, the Düster family came to the conclusion of yet another Johnson County Fair.
It’s a busy week for many families in the county. But the Düsters are unique in that they have five children in 4-H– at the same time.
All five kids started 4-H in fifth grade and are still going strong– although the oldest, who just graduated from Solon High School, participated in his last fair this year.

Meet Eric Ewald

New Van Allen principal already at “home” in North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY – Eric Ewald is two months into his new job as principal of Van Allen Elementary, and he’s feeling right at home.
That’s partly because he is home. Ewald, his wife and their two kids live and spend their days in North Liberty already. For Ewald, living and working in the same community is a major plus. Moreover, Van Allen is a great fit, he said.
Ewald will bring to Van Allen an emphasis on what he considers his two biggest strengths as a principal: relationships and communication.
Relationships start with kids, he said.

A habit of volunteerism

SOLON– For Marcy and Larry Olson community service is just the right thing to do – whether it takes the form of Marcy’s food deliveries to seniors in Solon or Larry’s route transporting children with special needs to and from school.
If you ask them why they do it, they’ll reply: just because.
“I don’t really think about it, I guess,” Larry said. “It’s just something I do.”

Takes family to open Ely creamery

Dan and Debbie’s Creamery will sell milk and ice cream, opening July 30

ELY– The opening-soon Dan and Debbie’s Creamery in Ely will sell white and chocolate milk, squeaky cheese curds and homemade ice cream. But it will also sell some things that are non-quantifiable: the security of knowing your milk comes from happy, well-treated cows, the satisfaction of finding a tasty and high-quality product by a local business, and the knowledge that your dollar supports a business built and maintained by an entire family.

Preparing SCSD students for success

Strategic Plan: postsecondary success and lifelong learning

SOLON– The Solon Community School District officially approved its Strategic Plan at the June 13 Board of Education meeting.
The Strategic Plan describes a vision for the district, identifies its beliefs and values, and lays out goals.

Takes family comes together to open Ely creamery

Dan and Debbie’s Creamery will sell milk and ice cream, opening July 30

ELY– The opening-soon Dan and Debbie’s Creamery in Ely will sell white and chocolate milk, squeaky cheese curds and homemade ice cream. But it will also sell some things that are non-quantifiable: the security of knowing your milk comes from happy, well-treated cows, the satisfaction of finding a tasty and high-quality product by a local business, and the knowledge that your dollar supports a business built and maintained by an entire family.

Board discusses fourth attendance center

Architects to present latest design to school board in June

SOLON– What will the Solon school district’s fourth attendance center look like?
We’ll know more later this month.
The Solon Community School District Board of Education met with Struxture Architects in a special April meetingd to consider three different design options with drawings and costs for each. The cost of a full remodel to the current middle school would be just over $10 million.

Teaching a love of language

 SOLON– Most of Solon knows Lori Lindner as a reporter and photographer for the Solon Economist and North Liberty Leader newspapers. For the past 10 years, Lindner helped record the towns’ news and photographed its events.
But these days, she’s writing more lesson plans than news stories. This spring, she transitioned into a new role in Solon: the youth services librarian for the Solon Public Library.

Stepping up to lead

North Liberty Community Pantry gets a new director

NORTH LIBERTY– Where the North Liberty Community Pantry is concerned, new executive director Kaila Rome believes in treating everyone with dignity and respect. That includes individuals or families visiting the pantry to receive food, and the volunteers serving them. She also loves how the community returns that respect.

SCSD counselors work to set minds at ease

Helping students with the transition

SOLON– We always fear the unknown, said Solon Middle School counselor and facilitator Tony Nicol. This is especially true for kids entering into a new school– an experience that can be scary for a student.
The Solon Community School District’s counseling department works hard to keep transitions between schools as seamless as possible for the students.
“You’re going somewhere you’ve never been before,” Nicol said. “Everything we (the counseling department) do is to try to inform them of what it’s going to be like.”

Lawyers come together to open new law firm

Clark & Schroeder specializes in any type of law that involves a courtroom

NORTH LIBERTY– Attorneys Michael Clark and Scott Schroeder have known each other for more than 25 years. They both attended the University of Iowa as undergraduates then went to Drake University Law School together. In the past 21 years of being prosecuting attorneys, Clark and Schroeder estimate they had 100 or more cases against each other.