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Welcome to the new school year!
September 1, 2017

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Editor's Note: New South Tama Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Berger will be contributing a column to The News-Herald and Toledo Chronicle beginning with this introductory submission.

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome to the school and community. I'm very happy to be here and I hope this is the beginning of a long and productive relationship. I'm Jeff Berger, the new superintendent of schools for South Tama County. I plan to make this column a regular routine as I believe this is an important way to keep you informed of school issues and to keep you involved.

We are well-underway. Our staff members were back to work preparing for the start of school and participating in professional training starting Wednesday, August 16. Students were back in buildings last Wednesday, August 23rd. It is hard to believe the summer is nearly over, but we are always happy to have your students back with us. Our enrollments seem to be up again this year.

Many of you are aware that some significant work was done to the High School this summer. The portable classrooms are gone. The new wing to the high school is open. The new addition includes new space for our science and mathematics departments, a brand new facility for our band program , a new student center, and an upgraded school library and computer center, as well as renovation of the existing classrooms in that wing. The work was done on time and under budget and looks great. Thank you for your support for this important project!

I want to create an opportunity to show off the new facility as well as an opportunity for the general public to meet me. On Thursday, September 7, we will have a general public open house from 5 to 7 p.m. where anyone from the community can just come in to meet me and to see the new facilities.

You can simply stop in and walk through. There is a home volleyball match that night with the freshman game starting at 5 and the varsity around 7, so it may be a good opportunity to support our school activities as well. Please feel free to stop in, see the place, and meet me that night.

Please contact me if you'd like me to visit with you or your organization. I'm quickly making the rounds, meeting people and getting to know you and your community. It is critically important that the community and school are connected. We want to be good working partners and hope for your continued support as we prepare your children for the real world. There will be regular opportunities for you to make yourselves heard and my hope is that you always feel like your opinion was respected and that you were valued.

To that end, please remember that we have a school board of directors election on Tuesday, September 12. Regardless of your politics, please do your civic duty and make your voice heard by voting. Three of the five director districts are "in play" in this election, so the result of this election will set our course moving forward for the next several years.

Please feel free to contact me for any reason. My email is jberger@s-tama.k12.ia.us and my phone is 641-484-4811. Again, thanks for the warm welcome and let's have a great year!

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Regular Size Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald