Category: News

Redrafting the ‘90s

By Anika Gasco
The ‘90s are making their way back into today’s fashion with the students at Union High School. Anywhere from the high ponytails, chunky shoes, short shorts for the guys and scrunchies, people are starting to appreciate the art of ‘90s fashion trends.
Here’s a question most of us have; why is the art of the ‘90s fashion coming back?
“I think the ‘90s are coming back because their clothes are cute and comfy. Fashion trends always circle around and come back” Junior Lexi Wagner said.
While high waisted mom jeans with a black belt, cropped plain t-shirt, a pair of plain sneakers and a high ponytail with a scrunchie may be the way to go with an ideal ‘90s outfit; some things should just never come back.
“Cargo shorts should never ever come back, while they may be useful, they’re disgusting,” Junior Thavier Eilander said.
Some of us starter ‘90s fashion goers don’t know exactly what to do with our passion for the art of the ‘90s fashion. That’s why I brought Union High school’s “best dressed” winner to you to give you some fashion advice.
“Find someone that inspires you or find something that you love that is based of that era and put a look together that is totally ‘90s inspired, then slowly just mix it in with your own styles to keep your look fresh and not outdated” Senior Camden Zeien said.
The art of the ‘90s fashion is here, so get ready. People agree that the ‘90s fashion is here to stay for about an average of 7 years, let’s make the best of it.

Is WIN time winning?

By Emma Sebetka
WIN (What I Need) time is a federally mandated intervention time for students to catch up on schoolwork and understanding. Starting at the beginning of this school year, Union High School students have had a 30 minute window after the second class period of the day to go to study hall or get help from a teacher. Union High School Senior Mary Jenkins is grateful for this opportunity.
“The best thing about WIN time is it provides you a time to make up tests and quizzes so you don’t have to do it before or after school,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins is one of many students who has seen positive results from WIN time. Assistant principal Wayne Slack, said WIN time has helped reduce the amount of students with an “F” in any class. Last year, 80-115 students had an “F” weekly. This year, numbers have dropped to 20-35 students.
“When you have a full schedule plus some classes, you definitely need [WIN time],” Jenkins said.
About half of Union students get help from a teacher each WIN time. In previous years, that amount of students never got extra help before or after school. This means teachers have time with more students every day. Alison Leytem, 28, teaches journalism and sophomore English at Union High School. She feels WIN time gives her more opportunities to help her students.
“I like that I can work with students one-on-one,” Leytem said. “I think that’s when I do some of my best teaching. I also like that…if I have kids that are struggling…it gives me an extra chance to pay attention [to them].”
However, Leytem mentioned that not everything about WIN time is running perfectly.
“At first, there was a lot of negative backlash,” Leytem said. “The kids didn’t understand it, but the longer we’ve had it, the more understanding they get from it.”
Mary noticed that, when a teacher selects her to go to their classroom during WIN, she cannot choose to get help from a different teacher.
“I had a test to make up, but a teacher selected me for a paper that wasn’t due for a couple weeks,” Jenkins said. “Since it was a science priority day, [the teacher] had priority over what I wanted to do and I couldn’t get my test made up that day.”
Leytem’s previous teaching job in New London gave her helpful experience with a program like WIN time. She has an idea for improvement.
“An improvement would be more education [for teachers] on how to run a [WIN] sort of setting,” Leytem said. “Not everyone has experience like I do…it helps to have experience.”
She believes more time using WIN will allow it to run smoothly.
“At New London, it took years for us to get our intervention program to make sense to the students, but once it did, it was a lot more positive,” Leytem said. “I think it’s just going to take time here.”

Home for the Holidays 2018

Santa visit, Odd Pops Open House highlight holiday activities in LPC
Saturday, December 1st is the day to be Home for the Holidays in La Porte City, as a host of family-friendly holiday activities will grace the downtown area.
LPC Community Center – 300 First Street
The day begins early at the La Porte City Community Center, as the La Porte City Lions host a waffle breakfast beginning at 6 AM. Sausage and gravy lovers won’t want to miss a new creation- the sausage waffle with sausage and gravy! Traditionalists can stick to the tried and true standard waffles with scrambled eggs and sausage links on the side. A variety of syrups and other toppings will also be available. Beverages will include orange juice, milk and coffee. You don’t have to be an early riser to enjoy this meal, as the Lions will be serving until 1 PM. A $25 money tree drawing for kids will be held- don’t miss it! Your free-will donation for the meal will be used to support the reconstruction of the La Porte City ball diamonds adjacent to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail.
Odd Pops – 216 Main Street
What is Odd Pops you ask? What was once known as the Rusty Pig, is now Odd Pops, a facility rental and pop-up shop all rolled into one! December 1st represents the official Open House for the facility, which will feature a number of unique holiday gifts offered by local merchants from 9 AM to 1 PM.
The Union Booster Club will be open for business- a great opportunity to snag a gift for a local fan.
Cookie Walk and Contest
The Knox Blocks Foundation will host a Cookie Walk, with over 25 types of cookies expected to be offered. A special Cookie Contest featuring local celebrity judges will help determine who has the Best Tasting Cookie, Best Cookie Presentation and Most Creative Cookie. The winners will be announced at noon.
Hawkins Memorial Library – 316 Main Street
In addition to Christmas crafts offered from 9 AM to 1 PM, local author and former La Porte City kindergarten teacher Ruth Anne (Rippel) Schneck will be signing copies of her latest book, Geoffrey’s Christmas Wish. The instant holiday classic, written and illustrated by Schneck, is a book for all ages that even includes activity pages for young and old alike.
The excitement builds for youngsters when Santa Claus rolls in at 11:30 AM! Santa will listen carefully to each child’s Christmas wishes, with Photographic Images by Georgia on hand to capture that special moment with a photograph. Santa will depart the library to check on his reindeer and toy-making elves at 1 PM.
La Porte City FFA Historical & Ag Museum – 408 Main Street
There will be much fun for all ages to be found at the FFA Museum, as well, with traditional Christmas crafts, including card making, popcorn-stringing and more from 9 AM to 1 PM.
Join the museum’s pop-up exhibit featuring the topic “Winters in Iowa.” Check out items from the museum’s collection or, better yet, bring an artifact to share in this community collective.
Also featured at the FFA Museum during Home for the Holidays is a special scavenger hunt. See the museum for details.

LPC officer Husmann completes Police Academy training

La Porte City police officer Garret Husmann has successfully completed the requirements for Level II law enforcement, graduating from the 81st Basic Level II Law Enforcement Academy at Hawkeye Community College last week. To become a certified police officer, Iowa law requires the successful completion of training at an approved law enforcement training facility. Hawkeye Community College has been designed as a Regional Law Enforcement Training Facility by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council to provide certification training for officers who meet the enrollment requirements.
Iowa Law Enforcement Basic Level II Academy courses are taught by active and recently retired law enforcement instructors, practicing attorneys, and EMS instructors. These instructors are experts in their fields and are comprised of city, county, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Department of Transportation, and federal officers along with attorneys from the Black Hawk County Attorney office.
Level II academy courses cover a wide range of material related to public safety, including interview and interrogation techniques, use of force and decision making using the MILO simulation training system, instruction on the Traffic and Criminal Software Computerized Accident Reporting system, a precision driving course conducted on a closed driving range, in addition to use of handguns, shotguns, and patrol rifles using the indoor and outdoor ranges at Hawkeye. The training also results in meeting a number of certifications for each officer.
Husmann has sworn in as a La Porte City police office last June after earning a Police Science degree at Hawkeye Community College.

Bruce Jay Wigg: the Man, the Myth, the Legend

By Emily Miehe
The legacy of Bruce Jay Wigg will never be forgotten at Union High School. The impact he left on students, faculty, and the building is an impact that many cherish.
Wigg started teaching at La Porte City High School, now Union High School, in 1977. Sitting down for an interview, Wigg reminisced on memories of his first years of teaching. He talked about how the first few years were hard, spending countless hours in and outside of the classroom developing material for his classes. Over the course of his career, he stated that after developing endless sets of notes, presentations, and tests, the time he spent preparing those materials greatly diminished. He also talked about some of his closest colleagues when he first started out teaching.
“Judy Holmes… and Craig Gingrich came the year I came,” Wigg said. He also mentioned teaching with the three male teachers in particular. “Then you have Borton, Bullis, and Burkgren, ‘the three b’s’ I called them, they taught here. They were real nice to work with.” Wigg said he worked with a lot of good people.
Wigg said his seventh grade history teacher inspired him to become a social studies teacher. The teacher was a big, strong guy who was into sports and football, so they connected that way.
“He got me into listening to the stories of history, and I really liked it,” Wigg said. The teacher asked Wigg to tutor a boy in the class who was struggling, and after tutoring the boy he got his grade up. “I thought that felt good, I liked history and I liked the result I got there, so I started thinking about teaching. More specifically teaching history.”
Wigg said teaching him to always be focused on preparation. He always wanted to be prepared when walking into the classroom.
“You never knew what was going to happen next. Everyday brought something new and different,” Wigg said.
Teaching also brought Wigg to love watching the news and reading about history and economics. He said that while teaching he subscribed to two different papers and two or three different news magazines so that when he was teaching he knew what he was talking about.
“The fact that I was teaching those subjects meant that outside of school I focused on keeping those at the forefront so that I’d be prepared in class for whatever came up,” Wigg said.
What he enjoys the most is not worrying about the daily stresses of a teacher every night before he goes to bed. However, Wigg said that he does miss the daily interaction with the kids.
“There are a lot of kids that I wish I could see more often,” Wigg said.
When interviewing current Union High School principal Jim Cayton, he had only great things to say about Wigg. Cayton was a sophomore the first year that Wigg started teaching. He was able to experience working with Wigg as principal of Union High School for a few years before Wigg retired. Cayton took his sociology and government classes, and he also played tennis and wrestled with Wigg as coach.
Cayton said his favorite thing about Wigg was how he connected with students. He added that when having Wigg as a teacher, he really connected with him, and it felt like he genuinely understood the students. Cayton suggested Wigg was sort of like a big brother to him at the time, and he could easily relate to him.
“I was the youngest in my family and nobody had gone to college,” Cayton said. “I wanted to, but I didn’t know about it and my parents didn’t go to college. So, Wigg was kind of that guy for me who said, you can do this, you can go to college, and here’s what it’s about.”
Wigg made such a large impact on so many people’s lives throughout his teaching career, and although many were sad to see him retire, now he has been able to do things he has wanted to do that he didn’t have time for when teaching. He now gets up around seven in the morning every day and works on his computer, organizes his stuff, and reads.
“You know, really, there is so many times that kids have come up to me and thanked me for being their teacher and those are my favorite memories Wigg said.”

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