A look inside southeast Iowa's newest school district
By Greg Deffenbaugh
Tue, 28 Aug 2012 19:58:14 GMT — In a way, it is one of Iowa's newest school districts, but it has some of the oldest traditions in the state when it comes to education and athletics.Over the past year, two school districts in southeast Iowa became one. The Eddyville Blakesburg Community School District merged with the Fremont Community School District; something that both districts benefited from. KTVO spoke with Dr. Dean Cook, Superintendent of Schools for Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont.Dr. Cook told KTVO that this merger was a win-win for both communities."I think people a lot of times say, I think one district needs the other, no, we needed one another. And that is the kind of way I look at it. Therefore, we have in with that attitude. We both have something to bring to the table," Dr. Cook said.The average school district in Iowa has 700 students. The newly created Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont Community School District has roughly 850 students.One point to keep in mind about Iowa's smaller school districts is that they have their benefits. For example, many of them have smaller class sizes. Also, smaller districts, such as EBF and Cardinal, are able to invest more money in technology, and that is a plus for students."I think districts of our size, I think those are one of the things that we can do for kids that really enhances our education," Dr. Cook said.According to Dr. Cook, EBF and Cardinal are going to team up in several areas, including developing high quality teachers."We are already talking about sharing some professional development with Cardinal and with districts that are doing some of those things, and I think that is going to help, I believe that is going to be a real strength," Dr. Cook said.There are three things Dr. Cook wants to see his students walk away with after graduation, and they all focus on what goes on in the classroom."I think today our kids need to leave our schools with the technology skills and math and science skills. We just need to make sure that we are doing the best job that we can in those areas," Dr. Cook said.Even with new administrators in the district, Dr. Cook believes that they are in good position for the future.
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