May 29, 2017

Last Week of School


  • Field Day for K-8.  Students may also be out of uniform, and most grade levels or homerooms have dress-alike themes.
  • Three year old preschoolers have their family craft event at 8:00 a.m. in the parish center.
  • Last day of four year old preschool classes.
  • Mrs. Jordan’s and Mrs. Blocker’s preschool classes will have their “graduation” and spring event at 5:45 p.m. in the parish center.
  • Mrs. Zeimet’s and Mrs. Knox’s preschool classes will have their graduation at 7:00 p.m. also in the parish center.


  • Last day of K-8 school.  As in most years, we will celebrate Mass together on the last day of school, and, therefore, students need to be in uniform.  Students not in uniform will need to change or be picked up from school.
  • All school Mass, 8:00 a.m., followed by altar server recognition and a few awards/certificates for upper grade students.
  • Dismissal is at 1:00 p.m.  There is bus transportation and after school childcare available.


  • Teacher in-service and work day.  We would like to thank Home & School for providing us with lunch.


  • Last day of ECLC.  We’ll miss our little ones!
  • Graduation Mass, 6:30 p.m, followed by cake, “Crusader punch,” and a slide show in the gym.


Summer Programming

JFK has a variety of summer programming options.  Contact the school office for registration details:

  • Leaps & Bounds:  Academically oriented program for kindergarten – 6th graders.  Useful for brushing up on one’s skills or for moving ahead even more.  Sessions I and II are now closed.  Sessions III and IV, however, are still taking enrollment.  Each session is two weeks.  Sign up for one or more sessions!  8:00 – 11:30 a.m., with drop off beginning at 7:45.  Student to adult ratio at ten to one or less.  The cost for this program works out to $5 per hour and is a bargain compared to similar summer programming sometimes run by non-certified adults at $8 – $15 per hour elsewhere.  Registration forms are available on our website under “For Parents” and “Policies and Forms” or click here.
    • Session III:  July 10 – 14 & 17 – 21
    • Session IV:  July 24 – 28 & July 31 – Aug 4
  • Vacation Bible School:  June 5-9, 8:30 – 11:30, with drop off beginning at 8:00.  Kindergarten through fourth graders will love participating in the skits, stories, singing, and crafts of VBS.
  • Kindergarten Jumpstart:  For incoming kindergartners.  August 7 -11, from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Discounted registration fees end soon.
  • Instrumental lessons:  For individual lessons over the summer, please contact Mr. Connors
  • One-on-one Tutoring:  One-to-one tutoring is available from three JFK teachers over the summer:  Mrs. Motto (K-2), Mrs. Logan (3-5), and Ms. Burken (K-8).  Conveniently this year, we have all grades K-8 covered by these teachers.  Please contact them at school to make personal arrangements.  The cost for one-to-one tutoring is $22 per hour or $11 per half hour.  There are plenty of flexible dates and times available.

Open Registration Continues

We are now in what might be called “open registration.”  Seats are no longer reserved for returning families and parishioners.  If you have not returned your tuition contract for next year, please do so as soon as possible.  You don’t want to be without a seat!  For questions about your tuition contract, please contact Rita Nagle in the parish office (391-4245).

Preschool and ECLC Registration Continues — Childcare Still Available

Registration for preschool and ECLC continues in the school office.  JFK has several options for three and four year olds, and there are still some childcare spots available:

  • T/Th morning 3 year olds
  • MWF morning 3 year olds
    • Both of the 3 year old programs can be combined with full day childcare.
  • M-F morning 4-5 year olds.  This program can be combined with full day childcare.
  • M-F afternoon 4-5 year olds

Register now as waiting lists have started to form.

John Deere Employees Can Double Their Giving

Did you know that effective 5/1/2017, all full-time & part-time employees of John Deere can now have their monetary gifts to JFK school matched 100% from as little as $50 to a maximum of $1000 annually. For more information regarding the John Deere Foundation, simply log into Your link then to register your gift is for all guidelines, forms and corporate contact questions.

What a simple way to DOUBLE your giving and help OLV sustain a model learning & growing Catholic school!

New Part-Time Position

The parish and school are combining to offer a new office position beginning in June 2017.  Duties include maintaining the church and school databases, school personnel files, and calendars.  Ordering and inventorying school textbooks and supplies and assisting with registration, communications, and copying are also included.  The 20 hour per week position requires work in both the parish and school offices and includes work over the summer.  Send letter, resume, and references to, or complete an application in the school office.

Lunch Program Positions for the Fall

JFK would like to thank Heidi Wendl for her service in our lunch program.  Her dedication to JFK has helped us out many times in the kitchen and cafeteria.  We wish her the best as she leaves us at the end of this school year.

We are likely, then, looking for two paid lunch program staff members for the fall.  Hours would likely be around 8:30 – 1:30 or 2:00.  Duties might include food preparation, serving food, cleaning the kitchen and cafeteria, entering numbers on the computer as students come through the lunch line, and unloading and stocking food.  The positions have an hourly wage of about $9.80 – $12.00 per hour.  There is also a tuition reduction of almost 50% for one’s oldest JFK child’s tuition, and lunch is free.  If interested, please send a message to me at or complete an application in the school office.

Permanent Memorial for Peg Gooder

Several individuals and groups have inquired about installing a permanent memorial for Peg Gooder out by the playground equipment.  We are now accepting donations for a memorial bench to be purchased and installed in her memory.  If you or your organization would like to make a donation for such a memorial, please send it to the school office in an envelope labeled, “Peg Gooder memorial.”  Checks can be written to Our Lady of Victory.

Major Summer Work on Boiler and Heating System

With only a teaser amount of work done over spring break, we are ready to start our major summer work to replace the boiler and do some other related tasks in classrooms.  The estimated cost of this project was nearly $172,000 when approved by OLV’s Finance Council.  (We are grateful for the parish investment in its school!)  Since then, we have received a Scott County Regional Authority (Bettendorf riverboat) grant for nearly $20,000 to pay for the electronic controls in classrooms and some offices.  We will also be receiving several Mid-America rebates totaling over $15,000, if I understand all of the paperwork correctly.  Every bit of savings that we have in these projects puts us that much closer to a doable timeline for air conditioning and ventilation!

Summer Communications

With the school year winding down, this Principal’s Post will likely be the last one for several weeks.  Facebook communications, however, will increase so make sure to “like” us there!

Caitlin Steimle:  Growth Mindset in Action

It is once again, the last Principal’s Post of a school year.  The end of this one has a little something special for me.  Three prior times, I have written about my older children as they each graduated from high school.  Each post had a theme.  For Colleen, the theme was the “benefits of Assumption High School.”  For Tom, it was “how fast they grow up.”  For Kirsten, it was “because someone cared for my daughter.”  I continue to be proud of my oldest three children.  Colleen has degrees from Ashford University and the University of Dubuque.  She works full time for the University of Dubuque as the head cheerleading coach.  I can’t imagine anyone else more deserving of such a role.  When you and I might be watching TV for the evening, Colleen’s on the Internet studying competitive cheerleading routines.  It is amazing what she has done coaching both high school and college teams at such a young age herself.  Tom continues to use his public speaking skills as he manages a regional market for Midwest Mattress stores.  Time and time again, his stores meet and exceed targets, and his sales techniques are included in the training processes for the company.  He has a keen sense of financial acumen, is a gifted negotiator, and could probably sell sand to someone living in a desert.  Kirsten is going to be a junior at St. Ambrose and is on her way to majoring in education.  Her story is still developing, but her love of children continues to do her well.

This weekend was time to reflect upon my youngest daughter, Caitlin.  No theme comes to mind faster than “growth mindset in action.”  Caitlin grew up with me for nine years at JFK before I handed her off to my wife, Lynn, who works at Assumption.  Caitlin spent every afternoon at JFK in “aftercare,” usually until 5:30 or later, even when she was in 7th and 8th grades.  She learned to play many types of games and grew to be a shrewd player of family card games.  Even just this year, we played our family’s version of war, which includes multiplication, addition, and subtraction using both positive and negative numbers.

I’ve enjoyed doing all sorts of activities with Caitlin.  I took Caitlin and/or Kirsten to the grocery store every week, where they learned their directions as I stated “to the left” or “to the right” at the end of each aisle.  Caitlin learned at an early age how to determine if two 12-can cases of pop were cheaper during any given weekend than one 24-can case, and she learned how to spend her own money earned from the nickel can deposit return.  She learned that heavy items go at the bottom of the bag, and cold items should all stay together.  When she would come close to making a mistake, I’d jokingly threaten to send her back to “shopping school.”

On the occasional weekend, Caitlin would convince me to rent a movie billed as a “comedy” only to see, I swear, if Dad would really shed a tear at the end.  In elementary school, we prepared for the musical event of the year, High School Musical II to be on TV, and we went golfing at an early age, which was often highlighted by Caitlin being able to drive the golf cart when no one else was around.

Over the years, Caitlin learned many things with their own subtle messages.  We cleaned school restrooms, for example, because teamwork is important, and no job is beneath anyone.  I taught her how to use a hammer and some basic power tools so no one would ever be able to tell her that she couldn’t do something.  I made ponytails (although I’m not sure my “pull it back until it hurts” method was the best) and took her clothes shopping to illustrate that “real” men can do anything too and perhaps help provide an image for the well-roundedness she should seek in a future husband.  I made her speak for herself so she would never be afraid or intimated to talk with others.  I always say “love you” as the last words out the door or to bed because, regardless of what else may be happening, there is nothing more important than love.

Sometimes our learning took a little longer, and we made mistakes along the way, like the time I taught her how to ride a bike and, apparently, did not do a good job showing her how to brake.  The first time I let go and she picked up speed going down a slight hill, she threw her legs wide off the pedals and slammed right into a neighbor’s garage.  (Yes, we have it on video!)  She didn’t let that stop her, however.  She was soon back on her bike and was riding right alongside the older kids.

Caitlin’s development of the growth mindset has been amazing to watch.  When she was in in second grade, she couldn’t wait to be in third and fourth grades so she could have a speaking part in the Christmas and spring shows at school.  When she was in 5th grade, she set her sights on advancing in civic oration to the parish center round of competition and beyond.  In middle school and high school Mock Trial, she pushed herself and her teammates along to make it to “state.”  In high school speech, she qualified for “nats” (nationals) three years in a row and will be traveling to Birmingham, AL, this year.  Over the weekend, she almost had to miss her own high school graduation party as she qualified for the state golf tournament after having only played golf seriously for three years.  She exerted great effort year after year in the academic areas as well and identified the resources and help that she needed to achieve a 4.0 GPA.  She even took the ACT five times, improving each time by one point.

Even her college choice has illustrated Caitlin’s growth mindset.  With a long-term goal of being a lawyer, Caitlin soon realized that many things related to college come back to the basic notion that just because one wants something doesn’t mean one can afford it.  She worked with me to reduce her list of college options to schools at which she could earn her law degree in six years rather than seven.  She applied and was accepted into not only her first choice of schools, the University of Kansas, but also to its six year law program.  When her university funded scholarship wasn’t at the top tier, she appealed and was moved into the highest level.  She explored transportation options and found that Amtrak runs from Galesburg, IL, to Lawrence, KS.  Still, all the costs associated with out-of-state tuition at Kansas were daunting, and when we examined the details again in March, her situation was still heart-breakingly frustrating. Caitlin didn’t give up, however, even in light of my wife’s and my recommendation to go to the University of Iowa.  She applied for special student housing where students do the cleaning and cooking for a reduced housing rate and was accepted.  She received a nanny job for the summer and will work with the kids during the day and at the golf course on evenings and weekends.  She applied for scholarship after scholarship, never knowing if she’d ever get enough to be able to afford to go to Kansas.  Finally, and only last Sunday, one week before high school graduation, she received the last $200 scholarship that put her at the bare minimum she needed.  Watching her growth mindset in relation to her college choice has been impressive, and I must now bring myself to the only thing left to say to her regarding college, “Rock chalk Jayhawk.”

I am proud of all of my children, and, today, I must say, publicly, I am very proud of you, Caitlin.  I pray for your continued blessings.  Love you.