Kitty Temming: 60 Years with Catholic Schools
Not having attended kindergarten, because that would have meant going to a public school for a year in her Indiana hometown, Kitty Temming began her journey with Catholic schools in first grade. For sixty years now, she has been intimately involved in Catholic schools as a student, teacher, administrator, parent, and even grandparent. At the end of this school year, she will be retiring.
I first learned of Kitty’s contribution to Catholic school education in our area when she was the principal at Lourdes in Bettendorf in the early 1990s, and I was teaching at Assumption. Some of our beginning-of-the-year in-services used to be held in Lourdes gym. Everything, of course, was meticulously well-organized by Kitty’s team and led to a great kick-off for the school year.
In 1997, Kitty began teaching at JFK, after having stepped down from Lourdes to focus more on her daughters for a few years. In the 2000-01 school year, Kitty served as both teacher and interim principal of JFK when the principal of the time experienced several health challenges. When I arrived in 2001, I was a bit intimidated by her. I was a “rookie” principal, and she was an experienced principal and had experience at JFK too. What would she think of me? Would she be scrutinizing everything I did? I soon realized that I had nothing to fear, or she was at least polite enough to not let me know how poorly I was probably really doing! Kitty became a trusted “teacher voice” for me. She didn’t always tell me what I wanted to hear, but she, thankfully, told me what I needed to hear in a way that wasn’t demoralizing but rather motivating and led to a better school.
In July 2014, JFK added the position of assistant principal/director of special programs, and I approached Kitty because you should always surround yourself with people better than you. Her knowledge of Catholic school education as both a teacher and administrator and her institutional knowledge of OLV and JFK were invaluable. For the past eight years, Kitty has been a force to manage the increasingly complex world of education. From preschool to Title services for students and from standardized testing to instructional services provided by aides, everything in education seems to be getting more and more complex. Kitty has tackled it all to help things continue to run smoothly. When the State of Iowa split 3 year old preschool, ECLC, and aftercare from under the direction of the Department of Education and moved it to the Department of Human Services, Kitty was there to make sure our accreditation and licensure processes ran smoothly. Every year we hear from a DHS childcare licensing consultant and from the Department of Public Health how well-organized our records and processes are and what an exemplar JFK is due to Kitty’s diligence.
Working with Kitty over the years has made so many of us better educators. She has always been someone with whom one can confide and trust to look out for the best interests of students and staff. Mentor to so many over the years in Catholic school education and for the last 25 years at JFK, in particular, we are so grateful to Kitty for her service. We wish her well in retirement.
Civic Oration Speeches Rounds 1 and 2 Concluded Last Week
The culminating academic activity of the year, civic oration speeches, began last week. Students in grades 5-8 took their their research papers and presented them in memorized speeches. This year, students also made their presentations while using a slide deck. (Who does public speaking these days without slides?!) While not every student advances to subsequent rounds in the competition phase of civic oration, every student does participate in this talented and gifted activity.
There are two divisions in the competition aspect of civic oration: 5/6 and 7/8.
Students who advanced from the first round of competition in the 5/6 division were the following:
5th grade: Anthony C., Caitlyn C., Kaitlyn E., Cooper P., Evelyn S., and McKenna T.
6th grade: Hailey E., Noah F., Leia P., Natalie S., AvaMae W., and Haley W.
7th grade: Maggie A., Marissa B., Cayden F., Payten P., Julia M., and Ava S.
8th grade: Ben A., Bryce E., Olivia F., Brooklyn M., Aubrey R., and Adam W.
Advancing to the final round of competition:
5th/6th: Caitlyn, Cooper, Evelyn, Natalie, McKenna, and AvaMae
7th/8th: Maggie, Marissa, Cayden, Julia, Aubrey, and Adam
Formal Registration for K-8 Begins the Week of March 21
Tuition contracts for K-8 will be mailed to families the week of March 21st. The return of the tuition contract and the registration fee, discounted for OLV parishioners and returning families from $150 to $100 per student when returned before April, is the formal enrollment process for 2022-23.
Please contact the school office right away, if you missed Kindergarten Round-up and kindergarten pre-registration. We don’t want to miss sending you a tuition contract for next year!
Pre-school and Daycare Registration
Registration for all sections of 3 year old preschool, 4/5 year old preschool, and ECLC is underway for all families. Morning classes fill up quickly, in particular, so do not delay PS registration.
See the K, pre-school, daycare roundup flyer, 2022
- Mar 14-18: Spring Break. No classes. ECLC is open.
- Mar 15: Keith Nester — Lenten speaker: What is Great about Being Catholic (6:30 p.m. in the church)
- Mar 21: Classes resume
- Mar 22: Penny War for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation begins
- Mar 24: Final round of civic oration
- Mar 25: Dress in your favorite color day
- Mar 26: Confirmation retreat (8-11 with sponsors or a parent)
COVID Data and Comments
Below is a link to a .pdf file that shows several graphs for Scott County and JFK. Below are also some comments related to the pandemic:
COVID Data, March 11, 2022
- There were, again, no students or staff testing positive for COVID last week.
The vast majority of our remaining COVID mitigation strategies will be removed by the time we come back from spring break. More noticeable changes are mentioned below:
- Masses are back to “normal” including the requirement that Catholics attend Mass on the weekend.
- One all school Mass on Wednesdays at 7:40 a.m. will be restored. Arriving at school on time will be even more critical on Wednesdays as students who arrive late may find that their class has already left for the church. Singing will return to Masses, but students as song leaders will take a while longer. (They haven’t sung at school Masses for over almost two years!)
- Any seating arrangement without regard to the physical distancing that had been used for COVID mitigation will be allowed in school. (Tables for preschoolers will not likely return until we can figure out where to store the 60 desks that would have to come out of classrooms.)
- Rugs in preschool, ECLC, and kindergarten, in particular, will return, and students can be gathered together on them for instruction and story time.
- Singing will more regularly be a part of music classes. A more regular spring show and 7/8 grade spring showcase will return.
- Clear partitions have been removed in the cafeteria, art room, library, and resource rooms.
- Zig-zag seating with an open seat between students in the cafeteria is no longer required in grades 1-8.
- The exclusion of students from school due to illnesses returns to the normal procedures outlined in our regular handbook. (Kids still should not be at school when they are sick and not feeling well.) There will be no more discussion of COVID “high risk” or two or more “low risk” symptoms. COVID-19 itself has been entered on the Iowa Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) longer list of illnesses for which exclusion is required, and the 5 with or 10 day without mask exclusions still apply.
- Notification letters regarding a positive case of COVID in a homeroom will end. There are very few illnesses on the Iowa Department of Public Health’s list that require notification. COVID is not one of them.
- Large assemblies will return, as opportunities arise. The Scott County Catholic Schools’ Mass at AHS for grades 2-12 is scheduled for April.
- Field trips are returning.
- Water fountains will be turned back on once our supply of bottled water is at a more reasonable level for storage. We still have about 140 cases (a pallet and a half) and are distributing about three cases worth of bottles each day.
Please continue to take care of yourselves and your family. COVID guidance that we have been receiving lately seems to emphasize the following strategies:
- Recommending vaccination, including boosters, for all eligible
- Optional masking, particularly indoors and/or in crowded settings and when the vaccination status of others is unknown
- Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
- Staying home when sick and getting tested
- Physical distancing and masking are important here too as they are, or perhaps should be, for any other airborne illness
- Close contacts taking precautions, including some physical distancing and masking, to not only protect themselves but also so they do not become asymptomatic spreaders
See below for the list of IGNITE Sundays. There is no cost or registration required to participate. Come to as many of the opportunities listed below as you are able on IGNITE Sundays. Families are encouraged to participate together. There are small group activities and family activities at each session.
Typical schedule for IGNITE Sundays:
- 4:30-5:30pm Mass
- 5:35-6:05pm Meal in the Parish Center
- 6:10-7:15pm Group Gatherings
- March 20: “I hunger” Eucharist
- April 10: Family: The foundation of society
- April 24: What does God want me to do?