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Gilbert Esports state bound!

The Gilbert Esports team is headed to state!

Coach Jason Chung announced the good news Thursday evening after he learned the Tigers had been seeded fourth among the 19 Division I teams in the state. That automatically gave Gilbert a spot at state, which is set for Friday, Nov. 18, at MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex in West Des Moines.

Gilbert compiled a 6-1 regular season record playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The Tigers’ lone loss came against Nevada, but they were able to earn a bit of redemption earlier this week when the Cubs traveled to GHS for an exhibition that Gilbert ultimately won.

The 10 players who will compete for Gilbert at state include Jackson Dalager, Carson Chittick, Sam Ellingson, Nick Staudt, Carter Hogden, David Hinderaker, Miles Britt, Aiden Cowley, Matt Weber, and Raymond Lopez.

Congratulations, Tigers! And good luck at state next month!

Why Not Us?

Gilbert XC runners motivated by guest speaker leading up to state meet

Why not Gilbert?

The Tigers might not be favored to win Class 3A state championships when the girls’ and boys’ teams trek to Fort Dodge for the state cross country meet on Saturday, but the message they heard on Thursday was one of self-belief.

Daryl Nelson, who is currently the Director of Organizational Development for the New England Patriots, held a Zoom call with the Tiger runners to help get them motivated and mentally prepared for what they’ll face on the big stage at Lakeside Golf Course this weekend. Prior to taking his role with the Patriots, Nelson was an assistant athletic trainer for 6 1/2 years and the direct supervisor of Mason Finn, an athletic trainer at Gilbert.

Nelson spoke at length about how believing is a must-have mindset within the team.

“Why not you guys? Why not Gilbert?” Nelson said aloud as the Gilbert state qualifiers sat at attention around the large screen.

Nelson talked about the preparation for a big event, and he advised the Tigers to keep the status quo that worked so well throughout the regular season. Nelson even told the athletes to make sure they save a copy of the newspaper after they win.

Thank you, Mr. Nelson, for taking the time out of your busy day to spend a few minutes with our athletes.

The No. 7-ranked girls’ team — Clare Stahr, Abby McGuire, Abby Patel, Keira Andersen, Claire Grandgenett, Sarah Thatcher, and Nora Kalvik — won the team title at last week’s State Qualifying Meet in Humboldt and will be out to improve upon last season’s 13th-place state-meet finish. Stahr, McGuire, and Patel all ran at Fort Dodge a season ago.

Head coach Laura Kautman has guided the program to one state championship in 2013, and a year later the Tigers were runners-up.

Gilbert boys’ head coach Aaron Thomas has his program back in the state field after a two-year hiatus, and the Tigers enter Saturday ranked No. 6. William Wadsley has been the team leader throughout the fall and he’ll toe the line at state with an eye on a top-10 finish. Also competing for Gilbert will be Zain Mueller, Preston Stensland, Carson Squires, Emmett Barber, Harrison Kraehling, and Nolan Weber.

Thomas has led the Tigers to three team state titles and a pair of runner-up finishes during his career.

The 3A girls’ race is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., followed by the boys’ race at 11:15 a.m.

Pella enters the state meet ranked No. 1 in both 3A races.

Gilbert students shine at DECA district competition

7 first-place finishes, 11 top-three performances highlight day

Gilbert’s business and marketing club put together a strong showing at DECA districts, which was held at Gilbert High School last Saturday.

How strong? Try seven first-place finishes and 11 total top-three performances.

Well done, students. Very well done, actually.

So what is DECA? It’s the Distributive Education Clubs of America, and it gives students an up-close look at business and entrepreneurship as they begin to eye the future.

DECA prepares students to be academically prepared, community oriented, and professionally responsible, and it allows them the chance to be leaders.

“No matter what you’re interested in doing in your future, the skills you get from DECA are going to be invaluable,” Vicki Hales, a business teacher at the high school, said. “Learning how to talk to somebody professionally, learning how to think on your feet and problem solve, and be creative, all of those skills are really what employers are looking for. That’s going to help them no matter what industry they go into.”

Districts was the first chance students had to get a feel for the competition. In each of the business scenarios, students were presented with a problem or need in their fields, and then they had 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes with the judges to discuss the issue.

Gilbert’s seven first-place finishes went to:
•Clair Lewis: Apparels and Accessories Marketing.
•John Hales: Food Marketing.
•Lizzie Mitchell: Hotel and Lodging Management.
•Macy Underwood: Human Resource Management.
•Abby Greder: Restaurant and Food Service Management.
•Charlie Schreck and Noah Lenz: Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team.
•Ella Henningsen and Abigail Thompson: Travel and Tourism Team.

Earning second-place nods were:
•Hannah Becker: Food Marketing.
•Joey Currans and Nash Hanson: Entrepreneurship Team.

Gilbert students placing third were:
•Owen Kautman: Hotel and Lodging Management.
•Elle Nguyen: Restaurant and Food Service Management.

The 15 Gilbert students that competed at districts, as well as many more of the 44 members of the school’s business and marketing club will compete at the state competition in February. At state, students will get the chance to qualify for the international competition, which will be held in Orlando in April.

Gilbert Education Foundation raises nearly $16,000 through Major Saver campaign

Funds used for 43 mini-grants throughout district

The old saying “it takes a village to raise a child” resonates inside the school system. Without the village, the Gilbert Community School District wouldn’t be what it is today.

A key part of that village is the Gilbert Education Foundation (GEF), which recently put together a highly successful fall fundraising campaign that resulted in 43 mini-grants being approved throughout the district.

The GEF is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising money for Gilbert Schools. It uses the money to help bridge the gap between public funding and the needs of our students and staff.

“The Foundation allows us to provide tools for our teachers that are sometimes outside of our budget,” Carrie Clark, the Director of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, said. “We are very appreciative because it allows us to try things that we know are right for our students.”

The  Major Saver coupon cards are one of the ways the GEF raises funds, and this fall the campaign generated nearly $16,000 to go toward projects for our staff and students. Students at Gilbert Intermediate put on a clinic when it came to selling the cards, as the top five sellers — William Nissen (51 cards), Lochlyn Woodin (40 cards), Karis Johansen (23 cards), Mallory Griffin (22 cards), and Jett Schon (20 cards) — all reside in the building.

“I’m so proud of those top sellers and I’m so proud of all of our kids for being willing to be a part of the Major Saver campaign,” Gilbert Intermediate Principal Amy Griffin said. “They understand the impact of selling and what that gets for our school and our classrooms, which is really special.”

The GEF put the money raised from the Major Saver cards, plus a few extra dollars toward the mini-grants that totaled $16,369.31. Nine of the mini-grants went to programs at the elementary, 15 went to the intermediate, 11 to the middle school, and eight to the high school.

The Gilbert Community School District and the Gilbert Education Foundation cannot thank the community enough for your support. With your help, the educational opportunities for our students continue to expand. Major Saver cards are still available for purchase as well to anyone interested.

The GEF has set its annual spring fundraising event, the Rock Hop, for Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. We hope to see you all there!

Mini-grants approved following Major Saver campaign


Angie Bonthuis, Kindergarten — Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Small Group Materials.

Veronica Breshnahan, KPrep/Preschool — Moving with a Purpose.

Heather Currans, Preschool — Early Learning through our Senses.

Deanna Haselhoff, K-2 — Interoceptive and Proprioceptive Sensory Supports.

Nicole Klaver, Kindergarten — Building Peer Relationships Through Play.

Kayla Meaney, Kindergarten — Fine Motor.

Krista Sippel, Kindergarten — Dramatic Play.

Colbi Terrones, Pre-K — Social Emotional Regulation.

Joni Tickle, Kindergarten — Play Based Learning.


Mackenzie Bloem, 3rd Grade — Flexible Seating, Weather Station.

Jayd Brown, 5th Grade — Classroom Library.

Jayd Brown, 5th Grade — Breakout Activities.

Brittany Hemesath, 3rd Grade — Flexible Seating.

Stephanie Klaffke, PE — Connect Teamwork and Fun.

Karen Mongar, 3rd Grade — Engagement Tools.

Katie Nees, 3rd Grade — Flexible Seating.

Caroline Samson, 5th Grade — Flexible Seating.

Joy Sparrey, Counselor — Social and Emotional Wellness.

Chelsea Steil, 4th Grade (Group of 6) — Materials for the Classroom.

Mel Woodin, Student and Family Advocate — BMR Calming Spots.

Middle School

Katy Charlson, 6th ELA — Alpha-Biography.

Hannah Gorman, Guidance — Wobbly Stools.

Mike Kruse, 6-8 PE — Jump Boxes.

Nathan Moore, Art — Glazes for Ceramics.

Wes Onken, 6th Math — Wipe Boards for Vertical Math Theory.

Amanda Ostrem, 6th Science — Science Olympiad.

Hannah Schmidt, 7th Science — Electromagnetic Science Investigation.

Brett Slight, 6-8 PE — Dumbbells for Fitness.

Staci Sniezek, 6th PE — FISH Iowa.

Jenni Thomas, Counselor — Desk Cycles.

Tammy Tinder, SPED — Flexible Seating.

High School

Cathy Anderson, English — Habitudes.

Adam Davis, Ag — Forging and Blacksmithing.

Brittany Fredricks, Math — Fraction Tiles.

Graham Lundt, PE — Fitness Room Equipment.

Jen Maguire, Art — Cricket Maker Bundle.

Lacie Moore, Spanish — Learning Through Movement Brain Breaks.

Troy Staudt and Jason Chung, Esports — Headphones.

Tracy Tensen, English — Headphones for Classroom.

Bob Terrones, At-Risk — Nintendo Switch.

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Gilbert Community School District

Gilbert Community School District

103 Mathews Drive, Gilbert, Iowa 50105  |  (515) 232-3740