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One Stop Shop Available To All Gilbert Students, Families, And Staff

Gilbert families, let’s play a game of Did You Know …

Did you know the Gilbert Community School District has its very own One Stop Shop? Located inside Gilbert Intermediate and run by our Student and Family Advocate Mel Woodin, One Stop Shop is available to all Gilbert students, families, and staff members who are looking for clothing and various other items. There is no cost for these items.

What are some of the items in the shop? It’s stuffed full of things like coats, shorts, pants, T-shirts, sweatshirts, shoes, boots, and socks. There are stocking caps and gloves too.

A new addition this year is sports apparel, such as jerseys, uniforms, shoes, and cleats, and there’s even some equipment, such as baseball and softball bats.

In addition to students and families, Mrs. Woodin says coaches are encouraged to contact her if they have athletes who are in need of items. If she has it, she’ll pass the items on to the appropriate school.

“This is open to everybody in every one of our buildings,” Mrs. Woodin said. “If someone is looking for a size and we don’t have it, we have generous donors and we can usually find what students and families need. If there’s a player who doesn’t want to buy new shoes, they can reach out to me, and even if there are families who are having trouble finding the means to register their kids for sports, I can help out with that as well.”

Mrs. Woodin says she’s always willing to take donations of new or gently-used items. She’s more than happy to accept Gilbert gear that isn’t specific to a year. Currently, she’s most in need of pants for younger children, such as sweatpants and leggings. And there’s always a need for adult-sized clothes that would be suitable and fashionable for high school students.

“We’re always looking for nice stuff of high school kids, things they would wear,” she said.

This past August, Mrs. Woodin ran a PE shoes exchange during Back To School Night, and many families took part. Because PE shoes aren’t worn every day, and because many of the kids quickly grow out of the shoes, she simply set up a large section of PE shoes and families could exchange what they had for a different pair.

“It’s less waste,” she said.

Mrs. Woodin says that if you would like to receive items from the One Stop Shop, you can reach out to her directly by email at, or you can reach out to one of our building counselors. All inquiries are strictly confidential.

If you would like to donate items to the One Stop Shop, please email Mrs. Woodin.

Intermediate Winter Service Learning Project To Benefit One Stop Shop

The Gilbert Intermediate Lighthouse Leadership Team is currently overseeing its building’s Winter Service Learning Project, which is focused on winter warmth.

Students are collecting donations of new or gently-used winter clothing — coats, hats, gloves, scarves, snow boots, and snow pants — to donate to One Stop Shop. Once the Gilbert shop has the items it needs, the remainder of the items will be donated to the Clothing Closet at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Ames.

The Gilbert Intermediate drive is currently up and running and it will end on Friday, Dec. 15. If you would like to donate items, please bring them to the Gilbert Intermediate office.

Grant Walker Named State Coach Of The Year By NFHS

Girls’ golf coach now eligible for national award

A girls’ golf season unlike any other in school history has now produced an award a prestigious few individuals ever attain for head coach Grant Walker.

On Wednesday, Gilbert Schools was informed Walker has been named the Iowa Girls Golf Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Nominated by the Iowa High School Athletic Association, Walker is now eligible to be named the National Coach of the Year by the NFHS.

“It’s another compliment really to the players that I have,” Walker, who has been the Tigers’ head coach for seven seasons, said upon learning about the award. “I couldn’t win all of these awards without the players because they make up for my mistakes a lot of the time.

“To get it on the national level is a lot different because you’re competing against a lot more coaches, so it’s exciting to even be considered for that (national) award.”

Following the 2023 spring season in which the Tigers went unbeaten and claimed their first-ever Class 3A state championship, Walker was named the 3A State Coach of the Year by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association, an award he’s now won twice. He’s also been named the 3A IGCA District Coach of the Year four times.

In addition to the 2023 state crown, Walker has also guided the Gilbert girls’ golf program to 3A runner-up finishes in 2021 and 2022. The Tigers have also finished third and fourth at the state meet under his leadership.

But this past spring was unique. Gilbert wasn’t just the best team in 3A, it was the best team in Iowa regardless of class, as the statistics prove. The Tigers owned the top 9-hole average (156.40), the best 9-hole adjusted average (161.36), the No. 1 18-hole average (328.86), and the best 18-hole adjusted average (337.71).

No team beat the Tigers. Not in a dual meet, not in a triangular or quadrangular, and not in a tournament. It all culminated with Walker’s club leading the 3A state tournament wire-to-wire in Cedar Falls, as the Tigers claimed a 19-stroke victory over runner-up Dubuque Wahlert.

Eden Lohrbach, now a senior who will play collegiately at the University of Nebraska, won her second 3A individual title as well.

The 2023 season was truly a dream that became reality, and Walker says the girls were focused on achieving those goals from day one. A narrow loss at the 2022 state tournament was a driving motivator.

“They were out to prove a point last year, and I think everyone around the state got that message by the time the season was over,” Walker said. “They were going out and beating 4A teams by 50 shots.”

And here’s the scary part, for the rest of the state anyway — the Tigers could be, and probably should be, even better during the 2024 season. Five of their state-tournament players and six varsity regulars in all return — Eden Lohrbach and twin sisters Ava and Ella Lohrbach, as well as Macy Underwood, Josie Dukes, and Haley Loonan.

So, yeah, you better believe expectations will be just as lofty later this spring.

“I watched them all summer out at the golf course and I’m assuming they’re not getting worse,” Walker said with a chuckle. “They broke every single record we have last year and I have no reason to think they won’t turn around and do the same thing this spring, so it’s exciting.”

Gilbert Activities Director Ian Smith says NFHS got it right with its recognition of Walker, who has put in an immense amount of time behind the scenes to build the Gilbert girls’ golf program into what it is today.

“I’m so proud and happy for Grant, and he’s so deserving of this award,” Smith said. “Every single girl on the roster knows he cares for them and will coach them the same way, and that speaks to his character. He’s done a lot of work to build this program into what it is, and hopefully that will set us up for good things for years to come.”

Lunch Conversations

A lot of us have a hard time starting conversations with people we don’t know. It can be awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s also something we all have to do. In situations like this, stepping out of one’s comfort zone is never a bad thing.

In an effort to help our students in these types of situations, our high school team organized a special lunch yesterday. Titled “Lunch Conversations,” our students had an assigned table they were asked to sit at with students from different grade levels and individuals they might not have known prior to yesterday.

Teachers and staff members were present at each table to try to get the conversations going. The goal: To set aside social expectations and use conversation starters to chat with some different people during this one day.

And the results were extremely positive.

Our students did a wonderful job of getting to know new people. The three lunch periods were characterized by positive conversation, little to no phone usage, and new connections for our students.

Thank you to our students for being willing to participate in this activity, and thank you to our amazing team of educators and administrators at the high school for taking an active and leading role.

AWARD WINNERS: 3 XC Coaches Honored by Track Coaches Association

Thomas the 3A State Coach of the Year, Staudt the Assistant Coach of the Year

The cross country season was award-filled for our teams, so it makes sense the coaches joined in on the fun once the season concluded.

It was announced on Thursday that both of our head coaches and boys’ assistant coach Troy Staudt were honored as award winners by the Iowa Track Coaches Association.

Staudt was the lone recipient of the Boys Assistant Coach of the Year award. Head boys’ coach Aaron Thomas was named the Class 3A State Coach of the Year, while girls’ head coach Laura Kautman was a 3A At-Large Coach of the Year.

A part of the boys’ program for seven years, Staudt has been alongside Thomas for three of the Tigers’ four state championships since 2014, including this season. Staudt earned the high praise through a nomination and vote by coaches from across the state.

“It’s a great honor for Troy,” Thomas said. “When he came in, he’d admit that he didn’t have a lot of knowledge about cross country, but he’s worked so hard to have a better understanding and he plays a big role in planning workouts, planning training, those things.”

Thomas says Staudt is key to the growth of the entire program.

“That (varsity) meet we go to at Boone at the end of the year that’s for our JV kids, that was his idea,” Thomas said. “He looks at the whole picture and does a nice job of thinking about what can we do for all 30 or 40 kids on the team and what’s best for them.”

Thomas earned his fourth Coach of the Year accolade, which he says is a reflection of the work the athletes put in throughout the season.

“It’s voted on by your peers, so it’s nice to be recognized by them,” Thomas said. “What the kids did this year, the award is a reflection of that.”

The boys’ team dethroned Pella in 3A to win the state championship. The Tigers also won 3A crowns in 2014, 2017, and 2018.

Kautman’s honor comes after a stellar season for the girls’ program as well. The Tigers were ranked No. 2 for the majority of the season, joined the boys as Raccoon River Conference and State Qualifying Meet champions, and completed the campaign with a third-place finish at state.

Congratulations to all three coaches on these awards. They are certainly deserving of the accolades.

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Gilbert Community School District

Gilbert Community School District

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