Summer is here, and yet it’s almost that time again! Time for the students to get ready to return to the classroom and pick up where they left off in pursuit of educational excellence. But before we welcome our students back, we thought we’d give our three Irvington Community School, Inc. principals some space to talk about their goals and ambitions for the 2018-2019 school year.

Loryn Venekamp, Irvington Community Middle School Principal
One of Mrs. Venekamp’s favorite educational quotes: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m excited that 100 percent of ICMS staff members are returning in 2018-2019! This means we’ve already established relationships with students, families, and each other, so we can jump right in and continue the important work of meeting the academic and social/emotional needs of our students.

Our theme for 2018-2019 at ICMS will be “We are ALL IN!” As a staff we will be dedicating this year to enthusiastically welcoming all students and celebrating their growth throughout the year. We have also listened to feedback from students and staff about our schedule and have “tweaked” this year’s daily schedule, hopefully accommodating students in a way that better supports them developmentally as young adult learners.

In order to give all ICMS students their greatest opportunity to grow and succeed, we respectfully ask that parents and families, too, commit to being “ALL IN” this year. While we recognize the “full plates” that families manage, ensuring students are punctual/present/prepared for their day will go a long way in supporting students and the hard work of their teachers. As we all know, middle school students still need our support, our reminders, and our modeling. At home, families can also engage in our communication tools — emails and Google Voice messages from teachers and staff; PowerSchool; and Academic Passports in the Agenda are just a few of the ways we communicate with students and families. Responding promptly keeps those critical lines of communication open.

I’m an eager, committed lifelong learner, so what better way to spend my days than with those who also recognize the importance of a quality education. This year marks a decade for me as an educator at ICS, and my commitment to our mission, our students, our families, and our staff is greater than ever. Quite simply, I love ICS and her people! It brings me great joy, both professionally and personally, to see students happy and successful, especially during the more challenging years of middle school.

Mrs. Venekamp began her career at Irvington Community Schools in 2008, teaching 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts at the then-K-8 building. In 2010, Mrs. Venekamp was just one of the many founding staff members of Irvington Community Middle School, bringing the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teams together and building a culture that supports young adolescents. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Minot State University and a Master of Science in Education, Curriculum, and K-12 Instruction from the University of Central Missouri.