Yearbook, Cheer Coach, Bolts Abroad Sponsor
Teaching for me is so much more than just my career, or where I go from 7:40-3:40 each day. I genuinely love interacting, learning, and growing with my students. Baxter has been my teaching home for nine years; I met my husband here, and I've had the chance to teach some pretty awesome kids. I graduated from UNI with my bachelor's in English Education, and from Southern New Hampshire University with my master's in Creative Writing and English. My husband and I live in Des Moines with our three cats, and when I'm not at school you can find me traveling the world, reading a good book, or working on my novel.
K-12 Extended Learning Program, K-5 Music
My job is to stretch kids' brains, and I love challenging curious kids in all subjects! My background is in elementary education and secondary English, and I graduated from Wartburg College (be orange!) In addition to reading and writing, I love playing piano and ukulele, so I'm excited to get to make music with kids every day now too! My husband Aaron and I live in Colfax, and we love watching Jeopardy, exploring state parks, and buying way too many books at used book sales.
High School Science Teacher
Throughout my life, I have always loved to learn. Teaching high school science at Baxter is a lot of fun for me because I get to learn and laugh WITH my students every day! I am a graduate of Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School and Iowa State University. I took graduate classes in physics at Drake University and received my master's degree from Morningside College. My husband, Josh, is an active voice for students and educators through his work at the local, state, and national levels in the Education Association. My son, William, is open-enrolled to Baxter High School. We love to travel and actively seek to live our "bucket list." Some of my favorite adventure memories include snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, eating pineapple at a luau in Hawaii, having a snowball fight in June in Alaska, celebrating the New Year in NYC's Times Square, and riding in a hot air balloon!
I graduated from Algona High School and went on to get my bachelor's degree in biology and secondary education from Iowa State University. I earned my master's degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State as well. I recently earned my doctorate in Educational Leadership from Drake University. The focus of my research was open enrollment and the reasons people choose to open enroll into Baxter. When I am not at school, I love to travel, run, read and spend time with my husband, Trent, and our three children, Courtney, Will and Trice.
Elementary Instructional Coach
I graduated from Iowa State University in 2018 and have been at Baxter since. Before becoming the instructional coach, I taught third grade and one year in elementary special education. I'm currently working on receiving my Master's degree from Upper Iowa University. When I'm not at school, you can find me spending time outdoors, hanging out with my husband, Tryston, and three-year-old daughter, Oaklee, or catching up on a true crime podcast.
School Resource Officer
I am the Chief of Police of the City of Baxter, Iowa. As part of our departments commitment to the community we partner with the Baxter Community Schools to have me in the building to help secure the building during the school day. I also serve in the capacity of an educator on law related topics for the teachers and help administration with counseling students. I do occasionally address the "How do I get out of.." questions lol. I have an office next to the cafeteria that allows me to interact directly with students and staff.
I love to travel with my family. I believe you are not truly not educated until you have traveled the world and experienced other cultures and customs. I love to read and write. I am working on several books at the moment. My family is my everything just ask me about my children or my wife.
2nd Grade Teacher
Assistant HS volleyball coach and head JH boys basketball coach
I have been teaching at Baxter since 2020. I graduated with my Masters of Science in Teaching degree and reading endorsement from Drake University. I also have a journalism degree from Simpson College.
When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children (Eli and Holden). My husband, Travis, is the 6-12 school counselor at Baxter. I coach the junior high boys basketball team. I am also the director of our youth Gym Rats basketball program.
I have high expectations for my students. I want every child in my classroom to learn, and behave in a manner that helps create a positive learning experience for other students.
Fifth Grade Teacher
I have been teaching 23 years with twenty of those years at Baxter. I earned my Bachelors Degree in elementary education at the University of Northern Iowa. I have a Master's Degree in educational administration from Iowa State University. I am an adjunct professor of education at Upper Iowa University. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and searching for antiques.
MS Special Education Teacher
I teach middle school special education. I am beginning my 8th year teaching here at Baxter. I love working with our students and being part of the Baxter community. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, gardening, and cooking.
Hello! My name is Jill Halter. I am an Iowa State University alumni and, of course, an avid Cyclone fan! My husband, Bryce, and I live in Baxter with our boys; Owen and Nolan. I enjoy spending time outdoors, watching sports and eating ice cream.
PE, Strength and Conditioning
I am Ryan Hermes. I just graduated from Grand View University this spring. While at Grand View, I played football and interned with the strength and conditioning staff. I moved to Baxter with my girlfriend Mackenzie and our dog Dale and cat Roxanne. I am excited to be apart of this school district and community. Go Bolts!!
3rd Grade Teacher
MS Volleyball Coach
I grew up in Slater, Iowa and graduated from Ballard High School. I am a graduate of Iowa State University (Go Hawkeyes!). I majored in Elementary Education, minored in Child, Adult and Family Services and have endorsements in Reading and Language Arts. When I'm not teaching I can be found doing anything outdoors with my friends and family. I love playing with my black lab Stanley, golfing, or fishing. I absolutely love being a Baxter Bolt!!
I live here in Baxter with my husband, Josh, who commutes to Des Moines each day to work at Mercy hospital as a physician's assistant in pathology. We have two children. Our daughter, Katie, is studying to become a nurse and our son, Micah, is a Senior at Baxter. We also have a big dog named Stella and a little dog named Mr. Tubbs. We recently had a pet spider, but when she had hundreds of babies we decided to release her and her offspring in the country.
I am fortunate to call two great states home. I was born in Texas, but spent half of my childhood growing up in Marshalltown, Iowa. I graduated from Permian High School in Odessa, TX whose claim to fame is the book, movie, TV series Friday Night Lights. I graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1996 with a degree in elementary education. After school I returned to Iowa and rekindled an old church camp flame. A year later Joshua and I were married. He finished his biology degree at UNI and worked for a few years before going back to graduate school in Chicago. He took a job in Duluth, Minnesota where we lived for four years before returning to Iowa in 2008. We are very happy to be living closer to our parents (mine are in Marshalltown and his are in Cedar Falls) and have found Baxter to be the perfect small town for our little family.
Over the years I have worked with children in a variety of settings including: kindergarten and preschool teacher, childcare provider, children's minister and camp counselor. I have a great passion for children and believe strongly that with a little guidance and a lot of love every child has the ability to succeed in my classroom. Day by day, step by step, we will find success!
Aside from school I enjoy a diverse range of hobbies. My mother taught me to knit as a young child and I still knit regularly. I love to ride my bicycle. You might even spot me riding it to and from school. I also enjoy gardening, canning, baking, photography, hiking, snowshoeing, fishing, ice fishing, camping, wild berry hunting and spending quality time with my family in the great outdoors.
School Board Member
"Born in Iowa but raised and educated all over the world, which included 3
years of highschool in Pakistan. I graduated from highschool on the east
coast (Delaware) and from college on the west coast (University of San
Diego). I am married to Dan Kunkel and have 2 daughters, Alex and Elizabeth,
both Baxter graduates. I am happiest when spending time with family and
friends, watching Bolts,Steeler, and Cyclone sporting events, reading, and
traveling. I am a member of the school board as well as the treasurer for
the Baxter Community Scholarship Org.. BCSD is truly a hidden jewel sitting
in the center of Iowa with the most passionate, caring, driven
administrators, teachers, and extended staff that are making a difference
one student at a time with the strong support of the Baxter community. "
Middle School Literature
MS Assistant Track, MS Book Club
I am married to Mr. Luther, we have 5 total kids; the last of whom will graduate from college this year. We are definitely in the empty nest phase of life. I love, love, love to read and shop for new books, as well as travel to places that are much warmer than the midwest. This will be my 29th year teaching, and my 8th year back at Baxter.
I’m Jules McGrew. I have been blessed to be teaching FCS since 2020. I have a background in Hospitality Management along with being a chef for over 15 years. I’m from New York, but have been in Central Iowa since 2014. I live in State Center with my Husband and 2 amazing kids. We love being out doors hiking, camping, and love all the activities our kids are involved in.
4th Grade Teacher
I am a graduate of William Penn University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Reading. I enjoy spending time with my fiancé Shane and our children Gabe, Coy, and Aria. I also enjoy traveling, reading, and running. I’m very passionate about teaching and I’m proud to be a Baxter Bolt!
School Board Member
I am married to Troy and have three daughters, Sadie, Sophie and Abbie. I am a Medical Dosimetrist at Mercy Radiation Oncology. In my spare time I like a good antique shop, basketball game, and time spent in my garden.
I am a long time resident of this amazing town of Baxter with my husband who was born and raised here. Together we are raising our two beautiful children, Kenny and Cassie, to be kind, strong, and selfless human beings. This community is one of my favorite things about living in Baxter and I love getting to be apart of it everyday. Surround me with family and friends and I will be as happy as can be!
2nd grade Teacher
High School Speech Team Assistant
I have a passion for reading and music. I love to hear all about what you're currently reading and listening to and I think it says a lot about who we are. Although I was never a cheerleader, I love to cheer kids on! I have an appreciation for every individual's creativity and love to encourage it in others. My personal mantra is that each day is a chance to be brand new.
I graduated from Grand View University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading, English Language Arts, and Social Studies. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Nate for 14 years now and have two amazing children Jaxon (6th grade) and Bentley (4th grade). We have now lived in Baxter, Iowa for 10 years and we absolutely love our little town. I love spending time with my family, camping, cuddling with our four dogs (Cy, Paisley, Kevin, and Finley), and Christmas!!
I am so excited to be a kindergarten teacher this year at Baxter!!
I have been teaching for 18 years, with 16 of those years here in Baxter. I stay busy keeping up with my 3 kids and all of their activities. I also enjoy gardening and reading a good book!
HS English Teacher
Growing up, I have always fallen back on the experiences and opportunities found in literature and in my writing. Now as a teacher, I get to enjoy sharing this passion with my students who I hope go on to nurture their love of reading and their ability to write for themselves as well as others.
To give some background on me, I have taught English for the last 8 years at Collins-Maxwell, and I am looking forward to year 9, here, in Baxter! Originally, I am from the Quad-Cities where I graduated from Davenport West High School and went on to the University of Northern Iowa to attain my Bachelors of Arts in English. Currently, I live in Ankeny with my adoring wife and three wonderful kids.
Business Education Teacher
Assistant MS/HS Cross Country Coach
Teaching is my second career after 22 years in the Air Force as a weather forecaster. This is my second year at Baxter and I have taught in a high school Business Education classroom for a total of 10 years. I also teach online Macro & Microeconomics as an adjunct professor for Iowa Central Community College. My wife Sarah works with 3rd-6th grade talented and gifted students at Bondurant Schools and we have two sons who are serving in the Air Force in California. I grew up in Wisconsin and enjoy following the Packers, Brewers, Badgers & Bucks. I love board games, trivia, biking on my Peloton, and running.
Head JH boys basketball coach
I am a Registered Nurse and a Iowa native. I chose my career in Nursing to help others. I really enjoy getting to know students, staff, and the community. I am married to Nick and we have two daughters, Brynn (5) & Hallie (3) that keep us very busy. In my spare time, I enjoy being with my family & friends, crafting, reading, traveling, and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes!
My family moved to Baxter in September, 2020. I have a marketing degree from Iowa State University. My husband and I have three children. Elie who runs cross country and track for Simpson College and Emie and Maddux who are students at Baxter. In my free time I like to watch my kids participate in sports, cook, exercise, shop, and travel with my family.
Anna Van Dusen
Agriculture teacher, FFA Advisor
I graduated from Morningside University and now live in Ankeny with my fiancé, Walter. Outside of school you can find me with my camera in hand for my photography business, out exploring nature. I cannot wait to join the Baxter community!
Secondary Instructional Coach, Activities Director
Head High School and Middle School Cross Country Coach
I have a wonderful wife and three adult children. We live on an acreage outside of Colo. I am beginning my 29th year at Baxter School. After teaching middle school science for 25 years I became the secondary instructional coach, and now I added AD to my plate as well.
MS/HS Principal Secretary, AD Secretary
I am married with 2 children, 1 cat and 1 dog and we live just outside of Baxter. I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I started working at Baxter School in August 2014.
Middle School Science
My family and I moved to the Des Moines area this summer and I’m so happy to be a part of the Baxter community. My husband, Josh, and I have 5 children, one boy and four girls. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education have been teaching since 2017. In the little spare time I have, I enjoy watching documentaries, baking, and spending time with friends and family.
I grew up on a farm in Kellogg and attended Newton High School. After High School I received my Elementary Education degree at Mount Mercy University along with endorsements in Reading and English/Language Arts. I recently graduated from Mount Mercy and have accepted my first teaching job here at Baxter! Outside of school you can find me spending time with family and friends, going on walks, and adoring the sunsets. I am excited to begin my teaching career in this lovely town and am eager to learn and grow alongside my students!
I am a 1987 graduate of Baxter Community School and have been a proud Bulldog, Raider, and Bolt! This is my 24th year of teaching at Baxter, and I truly love my job! My husband, Doug, and I raised our three children, Bailey, Kaitlin, and Nate here and appreciate the values and strength of our small community and school and all they have to offer.
4th Grade Teacher
I have been teaching at Baxter for the past 18 years. My husband and I and our 6 children live in Ames. I have 3 grandchildren who were all born this last May. I love to read and to hang out with my grown up children, and of course spoil my grandbabies. One of my grandbabies lives in Arizona, so I like to go there a couple times a year and we FaceTime several times a week. I love teaching in Baxter and have a lot of fun in 4th grade!
Middle School Language Arts
My name is Lisa Cross and I will be teaching Middle School English Language Arts for the 2023/24 school year. I am very excited about this new venture in my life. My undergrad degree is from Northeast Missouri State and my masters degree is from Iowa State University. I have a long history with Baxter Community School including the following: 18 years in the elementary, 18 years as K-12 guidance counselor, and a wide variety of substitute positions including two years now as the contract teacher of middle school ELA.
My family, made up of two sons and 5 grand children, is a very special part of my life. Kyle, lives in Omaha with wife Tisha and sons Grayson and Riley. Tracy lives here in Baxter with wife Jenn and daughters Callie, Mackenzie, and Reagan. Spending time with all of them is my favorite pastime. Gardening and reading are my favorite hobbies.
High School Math
Hello! I’m Franchesca DeVore. I graduated from Indian Hills with my AA in 2021. During my time at Indian Hills I was a basketball and competitive cheerleader. In 2021, I was a part of the the competitive cheer squad who won the CANAM Nationals. I transferred to Simpson College where I got my BA in 2023. I grew up showing Angus and Maine-Anjou cattle across the United States for the past 13 years.
Secondary School Counselor
MS Football Coach, MS Student Council Advisor
I am a proud 1993 graduate of Baxter High School. I returned to Baxter in 2011. My wife and I along with our two sons live in the school district and enjoy supporting the Bolts.
Elementary Special Education Teacher
I graduated from Waldorf College as a non traditional student. I have taught special education, as well as 1st & 4th grade and love this chance to be a part of a community like Baxter.
My husband and I love to watch hockey during the fall and winter months, and the ponies during the summer months. I am a proud mom of two grown children, who still keep me busy.
I have lived in many places over the years, but am excited to one day visit Australia, Italy and Ireland. Travel is a must for me, and I continue to add to my bucket list all the time!
HS Football, HS Boys Basketball
I have been at Baxter since 2012. I taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade in my time as an elementary teacher, then worked with teachers and students as the elementary instructional coach, and now as elementary principal. I have also been blessed with many great coaching opportunities and coached some very special student athletes. I currently serve as the Defensive Coordinator for Varsity Football and Head Boy's Basketball Coach for the Bolts. I live in Baxter with my wife Rachel, daughter Sloan, and son Josey. In my spare time you can find me with my family, on the golf course, or catching up with good friends.
Amanda Hoffman received her Bachelor of Science in psychology with a focus on children and families from the University of Iowa. She then attended Buena Vista University and received her master’s degree in school counseling. She has been a counselor for ten years. Mrs. Hoffman enjoys working with students, staff, families, and in the community to help young people grow into healthy, productive adults! In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Special Education Para
I live with my husband, Justin, our two kids, Gavin & Journey, two chihuahuas, & two rescue cats in Newton. I enjoy camping, fishing, reading, making tumblers & tops, am a huge fan of '80s hair bands & old tv shows, watching movies, playing games, garage sales & thrifting.
I live on my husband's family farm, with our two daughters. I am an Iowa State fan. I grew up in Melbourne, Iowa. Graduated from west marshall high school. Received my AA at DMACC.
I am planning to go to college and finish my degree, to be a teacher, and or a school counselor.
6-12 Principal / Head Football Coach
I have 5 children, Grant, Taylor, Trent, AJ, and Mallory. My wife Kristin teaches MS Lit at Baxter. We love to travel and find new beaches. I love Golf, Notre Dame , Football!
Dr. Anthony Meyer
Baxter Athletics Team Doctor
I grew up in Lake City, Iowa graduating from Southern Cal High School and attended Grand View University for my undergraduate studies in biochemistry. I then pursued my chiropractic degree in a warmer climate at Palmer College, Florida Campus, only to return home to Iowa to begin practice. As an athlete once myself, I have a special interest in treating athletes utilizing a variety of chiropractic skills.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife Courtney and our two daughters Hayden and Holland, golfing, and spending time outdoors with my dog.
High School Social Studies
I am fired up to work with Baxter students on topics about which I have long been passionate – history, government, and baseball. After graduating from Iowa State and the University of Virginia, I practiced as an attorney in San Diego, California for twenty years. Last year, my wife, Olivia, and I relocated our four children (Colton, Camden, Ella, and Nolan), so that I could obtain my teaching certification. We chose Baxter CSD based upon its strong reputation and the small school opportunities that I experienced growing up in Southwest Iowa. The Baxter community has exceeded all our expectations. We feel blessed that doors opened to allow our family to become more directly involved in Baxter’s mission.
Teacher Librarian/Tech Coordinator
HS Asst Boys and Girls Golf Coach
I graduated from Marshalltown High School in 1998. I obtained my BA from BVU and my master's degree from UNI. I have been with Baxter since 2011 and loved the community and school so much that I moved my family here. I currently teach library and internet skills to elementary students and middle school library/computer science. I have two children, Lily who is a strong-willed third grader and James a too smart for his own good 5 year old, and a yorkshire terrier Charlie. I am a fan of Harry Potter, but that is not the reasoning for the kids' names. I enjoy hanging out with my family watching Marvel movies and going golfing. Also, I am a big nerd when it comes to video games. I have been playing since the Intellivision(yes I am that old) and continue to play on my Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. I love to read as well, which is a good thing being in this position. Some of my favorite book series are Game of Thrones (all 1 billion pages of them). Ashfall (whom I was lucky enough to have dinner with the author and read the manuscript for his upcoming book), and all of the books by Clive Cussler. I could list a lot more, but I will cut it off at three. If you would like any recommendations, you know where to find me. I enjoy the hunt for a good book for someone. We are all different and have different tastes in literature and that is what makes it so fun to be in my position because I am exposed to so many different genres.
School Board President
I have been serving on the Baxter Community School District Board of Directors since 2013. I grew up in rural Baxter and graduated from here in 1997. My wife, Jennifer, is also from Baxter and we have two sons that attend Baxter Schools. I work at Corteva Agriscience with Pioneer Hi-Bred and also help on our family farm. I enjoy outdoor activities, coaching our kids’ Rec teams, and traveling.
Middle School Mathematics
I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State with math and reading endorsements for K-8. I taught third grade for two years here in Baxter, and moved into teaching solely math during the 2022-2023 school year. I have always loved math, and am so lucky the middle school math position opened up in the same building! I have three awesome kids, a rad husband, who works as an agricultural/structural engineer, two dozen chickens, and an Australian Shepherd named Rudy. I love trying new things--whether its food, activities, or traveling to new places!
K-12 Physical Education
MS football, HS basketball assistant, HS golf
I am entering my second year at Baxter and year 14 of teaching. I currently teach K-12 PE and coach JH football, basketball and golf.
School Board Member
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Joel, and we have two daughters, Gwen and Lydia. We moved here in 2007 and absolutely love this community! We attended a small school outside Marshalltown, and definitely wanted a similar small school environment to raise our kids. In my day job, I serve as the immunization registry coordinator at the Iowa Department of Public Health. I have served on our Baxter school board since 2015.
Elementary Special Education
I graduated from Iowa State University, began my teaching career at Woodward Granger Middle School and have been teaching special education at Baxter since 2004. I enjoy being involved in the school and community and volunteer my time on the Baxter PTO, our Big Bolt Little Bolt school mentoring program, and with the CMB soccer club. I live on a acreage with my husband Ryan and sons Treyton and Cainan.
Shaina Van Beek
My name is Shaina Van Beek and I have been teaching Bitty Bolts Preschool in Baxter since 2013, GO BOLTS!. My husband, Brian and I live on an acreage outside of Baxter where we raise our two girls, Rylee and Callie. I graduated from Iowa State University in Early Childhood Education. We visit Ames frequently to attend Iowa State Football, Men's and Women's Basketball games, Go Cyclones!
I live outside of Baxter with my husband Jordan. We have two children Lilie and Stadan. Lilie is in her 2nd year at Mercy College and Stadan is a sophomore here at Baxter. In my time away from the school I'm either helping my husband on our farm, or stay busy with my kids who like to be involved in everything!
3rd Grade teacher
My name is Lori Warkentin and I am excited to be a 3rd grade teacher at Baxter Elementary! A little about me: I was born and raised in Pella where my parents and siblings reside. I am a BVU grad. I taught third grade in Storm Lake, Iowa previously before coming to Baxter. Before teaching third grade at Baxter, I taught first grade for 6 years. My husband and I live here in Baxter with our 2 daughters. We enjoy spending time with friends, getting outside and continuously working on our new house.
Special Ed Teacher
I'm a former math and science teacher, and have coached football, baseball, and wrestling. After retiring, I moved to Northern Arizona and taught in Navajo schools for two years.
I love the small school pride at Baxter and wish I would have come here a long time ago!