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At Baxter Elementary School...

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We are part of a larger school and town "community" where we share common attitudes, beliefs, and goals for the success of our students.  Through mutual respect and support within our K-12 school and with our stakeholders in town, our children learn and grow in a positive atmosphere where faculty, staff, students, parents and community partners collectively are enthusiastic about the teaching and learning process.

Click on this link to email me today to learn more!

Elementary:  641.227.1121

SECONDARY:  641.227.3103

Wendy Anderson

Curriculum Director

DeAnn Bishop

First Grade

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.

Amy Christiansen

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!

Tace Clark

Food Service Director

Kristy Dee

2nd Grade

Volleyball Coach

Jamie Flanegan

5-12 Band Director & Choir Director

Pep band and Bolt Mental Health Ambassadors

I graduated with my music education degree from Wartburg College in 2020. I had many great opportunities while studying, including becoming the first woman president of the Wartburg Drumline and playing in the Wartburg College Wind Ensemble. I have a VERY cute cat named Louis. Stop by the music room to say hi!

Zach Hasselbrink

Elementary Principal

Football and Basketball

Madison Houge

3rd Grade

I am one of our new 3rd Grade teachers. I was born and raised in Slater, Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University this spring (2020) with a major in Elementary Education, a Minor in Child, Adult and Family Services and endorsements in Reading and English Language Arts. When I'm not teaching I can be found golfing, listening to country music, or spending time outdoors with my family! I am thrilled to now be called a Baxter Bolt!

April Kearns

Kindergarten Teacher

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.

Greg Pickett

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.

Sara Tiedje

School Nurse

"I graduated from Baxter in 2005 and then obtained my Associates Degree in Nursing from Des Moines Area Community College. My husband, Nick and I live outside of Baxter with our amazing daughters, Brynn and Hallie, our golden retriever, Layla, and our farm cat, Sweetie Boy. I love spending time with my family and friends, watching the Chicago Cubs, traveling anywhere I can be close to a beach or the mountains, reading and drinking coffee...a lot of coffee.
I am beyond blessed to be Baxter's School Nurse. Nothing makes me happier than seeing our students happy and healthy!"

Shaina Van Beek

4 year old Preschool Teacher

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!

Allison Bartholmey

Talented & Gifted

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. My husband Aaron teaches in Colfax, and we enjoy doing crossword puzzles.

Dana Bucklin

5th Grade

Middle School Softball

I love any outdoor activities! I love planting flowers in my yard and watching something bloom every season! I also love teaching at Baxter and being involved in Baxter Athletics, Go Bolts!

Mickolyn Clapper


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.

Claire DeJong


I attended Iowa State University where I received my BA in Elementary Education with an endorsement in math and a minor in Technology. When I'm not spending time with tiny humans, I enjoy being active, DIY projects, and spending time with family and friends.

Wyatt Eide

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. Gaffney

K-12 Art Teacher

The one and only art teacher in Baxter! I am on a cart with K-5 and back in the old art room with MS/HS this year. I'm happy to help with a project plan or advice for home art too. If you need anything, just send me an email!

Amanda Hoffman

School Counselor

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.

Ashley Jacobs

4th Grade Teacher

I am a graduate of Iowa State University with my bachelors in Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading and English Language Arts. In my free time, I spend time with my dog, Sophie, and my fiancé, Brandon. I also enjoy reading, cooking, and watching Netflix. This is my first year teaching in Baxter, and I am so proud to be a BOLT! :)

Casey O’Roake

2nd grade

I attended college at UNI, where I ended up marrying my next door neighbor. I’m a mom of two boys and champion of Floor is Lava. I love rainy days and reading. Every concert I attend ends up being the best concert ever and I always leave room for dessert.

Cheryl Russell

Reading Interventionist

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!

Anna Travis

Elementary Special Education

Big Bolt Little Bolt

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.

Lori Warkentin

1st Grade teacher

Mentor for new elementary teachers.

I live here in Baxter with my husband and two girls who also attend Baxter Elementary. I have been teaching first grade for 4 years and taught 3rd grade previously for 17 years at Storm Lake CSD. I enjoy working with the kids and seeing them grow in their academics and personal life.

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