Benton Community School District

Home of the Bobcats

Geographic Footprint

Benton Community School District's geographic footprint covers 342 square miles and includes the communities of Atkins, Blairstown, Elberon, Keystone, Newhall, Norway, Van Horne, and Watkins.

Community Traditions

Our school district embraces the best of each of our community's rich traditions and celebrations and combines those strengths as the foundation and character of our school district.

Bobcat Way

We boast both the benefits of a small town atmosphere with the rich advantages of being located in a prosperous area of Iowa, and we call the benefits and core values we embody, THE BOBCAT WAY!

Why Us

Choose Benton CSD Because...

Small Class Sizes

Our elementary schools average 19 students per classroom. For next year, we anticipate an additional section of Kindergarten and 1st grade!

Focus on Literacy

Our district participates in the Literacy Project, sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education. We are focusing on literacy and reading in our elementary classrooms and will provide acceleration and enrichment for our students K-6th .


We are a one-to-one laptop or iPad school for all of our students. Students use either Chromebooks or iPads, depending on their age.


Erin Vansickle

I chose Benton Community because I like the small community. I also like the ideals, values and beliefs in education that Benton Community stands for. I love getting to know the students. I have an Australian Shephard named Magnus. He is the light of my life right now!

- Erin VanSickle. Atkins Interventionist

Ethan Kaiser

I chose Benton Community because since I first interviewed, the administration has made me feel valued and appreciated. I am a huge sports fan! If a sport exists, I will be watching it. I played college golf and try to play as much as possible.

- Ethan Kaiser, 5th Grade Teacher

Alex Balvance

I chose Benton Community because the school has an extremely involved and supportive community. I'm a UNI graduate. The will be my second year teaching. I love plants, being outdoors and fishing. As a newcomer to this district, I hope to be a great asset to the Bobcat Family!

- Alex Balvance, 5th Grade Teacher

Bryan Telgenhoff

I am excited to be a part of the Bobcat family. I have been a teacher and coach for 10 years. Providing leadership opportunities for students is a passion of mine. I have two beautiful children, Zara and Abol, and an amazing wife, Jamie.

- Bryan Telgenhoff, HS Social Studies Teacher

Lorrie Towle

My daughter, 4 granddaughters and 1 grandson graduated from Benton Community. I have lived in Van Horne for 25+ years. I enjoy camping, reading, time with the grandkids and great grandkids.

- Lorrie Towle, PM Bus Stop Supervisor

Lucas Scott

I enjoy having the opportunity to serve the community. I am a proud dad. I was raised in Iowa even though I was born in North Carolina. Many of my family members served in the military and I carried on the honorable tradition having served myself.

- Lucas Scott, Bus Driver

Abby Swiatly

I love the small town environment Benton Community School District offers. I graduated from UNI with my bachelors in early childhood and elementary education. I was a 1st grade teacher at South Tama last year and I am excited for this new opportunity!

- Abby Swiatly, 4th Grade Teacher

Candace Mitchell

My children attend Benton Community and we have been so impressed with the School District! I love to read, attend my kids activities, and I am a lifelong learner. I am excited to be a part of the Bobcat Community!

- Candace Mitchell, Alternative Kindergarten Teacher

Ryan Neuberger

Benton Community is a tight knit community that has created a high quality environment on the football field and in the classroom. I am from Cedar Rapids. I graduated from Cedar Rapids Jefferson in 2016. I work as a Project Manager at Roofing Representatives.

- Ryan Neuberger, V/JV Assistant Football Coach

Jordan Myers

I am moving to Van Horne. I am a mom to 3 boys first and foremost. I love to spend time in the outdoors. I am also excited to start in a new district and live in a new town.

- Jordan Myers, Food Service Worker Substitute

Jocelyn Nimmo

The community feels like one big family and I am excited to join a district like that. I am excited to join the district my two stepchildren attend . I love watching and playing sports especially softball. I also am a huge animal person. I have 3 dogs, a rabbit and a snake at home.

- Jocelyn Nimmo, 3 yr old Preschool/Spec Ed Teacher

Brian Voss

I am a Benton graduate. I live in the community and it's always been a goal of mine to teach in this wonderful district. I live on a farm east of Atkins and I am getting married in November to my fiance Nicole.

- Brian Voss, HS Social Studies Teacher

Claire Hentges

I live in Cedar Rapids but I am not originally from Iowa. I grew up in Northern Ireland so I have a little bit of an accent and may sound a little different. I am very excited to join the Benton Community School District family!

- Claire Hentges, 4th Grade Teacher

Bethanie Fox

I currently live in Van Horne and feel part of the community already. I student taught at Benton HS, so I know most of the student & students. I have wanted to be in the Education field since 5th grade.

- Bethanie Fox, MS/HS Family Consumer Science Teacher

Ashley Lueckenotto

Benton has such a strong sense of community and I'm excited to be a part of that. I graduated from Benton in 2014 and I'm excited to be back!

- Ashley Lueckenotto, 2nd Grade Teacher

Chris Frimml

I am originally from Benton and we live in the district now. I love building positive relationships with people. I have a son who will be a sophomore here at Benton. My wife teaches Kindergarten in Atkins and my daughter will also be teaching in Atkins.

- Chris Frimml, 1st Grade Teacher

Judy Boerm

I chose BCSD because it is a rural district that has high educational standards while also providing numerous opportunities for students to be involved in extracurricular activities. I am a veteran MS Math & Science teacher. In my free time, I enjoy outdoor adventures & family time.

- Judy Boerm, MS Math & Science Teacher

Claire White

I chose Benton because BCSD is a tight knit Community that strongly focuses on each student's individual success. I am a huge Taylor Swift Fan! I am also a big Disney history nut.

- Claire White, 5th Grade Teacher

Jamie Mnayer

I am excited for the small community feel and I've heard amazing things about Benton Community :) I am a UNI graduate and have taught at Cedar Rapids CSD the past 4 years.

- Jamie Mnayer, 2nd Grade Teacher

Jordan Meyer

I moved to Atkins and am excited to be a part of the community. My wife and I have a 3 year-old daughter and are expecting a son in July.

- Jordan Meyer, High School Science Teacher

Cynda Mehlert

My family moved away from the Benton CSD last year in July. We missed everything about Benton Community Schools & the opportunities they provide for our own children both academically and socially. It is an honor to be able to return as a teacher and provide those same opportunities to all students.

- Cynda Mehlert - Alternative Kindergarten Teacher

Craig Huegel

"To the entire Bobcat Nation, I am excited and honored to be selected as your next activities director. I look forward to serving the Benton Community School District soon. Go Bobcats!"

- Craig Huegel, Activites Director and Assistant HS Principal

Chris chapman

Benton is such a caring and compassioniate district all the way down from the teachers to students. I'm really excited to be a Bobcat. I played football in college at Cornell. I have been involved and part of sports since I was a child, I truly love being a part of athletics.

- Chris Chapman, Elementary & Secondary PE, Coach

Kelsey Madsen

I loved student teaching at Benton Middle & High School and I am so excited to be part of the community! I spent the last ten years performing on cruise ships & living in NYC performing and teaching yoga. I am excited to share my experiences & learn from the students at Norway!

- Kelsey Madsen, 4-6 grade Music & Technology Teacher

Abbey Neve

I graduated from Benton in 2010 and am excited to be a Bobcat again! I am a Mom of 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and 1. We are looking forward to lots of time together this summer.

- Abbey Neve, High School Spanish

Tammy Franck

I grew up a Bobcat and am excited to be back! My family and I will be moving to our century farm and will enjoy country living soon! I have admired all of the wonderful things happening at Benton from afar and now look forward to actually being part of this special community!

- Tammy Franck, Kindergarten Teacher

Kim Straka

My husband attended Benton Community and now my son also does. My family and I live outside of Luzerne and we own a small family farm. We have cows, pigs and chickens along with dogs and cats. I like to read and craft.

- Kim Straka, Food Service

Gene Pilcher

"The Benton Community wrestling program has a ton of positive momentum because of the hard work of our wrestlers, and the culture that's been created within our program. Our program is full of unbelievable people and I couldn't be more excited to help keep this thing rolling!

- Gene Pilcher, Head Wrestling Coach

Jordon Pilcher

I am excited to be here at Benton and to get started working with the girls. I am looking forward to the season and a great summer with the coaches & players.

- Jordon Pilcher, Varsity Softball Coach

Dave Kaestner

Benton CSD is a big part of the community and a major reason we chose to raise our family here. After coaching HS Baseball for 6 years early in my career, it is exciting to be back around the kids on the diamond.

- Dave Kaestner, Asst Varsity Baseball coach