Spotlight

Shawn Pfiffner

I am in my 30th year as an educator at Benton Community and in my first year as the Keystone Elementary Principal. I live in Atkins with my wife Tammy. My son Riley and daughter Peyton are both Benton Community graduates. The Benton Community school district is an amazing place to raise a family.

- Shawn Pfiffner, Keystone Elementary Principal

Kory Winsor

Kory is currently in his 16th year of teaching. He has spent all 16 years at Benton Community. He currently is in his first year as a 7th grade social studies after teaching it at the high school level the previous 15. Kory is going into his 12th season as the head coach of the varsity boys track.

- Kory Winsor, MS Social Studies Teacher

Rachel Bergert

This is my 22nd year of teaching and my second year with Benton Community School District. I have the privilege to teach special education at Norway Intermediate and enjoy being a Benton Bobcat. Mr. Bergert, who also teaches at Norway, and I have three kids (two boys and a girl) who attend Benton.

- Rachel Bergert, Resource Teacher, Norway

Sara Tjelmeland

I teach Special Education at the Norway Intermediate Center. This is my 23rd year at Benton Community. I enjoy cooking and following my kids to all of their activities and events.

- Sara Tjelmeland, Special Education Teacher, Norway

Heidi Keiper

I teach third grade and coach sophomore volleyball. I am originally from Benton (Class of '94) and now have three kids that will graduate from here also! I have taught 3, 4, 5, and 6th grades. Go Bobcats!

- Heidi Keiper, 3rd Grade, Atkins

Kelsey Madsen

Kelsey student-taught at Benton Middle & High School in the spring of 2022. She spent the last 10 years teaching yoga and dance in New York and performing as a singer/dancer around the world. She is grateful to call Norway Intermediate home.

- Kelsey Madsen, Music Teacher, Norway

Emily DeNeve

I teach reading, math, and ELO (extended learning opportunities - formerly known as TAG) interventions to students in 4th-6th grades. Both my husband and I are former Bobcats who now work in the schools where we were once students. We just welcomed our first daughter, Alayna, in May.

- Emily DeNeve, Reading, Math & TAG Teacher, Norway

Will Stockman

This is my 8th year serving as a High School Math Teacher. I also served as a middle school football coach and will be starting my 7th year as the Head Boys Soccer Coach. It will certainly be a busy spring as my wife Alyssa and I are expecting our second child in May!

- Will Stockman, HS Math Teacher

April Lange

This is my 24th year teaching at Benton Community School District. I have spent 22 of those years in first grade. I also am an assistant track and field coach for the boys and girls. I also attended Benton Community and my husband and I enjoy raising our four boys in the district.

- April Lange, 1st Grade, Atkins

Ethan Kaiser

Hello! I am Ethan Kaiser and I currently teach 5th Grade in Norway. This is my first year teaching. I attended William Penn University where I competed on the Men's Golf Team. I am also going to be helping coach the Benton Boys Golf Team this season!

- Ethan Kaiser, 5th Grade Teacher, Norway Intermediate

Nathan Platt

Mr. Platt teaches 4th through 8th grade art at Benton Community. He hails from the tri-town area of Newhall, Atkins and Norway. Mr. Platt enjoys reading and fishing when he is not creating artwork with the students.

- Nathan Platt, Art Teacher, Middle School & Norway Intermediate

Isaiahn Powell

I am the Personal Finance and Computer Applications teacher. I enjoy watching any sports and basketball is my favorite. I enjoy golfing in my free time and hanging out with my family.

- Isaiahn Powell, High School Business Teacher

Abby Swiatly

My name is Abby Swiatly and I teach 4th grade at Norway Intermediate. This is my second year teaching, but my first year at Benton. I previously taught 1st grade at South Tama Elementary. So far I am loving working at Benton and I can't wait to see what this year brings!

- Abby Swiatly, 4th Grade Teacher - Norway

Chris Chapman

Chris Chapman teaches K-3 PE at Keystone in the morning, 9-12 Strength and Conditioning at the High School and one class of Middle School PE. Chris graduated from Mount Vernon in 2016. Chris loves to golf.

- Chris Chapman, Physical Education Teacher

Tracie Kimm

Mrs. Tracie Kimm is in her 26th year of teaching at Benton. She currently teaches 3rd grade & loves working with the amazing students, families, & staff at Keystone Elementary. Tracie & her husband, Byran, live in Keystone. They are the proud parents of Benton grads Caleb, Hannah, & Rebecca.

- Tracie Kimm, 3rd Grade Teacher - Keystone

Ashley Lueckenotto

My name is Ashley Lueckenotto and I teach 2nd grade at Atkins Elementary. This is my fifth year teaching, but my first year at Benton. Previously I have taught middle school. My husband and I live in Cedar Rapids, and we are both Benton grads. I am loving being back in the district!

- Ashley Lueckenotto, 2nd Grade Teacher - Atkins

Katie Nimtz

My name is Katie Nimtz, I am in my fifth year of teaching high school special education at Benton. Katie and her husband live in Fairfax with their two cats.

- Katie Nimtz, HS Special Education Teacher

Brooke Osborn

Brooke Osborn has taught 24 years with 19 being at Keystone Elementary as a special education teacher. Brooke and her husband Ben live outside of Newhall. Brooke graduated from Benton Community and so did their boys Blake ('20) and Brady ('22).

- Brooke Osborn, Keystone Special Education Teacher

Kasey Hullett

Kasey Hullett is in his fifth year of teaching and second year at Benton. Kasey teaches Composition I & II, as well as Sophomore English—he is also the advisor for the D&D Club. Kasey is currently working on his second book, a YA novel titled "The Creatures of Misty Meadows".

- Kasey Hullett, HS Language Arts Teacher

Keri Graveman

My name is Keri Graveman and I teach 3 and 4 year old preschool at Atkins Elementary. I come from a long line of teachers, both of my parents were teachers and my grandma was a school counselor. I have 3 children that attend Benton Community Schools & 2 step-children that attend Waterloo Community.

- Keri Graveman, Atkins 3 & 4 yr old Preschool Teacher

Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones is in her sixth year teaching and third year at Benton. Ashley teaches 7th grade language arts and one section of senior English. Over the summer Ashley got married and went to Hawaii for her honeymoon.

- Ashley Jones, MS/HS Language Arts Teacher

Krystal Wright

Krystal Wright is in her 16th year as the Agriculture Education Teacher and FFA Advisor at the Benton Community MS/HS. Krystal resides in Atkins with her husband Bryan and three sons, Kaden, Bowen and Easton. When not busy with FFA, Krystal enjoys spending time with family, reading & baking .

- Krystal Wright, MS/HS Agricultural Education Teacher

Jamie Mnayer

My name is Jamie Mnayer and I teach 2nd grade at Atkins Elementary. My husband is also a teacher and teaches orchestra in Cedar Rapids. This is my 5th year of teaching, but my first year at Benton Community. I am loving it! Go Bobcats!

- Jamie Mnayer, 2nd Grade Teacher - Atkins

Heather Mayrose

Heather Mayrose is in her fifth year of teaching middle school and high school language arts at Benton Community Schools. Prior to working at Benton, Heather taught overseas in the Philippines for five years and traveled through much of Southeast Asia.

- Heather Mayrose, MS/HS Language Arts Teacher

Samantha Happel

Samantha Happel has been a Benton Bobcat for almost 14 years. During her time here, she has worn many "hats", with her current role as Preschool teacher being her most recent. Samantha is an avid lover of all things outdoors including hiking, camping & kayaking & she loves to travel with her family.

- Samantha Happel, Keystone Preschool Techer

Tammy Franck

Tammy Franck teaches Kindergarten at the Atkins Center. This is her first year teaching at Benton, but her 18th year teaching Kindergarten. Her family moved to a farm north of Newhall and is enjoying country living! Tammy grew up as a Bobcat and is happy to be back!

- Tammy Franck, Atkins Kindergarten Teacher

Sam Kesterson

My name is Samantha Kesterson, this is my fourth year at Benton Community. I teach 6th Grade Reading and serve as the Data Team Leader for our team. I student taught with Lori Gleason before teaching in Marshalltown for three years and was bound & determined to make my way back to Benton Community!

- Sam Kesterson, 6th Grade Teacher

John Hayden

John Hayden is in his 30th year at Benton Community and works with choirs at the middle school and the high school. John and his wife, Jennifer, have 4 kids and 3 dogs. John also directs the a capella ensemble "Metro Mix", a women's competitive choral ensemble in the corridor area.

- John Hayden, HS Vocal Music Director

Jessica Stock

This is my second year as the school counselor at Keystone Elementary. My husband and I live outside of La Porte with our two children. I love spending time outside and with my family.

- Jessica Stock, Keystone Elementary Counselor

Jared Lancaster

This is my second year at Benton Community High School teaching 9-12 Band and fourth year overall. When not busy with band, Mr. Lancaster is a freelance composer and arranger who enjoys going for walks and bike rides. Go Bobcats!

- Jared Lancaster, 9-12 Band Director

DM

I teach Middle School Special Ed and Intervention. This is my first year in this role, but my 12th year with the district. I have 3 children, 2 of which have already graduated from Benton, and my 3rd who is currently a junior.

- Denise Moeller, MS Special Education Teacher

Kayla Hahn

I am currently the instructional coach at Atkins Elementary, starting my seventh year here. I have also taught K-3 Intervention, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade during my 6 other years in the district. I love to spend time outside with my family including my two sons, Beau & Jace, who keep me very busy.

- Kayla Hahn, Atkins Instructional Coach

Kelly Buscher

This is the start of my 24th year at Benton Community as an elementary counselor. Prior to that, I taught middle school math in another district for four years. My husband Matt and I live in Atkins, and my two kids are both Benton graduates.

- Kelly Buscher, Norway Intermediate Counselor

Brandt

Deputy Tyler Brandt is in his 3rd year as a School Resource Officer. He strives to be a positive influence and resource for the students. Deputy Brandt enjoys spending time with his family, camping, and DIY projects.

- Tyler Brandt, School Resource Officer

O'connell

This is Emily’s twelfth year employed at Benton Community, beginning her first year as a Middle School/High School Instructional Coach. She has worn a lot of hats at Benton including teaching MS/HS Special Education, MS interventionist, and 7th grade Social Studies.

- Emily O'Connell, MS Instructional Coach

Kim fisher

Kim is the Instructional Coach at Keystone Elem. & serves the district as the PK-6 Professional Development Leader. Kim has always considered herself lucky to have been born & raised a Bobcat & she enjoys creating opportunities for others to fall in love with this great community just like she has.

- Kim Fisher, Keystone Instructional Coach

Jeff Furler

Jeff Furler is starting his 17th year of service to Benton Community, and also starting his 4th year of teacher leadership as an Instructional Coach at Norway Intermediate. Jeff has four children attending Benton Community Schools in three of our four centers.

- Jeff Furler, 4-6 Instructional Coach

Dr. Ewell

This is her 4th year at Benton and 14th year as a school superintendent. Dr. Ewell earned her Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 2004. A fun fact….2 of her children were also at ISU at the same time she was working on her degree! In her spare time, Dr. Ewell enjoys fishing, boating and gardening.

- Dr. Pamela Ewell, Superintendent

Dr. Bieschke

Dr. Bieschke is completing his 3rd year as Associate Superintendent at Benton Community. Prior to this role, he was the high school principal at Benton for 13 years.

- Dr. James Bieschke, Associate Superintendent

Larry Carlson

Larry Carlson is starting his 23rd year of service to Benton Community, and also starting his 3rd year of teacher leadership as an instructional coach. Larry has two children who have graduated from Benton Community and a wife who has her own business in Van Horne.

- Larry Carlson, MS/HS Instructional Coach

as

Anna and her family live in Keystone. Time outside, dinner with friends, and traveling are what they enjoy most. Anna is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Drake University.

- Anna Selk, Curriculum and Instruction Services Director

CH

Craig shares something you may not know about him, "My son was born six weeks early with a heart condition that has required 3 open-heart surgeries and 13 catheterizations (so far). He will now be a sophomore in high school!" We are very excited to have Mr. Huegel join the Bobcat Family!

- Craig Huegel, Activities Director & Assistant HS Principal

TL

In his free time Tim enjoys traveling with his grandchildren. Tim also loves watching sports especially the Hawks, Cubs and Packers!

- Tim Lyons, Transportation Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY US

Choose Benton CSD Because...

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!

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.

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 .

Technology

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.

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.