January 2020 Outstanding Employees

The MCSD Employee Recognition Award is for those employees who go above and beyond on a continual basis for students, staff, and/or parents. Nominations can come from the community, parents, staff members and students. The district will be recognizing employees monthly in their buildings as well as at the televised board meeting of that month. The district would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you and congratulate January’s best of the best at MCSD! To nominate a deserving individual, fill out the Employee Recognition Form.

Michelle Haller – Para, Muscatine Early Learning Center
Nominated by Jenny Ostrem

“Michelle has been a para in my room for a year and a half.  She has always gone above and beyond for the classroom and the kids in our preschool room. She comes in early to make sure the room is ready for that day. She takes down the chairs, sets up the daily work, cleans up the room and centers, and copies or prints anything that may be needed.  During the day she is always focused on the kids by helping them engage in centers, work through social problems, taking data, and she always challenges the kids to try their best! She also stays on some Fridays to help me take down, clean, and change the centers we have in our room so it is ready for the next week.  She is a huge asset to our preschool room! We love Miss Michelle!”


Donnie Horten – Bus Mechanic, Transportation
Nominated by Jeff Hall

Donnie Horten has gone above and beyond his job duties as district mechanic. Donnie was always willing to come in early and drive school bus routes when needed. Donnie’s bus knowledge, hard work, and attention to detail helped the transportation department achieve an outstanding state inspection with “no out of service buses.” Having no out of service buses for a fleet this size is a phenomenal accomplishment. Donnie’s work ethic and can-do attitude are a great credit upon himself, and the Muscatine School Transportation Department.


Brian Mathis – English/Language Arts, West Middle School
Nominated by Jordan Eggers and Kelsey Mahlstedt

“Brian is such a great ELA teacher who always tries to make all of his lessons fun to learn for his students. I wish I had Mr. Mathis as a teacher when I was in middle school!” Jordan Eggers

“Brian Mathis cares very much about his students and making sure they are learning to the best of their abilities. He is a trustworthy teacher that the students can come to with anything.” Kelsey Mahlstedt


Karen Meyer – Music Teacher, McKinley Elementary
Nominated by Marsha McGill

“Karen is an exceptional teacher who brings a love of music into her classroom. She is positive and encouraging with all her students. She has maintained a positive can-do attitude in circumstances that are not always ideal such as sharing a classroom. She looks for ways to infuse new technology into her lessons to help motivate and engage students. My favorite thing about Karen is how she consistently sees the good in all of the McKinley Muskies and brings out the best in us all.”


Luke Turelli – Physics Teacher, Muscatine High School
Nominated by Terry Hogenson, Karey Hawkins, and Scott Mauck

“Luke is one of our “go-to” people. Often times in the world of school scheduling there are the regular pieces of the puzzle and then the ones left over. Someone needs to help make these odd pieces fit and that is often Luke Turelli. He’s shown himself to be very adaptable to situations and willing to accept change for the betterment of students and the school. He was recently asked to fill in a science need that didn’t exactly fit under the heading of “optimum” for him. Instead of complaining, he put on a smile, asked for support and said that he’d do his very best. He truly displays a team attitude towards the way he approaches his job and life. I appreciate the coaching that he does, alongside all of the day-to-day things he accomplishes with our students. He is definitely worthy of this recognition.” Terry Hogenson

“Luke has gone above and beyond this year to try and support as many students as possible in passing Physics. As an at-risk teacher, he approached the general education Physics teachers and asked if he might be able to help their students who struggled most and who may be taking Physics for the second time. Luke did a lot of the leg work, worked out logistics, then asked counselors to talk with students/parents, and then made changes to student schedules who wanted to take him up on his offer. 

As the first semester progressed, Luke continued to welcome students into his class. He met them where they were and is helping them work towards finishing the first semester successfully. He has been a rock star!” Karey Hawkins and Scott Mauck

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