(photo by Ron Flewelling)
This semester, the students at River Valley are on the business end of some tag team teaching, compliments of the academic aggregation of Luke and Deborah Demarest.
The Demarest duo, who also just happen to be husband and wife, are experiencing the work-a-day world of academia as they turn in student teaching duties at RV Elementary.
I don't know...maybe it's the water down RV way, but Luke Demarest is another one of the many local talents who have passed through the halls of River Valley on their way to their own teaching degrees.
A Correctionville native, Luke graduated as a member of the RV High School's Class of 2000.
The Wolverine's decision to pursue a career in education was sparked by an enjoyable experience he received while working at a camp in Okaboji.
This experience, accompanied by encouragement from others, all combined to help steer Luke towards a career as a teacher.
When the fall term rolled around, the Correctionville kid packed his bags and headed on over to Cedar Falls where he soon found himself as a member of the freshman class at the University of Northern Iowa.
Luke has spent the past four years pursuing his course of study, said pursuit including both classroom study and the live fire experiences found student teaching at various schools in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area.
Student teaching duties for Luke at RV will include eight weeks experiencing the routine of the fourth grade classroom after which time he will move on to the RV Middle School where he will turn in another eight week term in the seventh grade classroom.
As far as his outside interests are concerned, when not handing out lessons in his classroom or handling his own studies, Luke enjoys working with computers and spending time with his new wife.
Luke's folks - Mark and Jo Demarest, still reside in Correctionville. He also has a brother and sister - Gabe and Charity, both students at Northwestern in Orange City.
The other half of the Demarest team is Luke's better half, Deborah.
Deborah, the pride, joy and tax deduction of Rick and Nancy Ahn, grew up in the Marshalltown area where she spent her early academic days hitting the books in the local school district.
Graduating from Marshalltown High School in 2001, it didn't take long for Deborah to decide on a career in teaching.
"I always wanted the chance to interact with people and make a difference in their lives," she said. "Teaching was a natural choice."
When it came time to decide on a college, Deborah headed east towards Cedar Falls where she was soon a dues-paying member of the freshman class at the University of Northern Iowa.
The final steps in Deborah's journey to her own classroom will include a tenure student teaching in the RV second grade under the tutelage of teaching veteran Patty Brandhorst.
When Deborah is able to take a break from fine-tuning her teaching skills, she has no trouble keeping herself entertained with a number of fun activities.
A true sports fan, this student teacher enjoys both Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball.
She also spends a lot of time training her new husband Luke.
As a final thought on her time spent student teaching, Deborah had this to offer:
"There's a lot of good things going on at RV Elementary," she said. "It is a pleasure to work with so many wonderful educators."