The Alta and Aurelia districts are certainly not unfamiliar to Lynn Evans. He graduated from Aurelia High School in 1982, his wife, the former Midge Loats, was a 1983 graduate of Alta High School, and both sets of their parents still reside in the old hometowns.
Lynn Evans earned his Bachelors degree in Physical Education and Biology Education from Westmar College in 1986, his Master's degree in Educational Administration from Drake University in 1996, and a Specialist degree, also from Drake, in 2003.
From 1986-1990, Evans taught elementary physical education and junior high science at Remsen-Union and also served as head football, girls basketball, and boys track coach. In the summers, he was the head softball coach at the old Willow High School.
From 1990-1998, he taught in the Saydel District, near Des Moines, teaching 8th grade science for four years and high school biology, anatomy and physiology for four years. He also served as the chairman of the Science Department and as head football and boys' track coach and assistant baseball coach.
Having earned his Masters Degree at Drake while he was in the Des Moines area, Evans took his first administrative job, serving as High School Principal at North Iowa High School in Buffalo Center from 1998-2003.
In 2003, he accepted the position of Superintendent of Schools for the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn District, and he has served in that position ever since. He also served as the Elementary Principal for the last two years, and for the school years of 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, also served as a Shared Superintendent between the HMS and Aurelia districts.
While working in the Aurelia district, Evans was actively involved in the initial sharing talks that the Aurelia Board held with Alta and other school districts.
Evans said he is really looking forward to the interesting challenges he will
be meeting in his new position, and is especially looking forward to stepping into a situation where he gets to take part in the creation of the culture of a new school. Not many administrators ever get that opportunity, he said, and he added that this factor, more than any other, is what attracted him to the Alta-Aurelia position.
Another factor, he said, was the fact that he will be coming into a familiar situation, where he "knows all the players involved," which is usually not the situation starting a new job. Because of his familiarity, Evans feels that he will not have to spend much time learning his way around, but rather can hit the ground running, as it were.
Evans said that the Alta and Aurelia districts have been very fortunate to have two School Boards who have been working well together as the two districts move toward the whole grade sharing.
"As we move forward," Evans said, "it is important that we continue to focus" on the task at hand.
Two challenges that will face the new Superintendent involve the facilities in both communities. The current Alta Middle School is in the middle of an expansion project, adding several rooms which will allow the high school classes to be held there next fall, while in Aurelia, a recent equity visit by the State Department of Education indicated the need to do some upgrades or re-locations at the Aurelia facility, both due to inaccessibility for handicapped individuals.
The current lunchroom, for example, needs to be moved from its location in the basement to a new or existing first floor location, while the art and home economics classes, conversely, need to move down from their current location on the third floor to a more accessible first-floor location. Evans feels that both of these situations can be resolved in a timely and reasonable manner.
Evans and his wife will continue to live in Hartley for the time being, but they are hoping to sell their home there and relocate to either Aurelia or Alta as soon as possible, pending the outcome of the house transaction. Lynn's wife Midge is currently employed in the office at the CEA elevator in Ocheydan, and she will also be seeking employment in the Alta or Aurelia area when they move.
The couple have two children - their daughter Erin is a Registered Nurse who is currently employed at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center, and their son Trey is a freshman student at Morningside College in Sioux City, who also plans to play baseball for the Mustangs this spring.