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The Exchange 02.01.23: SC Community School District Superintendent Rod Earlywine chosen for three-year position; Dawn Snyder leaves the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center after decades of service

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Sioux City Community School District Superintendent Dr. Rod Earlywine
Sioux City Community School District Superintendent Dr. Rod Earlywine

After 34 years of leading tours and field trips at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, Dawn Synder is stepping down as the center’s education programs director. Her successor is longtime nature center

We also talk with her success Theresa Kruid, who has been serving as a naturalist the center for many years. Dawn became a naturalist after starting out in college aiming to be a teacher. Became disillusioned as freshman at Wartburg College after taking introductory education courses, saying she was bored and missed the outdoors. That led Synder to transfer to Iowa State University, where she decided not be a ISU golfer, but she did meet the professor who opened up the world of animal ecology.

Last week, the Sioux City Community School board named Rod Earlywine as the new, permanent superintendent of the Sioux City Community School District. He currently serves as the interim superintendent, a role he assumed in July of 2022. Prior to that role, Earlywine served as superintendent of schools for Sergeant Bluff-Luton Community School District.
Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer talked with Earlywine about his goals for the future of the school district.

The Nature Conservancy in Iowa is looking forward to opening up a piece of land to the public this summer in Plymouth County. The Conservancy has purchased a 356 acre tract of land known as Camp Joy Hollow. The camp in the Loess Hills has served as a camping spot for girls scouts for many years.. The conservancy paid 1.4 million dollars for the land in December.

Graham McGaffin, head of the Nature Conservancy in Iowa
Graham McGaffin, head of the Nature Conservancy in Iowa

We talk with the state director of the Nature Conservancy Graham McGaffin, who says buying the land was a no-brainer because it fills in a gap in the Loess Hills habitat.

An Iowa tax checkoff that sends money to the Fish and Wildlife Fund is still going strong, but the number of contributors has dec lined.

Through the Chickadee Checkoff, Iowa taxpayers can donate to Iowa’s wildlife diversity programs on their state tax forms.
We talk with Boone, Iowa based DNR wildlife biologist, Stephanie Shepherd, oversees what’s called the Chickadee Checkoff. Shepherd says a lot taxpayers don’t know about the check off or the benefits that it can bring to Iowa wildlife.

Chickadee Check-Off
Iowa DNR
Chickadee Check-Off

February is Black History Month and on the program this month we will feature interviews with black authors who have contributed to the history of black Americans. Today we talk with an author who has written a book about the heroic actions of black soldiers during world war II and the discrimination they faced while serving their country and when they returned home.

Today we speak with Dartmouth College Distinguished Professor of History Matthew Delmont, who has opened up the conversation about World War II and civil rights in his book Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad.

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