On Saturday, April 2, during the Altoona Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards dinner, it was announced that the Southeast Polk Community School District, is this year’s winner of the Outstanding Citizens of the Year Award!  

I was honored to receive the award along with board members Chad Crabb, Brett Handy, and Brigid Ernst, on behalf of the entire Southeast Polk Community School District – including our 1000+ staff members,” Superindendent Dr. Dirk Halupnik shared. “It’s every single one of our staff who has met the numerous challenges over the last couple of years head-on and continued to provide the best learning experiences for our kids! This award is for each of you!’

The winner of this award is recognized for the significant contribution to the improvement of the entire Altoona community. Each and every one of our 1000+ staff has contributed to “making an impact for generations to come!” and received a card with a photo of our trophy and these heartwarming words, to display in their rooms and offices, to be reminded that our community knows what they do is important and they are making a difference. 

The Altoona Area Chamber of Commerce shared, ”Southeast Polk Community School District – we SEE you. We are watching as you lead with confidence and grace, many days in the face of conflict and misunderstanding. We have watched you take on the day-to-day challenges of an ever-changing environment and add more responsibility than was ever deemed necessary only a few years ago and come out on the other side more resilient than the day before. We know you are tired. As a community, we lean into and rally behind all things Southeast Polk – we love to celebrate your victories and agonize with you in your defeats. Our businesses have met, mentored and hired your students and graduates. We have sponsored teams and invested in school publications, driveway, parking lot, and window paintings. We have embraced your entrepreneurs and celebrated your artists. Congratulations Southeast Polk Community School District and all the truly special people that are its fabric… we BELIEVE in YOU! You are the 2021 Outstanding Citizens of the Year!” 

We thank the Altoona Area Chamber for this esteemed recognition!  We are proud members of our community and are grateful for all it does for our staff and students. We Are #1SEP! 

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