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Trent Bowman

Solon coach takes robotics on the road

Recent trip to Romania and possible trip to Israel for quickly expanding field

SOLON– Bill Mattaliano brushed it off as a joke when asked to travel to Romania to help run a robotics competition.
“Yeah, sure, right,” he recalled saying.
“Next thing I know, I’m in Romania, helping run a 96-team tournament.”
The tournament, held March 24-25, was only the country’s second of its kind.
Mattaliano, who said his “real job” is a prison guard at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville, has been coaching the Solon Robotics Club since 2009.
That first year, he said, just three students participated in the after-school program.

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Townsley departs SCSD for UNI role

District announces replacement, changes in scope

SOLON– The Solon Community School District Board of Education accepted the resignation of Matt Townsley, Director of Instruction/Technology and former math teacher at the regularly scheduled April 9 meeting.
After 14 years with the Solon School district in which he proved instrumental in many key reforms, Townsley will head this fall to the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), where he has accepted a teaching position in the Leadership Department. Townsley will instruct future principals and superintendents.

Solon jazz takes two top spots

SOLON– Last year, the Solon High School Vocal Jazz department made history having three of its groups selected for the state championships.
The program topped that accomplishment this year, making history all over again.
In the March 27 state jazz championship at Valley High School in West Des Moines, the top two places went to Solon High School. It was the first accomplishment of its kind for the competition in the state of Iowa.

SMS named model school

Herdliska outlines program at school board meeting

SOLON– Solon’s middle school is creating better readers.
The middle school was recently honored by Solution Tree as a 2017 Professional Learning Community (PLC) Model School, joining the ranks of Lakeview Elementary and Solon High School, past recipients.
The honor came following a concentrated effort to improve the school and make the curriculum more personalized.
Solon Middle School Preported on the effortsduring a Monday, March 19, meeting of the Solon Community School District Board of Education in the media center of the new middle school building

HS school addition on track

Walking track, cardio equipment to be available to public

SOLON– A $6 million donation from the Gerdin Family Foundation is visibly improving an already impressive Solon schools system.
At the Feb. 12 meeting of the school board, updates on the construction process were provided. The flooring for the high school addition, funded by the Gerdin Family Foundation, had arrived that day, some painting needed to be done yet, but all deadlines were either projected to be met or better. 
Plans were made where the board would meet prior to the next scheduled board meeting for a walk-through.

Family atmosphere returning

Lake Macbride update:

SOLON– The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) held a meeting Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Solon Public Library to discuss a range of issues concerning Lake Macbride State Park, including its upcoming 100th anniversary in 2020.
The 2,180-acre park features a 940-acre lake, 14.5 miles of trails, and 101 campsites. And, as of last year, one alcohol ban.
The park played host to over half a million visitors in 2017 (509,500), though many long-term visitors voiced concerns, as the last beach in Johnson County allowing alcohol until last year, it had become less of a family atmosphere.

Begindergarten

Waiting list for Lakeview program

SOLON– An early beginning is proving popular at Lakeview Elementary.
The Solon school board held its regular monthly meeting Monday, Feb. 12, and discussed the district’s “Begindergarten” program.
Begindergarten is Lakeview’s Elementary’s alternate kindergarten curriculum, presented as an option for children technically old enough for kindergarten (5 years old on or before Sept. 15), but developmentally may be too young for the structure of kindergarten.

DNR report on Lake Macbride

SOLON– The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) held a meeting Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Solon Public Library to discuss a range of issues concerning Lake Macbride State Park, including its upcoming 100th anniversary in 2020.
The 2,180-acre park features a 940-acre lake, 14.5 miles of trails, and 101 campsites. And, as of last year, one alcohol ban.
The park played host to over half a million visitors in 2017 (509,500), though many long-term visitors voiced concerns, as the last beach in Johnson County allowing alcohol until last year, it had become less of a family atmosphere.

Fat Tire Classic speeds off Saturday

SOLON– Sugar Bottom Bikes, of North Liberty, has partnered with the Solon Centennial Lions Club to present a unique experience to area riders with the Lake Macbride Fat Tire Classic on Saturday, Mar. 3.

Macbride Fat Tire Classic, Mar. 3

Solon Centennial Lions Club to host soup luncheon

SOLON– Sugar Bottom Bikes, of North Liberty, has partnered with the Solon Centennial Lions Club to present a unique experience to area riders with the Lake Macbride Fat Tire Classic on Saturday, Mar. 3.

Center for the Arts hosts Sara Gazarek Feb. 16

Critically acclaimed jazz singer to perform Friday night; tickets $10

SOLON– Popular jazz singer Sara Gazarek will perform at the Solon Center For the Arts on Friday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m.
The performance will cap a two-day Solon Vocal Jazz Festival, an annual event for the high school, overseen by vocal music instructor Joel Foreman. 
“Every year, we bring in a visiting artist to work with our groups in what is basically a Jazz Master Class setting,” said Foreman. “This year we brought in Katie Thiroux in the fall. There was a concert for her at the Center for the Arts, as well.”

Retirement Village to add palliative care

Groundbreaking expected in March for new wing

SOLON– Solon Retirement Village has been approved to add a palliative care unit onto its evolving campus, expecting to break ground in March. 
Melissa Reed, who has served as Administrator for nine years at the Solon Retirement Village unit of Solon Nursing Care, said for now, it is being referred to as the Solon Retirement Village Palliative Care Unit, “But we hope to have a more formal name as we get into the process.”
The project was approved in October by the State Certificate of Need board.
Palliative units are similar though distinct from hospice houses, Reed explained.