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2009 Inductee

Arlene McBrideArlene McBride

Arlene McBride first arrived on the scene at the Amana High School and Middle School in 1983. She came first to the Amana District and then was on staff for CCA when the district entered whole-grade sharing and the eventual merger. Prior to teaching in Amana, Arlene had taught in North Dakota, Montana, and in New York as a high school and elementary teacher. Arlene took time from 1970-1983 to raise a family and then returned to teaching in 1983 in Amana. She and TJ Croco joined Marilyn Jeck in many activities designed to aid the school, its students, and the larger community.

In fact they became a team for almost all activities. The Amana VIP golf tournament was huge at the time. Arlene was most active in that. She helped plan all school banquets honoring achievements by students in all areas.

Within her science and life skills classrooms she approached teaching with fervor, consistency, and inventiveness. In her home economic classes she helped students cater private events and extend their knowledge beyond the usual class experiences. She expected much of her students, but she was there to encourage and light the way. A community favorite was the preparation of recipes by the foods classes. These culinary delights were then made and presented for tasting at the annual Spring Fine Arts night.

It was in school events and class sponsorships that she shone. The team planned the school’s involvement in the famed Amana Oktoberfest. A Carnival of Games was initiated to include kids from infant through high school age. The volunteers needed to run the carnival included most of the high school students and many community volunteers. This continued for several years, and the generated funds provided much needed equipment for the school and library.

The Amana Colonies sponsored many large events like the International Agricultural Exposition Show, multiple Agricultural Farm Progress Shows, the International Fireworks Convention, Winter Fests, and Balloon Fests. The school community was a major player in providing labor for these events. Students were trained and went in shifts from school, parents and community members volunteered, and Arlene was instrumental in all of that planning. The money again provided much needed extras for the schools.

Arlene was a co-sponsor for the student council. In that capacity she went well beyond the expectations of sponsorship. What other middle school did the things we did and continue to do? The student council has been able to heavily subsidize break-out days, skiing, and trips to large cities (Chicago, St. Louis) where students have become familiar with historical locations, museums, major league baseball games, zoos, cultural events, plays, etc.

Even though Arlene lives in Johnson County she was asked to become a member of the Iowa County Conservation Board. On that board she helped plan an education center that is now used by school children. For many years Clear Creek Amana students have used the Lake Iowa facilities for such events as the middle school’s outdoor, activity-based Fall Field Trips. Many parents and community volunteers have been organized to ensure that we all have the best possible experience. From the earliest times her mother, her husband, and even her own kids have helped and participated in many of these activities.

Arlene is very much a lady, but she has never hesitated to get her fingernails dirty working for the school. She has consistently done more than expected. Volunteerism is engrained in her very being. Those who know her well maintain that she has one important word still missing from her vocabulary when she is asked to help. That word is “no.”

Arlene is married to Bunny McBride and they moved to Iowa City when he accepted a position with the School of Art and Art History at The University of Iowa where he is currently the Department Chair and Professor of Ceramic Arts. They have three children, Justin who lives in Florida with his wife and 2 sons. He is the Senior Envirornmental Specialist for Lee County, Fort Meyers, Florida. A second son, Ryan currently lives in Solon and is a Dr. of Podiatric Medicine with a practice in Coralville. A daughter, Heather, lives in Omaha, Nebraska and works as an accountant. All received their undergraduate education at the University of Iowa.

Since her retirement, Arlene has not had much free time but still continues to be involvoed witht he school and its activities. She now substitutes and is always willing to help ;out her students. Arlene has been shotting and preparing digital photographs for note cards and larger wll pictures. Additionally, she has finally found some time to read for enjoyment, something that was a luxury when teaching. Arlene also enjoys cooking and when her husband retires they plan to travel more.

Congratulations to Arlene for being inducted into the 2009 Clear Creek Amana Hall of Fame!