May News & Updates

May 18, 2023

A Message from Dr. Christine Trujillo, Superintendent

Dear Teachers and Staff,

As we move through the month of May, I want to take a moment to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of our students, the support of our community, and the dedication of each of you.

One of my favorite highlights of this month each year is the celebration of our seniors and their graduation. After years of hard work and dedication, our seniors are ready to take on the next phase of their lives, and we couldn't be prouder of them. Let's take a moment to honor their achievements and wish them all the best in their future endeavors. Many of you have been a part of their lives throughout their entire Gilbert journey. Maybe you were the bus driver that took them home on their first day of school.  Perhaps you provided them with the perfect lunch each day or helped them soar in music, sports or in their ongoing learning path!

We also want to celebrate the transitions of our students as they finish one grade level and move on to the next. Each of these moments is a milestone in their academic journeys and deserves recognition. Let's take the time to congratulate our students on their hard work and encourage them to continue their education with the same level of dedication and enthusiasm.

We can't forget about our incredible community, which supports our schools. Together with our community, we are able to provide the high-quality education our students deserve. So let's take a moment to appreciate their unwavering support and commitment to our schools as well.

As we celebrated National Teacher Appreciation Week last week, I want to again express my gratitude for the hard work and dedication each of you brings to the classroom every day. You are the foundation of our schools, and your efforts make a tremendous impact on the lives of our students. Your tireless commitment to our students' success is truly inspiring. It is seeing a teacher kneel down to help a student with a problem, it is holding a hand as you walk down the hall, it is giving kids the opportunity to be leaders throughout their school, it is wishing someone a Happy Birthday, it is saying good morning to every student by name, it is standing in the hallway problem-solving with three students who need some support, it is fixing a Chromebook, it is using words of encouragement for a reader, an athlete or a gamer! It is sending a late-night email, it is talking to a parent on a Friday night, it is giving a hug, a high-five or a handshake, it is taking our students on events, and field trips, and providing authentic experiences. The list is never-ending and it is noticed and appreciated!

As Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." As teachers and staff members, you make our students feel valued, supported, and empowered. Your impact on their lives will stay with them forever.

Lastly, I want to thank you, the teachers and staff, for your tireless efforts in going the extra mile for our students. You are the role models of every student, every day, and your dedication to their success is unmatched. As a reminder of the importance of what we do, we included some of your senior pictures in this newsletter to remind us of a time when we were just trying to figure out how we were going to change the world. One might say, “Look at me, I am changing the world in Gilbert, Iowa!"

Thank you for all that you do. Your hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed, and I appreciate you more than words can express.

So, summer is coming! Take time for you and your family, rest, relax and rejuvenate. Together we will be ready for August!!



Stay Connected with Gilbert

The latest news and highlights around the Gilbert Community School District.

Melody Honored With Ed Thomas Award

Faith. Family. Football.

Those are the three pillars that legendary Iowa high school football coach Ed Thomas lived by prior to his untimely and tragic passing in 2009. As a way to honor the legendary Aplington-Parkersburg educator and coach, each spring the Iowa Football Coaches Association selects one individual from each class as the recipient of the Ed Thomas Award, and the winners are chosen based on their commitment to character and integrity.

Read Story

Sports Nutritionist Ellen Davis Excited For Journey At Gilbert

As a high school athlete, Ellen Davis constantly raised eyebrows, and that’s not hyperbole. She went by Ellen Ries back then when she put together one of the most decorated running careers in the history of Iowa high school athletics.

How fast could she run the 800 meters? As fast as she needed to in order to reach the finish line first. Seriously. She was that good. Her long stride, her focus, and her talent were equaled only by her competitive drive.

Read Story

It's All About Drake For Gilbert Track And Field Athletes

To hear Gilbert long distance coach Laura Kautman describe it, Charlie Bucket had an easier time securing his golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory than her girls’ 4×800-meter relay did in grabbing a hold of its precious spot in this week’s Drake Relays.

Let’s cut to the end for a quick moment: The quartet of Clare Stahr, Sophia Bleich, Keira Andersen, and Sarah Feddersen is in the star-studded event scheduled to hit the blue oval inside Drake Stadium in Des Moines Saturday morning at 10:25 a.m. But it wasn’t easy.

For starters, in an attempt to cut its time significantly, the group borderline pleaded with Ames High School for entry into a meet with some heavy hitters last Tuesday.

Read Story

Videos, Videos, and more Videos

After Prom Hypnotist

After Prom Hypnotist

After a night of dancing and fun, Gilbert students put a bow on Prom 2023 by enjoying a hypnotist in the early-morning hours. If you like to laugh, watch the video.

Intermediate Door Greeter

Door Greeter Goes Above And Beyond

Rain or shine, Gilbert Intermediate door greeter Will Farley is there for his fellow students. A short, but really sweet video.

RRC Boys' Golf Tournament

Champions ... Again!

Our boys' golf team captured its third consecutive Raccoon River Conference tournament title this month. And we have all of the highlights in this video.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher, Staff Appreciation Week

Without a doubt, we feel we have the best teachers and staff in the state. To celebrate them, we put this video together to celebrate Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week.

School Board Recognition

School Board Recognition

May is also School Board Recognition Month in Iowa and we wanted to honor our five-member board with this video. Thank you to them for their sacrifice and dedication!

Vintage Cooperative Performance

Vintage Cooperative Visit

Residents of Vintage Cooperative in Ames visited our school in April to enjoy a concert from Tiger Voices and Gilbert Jazz 1. Here are the highlights.

Gilbert Schools

Gilbert Schools: Every Student. Every Day.

A very short video for you, our Gilbert families and community members. Thank you for your support. Thank you for following our story. It's been quite the school year!

Gilbert Connect Podcast

Graham Lundt

2023 Football Schedule

Gilbert head football coach Graham Lundt stops by the podcast to talk about the upcoming 2023 season. Schedules for the 2023 and 2024 seasons were released by the IHSAA in mid-April.

Troy Banning

The Evolution Of Gilbert CSD Communications

In a role reversal from previous podcasts, regular co-host and Gilbert Director of Community Engagement Troy Banning gets asked the questions in this episode.

Middle School

Let's Talk Middle School

Gilbert Middle School Principal Mike Danilson joins the podcast for the 13th episode to talk about all things happening at the middle school. Entertaining and informative.

Families: Be sure to check our DIGITAL BACKPACK

Social Media Posts of the Month


A big congratulations goes out to Gilbert Intermediate 5th grader Olivia Wu, who was recently selected as the first-place winner in the Iowa Reading Association Creative Writing Contest!

Olivia, who is in Mrs. Stephenson’s homeroom and wrote her award-winning poetry piece for Miss Brown's social studies class, will be recognized for her achievement at the annual Iowa Reading Conference in Ames on Tuesday, June 20.

Our students’ creativity, hard work, and dedication in the classroom continues to be a staple of our school. We’re proud of each and every one of them!

Congrats again, Olivia! #GilbertPride #TigersTogether


Yesterday was Principals' Day, but we wanted our principals to have a day all to themselves. We celebrate them: For their leadership, for their dedication, and for being tremendous people in our buildings each and every day! #GilbertPride #TigersTogether


Congrats to Gilbert 8th grader Logan Bleich - the new middle school record holder in the 1,600 meters! He dropped a 4:49.57 last night at Madrid to break the 12-year-old record of 4: #GilbertPride #TigersTogether

Building For A Bright Future

We are thrilled to announce an exciting development for our growing Gilbert School District. Over the past year and a half, our dedicated governing school board has come together to address the pressing need for additional classroom space, improved facilities, and upgraded resources to accommodate the remarkable growth of our student population. We are proud to inform you that the school board is calling for a petition from district patrons for a potential bond election in November, as we embark on an ambitious plan to shape the future of education in Gilbert.

The guiding principles that have directed our decision-making process have always been focused on the well-being and success of our students. Our objective is to create an environment that supports student growth, learning, and overall development. The proposed plan outlines what we feel are crucial improvements to enhance educational experiences and to ensure a bright future for our students and our community.

To accommodate the influx of new students and ensure students have adequate space to thrive, the board is proposing to build a brand-new, state-of-the-art elementary school that will be located right next to the current building. This new structure will provide a nurturing environment for our youngest learners, equipped with modern amenities and cutting-edge technology.

Additionally, we plan to expand the intermediate building to create dedicated spaces for our fifth graders, as well as a PE, Music, and Art wing. By doing so, we aim to optimize the learning environment and offer our students ample opportunities for artistic and physical education.

Recognizing the need for growth at the middle school level, our plan includes the addition of new classrooms by adding one wing dedicated to instruction. We have also allocated resources to build an extra practice gym, a larger band room, and upgrade the entrance to the Middle School to enhance safety. 

Also in the plan is the construction of a new track and field for practice at the middle school to replace the existing track at the intermediate, which is unrepairable and no longer usable in its condition. These additions will enhance students' experiences and ensure a well-rounded education.

At the high school level, we understand the significance of a robust science curriculum. To meet this need, we have allocated funds to construct additional science classrooms while renovating existing ones to be adaptable for any class. This investment will empower our students to explore the wonders of science and inspire a passion for discovery.

Furthermore, our plan focuses on providing our athletes with top-notch facilities. We are proud to announce the construction of an additional practice gym, extra locker rooms, and a training room, which will foster their physical development and support their pursuit of excellence in sports.

To ensure the effective and efficient functioning of our district as we accommodate growth, we have also prioritized the establishment of a district office and a transportation/maintenance hub. These central facilities will streamline operations and facilitate the smooth running of our district, ultimately benefiting our students, staff, and families.

To undertake these transformative projects, we have partnered closely with CMBA architects. Their expertise and commitment to excellence have ensured that each endeavor is tailored to our unique needs and aligns seamlessly with Gilbert's future vision.

The budget for all of these projects has been carefully calculated to maximize our resources and deliver outstanding results. We are proud to share that the total investment amounts to approximately $55 million, a testament to our dedication to providing an exceptional educational experience for our students.

If the petition is successful and the bond passes in the upcoming November election, we anticipate that construction will commence in the spring of 2024. The phased approach we have adopted will enable us to execute these projects diligently and minimize disruptions to our students' learning environment.

We are incredibly excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and the positive impact these improvements will have on our students, staff, and community. We encourage all members of the Gilbert community to engage in discussions, stay informed, and actively participate in the upcoming bond election. For more detailed information, maps, and updates throughout the process, please visit the Facility Updates section of our website at

Together, we are building a brighter future for our students, one that will nurture their talents, facilitate their growth, and prepare them for success in an ever-changing world. We remain grateful for your unwavering support and look forward to the journey ahead. I hope you will join me in our excitement to build for the future of our entire Gilbert community.

Golf Coach of the Year ... and Golf Coach of the Year

It’s not a surprise, but it’s still fantastic!

A huge congratulations goes out to our golf coaches — boys’ leader Holly Lester and girls’ director Grant Walker — for their recent honors. Both were named the Raccoon River Conference Coach of the Year by their peers following the recent league tournaments.

Lester led the Tiger boys’ team to its third consecutive RRC championship, guided by senior Brock Snyder, the individual medalist after he posted a round of 3-under 68 at the Ames Golf and Country Club.

Walker guided the Tiger girls’ team to its own RRC crown in Altoona, which continued the team’s unbeaten season. Eden Lohrbach was the individual medalist with a round of 71, and all six of Walker’s players earned all-conference distinction.

Staff Flash Back: Senior Pictures Edition

With the Gilbert Class of 2023 set to graduate this weekend, we thought it would be fun for staff members to take a stroll down memory lane, back to when they graduated from high school.

And so a call was put out for - what else? - senior pictures!

Many brave souls took on the challenge and sent in their senior pictures, which are all in the collage below. This was fun. A lot of fun. Thank you, staff members!

New Gilbert CSD App: Coming Very Soon!

We are happy and excited to share with you that the new and much improved Gilbert CSD app will be available for download in the coming days! It’s been a long process to unveil this new product and your patience has been greatly appreciated. We really think you’ll enjoy the new look and advancements.

Whether you use an iPhone or an Android device, the app will be available in the respective app stores at no cost.

Features of the new Gilbert CSD app include:

•Near the top, you will have access to all of our latest news with the tap of a finger. Scroll through the stories and read whatever you choose.

•We have expanded our quick buttons by highlighting the most visited sections of our website and social media feeds to give you easy access to the information you crave. 

•Quick buttons include: Menus, Infinite Campus, Digital Backpack, Supply Lists, Staff Directory, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Gilbert Connect Podcast, Gilbert CSD YouTube, Tiger Broadcast, and SmugMug Photo Website. 

•There are also four dedicated and permanent buttons at the bottom of the page for Home, our District Activities Calendar, News, and Notifications.

•If there’s other information you’re looking to find, simply use the Search by Keyword function at the very top of the app homepage.

We hope you enjoy our new app and its features. Bringing the latest and as much information as possible to our students, staff, district families, and the Gilbert community will always be a priority and we feel this new app will help us communicate more effectively moving forward.

Don't Forget About Your EAP!

Just a reminder the Gilbert Community School District offers free counseling sessions for staff members. This is a great service that is free and can take place through telehealth right in your own home.

For District Schedule: Click HERE

Photos Around Gilbert Schools

All photos available to download HERE

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