A Year In Review

2021 School Year

Alexis Dorsett and Olivia Moody

While the 2020-2021 school year did not go quite to plan, there were a lot of memorable things that happened. 


Any student that attended North Polk High School this year will easily be able to remember the unfortunate events of COVID-19. Students missed out on large student sections, pep rallies, homecoming, and winter formal. Throughout the school year, students and teachers had a possible chance to be quarantined from merely standing next to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 for part of the year until the mask mandate was created on Oct. 5. The mandate was created after the governor changed the quarantine recommendations. In order to not be quarantined with the new mask mandate, lunchroom social distancing was strongly enforced to allow for everyone to be safe and healthy because masks would not be worn. Social distancing in lunch involved: plastic dividers between seating, only two kids per eight seat table, one student per booth, assigned “Sit Here” stickers in the gymnasium, and students sitting outside when weather permits.

Although this school year was unfortunate at times because of the restrictions COVID-19, there was a large positive that came from the school rules. North Polk High School was one of the few schools that was in-person the whole year, excluding the one week test trial that happened after Thanksgiving break to ensure our school was prepared if COVID-19 outbreaks were too large to continue in person learning. However, our school was able to handle positive COVID-19 cases and quarantine the students that were necessary, keeping others healthy and in school. 

Until recently, masks were required at school at all times to be within the building. On May 20, the school board sent an email explaining that they would no longer be able to require masks due to the Governor signing a bill into law that says school districts are not allowed to require masks to be worn. This allowed seniors to be able to walk at graduation mask-free. 


With constant quarantines and a long list of permanent online students this year definitely had it’s challenges. Although this put a damper on the year the students stepped it up in academics. This year there were 50 new students inducted into the National Honors Society, five students inducted into the Math Honors Society and 19 into the Spanish Honors Society. 

AP and DMACC classes looked a little different this year. 

Previously AP and DMACC classes were combined as one class. They were both graded on the five point scale, but the students also received college credit. This year, the school made the decision to split the classes. Now all AP and DMACC classes are going to be separate. 

There were also three new DMACC classes provided at the school this year. These included DMACC Personal Finance, DMACC Food Prep and DMACC Environmental Science. 


This year the 2020-2021 athletic teams had multiple amazing outcomes. 

To begin this school year, the cross country team had multiple individual qualifiers for boys and a single qualifier for girls. For the boys’ cross country team Zach Sporaa, Max Sporaa, and Will Ford qualified for individual cross country, but overall the whole boys’ team qualified for State because they won with points. For the girls’ cross country team, Abby Bell qualified for state cross country. Alongside cross country, the football team had a good season. They made it to the playoffs. They played the best they have throughout the season, but unfortunately lost to Winterset with a score of 35-34. 

Keeping the school year going strong in athletics, the wrestling team and girls’ basketball team had successful seasons. The wrestling team sent three boys to state this year (Cole Sanger, Dylan Meiners, and Chance Bockenstedt.) On the other hand, the girls’ basketball team made it to the substate game against the Ballard Bombers, but unfortunately lost, even though previously in the season they had won against them. They were the Ballard Bombers’ only loss throughout the whole season. 

To end the tennis season, in the middle of spring, Ethan Moon qualified to play at State. He was the only one to qualify from North Polk High School for this year’s tennis season. 

Towards the end of spring, the boys’ and girls track season had school record breaking outcomes. Overall, the North Polk Track Teams qualified for a total of 27 events. Breaking a school record for most events ever qualified for state. There were multiple top eight placements at state, but only one state championship. Hunter Manock won the state title in 110 High Hurdles: the first state title to be won in Boys’ Track in 43 years. 

Finishing up the school year with golf and soccer: the girls’ golf team made it to regionals on May 24, but no one advanced forward; the boys’ soccer team made it to their substate game as well, but after a long game lost with a score of 0-1 against Winterset, and lastly, the girls’ soccer team won the 2021 Raccoon River Conference and advanced forward. 

Fine Arts

Last spring, the Drama department had planned on doing the production “Brothers Grimm Spectathalon,” but had to postpone because of Covid-19. While the class of 2020 missed out, this year all the roles were resumed and the play went on. The drama students had to deal with trying to project out while wearing masks and social distancing. While they had many challenges, they managed to pull off a play that everyone enjoyed. 

Right after the play, group speech season was in full swing. While it took the IHSSA a long time to figure out how to have a safe season, North Polk decided to have all of their speech meets independently from other schools. The season was successful, and the choral reading group made it to All-State. 

Right after the group season ended, individual speech began. The school continued to have the meets at the high school, but still got judged fairly on their performance. Some students had to cancel their performances because they contracted Covid-19 and were unable to perform in their event. While there were a lot of obstacles, seniors Val Reha and Jessi Sinclair had outstanding performances and made it to All-State. 

To wrap up the drama for the 2020-2021 school year, the music students performed the musical “Bright Star.” The musical was a drama filled tale of a young girl losing her child to find 20 some years later that he survived and is a budding writer. While the leads got to sing maskless, the ensemble of the cast had to perform with theirs on. 

While creating productions during Covid-19 may seem like a daunting task, the drama and musical departments persevered to have the best productions and seasons they could. 


This year the clubs and organizations of North Polk had to be more creative than ever to allow their usual events to take place. While some, like winter formal had to be completely canceled, other activities were still able to take place. 

The Student Council was able to host most of their usual events. While they could not have any dances or close in-person events, they were still able to make the school year fun. They hosted things like homecoming week, the 12 days of Christmas, a volleyball tournament, a food truck for seniors and an end of the year celebration. The council had to make sure to require masks at all events and try to socially distance as much as they can. 

The North Polk FFA had a tough year with the threat that Avenue of Breeds would be canceled. While the Fair Association wanted to eliminate the Avenue because they had to make budget cuts, many Avenue supporters protested. With countless complaints and people sharing their memories at the Avenue, the State Fair decided not to cancel it. 

The fishing club also had a very busy year. The club had several guest speakers that talked about different types of fishing like musky fishing and ice fishing. The club also participated in fishing competitions where Dyllon Ireland and Brock Miller won a local tournament and Vance Rupp got third place out of 40 fishers. 

A new club also formed during the spring months of the school year. Students who share a passion for the environment started the Students for Environmental Conservation and Protection (SEPC). This year the SEPC focused on getting recycling in the school, and also volunteering at Jester Park.  

Enjoy summer! Safely, due to COVID-19. Be sure to come check out new articles. 🙂