Celebrating the holidays with gratitude

As we gear up for the holiday season, I find myself taking a moment to appreciate the blessings around us. Life can get hectic with the rush of daily activities, but the holidays give us a chance to slow down, take a deep breath, and truly enjoy the richness of life.

I want to express my gratitude for all the amazing students across our colleges and campuses. You bring life to the district, and not only do you give us a sense of purpose but you also provide valuable learning experiences for your faculty and staff. A special shoutout to those involved in the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Honors programs, and all of you pursuing academic pursuits at Marshalltown Community College and Ellsworth Community College. Your dedication doesn’t go unnoticed.

I’m thankful that our district took the time to recognize First Generation College Students on Nov. 8. While we offer opportunities for all students, we have special resources for those who are the first in their families to pursue higher education. We understand the transformative power of a post-secondary degree for students and families, and we honor those students working hard to make their dreams a reality.

It’s exciting to represent schools that acknowledge our Veterans on Nov. 11. On Veteran’s Day, we took a moment to appreciate the men and women who’ve served, both in our student body and among our faculty and staff. Their selfless service to our country is commendable and I’m grateful for the resources helping them transition to civilian life, along with programs and degrees that build on their skills gained in service.

I’m thrilled about our passionate faculty and staff who go above and beyond in their teaching. Whether it’s Agriculture faculty at Ellsworth taking students to Germany for an international agriculture show, Art faculty showcasing student work, or hosting the state championship for Esports, their dedication enhances the student experience.

Kudos to our coaches who dedicate time and talent to nurture the athletic talents of our student-athletes. From organizing schedules to hosting fundraisers, their hard work creates excitement for their sports and their colleges. The lessons learned on the pitch, field or court are invaluable and last long after the season ends.

More than anything, I’m excited and humbled by the warm welcome Iowa Valley has given my family and me. The true colors of the district have shone through, and I couldn’t feel more at home. Leading Iowa Valley into its next chapter is an opportunity I’m truly grateful for.

As we wrap up this semester and head into a well-deserved break, I encourage each of you to take a moment, appreciate the present and express gratitude for the blessings surrounding you. May the holiday season bring you joy, peace, and countless reasons to be thankful.


Dr. Anne Howsare Boyens is the president of the

Iowa Valley Community College District.


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