Meet the Staff
Here at Whiting Community School, we are grateful for each and every staff member for what they do for our school on a daily basis. Each staff member has their own gifts to help each and every student succeed in their education. We would like to give you the opportunity to learn a little more about each staff member below! Please note that this list is categorized by: Administration, Support Staff, Elementary School, Junior High, High School, and Shared Staff.
(Updated September 25, 2019)
Randy Collins • Superintendent
My name is Randy Collins and I am very excited about serving the Whiting Community School District as the superintendent. I graduated from Westmar College (LeMars) and then taught for eight years in Iowa before my wife and I moved out to Colorado in 1985 for what we anticipated to be a one-year adventure. The one year grew into twenty during which we had two beautiful daughters and lived an adventurous life of enjoying the Rocky Mountains (hiking, hunting, camping, fishing, traveling, skiing – you get the idea).
In 2005 we moved back home to be closer to family and to take advantage of opportunities for me to work as a superintendent. I am in my fifteenth year as a superintendent, eleven of which I have managed multiple districts, love the job and look forward to working with all those interested in creating world-class schools.
Al Laboranti • PK-12 Principal
Born and raised in Massachusetts (go Red Sox), Al Laboranti has been an administrator for 19 years. Prior to that, he was a high school business teacher for 12 years. Besides teaching and being a principal, Mr. Laboranti has coached high school football, basketball and baseball for 20 years.
Mr. Laboranti earned his undergraduate degree in Business Management and a Master's degree in School Administration. He also holds a specialist degree in Educational Leadership.
Mr. Laboranti enjoys traveling and golfing with his wife, Amy, who is an Iowa native.
Lori West • Board Secretary
Lori is our Board Secretary here at Whiting.
Tracy Bell • Nutrition & Activities Secretary
Tracy is our Nutrition & Activities Secretary here at Whiting.
Renee Cooper • Paraprofessional
Renee is a paraprofessional here at Whiting Community School.
Cassie Wright • Paraprofessional
I grew up in Council Bluffs, where I met my husband Kris of 11 years. We moved to Whiting in 2011 and fell in love with the small town. We have 3 boys together, two of which are students at Whiting. I received my AA in Education K-12 at Iowa Western Community College, and have been a para at Whiting for 3 years. I plan to continue my education to hopefully teach Special Education.
Kathy Parr • Cook/Bus Driver
Kathy is a cook and bus driver here at Whiting Community School.
Lisa Davis • Custodian/Transportation Director
Lisa is a custodian and is also the Transportation Director here at Whiting Community School.
Dale Cooper • Custodian
Dale is a custodian here at Whiting Community School.
Mitch Carrier • Custodian
Mitch is a custodian here at Whiting Community School.
Jennifer Bakke • Preschool
Jenni Bakke has been the preschool teacher at Whiting since 2014. Jenni grew up in Moville, Iowa and now lives in Sioux City. She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education and reading endorsement at Briar Cliff University. She earned her Early Childhood Special Education endorsement from the University of Northern Iowa.
When she is not working on awesome activities for her classroom, Jenni enjoys spending time with her husband, Cole, their daughter, Parker, and dog, Mosby, hanging out with her nieces and nephews, watching funny movies, and rooting on the Yankees, Cowboys, Kings, and Hawkeyes!
You can find more information about everything that's happening at preschool by visiting Mrs. Bakke's Preschool Room on Facebook at www.facebook.com/whitingpreschool
Jessica Harken • Preschool Paraprofessional
Jessica is a Preschool paraprofessional here at Whiting Community School.
Melissa Anderson • Kindergarten
I am originally from Defiance, IA, but now live in Onawa with my husband. I grew up on a farm with my three sisters, NO brothers, and our sweet dog, Peanut. I got my degree at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. Some of my favorite things to do are spending time with my family, fishing, and I have recently become a book worm in my free time (when I have any!). This is my first year teaching and I couldn't be happier to be in Kindergarten again!
Kali Boynton • 1st Grade
Kali Boynton loves teaching 1st grade! Her favorite subjects to teach are writing, reading, and science. She received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education at Wayne State College. She lives in Blencoe, IA with her three labradors and husband, Cole. She enjoys photography, taking trips, and catching up on her reality shows. One day she hopes to buy her retirement home near the Tetons in Wyoming.
Jenna Heine • 2nd Grade
I grew up on a farm near Wynot, NE with my parents, 3 sisters, and brother. I earned my degree in Elementary Education at Morningside College along with endorsements in ESL, reading, and coaching. I enjoy spending time with family, traveling, and spending time outdoors. I am a first year teacher and thrilled to begin this journey in the second grade at Whiting!
Vanessa Crawford • 3rd Grade
I am very excited to be teaching at Whiting this year! I live in Onawa with my husband and our three children. I graduated from Buena Vista University in 2012. Then spent a year substituting at various school districts. I then went on to teach 1st grade for six years in Sioux City. I enjoy running, reading, golfing, and watching Chiefs and Hawkeye football!
Nick West • 4th Grade
I am a lifelong Whiting Warrior. I graduated from Whiting Community School in 2004 and then attended Briar Cliff University for 4 years where I received my degree in elementary education. I have been married to my wife Katie for 4 years and we have a son named Owen. My interests are sports, dogs, and hunting.
Melissa Eggerling • 5th Grade
I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with degrees in Therapeutic Recreation and Elementary Education. I graduated from Whiting and have taught and coached here since 1987. I am married and have two daughters. We enjoy traveling, camping, watching sports, and spending time together.
Alice McQueen • 6th Grade
This school year marks my 23rd year of teaching at Whiting and 4th year in 6th grade. I am so happy to make my home in this wonderful community. Having been here so long, I am getting kids who are the children of my former students, which makes me feel a bit old! I am always excited for the adventure of a new school year and look forward to the challenges and rewards it brings.
I am a book addict (seriously, somebody stop me!) and have more books than I'll ever be able to read, both at home and in my classroom library. During the summer, I love watching Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers baseball. I love spending time with my family and friends. I am an animal lover, and I've been a vegetarian for over 18 years. I have a very chunky cat named Charles. In my free time, I cross-stitch, crochet, read mysteries, and enjoy watching crime dramas on TV.
Heather Bryan • K-6 Gr. Special Education
My name is Heather Bryan. I am the K-6 Special Education Teacher here at Whiting. I have taught Special Education here at Whiting for 22 years. I am a graduate of Whiting High School. After high school, I attended the University of Northern Iowa where I earned my degree in elementary education and special education.
I have a daughter, Shelby, who graduated from Whiting Community School in 2014. During the summer, I spend my free-time gardening and I enjoy spending time outdoors.
Kristy East • Title I/TAG
Kristy East is the TAG and Title I teacher at Whiting CSD. Kristy graduated from Wayne State College with her Bachelors of Arts in Education and returned to Morningside College to earn her TAG and Reading Endorsement. Kristy lives north of Sloan with her husband and children. Kristy enjoys being outdoors, gardening, and reading in her free time.
Suzanne Bartels • Curriculum Director/Enrichment
This school year began my 40th year in education. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Spanish minor. I taught for many years and decided to complete my Masters of Science in PK-12 administration from Emporia State University in Kansas.
Throughout my years in education I have taught in South Dakota, Kansas and Iowa. I have taught grades K-12 in various capacities. I have been a teacher, an at-risk director, charter school co-director, and an administrator. I am currently the Curriculum Director.
I live in Sloan in my childhood home with my husband Randy. We have 5 children, 3 grandchildren and 4 granddogs.
Andrea Cain • STEM/Math/Science •
My name is Andrea Cain and I teach Junior High Math and Science and am also the tech coordinator. This is my 12th year at Whiting. I grew up in Ireton, Iowa, a small town in northwest Iowa. I went to Buena Vista for my undergrad and then to the University of South Dakota for my master's in Reading.
I love to travel in my free time. I have been to most of the United States and visited Europe twice. I have also had the experience of traveling to Havana, Cuba to learn about and experience the culture. I love spending time with my friends and family. I also have a dog named Benji.
Lisa Hoebelheinrich • History & Language Arts
Born and raised in Yankton, SD attended Mount Marty College and graduated in December of 2004. Lisa has been teaching at Whiting since 2005. Lisa currently lives in Sioux City and has two children Josi and George. Lisa is also the Head Speech Advisor and Junior Advisor.
Phil Hubert • Social Studies
Phil Hubert obtained his degree in secondary education from Wayne State University. He has been teaching social sciences and coaching athletics for over 20 years. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Lesley, his three sons, and watching Hawkeye football.
Tricia Dieger • Family & Consumer Science
Tricia Dieger is the Family and Consumer Science teacher for Middle School Exploratory and High School Classes. She is a graduate of Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto High School, and grew up in Anthon and Danbury, Iowa. She spent 15 years in Retail Management before deciding to pursue Family & Consumer Science and education; attending Wayne State College and Morningside College. This is her fifth year at Whiting. Tricia and her husband Chris have two boys, Derek, and Hayden, and reside in Sioux City. Her family enjoys camping, going to band events, and football games.
Aaron VanDuinen • 8th-12th Grade Math
Aaron VanDuinen is the 8th-12th Math teacher at Whiting. He grew up in West Michigan right near Lake Michigan and now resides just outside of Climbing Hill, IA. Aaron earned a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education from Grand Valley State University and a M.A. in Theology from Liberty University.
During his free time, Aaron loves to spend time with his wife Emily, and his three children: Aliza, Willa, and Luke. Aliza and Willa currently attend Whiting. Mr. VanDuinen also plays basketball and is a diehard Spartan fan.
TBD • Business
Maddisen Storm • Science
Maddisen Storm graduated from Morningside College in 2018, receiving her degree in Secondary Science Education (All Science Teaching). Maddisen has always had a passion for learning about and exploring nature, so teaching science was a natural fit. She grew up in Sioux City where she still lives, and her favorite hobbies include photography, hiking, kayaking, baking, and spending time with family and friends.
Maddisen loves being able to share her love of science and nature with her students, but she equally loves helping students discover and develop their own unique talents. She enjoys being a part of a smaller school community, where she has the opportunity to work closely with students and get to know each student as an individual.
Amanda McGrain • Spanish/Psychology
Amanda McGrain is the Spanish and Psychology teacher here at Whiting. Amanda is a graduate of Whiting High School and happy to be back home. Amanda graduated from Wayne State College in 2014. She enjoys teaching and anything to do with the Spanish language. Her favorite things to do are to travel, spend time with family, and learn. Her favorite saying is "Every student a teacher, and every teacher a student."
Amanda is a mother of two girls, Maisy and Elsa. She lives on a farm north of Hornick with her farmer husband, Kevin. Even though she does not live in the district she is extremely happy to have her children come to school at Whiting for the same great education and memories she had.
Lesley Hubert • Language Arts ~ Coach
Lesley Hubert was raised and educated in Whiting, Iowa. She received her Bachelor of Science in Education at the University of South Dakota. She currently teaches High School Language Arts. Her other duties include Assistant Speech Coach, Assistant Girls’ Basketball Coach, and National Honor Society Sponsor.
Lesley and her husband Phil have three sons who have graduated from Whiting Community School. Lesley enjoys cooking, being outside, and spending time with her family.
Harold Groves • Industrial Tech
Harold Groves is the Industrial Tech teacher here at Whiting Community School.
Christina Gard • 7-12 Gr. Special Education
I am excited to be joining the Whiting family this year. I spent 4 years teaching general education High School/Middle English before moving into the world of Special Education. I received my undergrad from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, and my Master's of Science in Special Education at Dominican University in River Forest, IL. Two years ago my husband and I moved to Sioux City to pursue teaching positions. It is the first time in my life I have not lived in the Chicagoland area. I enjoy spending time with my two Boston Terriers, painting, writing, reading, playing board games and frisbee golfing. My plan is to one day grow up and retire to a beautiful community in the Colorado Rockies.
Pam Madsen • School Nurse
This is my 4th year as the School Nurse. I grew up in South Sioux City, NE graduating in 1988. I completed a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Business Administration from Briar Cliff University in 2003. Later I decided to pursue my Nursing degree and completed my Associate Degree in Nursing from WITCC. I am working on my Bachelor of Nursing degree as my life permits. I also work at Pleasant View Care Center here in Whiting.
I am married and have two daughters. We live on a farm in Turin and have 3 cats (Defiance, Simon and Sugar) and a dog (Chocolate lab-Bubba) along with numerous farm cats, chickens and cows. I enjoy reading, watching HGTV and The Voice, and spending time with my family.
Alex Lamp • Physical Education ~ Athletic Director ~ Coach
Alex Lamp graduated from Buena Vista University in 2016 with a degree in K-12 Physical Education, and a minor in Health Education. Alex grew up in Webster City, Iowa. He ran track and cross country at Buena Vista, specializing in the Steeple Chase and various other distance races. His hobbies include running, riding his bike, and spending time at home with family.
Katie Bruening • Art ~ Coach
Katie Bruening is our K-12 Art Teacher here at Whiting. Katie is also the High School Volleyball Assistant Coach, Quiz Bowl Coach, and the new Yearbook Sponsor. She was born and raised in Carroll, Iowa her entire life! She earned her bachelor’s degree in K-12 Art Education and a minor in Art History in 2016 from the University of Northern Iowa.
In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, creating artwork for others, being outdoors (in the summer), and reading!
Alicia Vande Hoef • Instrumental/Vocal Music
Alicia Vande Hoef is currently in her eighth year of teaching at Whiting Community School. She has a K-12 Vocal and Instrumental Music Education degree from South Dakota State University. While there, she participated in a saxophone quartet, marching band, symphonic band, and jazz band. She grew up near Orange City, Iowa and attended high school at MOC-Floyd Valley. She was involved in band and choir in high school and kept pursuing music in college. She met her husband, Collin Vande Hoef, in high school and dated him throughout college and was married in 2012. He has his own lawn care and snow removal business in the area. Alicia’s hobbies and interests include playing saxophone and piano and also spending time with friends and family.
Christopher Derry • Counselor ~ Coach
Christopher Derry grew up in Audubon, IA. After high school graduation, he went and received his coaching authorization from Des Moines Area Community College. He then went to South Dakota State University where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Health, Physical Education, Recreation and received additional education to coach Volleyball. Mr. Derry met his wife, Jackie, during his time at SD State.
His passion for helping others led him to going back to college at Northern State University to achieve his Master of Science in Education with a specialization in School Counseling to continue his passion to help others be able to achieve their life goals. While starting his first year at Whiting, Christopher is entering his 8th year as a School Counselor.
In his free time, Christopher enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, Madeline, James, Kateline, and Jacob and family pet dog, Abbie. He enjoys being able to take his children to school with him in the mornings and seeing them throughout the day in the hallways. Christopher enjoys coaching, golfing, playing and watching almost any sport, and helping his children learn and excel in whatever they enjoy.
Nicholas Warren • School Website Administrator
Hello! I am Nicholas Warren and I am the school website administrator for the Whiting Community School District. I began my duties as website administrator when my Junior Year here at Whiting started in September of 2016 and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I am a 2018 graduate of Whiting High School and am currently attending Western Iowa Tech Community College and pursuing a degree in Graphic Design. I have spent the majority of my life growing up here in Whiting and continue to do so. I volunteer regularly at my local church here in town and whenever I have free time, I enjoy doing photography - ranging from pictures of flowers to my very own pets. I also enjoy listening to a variety of different music. I have two pets at home that keep me on my toes as well!