The new Kingsland electronic message sign was dedicated at Kingsland Elementary and High School last Thursday, Oct. 30.  From left are Vince Mangan, Laura Mangan, Gwen Howard, Jay Webster, Ann Oeltjen, Peggy Merkel, Troy Asher, Deb Larson, Mike Zimmer, Mitch Lentz, Skylar Lentz, Doug Plaehn, Jane Baker, Steve Tammel, Tom Kaase, Greg Davids, Kristin Beck, Kathy Lange, Stacey Rath, Scott Back, Pat Pokorney and John McDonald. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
The new Kingsland electronic message sign was dedicated at Kingsland Elementary and High School last Thursday, Oct. 30.  From left are Vince Mangan, Laura Mangan, Gwen Howard, Jay Webster, Ann Oeltjen, Peggy Merkel, Troy Asher, Deb Larson, Mike Zimmer, Mitch Lentz, Skylar Lentz, Doug Plaehn, Jane Baker, Steve Tammel, Tom Kaase, Greg Davids, Kristin Beck, Kathy Lange, Stacey Rath, Scott Back, Pat Pokorney and John McDonald. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
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Kingsland, for your dedication, here’s your sign!

“We welcome you today…this has been a long time coming to get this far,” said Kingsland Superintendent John McDonald, standing next to the new electronic message sign outside Kingsland Elementary and High School in Spring Valley late last Thursday afternoon during the dedication ceremony held to showcase the sign and thank the community for its generosity in raising funds for the sign’s installation. 

“It’s been a long journey, a journey with a vision for quality education.  When I came to the district in 2010, former board chairman Mitch Lentz told me that I had two big jobs to do – first, we needed to pass a referendum, and second, we needed to get the sign built,” said McDonald.  “I also look at the journey as a fun opportunity for the community…the Spring Valley class of 1961 had a lot of donors who believe in Kingsland and wanted to be a part of the sign’s fundraising.  There are three pages of names that will be mounted on a plaque on the sign as a reflection of the commitment everyone in our community has made.  You see signs at other schools that are boxes on poles or just squares in brick, but they wanted us to have the best.” 

Lentz spoke next, stating, “There were 20-some projects that came just shy of $2 million.  This is the last one to be completed.  All I can say is ‘thanks’ to the Kingsland community.” 

Current Kingsland School Board Chairperson Doug Plaehn stood before the crowd next.  “There’s a lot of support from the community here in Kingsland, and this is something that everybody can see when they drive by.  I want to thank the community for their help,” he said.

Kingsland Athletic Booster Club (KABC) representative Stacey Rath, who was instrumental in the final fundraising effort over this past summer, got to “thank everyone on the board, local businesses, the booster club, community members, everyone who sat in the dunk tank…thanks for your great effort.” 

The weather was chilly and the sky spit out a few stray flakes as Lentz cut halfway into the ceremonial ribbon and Plaehn completed the cut, garnering applause from the people who came to the sign dedication and stood to watch as its color messages flash against the late October foliage, informing everyone who goes by exactly what’s coming up on the Kingsland calendar.