Groteluschen gets going at STC

South Tama welcomes new principal

New South Tama High School principal, Mark Groteluschen is already busy at work in his office preparing for returning to school Allison Graham/News Chronicle

As schools around the state set to return in some fashion from a year that has been like no other, Mark Groteluschen will be looking for a sense of balance.

Groteluschen is the new high school principal at South Tama County. He replaces Roy Frakes who retired at the end of the 2020 school year.

Groteluschen is no stranger to the area. He grew up in Marshalltown graduating in 2001. From there he attended the University of Iowa.

He wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do but decided to follow in his older sister’s footsteps. She was a teacher at the time and so Groteluschen studied science education.

He took a job at Cedar Rapids Metro, which is the alternative high school in the area. Groteluschen enjoyed working with the students who for whatever reason were not successful in a traditional high school setting.

Eight years passed and Groteluschen transitioned to an Academic Facilitator role, similar to a principal. He was in that position for two years. He then moved to Muscatine High School where he was the principal for four years.

Groteluschen had been watching South Tama from afar and when the opportunity arose he applied for the high school principal job.

Stepping into a new school system has its benefits and challenges but doing so during a global pandemic is unprecedented. Groteluschen has been making plans with the school improvement team but recognizes those plans will have to be flexible as things will more than likely change in the next month.

“We recognize this is going to be a challenging time for families,” Groteluschen said.

Despite all the adjustments Groteluschen’s excitement for coming to South Tama has not waned. He grew up in an educational setting where teachers did anything they could to help students find their path to success. Groteluschen saw that same student focused environment when he interviewed at South Tama.

One thing he is particularly looking forward to are the benefits of a smaller district. Groteluschen shared he is looking forward to getting to know students and their families. Learning each student’s story will be of high priority.

Groteluschen will not be the only new face at the STC High School. Anthony Jahr was hired as the Assistant Principal and Activities Director. While she is not a new face, Chelsea Ahrens is in a new role as Assistant Activities Director.

The administrative staff is still working out what each of the high school administrators’ roles will look like. Groteluschen will be the instructional leader for the building. He also believes it will be vital for Jahr to be a part of the instructional leadership while also respecting the needs of the activities department.

Groteluschen and his wife Mackenzie have three children; Harper, Era and Theo. Mackenzie is a nurse practitioner in an emergency room.

Check out next week’s feature about Assistant Principal/Activities Director, Anthony Jahr.