Fort Dodge Community School District

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View Staci Laird, Principal profile

Favorite Quote: "Democracy can not succeed unless those who express their concern are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Ms. Laird earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa in May of 1995. She is certified in 7-12 grade language arts, American history and world history. She also earned a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from Iowa State University in August of 2015. 

Ms. Laird has worked as a language arts and social studies teacher at Fort Dodge Senior High since 2000.  Prior to coming here, she taught 7th and 8th grade literature, language arts, social studies and American history at Sacred Heart Cathedral School in Davenport. 

Her professional memberships include: National Council of Teachers of English, Iowa Council of Teachers of English and International Literacy Association.

Ms. Laird is married and has three children.  She is a native of Fort Dodge and is an avid reader. 

View Mr. Matt Elsbecker, Assistant Principal profile

Mr. Elsbecker has been an educator for more than 22 years, with over three years of experience in administration. Prior to becoming the A.D. at Senior High, he served as a social studies and journalism teacher and head baseball coach for the Dodgers from 2002-2012. Prior to that, he served as a social studies and language arts teacher and baseball and football coach at Benton Community Schools in Van Horne, IA, from 1999-2002. During his career in education Mr. Elsbecker also worked for Spalding Catholic Schools in Granville, IA, from 1997-1999 and began his career in education in 1995 when he served as a 6th grade instructor and middle school coach for Bishop Garrigan Schools in Algona, IA. As an educator, Mr. Elsbecker also worked as a yearbook adviser, newspaper adviser, large group and individual speech coach, and basketball coach.  

Mr. Elsbecker holds a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications from Briar Cliff University (1991) and a bachelor of arts degree in history from Buena Vista University (1995). In 2010 he earned a master’s degree in K-12 educational leadership from The University of Northern Iowa.

Mr. Elsbecker is a passionate educator who believes that athletics and activities play an equal role in helping shape young people’s lives. He believes that extra-curricular activities must serve as a tool to help kids achieve the academic success that will help springboard them into the next stage of their lives. The lessons learned through the performing arts and competitive arenas are priceless and need to be used to help mold our young people into the adults that they soon will be. He is an active member of national and state learning communities such as School Administrators of Iowa (SAI), National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) and the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association (IHSADA).

Mr. Elsbecker and his wife, Melissa, have been married for 25 years and have five children. He enjoys spending time with his family, attending his children's events, coaching baseball and following the NFL and MLB.

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Mr. Kent, an FDSH alum, is excited to become one of the assistant principals at his alma mater. Prior to joining the FDCSD, Mr. Kent taught 9th grade science for West Des Moines Community Schools between 2011-2019. Mr. Kent holds a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Iowa State University, a...
View Mr. Scott Danielson, Dean of Students profile

Mr. Danielson is entering his second year as Dean of Students at Fort Dodge Senior High.  Prior to coming to FDSH, Mr. Danielson was Dean of Students at Washington High School in Washington, Iowa.  Mr. Danielson began his educational career as a physical education teacher and behavior interventionist at Washington Community School District. 

Mr. Danielson has also been involved with coaching various sports and activities including: football, track and field, first tech challenge, as well as serving as the head strength and conditioning coach for 4 years.  

Mr. Danielson earned his bachelor's degree in physical education and exercise science from Simpson College in Indianola, IA.  Mr. Danielson has also earned master degrees in performance enhancement and injury prevention from California University of Pennsylvania and in school administration from the University of Iowa.  

Mr. Danielson is married with two children.  He likes spending time outside, enjoying family time, playing sports, and traveling.  

View Mr. Erik Hoveland, Student Service Liason profile

Mr. Hoveland has been with the Fort Dodge Community School District for 15 years. Prior to joining Fort Dodge Senior High as the Student Services Liaison in 2015, Mr. Hoveland served the district as the Juvenile Court School Liaison from 2006 - 2015. Before that, he served as the Bridges Case Manager at Fair Oaks and Phillips Middle Schools from 2001-2006.

Prior to joining the Fort Dodge Community School District Mr. Hoveland worked as a residential floor supervisor serving adjudicated delinquent youth at Woodward Academy for three years. He provided group counseling, individual counseling, and staff training among other duties.

Mr. Hoveland holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a distributive double minor in sociology and psychology from Buena Vista University.

Mr. Hoveland is passionate about meeting the needs of children. He is dedicated to ensuring all students are provided the tools and resources they need to do well both in and out of school. His extensive experience working closely with families has shown his commitment to helping students and their families attain the life skills needed to be successful.

In his spare time, Mr. Hoveland enjoys shooting and editing audio video for his production company to help promote athletics and fundraisers for various schools. 

View Mr. Kevin Astor, Athletics and Activities Director profile

As a 1984 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate himself, Mr. Astor relishes the opportunity to give back to his hometown as an Assistant Principal.

After graduating, Mr. Astor continued his education and athletic career at Coe College in Cedar Rapid, Iowa. As a dual sport collegiate athlete (football and track) Mr. Astor qualified to run the open 800 at the 1987 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He graduated from Coe College in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a minor in Physical Education.

Mr. Astor accepted his first teaching position in Huntley, Illinois, in the fall of ’88 where he taught high school mathematics and coached high school football and middle school basketball for two years. He then moved to Harlan, Iowa, where he taught math and coached high school volleyball, guiding the freshman team to an undefeated season. Returning to his hometown in the fall of ‘91, Mr. Astor joined the staff of the Fort Dodge Community School District as a high school math teacher and coached high school football, basketball and track.

In the summer of ‘92, he returned to school to pursue his master’s degree in Educational Administration. From 1992-1995 he enrolled in summer classes at Iowa State University while continuing to teach and start a family in Fort Dodge.

In the fall of ‘96 Mr. Astor's family moved to Winona, Minnesota, where he and his wife both taught. He served the Winona School District as a 7-12 math teacher and coached high school football. 

Mr. Astor returned to Fort Dodge in the fall of '97 to teach physical education, industrial technology and special education. He returned to teaching mathematics in the fall of ‘98 where he would remain until the fall of 2012 when he joined the administration team. During this time, he led many committees at the high school and district level, and eventually became the head of the Mathematics Department for four years before he left the classroom.

Upon returning to Fort Dodge, Mr. Astor accepted a position as an assistant football coach at Iowa Central Community College. In 2005, he was recruited to help build the first ever Iowa Central Track & Field Program. From 2005-2011 Kevin assisted the Tritons in seven consecutive national appearances and one NJCAA Track & Field Championship Title.  “Coach Astor” hung up his coaching title when he accepted his current position in 2012.

Mr. Astor and his wife reside in Fort Dodge with their four children, Lexi - entering her 3rd year at UNI, Kati - entering her 1st year at UNI, Geoff - freshman at FDSH, and Jonny - a 7th grader at FDMS. When he is not at school or one of his children’s events he enjoys the outdoors, watching college football, relaxing on his deck and reading.


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