Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

May 3, 2018 Superintendent’s decision on volunteer questioned
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

Mid-Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider is putting the future of his career in the hands of a May 14 vote of confidence by the school board.

Schneider has come under fire for a 2015 decision to allow a man to volunteer in the district despite a conviction 20 years ago for videotaping a student dressing at a western Iowa elementary school where he taught.

On Friday, the Des Moines Register reported that Trent Yoder pleaded guilty in 1998 to exploitation of a minor and was initially sentenced to 10 years in prison, before a judge reduced the sentence to time served – about six weeks – plus four years of probation and 10 years on the sex offender registry.

According to a statement issued by Schneider on Friday, Yoder first volunteered in 2014 at Mid-Prairie East Elementary School where his children attend. Schneider rejected the request after Yoder failed a background check. Yoder appealed Schneider’s decision.

Schneider said that he received reports and letters of support from a number of people, including Yoder’s pastor, a judge, a former Washington County prosecutor and several members of the community.

Schneider reversed his decision in 2015 and agreed to allow Yoder to volunteer with the stipulation that he always be in the presence of another adult.

The school board met in an extraordinary Saturday morning special meeting April 28 to discuss issues around Schneider’s decision, the district’s policy on volunteers and the status of Yoder’s volunteering with the district.

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