In this week’s #PeopleofAltoona, Southeast Polk teacher Tara Dawson reflects on her family’s move to Altoona—and their excitement for the new restaurants, shopping and entertainment popping up across the City.
THE JOB OFFER
I first started thinking about moving to Altoona my senior year of college. My husband Cory and I were living in Indianola when I got a call to interview for a kindergarten teaching position at Altoona Elementary. I excitedly told him about the interview to which he replied, “that’s where I went to elementary school!” I accepted that position and we moved to Altoona after graduation.
My daughters go to Centennial Elementary, where I currently teach. They have the best staff. We participate in City-led sports including the Altoona Soccer Club and GAGSA Softball. We are also members of the Altoona Campus and enjoy going there to shoot baskets, swim, and exercise. My son is a future football and baseball player, and he goes to a wonderful in-home daycare in town.
ALTOONA’S OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE
Our neighborhood is beautiful, quiet and feels safe. I love to run on the trails, my girls like to ride their bikes and scooters, and there are great parks and places to take all of the kids.
I like the size and convenience of Altoona. We live in Venbury and it is only a few minutes away from Centennial, Hy-Vee, the Campus, the Altoona Aquatic Center, and many other places. Altoona has a lot to offer without feeling overly busy or crowded. I also like how close Altoona is to Des Moines and Ankeny.
We have great friends – new and old – that we have met from living, working and playing in Altoona. Before COVID, there were many community activities that we participated in, including Altoona Palooza, parades, football and basketball games, music on the plaza, and library events.
LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FUTURE
It has been awesome living in Altoona for the last 12 years! There are some great businesses in town, and we are looking forward to new restaurants, shopping and entertainment to add to our list of places we like to go.
Southeast Polk Teacher, Centennial Elementary