Rivermont in the News

Rivermont is often featured in local news - both in the newspaper and on our local ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates. Below are a few of our favorite stories. If you have a story to share, please send it to

Surma presentation voted “Best of Iowa,” at IWLA Conference

SurmaRivermont language teachers, Ha Dao and Maria Surma, attended the Iowa World Language Associate (IWLA) Conference in Des Moines on October 12 and 13. Surma was a presenter at the conference which was themed Oh! The places we’ll go. . . The people we’ll know. . . Her presentation, “Get them moving, get them racing, get them feeling . . . get your students HOOKED on language!" was voted the “Best of Iowa.”

In her session, Surma shared ideas on how to enhance students' excitement about their World Language class by engaging their five senses, tapping on their multiple intelligences, and appealing to their competitive instincts.

She was invited to present at the Central States Conference for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (CSCTFL) in Columbus, OH in 2019 as well as the IWLA Conference in October 2018.

Rivermont Announces Rowing Academy

Rivermont Collegiate Introduces Rowing Academy in partnership with Y Quad Cities Rowing

September 25, 2017 (Bettendorf, IA) – Rivermont Collegiate is excited to announce the addition of a competitive rowing program open to its middle and high-school students. Participants will learn from coaches who are former Olympians, College Coaches, prep school Coaches, and National team rowers. Qualified student rowers will travel throughout the mid-west and the entire United States to compete with the best rowing programs in the country.

The program is lead by Coach Deidrah Kennedy a long-time rower and a US Rowing Association Level 1 Certified Coach. She brings her love of rowing and her collegiate, masters, club, and prep school coaching experience to Rivermont Rowing Academy.

Rivermont Collegiate is Ranked #1 Best Private High School in Iowa and Best High School for STEM in Iowa on Niche’s list of 2018.

For more information contact Coach Kennedy, (w) 563-359-1366, (cell) 563-499-1820, Or, visit

Rivermont Collegiate Junior Selected to 2017 Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship National Student Congress


Hannah Laufenberg, a Junior at Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf, daughter of Brian and Angela Laufenberg, has been selected  for the prestigious program and will be traveling to Lexington, Kentucky this June. During the week Hannah is in Lexington, she will have the opportunity to meet with lawmakers, academics, journalists, and civic leaders to discuss the practical importance of compromise and constructive engagement and dialogue to resolve conflict and competing interests in a democracy. Nationally-recognized guest speakers engage in seminars with students, followed by a student debate on a current topic in the Old State Capitol in nearby Frankfort, KY. Past speakers have included justices of the Supreme Court; U.S. Speakers of the House, governors, U.S. Senators and other nationally recognized officials and academic thought leaders.

The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, is an innovative non-profit dedicated to educating a new generation of leaders in the essential skills of negotiation, dialogue, and compromise. For more information visit the website:

Rivermont Collegiate Siblings Take First at Science and Technology Fair

Isabella And Angela Jones

Bettendorf, Iowa, March 4, 2017 - Rivermont Collegiate student Angela Jones (8th Grade) and her sister Isabella Jones (Grade 6), both won first place in their categories at the 2017 State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa. The event was held at Iowa State University in Ames on March 31, 2017. There were more than 700 participants in this year’s competition.

Angela won in Microbiology, Bio-medical and Health Sciences, 8th Grade Category, for her project: “How Much Variation is there in Autosomal DNA that is Shared by a Grandchild and Grandparent in a Small Sample Size?” Isabella won in Behavioral and Social Sciences, 6th Grade Category, for her project: “Do People Start to Eat Healthier at a Certain Age?” Both were also nominated for the Broadcom Masters for being in the top 10% of science fair projects nationwide.

Additionally, Angela was awarded the “Certificate of Scientific Achievement at Iowa State University Program for Women in Science and Engineering.” Isabella was awarded a $2,500 Scholarship by the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University and the “Excellence in Science Award.”

Also of note, Siri Pothula (6th Grade) won Honorable Mention in Microbiology & Health Sciences and Excellence in Science Award for her project: “What Drink Discolors Your Teeth the Most?” Maram El-Geneidy (12th Grade) won 3rd in her category in Biomedical & Health Sciences for her project: “Is the Expression of ASICs Altered in Mouse Sensory Neurons with High-Intensity Exercise Training? Manasa Pagadala (12th Grade) won Honorable Mention in her category in Biomedical & Health Sciences and an Iowa Biotechnology Association Scholarship for her project: “Galmydar: A Metalloprobe for Monitoring Chemotherapeutic Resistance in Human Cancer Cells.”

Rivermont Collegiate students were under the guidance of their teacher Mrs. Jenna Adams.

Congratulations on a job well done!

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Rivermont Collegiate Adds 2-Year-Old Program

This winter Rivermont made public its plans to add a boarding component to the High School starting with fall 2017 school year. With the onset of spring comes more good news. The school is adding a 2-year-old program to its Elementary School. The new, loose curriculum based program, will prepare children for preschool and beyond with a unique "Crib to College" approach, guided by the principles of the Reggio Emilia teaching style. The new program features:

  • The choice of 3 or 5, half days or full days per week
  • No requirement for child to be potty trained
  • Access to the resources of the #1 private school in Iowa
  • Same tuition as preschool program

Rivermont Collegiate has seen a marked increase in enrollment for next year and classes are filling fast. Avoid waiting lists, sign your child up early.

For more information, go to our website,, or call 563-359-1366.

Rivermont Collegiate Announces Boarding Component

Front View Of The Bettendorf Mansion Optimized

Rivermont Collegiate is excited to announce the School’s return to a boarding component for grades 9-12. Founded in 1884, the School was originally organized as St. Katharine’s School, a boarding and day school.

The initiative called, From Rivermont’s Doors, The World, will attract the best and brightest from the region, the nation, and the world! This initiative comes from Rivermont’s commitment to developing global citizens, who are prepared to tackle 21st century challenges.

Local (day) students of all grades will benefit from Rivermont building on our already-global community. Classroom discussions will benefit from truly global perspectives. Currently, our graduates report being very well prepared for success in college. The lively activities on campus, within the dorms and around our grounds, will improve upon those reports. The campus buzz will now mirror an actual college experience.

Carriage House At Rivermont Collegiate Optimized
The first phase of a multi-phase effort will be to remodel parts of the existing Carriage Houseto accommodate boarding students for the fall of 2017. A more complete vision of the reintroduction of boarding includes new construction of additional residential and academic facilities, and student commons on the Rivermont campus.

Rivermont Collegiate student participates in prestigious World Food Prize Global Youth Institute

The best and brightest students from 31 U.S. states and territories and seven countries attended speeches by world renowned leaders, presented their own research, and joined in hunger relief efforts.

Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 26, 2016 -- Manasa Pagadala of Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf, IA was among the select students nominated to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute Oct. 13-15, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa, during the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, which drew 1,500 people from more than 60 countries to discuss the world’s hunger and food security issues. The World Food Prize was founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug to recognize and inspire great achievements in improving the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world.

This year’s World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium focused on the theme “Let Food Be Thy Medicine” and gave special emphasis on issues such as: the crucial role of nutrition in global food security, leadership, biofortification, conflict and infrastructure. Global Youth Institute students and teachers had the opportunity to take part in symposium sessions with the top minds and foremost leaders in global agriculture, food, and development.

Global Youth Institute students and their teacher mentors attended symposium sessions featuring:  

  • His Excellency Akinwumi A. Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group;
  • Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda, Former President of the Republic of Malawi and Founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation;
  • The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, United States;
  • Roger Thurow, Journalist and Author of The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time For Mothers and Children- And The World, United States;
  • The CEOs of many of the world’s major agribusiness companies: DuPont, Hormel Foods, Monsanto, and Syngenta; and
  • Researchers, non-profit leaders and smallholder farmers from around the globe.

At the three-day Institute, Pagadala and 200 other high school student participants of the program from across the United States and abroad researched global food security issues in the developing country of their choice and then submitted papers on those critical topics, which they also presented to a diverse group of internationally renowned World Food Prize Laureates and other distinguished experts and scientists.

Pagadala presented her paper on the theme "Feeding Innovation, Fighting Hunger” and took part in roundtable discussions with experts in industry, science, academia and policy on the culminating day of the program hosted by DuPont Pioneer at its Carver Conference Center in Johnston, Iowa. During the Institute, participants also helped with a hands-on service project packaging meals for Outreach, Inc., a hunger-fighting organization that serves people in the United States and internationally, toured innovative research and industrial facilities in Adel, Des Moines, Panora and Slater, Iowa – Hawkeye Breeders Service, Kemin Industries, Early Morning Harvest Farms, and Syngenta Seeds, respectively – and took part in an interactive Oxfam Hunger Banquet that brought to life the realities of hunger and poverty.

Created by Dr. Borlaug and Iowa businessman John Ruan in 1994, the Global Youth Institute today receives major support from Clay Mathile and the Mathile Institute for the Advancement of Human Nutrition. The program was developed to challenge and inspire participating student-teacher teams to identify ways of alleviating hunger, and to expose the students to opportunities and careers in food, agriculture and natural resource disciplines. Of the students who complete the program, about 92% go on to pursue college degrees in agriculture and science and 77% choose careers in agriculture, STEM and other fields critical to the fight against hunger. The Institute also boasts an impressive, two-thirds participation by young women. Dr. Borlaug often stated, “I am certain that these students will become the future agricultural, scientific and humanitarian leaders in the fight to end hunger”.

At the Global Youth Institute, Pagadala interacted with students and teachers from Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Canada, China, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines and Tunisia.

Participants also viewed Iowa Public Television’s live coverage of the 2016 World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony that honored Dr. Maria Andrade of Cape Verde, Dr. Robert Mwanga of Uganda, Dr. Jan Low of the United States and Dr. Howarth Bouis of the United States as this year’s Prize recipients. Dr. Andrade and Dr. Mwanga, plant scientists in Mozambique and Uganda, bred the Vitamin A enriched OFSP, while Dr. Low structured nutrition studies and programs that convinced almost two million households in 10 African countries to plant, purchase and consume this nutritionally fortified food. Dr. Howarth Bouis, the founder of HarvestPlus at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), pioneered the implementation of a multi-institutional approach to biofortification as a global plant breeding strategy. As a result of his leadership, crops such as iron and zinc fortified beans, rice, wheat and pearl millet, and Vitamin A-enriched cassava, maize and OFSP are being tested or released in over 40 countries. Through the combined efforts of the four Laureates, over 10 million persons are now positively impacted by biofortified crops, with a potential of several hundred million more having their nutrition and health enhanced in the coming decades. As such, they are truly worthy to be named as the recipients of the award that Norman Borlaug created thirty years ago to be seen as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.” Read the full laureate’s full story on the World Food Prize website.

High school educators and students interested in participating in the 2017 Global Youth Institute should visit and select their state on the U.S. map, or the link for other countries if living abroad, for more information. 

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE:  The World Food Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, The World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world. Laureates have been recognized from Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cape Verde, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Israel, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the United States. In 1990, Des Moines businessman and philanthropist John Ruan assumed sponsorship of The Prize and established The World Food Prize Foundation, located in Des Moines, Iowa.

Two Selected as Herbert Hoover Uncommon Students

Manasa Emilia

Manasa Pagadala and Emilia Porubcin have been selected as two of 15 Herbert Hoover Uncommon Students chosen for 2016. Iowa high school juniors are chosen on the basis of submitted project proposals. Manasa was selected for her project proposal, Switching to Switchgrass and Emilia for her project, Pounce Magazine: Technology and the Arts in the 21st Century.

Students will meet with the trustee scholarship committee in June at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum in West Branch. They will return in October to make presentations about their projects and receive their awards.

Two Local Students Achieve Top ACT Score

Ben And Emilia

Benjamin Nordick, son of Gary and Christina Nordick and Emilia Porubcin, daughter of Michal and Chae Hee Porubcin, juniors at Rivermont Collegiate, Bettendorf, Iowa, each earned the highest possible ACT Composite score of 36. Nationally, while the actual number of students earning the top score varies from year to year, on average, less than one-tenth of 1% of students who take the ACT earns the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2015, only 1,598 of more than 1.92 million students earned an ACT Composite score of 36.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1–36, and a student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take the optional ACT writing test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT Composite score.

In a letter from the ACT chief executive officer recognizing this exceptional achievement, the CEO stated, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. While test scores are just one of multiple criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT Composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”

ACT test scores are accepted by all major US colleges. Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.

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See Rivermont's "Steam Piggy" at Village in Bloom

Steam PiggyRivermont Collegiate Middle and Upper students repurposed old discarded screens removed from screen windows, as well as piano keys, milk jugs, plastic containers, keys, vinyl, and much more to create a mythical themed sculpture. The 3'x 4' sculpture, titled "Steam Piggy," will be on exhibit and donated to the 2016 Village in Bloom: A Festival of the Arts, Honoring the Lives of John and Isabel Bloom.

Village in Bloom
Saturday, May 7th, 2016 (10am-4pm)
Location: Village of East Davenport

Free Family Fun with live performances, concerts, student artwork, art activities, face painting, mural making, clay sculptures, clowns, puppets, and much more!

Download the flyer or visit

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