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

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

Ascentra Credit Union Awards Scholarship to Rivermont Senior

Dale Owen And Christian ElliottRivermont Senior Christian Elliott has been selected to receive a $1000 college scholarship from Ascentra Credit Union. Ascentra President and CEO Dale Owen congratulated the winners Saturday at the 53rd St Branch in Bettendorf.

Christian plans to attend Augustana College.

Pictured: Dale Owen and Christian Elliott

Congratulations Manasa Pagadala (Grade 11)

Manasa PagadalaManasa won 2nd place overall in the Chemistry division at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium on April 27-30, 2016 in Dayton, OH. She also won an $8000 scholarship at the university of her choice.

Rivermont Sophomore Accepted to Attend EAA Advanced Air Academy 2016

Nikhil WagherRivermont sophomore, Nikhil Wagher, has been accepted to attend the EAA Advanced Air Academy 2016 this summer in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The program offers young people the opportunity to meet and work with aviation professionals while living and learning the arts, sciences, and lore of aviation in both classroom and workshop settings.

Nikhil will join other young people, ages 16-18, in this aviation program. Several days of the Academy take place during the world's largest and most exciting aviation event - EAA AirVenture 2016. Participants in the EAA Air Academy come from around the United States and several foreign countries.

Congratulations Nikhil!

Rivermont Collegiate Junior Invited to World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute Event

Manasa PagadalaManasa Pagadala, a junior at Rivermont Collegiate, will be among 600 students, teachers and experts from across Iowa coming together on the campus of Iowa State University for the World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute (IYI) on April 25, 2016. The IYI engages hundreds of young people from across Iowa in hunger-related topics and discussions. Students discuss various elements of global hunger, interact with experts in different hunger-related fields, and propose solutions to key issues. 

Students worked hard to prepare solution proposals for issues they see as exhibiting an important need in regards to hunger in our world today. "Manasa demonstrates an advance skill of working independently and motivates herself to work on challenging topics." says teacher/mentor Jenna McAdam. Manasa's paper, "Improving Food Security through Efficient Energy Production in India," addresses the widespread issue of food insecurity in India and looking for a solution to the many problems that contribute to it. "By pinpointing a lack of efficient energy production," says Pagadala, "I came up with several implementable solutions like creating a better distribution system, moving towards renewable energy, cutting down energy waste, scaling up successful small projects, and creating public awareness campaigns."

Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will address the students, as will Iowa State president Steve Leath and Dupont Pioneer Director of Platform Management Marv Wilson. The event will be held at the Hilton Coliseum and the Scheman Center at Iowa State University, Ames and various laboratories across the campus. More information is available at

Rivermont Collegiate Ranked #1 Private High School in Iowa by Niche

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Rivermont Collegiate has been recognized as a 2016 Best School in America by Niche, the largest website for researching K-12 schools. According to Niche's list, Rivermont Collegiate ranked #1 Best Private High School in Iowa.

Niche ranks more than 100,000 public and private schools and districts based on dozens of statistics and 27 million opinions from 300,000 students and parents. Rivermont achieved this ranking by scoring highly on a variety of factors including SAT/ACT scores, student-teacher ratio, the quality of colleges that students consider, and reviews from students and parents.

A full list of 2016 rankings, methodologies, and data sources can be found on Niche's website

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