As a wife, new mom, teacher and president of the Storm Lake STARS Mentoring Program, Brooke Zinn is a busy lady.
Brooke teaches transitional kindergarten. Previously she taught preschool at Head Start for two years, kindergarten at St. Mary’s School and then first grade at Storm Lake Elementary School. This year she switched to TK.
“There’s not so much pressure on these kids; the expectations aren’t so high because they’ll go to kindergarten next year,” she explained.
Brooke’s husband Andrew teaches fifth grade at Storm Lake Middle School.
Their baby Hazel is 8 weeks old.
“The STARS Mentoring Program is based through the Storm Lake Community School District,” Brooke commented. “Before Covid, we had 100 kids matched. Then Covid took away meeting in person and it was challenging to keep meeting by Zoom for everyone and that wasn’t older people’s cup of tea. We want to get it back up again; we need personal relationships. The kids are so looking so forward to getting together again.”
“Being at the Middle School, I hear that everyone wants to see their mentor,” Andrew mentioned. “They ask Angie (Woodford) when they can get together with them.”
Research shows that a quality mentoring program has a powerful impact on the lives of young people. If you would consider becoming a “difference maker,” you can contact STARS director Angie Woodford at 732-8105, ext. 1226 or email awoodford@ slcsd.org. Funding is always appreciated; you can give a tax-deductible donation.
Brooke’s parents are Laurie and Dan Gaffney of Storm Lake. Andrew’s dad Bill lives in Spencer; his mom, Sherry Courtright Zinn, has passed away.
Both Brooke and Andrew are mentors.
“We met through STARS,” she noted. “I had invited Andrew to be on the STARS board. I support the Dollars for Scholars program, too. My mom is president of the group.”
In her free time, Brooke likes to read, mostly fiction and the Zinns enjoy walking their dog, Henley.
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cans of Rotel
2 blocks of cream cheese
4 cups of chicken broth
Taco seasoning to taste
Place all in crock pot and let cook 2-3 hours.
Serve with Fritos and shredded cheese on top
Courtright Family’s Chocolate Pie
1 graham cracker crust
1-15 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
In the top of boiler, put sweetened condensed milk, chocolate and salt. Heat over rapidly boiling water stirring occasionally, until mixture is very thick.
Gradually stir in hot water, keeping mixture smooth. Continue cooking, stirring often until it thickens. Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla. Pour into the pie shell. Cool at room temperature about half an hour. Refrigerate at least three hours. Before serving, garnish with whipped cream.