For Kayla Dengler, there is one clear hands-on career path for her after graduating high school and it is not for the squeamish.
Kayla currently works part time in her mother’s bakery and eatery Shelly’s Sweets in Newhall, but baking is not her passion; becoming a Surgical Room Technician where she can hand instruments to surgeons is.
Next fall, Kayla will attend Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, in the Surgical Tech program. She hopes to specialize as an assistant in orthopedic surgeries but transplants would also be awesome, she said.
Kayla applied for and completed a job shadow where she followed a Surgical Technician around a Marshalltown hospital and observed the unwrapping of sterile instruments for a cataract surgery.
Kayla’s grandmother is a nurse in the surgery department at the hospital and told her about the opportunity. She said her mother Shelly Dengler likes the idea of her following her grandmother into the medical field.
According to Kayla, there is a high demand for Surgical Technicians throughout the country but she plans to pursue a clinical career in Des Moines so she can stay closer to her family in Iowa.
Kayla is currently taking a prep course to help her get ready for three semesters of college coursework and two years as a Surgical Tech apprentice. The first semester consists of book work, after that are hospital rotations, she said.
During college, Kayla plans on living at home and working part time as a nursing assistant at the Keystone Nursing Home, where she can do tasks like making beds and little things like brushing teeth and at Shelly’s Sweets.
At the bakery, Kayla said her mom arrives in the shop at 4:30 a.m. each morning and does most of the baking.
Each day she bakes made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls, donuts and caramel rolls kept in the bakery case in front of the store.
Shelly Dengler has 15 part time employees and moved her growing business to the current store location almost two years ago in June, Kayla said.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the first part-time worker would arrive at 5:45 a.m. and the doors to the cafe would open at 6:00 a.m. That all changed early last week when Shelly’s Sweets closed its dine-in area and began offering carryout only and temporary delivery to Watkins, Norway, Newhall, Atkins, Blairstown and Van Horne for a small fee. Folks can call and order anything for delivery, Kayla said.
Shelly’s Sweets menu items include four lunch specials each day, like cracked chicken, mac and cheese and club sandwiches. They also have a pizza station with regular toppings, with taco being one of their best sellers.
Since the outbreak, Kayla said they have seen an increase in business during the evenings especially on Fridays and Saturdays but their lunch revenue has gone down.
Among bakery items, Monster Cookies made with peanut butter and M & M’s are among the favorites.
At Newhall City Hall, Clerk Keri Touro continues to work as the facility remains locked to the public during the new virus outbreak. She said there is a night deposit box available for zoning permits and she performs transactions curbside, and works with the mayor and council members on a daily basis.
The five city council members and mayor continue to meet the second and fourth Monday of each month. In the wake of the Novel Coronavirus, Touro said they are discussing the Newhall Public Library shut down and Benton County Community School closings.
Additionally, Touro said city workers tackled a water main break and power outage over the weekend.