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Grant Wood Area Education Agency

Mark your calendars!

Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m.


GWAEA and Kirkwood CC Joint meeting

Feb. 26


Nominations due for the Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

April 22


GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
Old Brick meeting hall, Iowa City

Agency Preparing for Possible Flooding

News media this week have touted the possibility of another major flood in the Cedar Rapids area this spring. The agency is taking precautions to prepare for such a calamity. Some staff have inquired why the Agency has not installed flood doors or other flood proofing measures around the Conference Center at the Sixth Street office like has been completed in other parts of the building.

Originally it was felt that placing flood doors and gates at all the entrances to the 6th street facility would prevent the Agency from significant interior water damage from a flood. Approved “flood doors” – designed to seal and keep water out of the building – were designed, ordered and installed in all areas except the Conference Center. The Conference Center was the last part of the reconstruction. As the work to finish the Conference Center began, a closer inspection of the Conference Center wall and foundation revealed that the front of the building would not hold out flood waters – making the installation of flood doors and barriers at the Conference Center useless.

The agency contacted FEMA and began design of a preventative plan that would make the building “dry flood proof,” essentially protecting the building from a flood 1’ higher than the flood we experienced in 2008. This plan was submitted to FEMA in December and we are currently awaiting final approval. Once approved, we will begin the installation of this total solution to protect our building. Be assured we are doing this as quickly as we can, and in the interim, will take all reasonable means to protect our building in the event of a catastrophic flood in 2010.

Success Story Sharing with School Leaders

The AEA Communications Committee is making a concerted effort to build awareness among school leaders about success stories the AEAs have had with students. The link here leads to an administrators’ update that includes data from last year’s AEA customer survey and a success story. This will be emailed to school leaders across the state Tuesday evening. We encourage all staff to continue to share success stories with us. Some of these may even appear in similar pieces like this one in coming months. Please forward your success stories to George Held or Valerie Taylor Hill in the communications office.

Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

Social Hour:


Thursday, April 22, 2010
Old Brick meeting hall, Iowa City
5:30 p.m.
6:00 p.m.

Please plan on joining us for this special event! In preparation for the banquet, we invite you to nominate individuals for recognition. Click here for a list of previous award winners. Please e-mail nominations to George or Val in the Communications Office or contact us at x6824 or x6714 with questions.

Nominations are due by Friday, February 26.


Vincent Selected as Next Chief Administrator of Heartland AEA

Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Paula Vincent has been hired as the Agency's new chief administrator. She will succeed Sheila King, who has been the Heartland AEA's interim chief administrator since July 1, 2009.


"The intermediate education agencies in Iowa serve a vital role in partnership with local school districts and the Iowa Department of Education in providing educational services that support high learning outcomes for all students," Vincent said. "I look forward to the challenges and the opportunities to continue to advocate for all of Iowa's children as a part of Heartland AEA."

At the Agency, Vincent will oversee close to 700 full- and part-time staff members who provide educational services and programs for 133,000 students and 12,000 educators throughout central Iowa.

"Dr. Vincent brings with her diverse professional experience and a dedication to ensuring that all students have a chance to learn to their fullest potential," Ann Wilson, president of the Heartland AEA board of directors, said. "She rose to the top as the candidate who most exemplified the attributes that we were seeking in a chief administrator.

"Dr. Vincent understands the important role that area education agencies play in Iowa education, and she will be a strong advocate for our agency and the AEA system. We are excited for her to become the next leader of our agency."

Vincent is currently the superintendent of the Clear Creek Amana Community School District. She was previously the associate superintendent of the Cedar Rapids Community School District, a director of special education at Grant Wood AEA and a classroom teacher in suburban Kansas City and rural Iowa. She is a member of the board of trustees at McPherson College, in McPherson, Kansas, and also serves on the board of directors of the Grant Wood Regional Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Dr. Vincent is known for her work in personalizing learning for each child, use of innovative systems to support teacher learning and incorporating the principles of interactive design and quality improvement into the daily work of schools. She received an undergraduate degree at McPherson College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days

To purchase bunches of daffodils, and make a contribution towards the fight against Cancer, please see, call, or email Cathy Nelson at the 6th Street Facility front desk.

Orders will be taken from now until February 19, 2010. Flowers can be picked up on or around March 17, 2010. (Please make checks payable to the American Cancer Society.)



NE Region Special Event, Thursday, Feb. 11 PDF logo

The GWAEA Media Center, Creative Services, and Technology is hosting a special event on Thursday, Feb. 11, 3-7 p.m for PreK-12 staff in NE Region districts. Explore resources in the Professional Library and Classroom Collection, make and take items in the Teacher Work Center (fee), receive assistance with the Online Resources, and tour the Media Center.

For more information, contact Keith Stamp, Ext 6850 or or  Myra Hall, Ext 6820 or


Brynnley Ranae Fetzer brightened this world at 10:18 pm on January 29th. She weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz. and was 21 inches long. Parents are Central Region SLP, Taresa Fetzer and husband Brian.  Brynnley is welcomed home by big sister Allison.  

Dear Grant Wood AEA friends and former colleagues,

Your warm out-pouring of support, kind words, cards, jokes, and anecdotes meant more than you will ever know. It was particularly fun to hear from snow bird fellow retirees off enjoying the warm weather across the country. The strength of our agency truly does lie within the caring hearts of the fine people who work there and I am proud to have been counted among you.  The back surgery was successful and I am experiencing less pain.  Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days as I continue on this journey. Thank you does not seem adequate to express how your collective efforts have lifted my spirits.

Shirley Pike

Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

Click on the link above to access Professional Development opportunities.

For more information on any of these listings, contact Sherry Sines, Professional Development coordinator, Ext. 6517.

Grant Wood AEA Webinars

Information about Grant Wood AEA Webinars and Assistive Technology Webinars.

Grant Wood AEA Online Resources Webinars

Webinars featuring information about the online resources.

Using Google Docs and Sites

We have had an overwhelming amount of requests for assistance with Google Docs & Sites. We have opened up two full day learning sessions (same content both days) for staff to sign up and have hands on training on the two applications. Please see the information below for registration.

Using Google Docs and Sites
This workshop will cover how you can use Google Docs to increase collaboration writing, spreadsheets, presentations, and assessment/data collection. We will also explore Google Sites as a way of publishing information and even creating a controlled online learning experience for your staff and learning community! The day will be broken up by doing Goodle Docs in the morning and Google Sites in the afternoon. Participants are asked to bring their laptops.
Number: 9510-09-02
Dates/Time: Feb. 11, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Location: Grant Wood AEA, 4401 6th St SW, Cedar Rapids
Format: Hands-On
Target Audience: All
Registration: Complete registration form or register electronically at least two weeks in advance.
Fees: None
Credit: None
Instructor(s): Stacy Behmer, Technology Consultant, Grant Wood AEA

Chair Massages

Terri Nicol, LMT, will provide chair massages on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Iowa Conference Room, Sixth St. Facility. The chair massages are $10. To schedule a time, please e-mail Stacy Murphy, at

Vacancies, Feb. 5, 2010

The Bulletin Board is published and distributed weekly to all GWAEA staff and Board members. Buy, Sell or Trade items are run for 2 consecutive issues, unless we are notified to remove an item. If you wish to submit items, please do so by Wednesday of the week you wish the item to be posted. Send items via email to George Held in the Communications office (

Please note: The Bulletin Board is also posted on the agency's Web site and is publicly accessible. We recommend you use your office or voice mail phone number instead of your home telephone number for any items listed in this newsletter.

Grant Wood Area Education Agency extends equal opportunities in its employment practices, educational programs and services, and does not discriminate on the basis of color, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status or as otherwise prohibited by law. If you believe you or your child has been discriminated against or treated unjustly, please contact the Agency's Equity Coordinator, Maria Cashman, at 319-399-6847 or 1-800-332-8488 or TDD 319-399-6766, Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

The Bulletin Board is the official employee information publication of Grant Wood Area Education Agency, 4401 Sixth Street, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404