Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


June 20 - Aug. 12, 2011
Grant Wood AEA Summer Hours
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Aug. 15, 2011
All Agency Inservice
1 p.m. Networking
2-4 p.m. Presentations

Concert Hall at College Community


Aug. 17, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
GWAEA Board of Directors Meeting


In this issue:

All Agency Meeting Coming Soon
Share Your Feedback - New Agency Website
School Board elections
Marsden Facility Services
New Online Staff Photo Directory Planned
Welcome Home, Rob!
Food Service at Sixth Street Office
GWAEA Team - Especially For You Race Against Breast Cancer
Our Condolences
9th Annual Quota Charity Golf Tournament
Professional Development for AEA staff members only
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
GWAEA Webinars
Free to a good home
Lost and Found
Vacancies, July 29, 2011


Past Issues

July 15, 2011

July 1, 2011

June 17, 2011

June 3, 2011

May 27, 2011

May 20, 2011

May 13, 2011

May 6, 2011

April 29, 2011

April 22, 2011

April 15, 2011

All Agency Meeting Coming Soon

Our All Agency meeting will be held on Monday, August 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. The location is the same place as last year – the Prairie High School performing arts auditorium. If you would like to come early to reconnect with co-workers, the lobby will open at 1 p.m. The Iowa Educators’ Consortium and Linn Area Credit Union will both have small gifts for staff again this year. The Grant Wood Education Association will also have a table during the hour preceding the meeting. There will also be registration available for the Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer.
Featured speakers at this year’s event will be Jason Glass, Iowa’s Director of the Department of Education, and Joe Crozier, our new Chief Administrator. Please remember that no food or drinks are permitted inside the performing arts auditorium. At the conclusion of the event, the agency will be considered “closed” for the day, and for timecard purposes, any remaining time in the work day will be treated the same way it is for early closures prior to holidays.

Share Your Feedback - New Agency Website

A new agency homepage launched on Thursday,
July 25.


A website committee has been meeting during the last year to design and develop the new site, including Stacy Behmer, Dave Brousard, Eric Cleveland, George Held, Valerie Taylor Hill, Trace Pickering, Lisa Twedt and former GWAEA staff member Andy Crozier.





The majority of the site's navigational links have remained the same throughout the new design. The website pages will continue to be updated with the new site design and addition of revised text.


The current Staff Portal is available through two links on the homepage, Portal and Staff Website, both in the upper-right corner of the homepage.


Please share your feedback regarding the site as part of this Zoomerang survey. If you would like to expand information that currently appears on the site or revise current information, please contact Valerie Taylor Hill in the GWAEA Communications Office, ext. 6824.The information may be applicable to a variety of communications tools including the website, The Linker, agency news releases, as well as through social media.


Many areas within the agency have created and are using Google Sites for internal documents that previously were contained in the Grant Wood AEA Staff Information Portal. Just a reminder that as part of the new website, the information that currently appears in the Region, Team, School Improvement, and General Information Portals will be removed as of Aug. 1.


If information in the current Portal needs to remain or for other questions, please contact Valerie Taylor Hill, ext. 6824.

Education in Iowa depends on good leadership

IASB encourages Iowans to consider school board service

The Iowa Association of School Boards urges Iowans who are passionate about education to consider running for election to their local school boards.


Nominations for open seats on the state's more than 350 local public school boards can be filed between July 11 and August 4, 2011. School board elections will take place on Sept. 13.


School board members are elected to serve four-year terms, with elections taking place in odd-numbered years. Those elected receive no pay. Experienced school board members say the rewards of service lie in meeting the needs of children and communities.


Nomination papers for school board seats are available from local school board secretaries. School board candidates must obtain the signatures of at least one percent of the qualified electors of the district or 50 electors, whichever is less, but at least 10 signatures. A free guide for board candidates, titled "Leaders Who Care," is available upon request from the local school district board secretary or from IASB.


Board members for community colleges are also elected on Sept. 13. Board members for area education agencies are elected by the boards of schools within each area.

Marsden Facility Services

 The Marsden Company is now handling all cleaning in the agency facilities.


When Skip Marsden founded his facility services company in 1952, he began with the philosophy that if you treat your people and your customers fairly and honestly, and maintain good ethical behavior, you will succeed. Since then Marsden Holding has grown to become one of the largest privately owned facility service providers in the United States. We continue to concentrate on providing quality driven facility and security services that meet or exceed our customer’s expectations through fair and honest business practices. Marsden has also built a reputation for our exceptional responsiveness, follow-through and attention to detail. We instill in every one of our people that it is essential we deliver what we say we are going to deliver, and that we keep our promises.


Marsden believes that giving back to our communities is one of the most important things we do, and as such, contributes 10 percent of its pretax profits to a vast array of charitable organizations, through both donations and local community efforts. 


The following are the crew's bios:


Curtis Thomas – Marsden Lead Associate, all GWAEA locations; facilities management, maintenance, accountable for the crew’s performance. An Iowa native and family man, Curtis favors a “hands-on” approach to his responsibilities. He studied facilities management at Kirkwood Community College, and enjoys a variety of outdoor sports in his spare time.


Amelia Smith – Day Porter, 6th St. and 33rd Ave. locations; cleaning, general maintenance, conference room set up on weekends. Amelia is a lifelong native of Cedar Rapids, and a nursing student at Coe College, where she is also in the Army ROTC program and a member of the AOp Sorority.


Gerry Hamm – 6th St. evening cleaning and conference room set-up. Gerry has lived in Cedar Rapids with his wife for seven years after a 30-year career in the U.S. Navy. Gerry loves his home in Cedar Rapids and enjoys midwest values.


Tim Reiners – 6th St. evening cleaning and conference room set-up. Tim is a lifelong resident of Iowa, and has worked at Grant Wood AEA for seven years. Marsden is fortunate to have retained Tim, and we know that the employees on the second floor would agree!


Tony Messner – National Director of Facilities Services, Marsden Services LLC, Facilities operations start-up across the U.S. Tony is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has been involved in all aspects of the facilities services business for over 30 years. Tony received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture from the U. of Wisconsin, and is a registered architect. Tony will be working closely with Curtis and the crew during the next couple of months in Cedar Rapids and Coralville.



New Online Staff Photo Directory Planned

A new online staff directory is planned with the launch of the new agency website that will incorporate staff ID badge photos. Staff can decline having their photo included as part of the directory by contacting George Held, ext. 6714 or

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Welcome Back (or Home) Rob!

On Wednesday, July 27, Rob Mitchell, Lead Printer in Creative Services returned home to Cedar Rapids after a year of preparation and service in Afghanistan. We are grateful that he has arrived home safely. It is sobering to know that their unit returned missing a member. Sergeant First Class Terryl Pasker died while on his final mission before their unit was to pack for this return home.

We will look forward to Rob's return sometime in the next few months. You may see him in for a visit before that time. If you cross paths with him be sure to thank him for his service and let him know how great it is to have him safely back home.

Food Service Available for Sixth Street Office

Beginning Monday, July 18, Woolf’s Lunch Box will have a food service truck stop by the Sixth Street Office to sell hot and cold sandwiches, muffins, cookies, desserts, milk, fruit, etc. The truck will arrive at about 11:40 a.m. and will stay for ten minutes. There is no cost to the agency for this service, and we have no contract with them. It’s strictly an entrepreneurial business. The driver of the truck is named Teri. She can accept cash or checks, but  no credit cards. Prices for sandwiches range from $3 to $4.50; and the company often has specials for the day that include a beverage. The business is headquartered in Marion.


For a limited time, coupons to the Lunch Box are available at the front desk. The coupons give individuals a $1 discount on purchases of $5 or more with Woolf’s Lunch Box .

GWAEA Team - Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer

You are invited to register for the Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer as part of the GWAEA team. Registration will be available at the Fall All Agency Inservice from
1-2 p.m.

Who:   Women, Men and Children are welcome
What:  Women’s and Men’s 5K Run
             Women’s and Men’s 5K Walk
            1-Mile Family Fun Walk
When: Sunday, October 2, 2011
            Opening ceremonies at 7:45 a.m.
            Race begins at 8:00 a.m.
Where:  Start at Mercy Medical Center on 8th Street SE
For safety reasons, dogs, bicycles, roller skates and in-line skates are prohibited from the course.  Baby strollers, joggers and wagons are permitted.
How to Register with the GWAEA Team:


Fill out a registration form and return with your payment to one of the GWAEA Team Reps no later than Monday, August 29, 2011
A registration form is attached or you may pick up a copy from one of the GWAEA Team Reps
GWAEA Team Representatives
Kim Martin, ext. 6710
Stacy Murphy, ext. 6888
Karen Desmarais, Voice Mail 6656
Elizabeth Steffensmeier, ext. 6210
Will my shirt have a GWAEA logo on the back?
This is an option available to us if we have 15 people who would like a logo on the shirt.
You do not have to add the logo!
May I register friends and family members?
Yes, any is welcome to register as part of our team.
What is the race registration deadline?
The deadline to register as part of the GWAEA team is Monday, August 29.  However, race registrations are accepted even the day of the race.  
What is the run/walk entry fee?
$20 Youth (15 & under); $25 (16 and over)
What is the color of the shirt this year?
The shirts are a dark purple.
When and how will I pick up the t-shirt and goodie bag?
A GWAEA team rep will pick up all of the t-shirts and goodie bags on Thursday, September 29, 2011 and bring them to the GWAEA Sixth Street facility.  


  • to Deanna Thursby on the birth of a new grandson. Rachel and Adam Johnson, Deanna's daughter and son-in-law, welcomed Noah on July 8. Noah weighed 8 lbs. and 20 inches long.

  • to Stuart Weinbrenner and his wife, Joan, on the birth of a new granddaughter on
    July 18. Falynn Michele was born to Joe and Heather Hedges. Falynn weighed
    8 lbs. 3 oz. and 20 inches long. Falynn was welcomed by her two-year-old sister, Paige.

Our Condolences

  • Our sympathy goes to Arlene Brant, Literacy Consultant, whose mother,
    Dolores Wiedersberg, passed away on Saturday, July 16th.  Visitation was at Cedar Memorial on, July 19th.  Condolences may be sent to Arlene at:  3026 14th Avenue SE,
    Cedar Rapids 52403.

  • Our hearts were saddened to learn of the passing of Carol Paul on July 24 in
    Cedar Rapids. Carol was Intake Secretary at Grant Wood AEA for 17 years, retiring
    Dec. 31, 1994. Services were held on Friday, July 29, 2011 at Cedar Memorial.

9th Annual Quota International of Cedar Rapids Charity Golf Tournament - Registration deadline is Aug. 6


It’s that time of year again and the GWAEA Hearing Dept. is participating in the Quota Club Charity Golf Tournament scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 20.


We are actively searching for Team(s) Grant Wood AEA and any interested golfers for the charity tournament.


Registration deadline is
Aug. 6
. Click here for information.




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Professional Development for AEA staff members only


Formative Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning



Upcoming Sessions:
Whole Group Session:  8.22.11 (6 hours)
Ongoing CLT Meetings: 90 minutes per meeting
(at least two sessions between August and January whole group sessions)
 Whole Group Session 1.18.12  (6 hours)
(at least two CLT sessions between January and June whole group sessions)
Whole Group Session 6.7.12    (6 hours)


If AEA staff members are interested in participating, but can’t attend all the sessions, please contact Myra Hall, ext. 6820, or AEA 10 Iowa Core Teacher Qualty monies available to compensate off-contract time.

Iowa Core Content and Coaching to Improve Teaching and Learning

AEA Staff Members...You can sign up now!  Registration is open on the Grant Wood AEA Professional Development site.

Number: 4506-11-01

Professional learning for AEA 10 staff members: special and general educators as well as administrators who work with learners (students and teachers) across the Pk-12 range.


Time and Dates:
August 18, 2011  (6 hours) 8:30 – 3:30

 CLT Work: (90 minute sessions)

    September 15, 2011

    November 15, 2011

(Exact time, date, location for CLT sessions TBD by teams)

January 16, 2012  ( 6 hours) 8:30 – 3:30

CLT Work: (90 minute sessions)

    February 15, 2012

    April 16, 2012

(Exact time, date, location for CLT sessions TBD by teams)


June 11, 2012 (6 hours) 8:3 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Iowa Core Outcomes:  # 4 (Iowa Core Content), #5 (IPDM), #6 (Effective Instruction)

Effective instructional approaches to improve teaching and learning

Instruction focused on essential concepts and skills in the Iowa Core

Instructional Coaching content and skill development


Whole group content delivery and facilitated learning
Collaborative learning teams between whole group sessions

Course Description

This course will provide educators with an opportunity to learn about and to apply effective instructional practices as identified in the Iowa Core Characteristics of Effective Instruction. Participation in this course supports Iowa Core professional learning goals. 


Participants will:

use their learning to reflect on current instructional practices designed to improve teaching and learning for all

develop and engage in collaborative learning teams that will be used to plan for application in real settings with students

use lead learning teams to develop their skills to guide/provide professional learning with colleagues and staff members.  

work collaboratively to learn about core content, effective instruction, and instructional coaching.

reflect on practice and engage in collaborative learning conversations

have opportunities to engage in on-site and authentic practice of skills following the Iowa Professional Development Model. 

Instructional Coaching content learning and skill development are embedded in this learning. Instructional Coaching materials compiled and  developed by Jim Knight will support this course.  Partnership principles, learning structures, and coaching components will be addressed.  


Iowa Core TQ money will be used to compensate AEA staff members’ time beyond the contract day. License renewal credit is available.


If you have questions, please contact:
Susan Parker (, 399-6507) or Myra Hall (, 399-6820)


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Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

For more information, contact Sherry Sines, Professional Development Coordinator, Ext. 6517.


Grant Wood AEA Webinars

The webinars have concluded for this year. Visit the link above for archived Grant Wood AEA and Assistive Technology webinars.

Free to a good home:   

Approximately 8 week old kitten.  Gray tabby, playful, litter-trained.  She was blown into our garage during the Vinton storm.  Call Melody at 319-472-2250.


Lost and Found:

- A SPORTLINE Pedometer, blue and gray.

- A car key found in the ladies room upstairs. It is an automatic type that will lock/unlock and open three separate entrances along with a panic button.

- A telephone charger power cord that was left at an upstairs work station.


- Red Coleman cooler holding a water type bottle and a 1- quart container. Found in Linn Room late May.

Vacancies, Adobe PDF logo July 29, 2011


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GW logoAEA logo

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 800-332-8488 or TDD 319-399-6766, Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

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