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Bulletin Board


Sept. 21, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
GWAEA Board of Directors Meeting


In this issue:

Seeking volunteer presenters for Open Minds, Open Doors
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff!
GWAEA on Facebook, Twitter
School Board Elections and Kirkwood Levy Vote
GWAEA Team - Especially For You Race Against Breast Cancer
Our Condolences
TQ Proposal Application Date - Sept. 14
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
GWAEA Webinars
Buy, Sell and Trade
Vacancies, Sept. 2, 2011


Past Issues

August 26, 2011

August 19, 2011

August 12, 2011

July 29, 2011

July 15, 2011

July 1, 2011

June 17, 2011

June 3, 2011

Archive issues of The Bulletin Board




Seeking volunteer presenters for Open Minds, Open Doors Conference

Grant Wood Area Education Agency is currently seeking engaging and energetic professional women to volunteer their time to present at the annual Open Minds, Open Doors conference on Tuesday, October 18.  Open Minds, Open Doors is a half-day conference intended to encourage middle school girls (6th-8th grades) to pursue future career fields with foundations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

The conference is held at Coe College in Cedar Rapids.

Women working in STEM-related careers are encouraged to volunteer in one of the following capacities:

Career Workshop Presenters  During this time presenters conduct two 55-minute workshop sessions regarding their career for approximately 12 girls/session.  Workshops are intended to be hands-on and interactive.   Time commitment = 8:30am-11:30am.

STEM Expo Presenters   During this time, girls will visit tables/booths representing a variety of STEM careers.  The Expo is an opportunity for the conference girls to gather additional information, view demonstrations, engage in brief activities, and meet women working in STEM careers.  Time commitment = 11:00am-1:00pm.

All conference presenters will be treated to a luncheon hosted by our local chapter of AAUW (American Association of University Women).

For further information, please contact Susie Green, ext. 6775.

Welcome, New GWAEA Staff!


Tracie Arens
Speech-Language Pathologist
The University of Iowa

Before joining Grant Wood AEA, Tracie was a speech-language pathologist at Mississippi Bend AEA.


Jamie Beedle-Vakiner
Special Education Consultant
Wayne State College, Wayne, Nebraska - MSE

Jamie has held positions in special education, including assistant director of special education at Lawrence Public Schools, Lawrence, Kansas; director of special education, Wahoo Public Schools, Wahoo, Nebraska; and teacher consultant coordinator, Omaha Public Schools, Omaha, Nebraska.


Courtney Butler
Speech-Language Pathologist
University of Northern Iowa

A recent graduate, Courtney is beginning her career at Grant Wood AEA.


Carmen Dixon
Regional Administrator - Iowa City Region
Drake University - Educational Leadership

Prior to joining the agency, Carmen was an elementary principal at James Van Allen and Hills elementaries in the Iowa City School District, as well as a behavior strategist/consultant and classroom teacher.


Ryly Farr
Speech-Language Pathologist

University of Nebraska, Kearney - Master's Degree
Ryly's previous positions include the Omaha Westside Schools, Omaha, Nebraska., and Liberty Public Schools, Liberty, Missouri.


Kalee Hansen
School Psychologist

Western Illinois University - Specialist Degree in School Psychology
Kalee completed an internship with Bi-County Special Education Cooperative in Sterling, Illinois.


Kari Kempf
School Psychologist

University of Iowa - School Psychology - Ph.D.
Kari was a school psychologist at Mississippi Bend AEA, and a stay at home mom the last seven years.


Matthew Mena-Landry
Technology Consultant

Harvard University
Matthew has held positions as a computer programmer, media producer, and media and technology consultant for primary education.


Mindy Otte
Speech-Language Pathologist

University of Nebraska - Lincoln, MS
Mindy has held positions with the Elkhorn Public Schools, Nebraska, Children's Hospital of Omaha, and Finley Hospital Rehab.


Monica Packard
Occupational Therapist

Washington University - MS in Occupational Therapy
Before joining Grant Wood AEA, Monica held positions with the Chicago Public Schools, Indianapolis Public Schools and was a self-employed early intervention provider.


Misty Smidt
Speech-Language Pathologist

University of Nebraska at Kearney, MS Ed.
Misty has held positions with three education agencies in Nebraska over a period of seven years.


Lauren Steinmetz
Speech-Language Pathologist

University of Iowa, Master's Degree


Tanya Van Voorst

Arizona School of Health Science, Au.D.

Tanya worked at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for the last eight years working with children with cochlear implants.

Grant Wood AEA on Facebook facebook logoand Twitter twitter logo

Are you connected with Grant Wood AEA? The agency has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For questions, contact the Communications Office.

School Board Elections and Kirkwood Levy Vote

The elections for these two important items will be Tuesday, Sept. 13. We encourage you to cast your ballot for the candidates in the school district where you live. If you would like to vote via absentee ballot, it’s easy to do! If you need an absentee ballot, download one here, print it out, and mail it to your county of residence. See the Aug. 19 issue of The Bulletin Board for the complete article.

GWAEA Team - Especially for You - Race Against Breast Cancer

The 21st annual Especially for You - Race Against Breast Cancer will be held on Sunday, October 2, 2011. The Grant Wood AEA team is 34 persons strong and includes 3 youth, 2 men, and 1 breast cancer survivor. We have three 1-mile walkers, 5 runners, and 28 - 5K walkers. We raised $880.00 for the Especially for You Fund. All proceeds are used locally to provide breast cancer screening and other support services for individuals in need.

Our Condolences

  • to the family of Kris Knox Weiskircher. Kris passed away on Aug. 23. She was employed as a secretary in the Coralville facility from November 1995 - October 1998. Her parents are Audrey and Jeff Knox of Iowa City. Jeff is a retired GWAEA speech-language pathologist.

  • to the family of Ellyn and Caroline Found. Ellyn passed away on Aug. 23. She was a GWAEA occupational therapist during the 1988-1989 school year. Their daughter, Caroline, died on Aug. 11 the result of a moped accident.

  • to Don Sievers, retired van driver, whose wife, Mary, passed away on Aug. 30.

The first TQ Professional Development proposal application date is Sept. 14

The proposal templates and directions are on the GWAEA Staff Portal under the Teacher Quality Committee link.


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.

Buy, Sell and Trade

Lost and Found:

- 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 small earring, wreath shaped with black beads surrounding it. Found upstairs in NE corner of the building.

- Dell powercord

- Blue flip-top water jug, about 35 or 45 ounces

Contact Cathy Nelson at the Switchboard, 399-6544.

Vacancies, Adobe PDF logo September 2, 2011


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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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