Grant Wood AEA logo  
The Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar


Aug. 16, 2017

GWAEA All-Agency Inservice
9:00-11:30 a.m.

Solon performing arts center


Aug. 17-18, 2017
PD Palooza


In This issue:

Organizational Announcement
6th Street Construction Update
Summer Help at 6th St.
2017 Organizational Leadership Graduation
Our Condolences
Getting to Know Your GWAEA Board Members

Full Managed Support
Staff Attend ICISF Conference
Feed the Corridor Meals for Seniors
Improve Your Student Loan Situation
IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions
Book Drive to Support United Way Community Day of Caring
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Lost and Found


Agency Advisory Minutes

Grant Wood AEA Staff Openings

The GWAEA Board Book

The GWAEA Board Minutes



Past Issues of
The Bulletin Board


Articles for The Bulletin Board are due end of the day on Tuesdays.
Submit items to
Valerie Taylor Hill
GWAEA Public Information Specialist.

Grant Wood AEA logo

Grant Wood AEA Mission: To ensure success for all learners.

Grant Wood AEA goals

Organizational Announcement

Grant Wood AEA logo

We're pleased to share with the agency that we will have two familiar faces joining the GWAEA leadership team beginning July 1.

Erin Platner has accepted the position of Special Education Facilitator for our Agency. Erin has been a school psychologist in the Iowa City Region for the past nine years and brings a wealth of knowledge about Special Ed Procedures, the IEP/IFSP process, and the eligibility standards.  


Erin Platner


Jason Marshall has accepted the position of Educational Technology Services Coordinator. Jason is currently a technology consultant for GWAEA and has a depth and breadth of experience to bring to the position as well as to our Management Team.


Please join us in welcoming these two colleagues into their new roles at GWAEA.


Jason Marshall

6th Street Construction Update

A sure sign of summer is the start of construction efforts, and GWAEA staff at the 6th Street facility are already seeing the start of some construction work. A timeline of expected work activities includes:

May 8 - Construction efforts are already underway for the first floor restrooms near the Scale Up classroom and in the Administration area of the agency. These restrooms will be intermittently closed for up to a week as we modernize the space and improve its ADA accessibility.


May 22 - This week the focus will shift to the restrooms near the conference center. These restrooms will be closed for approximately 1 month, and the work in this space will include jack-hammering off tile from the floors and walls, upgrading the partitions and paint, installing touchless valves, and improving the ADA accessibility of the space.


June 5 - All second floor offices that are scheduled for a remodel will be vacated and emptied. Offices on the second floor will have new carpet, paint and furniture.  


June 8 -  Our partnering schools will be invited to collect any donations of furniture from the upgraded offices on the second floor.


June 26 - All first-floor offices that are scheduled for a remodel will be vacated and emptied.  Offices on the first floor will have new paint and furniture.  


June 29 - Our partnering schools will be invited to collect any donations of furniture from the upgraded offices on the first floor.


During this time staff will see additional improvements to our conference rooms. We will install new carpet in the conference center lobby over the Fourth of July holiday, and will bring new tables and chairs into our conference center space, and will create a new lactation room that's more accessible for new mothers visiting or working in our facility. We also plan to remodel the second floor bathrooms during this time: the funds to support that scope of work was just approved at Wednesday's board meeting. At this time we anticipate that the timeline will coincide with the second floor work.


While construction plans are prone to shifting, our current estimates have the construction efforts scheduled for completion by July 30th.

Summer Help at 6th St.

Due to remodeling at the 6th St. center, additional help will be needed. Must be at least 16 years old.
If you know of anyone that would be interested, please contact Kathy Resewehr in the Human Resources Office,,

Grant Wood AEA logo

GWAEA PRIDE: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication & Excellence
GWAEA Staff Attend ICISF 14TH World Congress

Congratulations to members of our Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team, who were invited to present to crisis practitioners from around the world during the World Congress on Stress, Trauma & Coping conference this month in Baltimore. 


Agency participants included Tracy Liebermann,
Katy Lee, Kelly Jones, and Sharon Clark.


2017 Organizational Leadership Graduation


The 2017 Organizational Leadership cohort celebrated graduation on Wednesday, May 10.


Congratulations to Kathy Schultz, Gina Rogers, Shawn Driscoll, Melissa Grennan,
Erin Platner, and Brent O'Rourke on completing two years of leadership study and presenting their individual projects during the graduation event. The group was joined by Keith Stamp and Lisa Wilson, facilitators of the GWAEA Organizational Leadership Program.


We'll learn more about the individual projects in a future issue of The Bulletin Board. Congratulations!

Our Condolences...

Our hearts were saddened to learn of the passing of our colleague, Tammy Carolan, on Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

Tammy was the Secretary/Registrar in GWAEA Professional Development and provided organizational assistance for professional learning activities supporting GWAEA and LEA staff. She was always quick with a smile, a helpful word, and assistance to the many educators and GWAEA staff participating in Professional Development activities.

Tammy began her career at GWAEA on July 14, 1986 as Secretary with Educational Services. In November 1998, Tammy started providing support services with the Professional Development Office.


Tammy's family includes her husband, Joseph, daughters, Shannon (Matt) Kostuck and
Nicole (Jacob) Shimek, and four grandchildren.


A visitation is planned 4 – 8 p.m., Sunday, May 14, 2017, at Murdoch Funeral Home, Marion. Funeral Mass: 11:00 a.m., Monday, May 15, 2017, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Hiawatha.

Getting to know your GWAEA Board members

In celebration of May as School Board Recognition Month, let's get to know these individuals who help provide oversight to our organization:


Marlene Hill

"During my many years as an administrator in the Cedar Rapids Community School District, I had the opportunity to work with many Grant Wood aEA staff. We planned and worked together for the improvement of educational achievement of our staff and students. The collaboration with students, parents and CRCSD staff with Grant Wood AEA support and leadership was wonderful!


Grant Wood AEA is well-known at the local and national level for their leadership and innovative program development. The culture at Grant Wood AEA is service, and Grant Wood AEA services are far greater than most understand.


The services available to school districts from Grant Wood AEA is A+. I hope my presence and support on the Board will contribute to the continued excellence of Grant Wood AEA."



Sue Gates
"During the summer of 2003 I was invited to join the GWAEA Board as the District 4 director. As an elementary principal at Shellsburg Elementary in the Vinton-Shellsburg District, I was familiar with many of the services available through the AEA so decided to accept the invitation to represent many districts on the board.

Quickly, I learned GWAEA provides many more services to schools than I was aware of and that the expertise level in all these areas is second to none! Traveling for the first time to the national support service agency's conference, AESA, I became aware of how highly respected Grant Wood AEA is nationally. Our AEA is visionary and is a leader in many program areas.

What makes me proud to serve on the GWAEA Board is the collaborative spirit of the entire organization with the focus on what is best for ALL students at the center of the work. As a board member, opportunities for learning are continuous through monthly presentations at board meetings regarding programs offered and progress being made, speakers brought in for special learnings around current state and national topics, and attendance at various state and national conferences.

I am proud to serve on the Grant Wood AEA Board where key decisions are made with what is best for student achievement as the bottom line."

Dr. Mike Jorgensen
"After 33 years of serving as a public school teacher and administrator, I wanted to continue to be involved in working with schools/students/administrators. The AEA provides amazing services to schools and to be a part of the process was appealing to me. I am the newest member of the board, but I am impressed with the knowledge and experience that exist on this board. "

Full Managed Support - Vision, Integration and Technology Management

We have been supporting many of our school districts with aspects of their technology systems for some time, and now are expanding and marketing this support under the umbrella of Full Managed Technology Services. Full Managed Technology Services at GWAEA uniquely partners its Digital Learning and IT Services teams to work and provide districts with the vision, integration and technology management that will lead to success.


Read more....

Full Managed Support

Feed the Iowa Corridor Supports Meals for Seniors

Horizons is joining Johnson & Johnson to help fund meals for seniors in the Corridor. Donations will be matched, so please spread the word!
A unique Mother’s Day promotion is also being offered. When someone makes a donation, they can send a special Mother’s Day e-card to mom! Visit Feed the Iowa Corridor to learn more.

Improve Your Student Loan Situation

Innovative Student Loan Solutions

To help improve your student loan situation and overall financial well-being, our local education agency, Grant Wood AEA, is partnering with an advisory company, ISLoan Solutions, to educate you and provide options, including loan forgiveness and refinancing, that may help lower, or even eliminate, your payment. All employees with student loans are encouraged to find out if this voluntary benefit can help you. Join your colleagues who have reduced monthly payments by 81% (avg), and expect $66,471 in projected tax-free loan forgiveness.

Click this link: enter registration code: AEA10

If PSLF makes sense, you will be able to:
• Immediately lower your monthly student loan payment

• Reduce your student loan obligation
• Significantly lower your cost to earn additional degrees

• Receive a personalized 10-year loan forgiveness plan outlining your projected tax-free savings

Some may be able to lower your payment through the program, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF is not Teacher Loan Forgiveness*). For those who won’t benefit from PSLF, refinancing may work for you.


The Gift of Financial Well-being

"Don’t hesitate to learn about the program. ISLoan Solutions tells you everything you need to know and will not pressure you.  I have complete peace of mind now when it comes to my student loans and can pay off other debts, travel, purchase my own home and save additional money for retirement. Not having that financial burden in my life anymore has been a gift.”

Sarah Tomer, School Psychologist, Ohio

Contact us: 1.866.831.5564, email or visit for more information and success stories.


For those who registered with ISLoan Solutions in the past and were told you would not benefit from PSLF, login to your MyISLS portal, and you will be directed to the refinancing option.

IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions

Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System logo

Get detailed information about your retirement account. Learn more about possible retirement dates, benefit option payouts, and service purchase options.


Aug. 21-24, 2017


Location: Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center, 1770 Boyson Rd., Hiawatha   

Individual Appointments - Aug. 21, 22, 23, 24, 2017


Pre-Registration is needed to attend an individual appointment.


Visit the IPERS website for a complete listing of the Statewide Individual Counseling Sessions.


To schedule an individual appointment contact IPERS at 1-800-622-3849. Appointment times will fill quickly. Please do not delay in calling to set up an appointment.

Book Drive to Support United Way Community Day of Caring

The United Way is hosting a Community-wide Book Drive for the 2017 Day of Caring on May 11.  All in the community are invited to donate new or gently used children’s books to help United Way increase youth literacy.


The GWAEA GROW Committee is providing an opportunity for staff to participate in the Day of Caring by coordinating an Agency-wide collection for the book drive. Interested staff may place book donations in boxes that will be available at the three agency facilities from April 24-May 10.  United Way volunteers will pick up the donated books from 6th St on May 11


The United Way’s Young Leaders Society (YLS) is hosting the book drive with the books going to Reading into Success. Reading into Success is a community collaboration to get students reading proficiently by the end of third grade. 


GROW News/Upcoming Events

Visit the GWAEA Grow website for the following:

- Adult Coloring Books

- Book Club
- Chair Massages

- Community Events

- Financial Fitness

- Gardening

- Healthy Food

- Lunch and Learn

- Mindfulness Class

- Treadmill Desks

- Walking Events

- Weight Watchers

- Wellness Challenge

- Yoga Club


Contact a member of the GROW Team for information.

Visit these Facebook links for upcoming activities and events:

Cedar Rapids Blue Zones Project

Iowa City Blue Zones Project

Marion Blue Zones Project

Blue Zones Project logo

Keep improving your well-being by participating in one of the many Blue Zones Project events in the Cedar Rapids, Marion and Iowa City areas.

Wear Green to Support Mental Health Awareness

The month of May is Mental Health Month and Mercy Family Counseling & EAP has a month full of activities for children, adolescents, individuals and families at each of their clinic locations. To support mental health awareness and recognize Mental Health Month, staff may pick up from the reception area at each GWAEA facility a green ribbon to wear. 

Weight Watchers At Work


New Session is underway!

Our program fits your life! Mid-session applications welcome. Our program fits your life! Join Today!

Membership opportunity extended to staff, family and friends (you may attend at any community location or at GWAEA on Tuesdays. Tuesday’s meeting private weigh-in is available at 4:30 p.m. and the meeting is 4:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m). You are not required to attend the Tuesday meetings, you can go to any other community meetings that suit your schedule.

Weight Watchers for Diabetes

Weight Watchers for Diabetes

Payment options: Payable at time of registration one check or credit card payment. You can also pay 3 checks, which will be deposited during different weeks of the session. If joining mid-session, cost will be pro-rated for remaining weeks.

Contact Kim Martin or Elizabeth Steffensmeier with questions or to sign up.

Apps Promote Wellness and Wellbeing

Thanks to Kelli Robertson, GWAEA Autism Consultant and member of the GROW Committee, who will be sharing apps that promote wellness and wellbeing.

Kelli shared, "The site (also a free "Unstuck app" - rated 5 STARS!) provides life advice and has great FREE resources that even Oprah has noticed! Even though I started recommending this app/site a few years ago for my high school students and young adults with autism spectrum disorders and other social/emotional challenges (and maybe my husband...), this is not just for them! I enjoy the articles and advice as well! It was developed for adults feeling 'stuck' in their lives and choices. I'm getting feedback from teachers and colleagues I've recommended this to that they find it very helpful for themselves! Find out how you can improve your own mindset! Sign up for a free weekly newsletter OR  explore the site to find self-help articles that can reduce your guilt, ease your anxiety, make you more comfortable with change, find motivation, improve relationships, become goal-oriented, and gain positivity!"

Chair Massage Schedule for May/June

Cedar Rapids: May 31, June 1. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

Coralville: May 17, 1:00-4:15 p.m. Contact Sue Heath for the shared registration link.

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2017-2018

GWAEA Professional Development Workshops

Grant Wood AEA Professional Development offers a variety of workshops as well as courses for credit throughout the year.  Please check our website for a complete and updated list of
courses and workshops.


Below is a highlight of the 2016-2017 PD workshops with national and regional presenters. 
Please register electronically  or complete a registration form. Payment is due at the time of registration.



Links to GWAEA Professional Development Courses by Month























June 2017

Orthographic Mapping

Orthographic Mapping
June 2 & 5, 2017

Physical Education 2017: New Ideas, New Approaches

Physical Education: 2017

New Ideas, New Approaches

June 5-6, 2017

Building Literacy in Social Studies for Grades 6-12

Building Literacy in Social Studies for Grades 6-12

Year 1 - June 8-9, 2017

Year 2 - June 13-14, 2017

Building Literacy in 
Social Studies

Building Literacy in
Social Studies

June 22-23, 2017


GWAEA Summer Literacy Symposium

GWAEA Summer Literacy Symposium

June 20-21, 2017

Full/Waiting List Only

GWAEA Summer Leadership Symposium

GWAEA Summer Leadership Symposium

June 27, 2017

July 2017

GWAEA Math PD Courses

Grant Wood AEA
Math PD Courses

Building Literacy in 
Social Studies

Cognitive Coaching: Planning and Reflecting

July 27-28,
Sept. 18-19, 2017

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2017-2018

Teaching Transparently

July 20-21, Sept. 27, 2017,
Jan. 17, 2018

August 2017

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops 2017-2018

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops


Blended Learning for School Teams


March 2018

GWAEA Math PD Courses

Teaching Transparently Support Workshops
March 28, May 1, 2018



2016-2017 TQ Dates

Visit the TQ Google site.

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

Teacher Quality Professional Development graphic

Please submit your proposal electronically to Sherry Sines at by the dates listed above. Proposal reviews are typically completed by the TQ committee within 7 - 10 days after the due date.


TQ funds are available to support professional learning. All contracted staff in a position that requires educational licensure are eligible. Funds can be used to support learning time and resources for agency-wide proposals, region/discipline/program proposals and individual proposals. During the 2014-2015 school year, 31 proposals were approved to support professional learning in Literacy, Math, Early Childhood, Autism, Behavior, Science, Coaching, Mentorship, Speech Language, ELL, and Leadership Development. The application documents can be accessed on the Staff Portal. Committee members are happy to answer questions about proposal development. Contact Ambre Bernards,
Lisa Haverkamp
, Susan Parker, and Sherry Sines.

Iowa Board of Educational Examiners

BoEE Update

Please take a moment now to visit the BoEE website and update your contact information. Go to and click “update my information” in the left column. The “Search for a license” tool is helpful to see your license type and expiration date. The FAQ page replaces the old BoEE handbook and has the most current and relevant information for educators in a user-friendly format. For BoEE updates, please review the August newsletter. 


You can subscribe to the BoEE Quarterly Newsletter from the BoEE webpage. 

Evaluator Approval Information

Professional Administrator Licenses require approved Evaluator Approval coursework as a part of the licenses renewal credits. The course options include Assessing Academic Rigor, Fierce Conversations and iEvaluate. A letter from the DE/BOEE is attached. Please contact GWAEA Professional Development for questions.

Lost and Found:

Cathy Nelson
at the Switchboard.


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.

facebooktwitter rss pinterest