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:

Iowa School Board Recognition Month, May 2017
2017 Staff Recognition & Partnerships Banquet
Construction Work Planned for 6th St. Facility
Organizational Leadership Graduation, May 10
VAST Center Summer Help
Health, Dental and Vision Insurance Changes Due May 5
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








Articles for The Bulletin Board are due end of the day on Wednesdays. Submit your items email 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

Iowa School Board Recognition Month, May 2017
“School Boards Matter: Making a Difference for Iowa’s Students”

Volunteer school board members serve thousands of hours each year working to ensure every Iowa student receives a solid education.


May is annually designated School Board Recognition Month by the Iowa Association of School Boards in recognition of the dedicated service of Iowa's nearly 2,000 volunteer school board members.


Grant Wood AEA is governed by a nine-member board of directors elected by area school boards. Board members represent designated segments of the agency’s service area called director districts. They are elected for four-year rotating terms by the school district board members in their director districts. The board is responsible for approving AEA policies, programs and budget.


Joe Crozier, GWAEA chief administrator, said, "While we hope we show our recognition for the support of our Board throughout the year, we enjoy taking advantage of this month's designation as School Board Recognition Month to ensure these valuable volunteers receive formal thanks for their support of our AEA."


We would like to recognize and thank the members of the Grant Wood AEA Board of Directors for their commitment and dedication.

Marilyn Wirtz
Director District 1
Joined 2009

Pamela Jacobs
Director District 2
Joined 2009

Lynne Cannon,

Director District 3
Joined 1980

Sue Gates
Director District 4
Joined 2003

Marlene L. Hill
Director District 5
Joined 2002

Mike Jorgensen
Director District 6
Joined 2017

Jim Green, President
Director District 7
Joined 1995

Randy Bauer
Director District 8
Joined 2013

Mary Meisterling
Director District 9
Joined 2005

2017 Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition & Partnerships Banquet held on Wednesday, May 3

Congratulations to the honorees and Grant Wood AEA staff recognized during the
2017 Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet held on Wednesday, May 3,
at Bella Sala, 205 S. Park Rd., Tiffin.





Congratulations to the following award recipients:


Melissa Bray, Preschool Teacher, Linn Grove Elementary - Educational Partner 


Rockwell-Collins Retired Volunteers - Friend of Education 


Duane Van Horn, Van Driver - Caring Colleague


Mick Starcevich, President, Kirkwood Community College - Leadership for Learning 

Joe Crozier presents the Caring Colleague award to
Duane Van Horn.

Congratulations to those Grant Wood AEA Years of Service Awards recipients receiving recognition at the banquet. For the complete list of years of service, visit the 2017 Banquet Program. Some retirees have reflected on their years of service as they depart the agency.

5 Years


Front row: Angie McGuire, Bonnie Winslow-Garvin, Kathy Schultz,
Jenny Caswell, Kelly Brousard. Back row: Josh Lyons, Elizabeth Donnelly, Lynne Currie, Sara Cosgrove





10 Years


10yearsMolly Hopp, Lori McKinnie

15 Years


Kathy Resewehr, Michele Pettit





20 Years



Colleen Rivera, Hillary Prall, Cathy Nelson

25 Years


Mark Hartung, Chuck Gustafson, Dave Brousard





30 Years


Karen Michalec, Peggy Gingerich, Terri Ford, Melody Williams

35 Years


Sherry Sines







Front row: Susan Parker, Pam Watkins, Janet Andersen-Heller,
Mary Airy.
Back row: Melody Williams, Marilyn Muhle,
Barbara Van Rheenen, Sally Hartman, Pamela K. Adams, Michelle Tressel





Construction Work Planned for 6th St. Facility

Grant Wood AEA logo

Staff will see facility upgrades coming to the Sixth Street facility. 


Earlier in April our Board of Directors approved construction estimates for our facility, which includes updates to restrooms, the conference center, and many offices.


In early May staff will begin seeing construction in the restrooms on the first floor of the facility, which includes the addition of touchless sinks, new paint and tile, and better adherence to ADA guidelines. Next, staff will see new conference center tables in our meeting rooms and new carpet in some areas of the conference center.


Staff also will see office upgrades and related construction in the Sixth Street facility around the first of June. This includes many RA and Supervisor offices on both the first and second floors. All restrooms on the second level will be updated, and the western bathrooms on this level will become Uni-sex bathrooms. Additionally, the second floor conference rooms will be repainted and new carpet installed.


More specific details will be shared with staff in the next two weeks as the construction details unfold.

2017 Organizational Leadership Graduation
May 10, 2017, 2-4 p.m., Scale Up Classroom

Mark you calendar for Organizational Leadership Graduation on May 10 and celebrate with this year's graduates:


driscoll_s grennan_m o_rourke_b

Shawn Driscoll

Computer Services Consultant

Melissa Grennan

Speech-Language Pathologist

Brent O'Rourke


welsh_e rogers_g schultz_k

Erin Platner

Gina Rogers
Technology Consultant

Kathy Schultz
Science Curriculum Consultant


VAST Center Summer Help


The Grant Wood AEA VAST Center may need some additional help this summer. If you know of anyone who might be interested in a temporary work assignment (up to 40 hours per week) over the summer, have them contact Kathy Resewehr, GWAEA Human Resources, ext. 6748,

Health, Dental and Vision Insurance Changes Due May 5

  Grant Wood AEA logo

Each year, employees have the opportunity to make changes to their health, dental and vision insurance elections. Informational materials have been provided to all employees to review. If you want to make changes, the application process must be completed by May 5, 2017 with the effective date of the change as July 1, 2017.


If nothing is submitted by the May 5 deadline, it will be understood you wish to remain with your current insurance elections.


Any information not included in your packet may be obtained from Cathy Kearns, Business Services,  or  319-399-6706.

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.

Lunch and Learn

Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Time:12:00-12:30 p.m.

Location: American Gothic Room

Join Alicia Aguiar, Hy-Vee dietician, for a discussion of spring/summer healthy eating.


See the flyer for details.


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. 

Winners of the Challenge Tracker Challenge


The GROW Committee thanks everyone for participating in the Challenge Tracker Challenge.


Winners of Panera gift cards are:

Pat Yossi

Mary Zobeck

Vanessa Raue

Weight Watchers At Work


New Session Begins May 9, 2017

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 4:45pm-5:15pm). 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.

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 Refleceting

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

Building Literacy in 
Social Studies

Teaching Transparently

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

August 2017

Building Literacy in 
Social Studies

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops




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.

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