Grant Wood AEA logo  
The Bulletin Board

In This issue:

GWAEA PRIDE: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication & Excellence
Network Outage Planned on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 4:30 p.m.
GWAEA Staff Invited to Participate in United Way Campaign Oct. 6-27
Volunteer Income Tax assistance (VITA) Program Seeks Volunteers
Our Condolences
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Seeks Volunteers
Student Loan Relief
GWAEA Sixth Street Location Blood Drive, Oct. 24, 2017
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

GWAEA PRIDE: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication & Excellence

Grant Wood AEA staff members are making a difference, sharing their professional knowledge and learning with their peers. Congratulations to staff on these recent recognitions!

Stacy Behmer, GWAEA coordinator of digital learning technology, received The Making IT Happen award during the Iowa Technology & Education Connection (ITEC) conference on Oct. 16. The Making IT Happen award honors outstanding educators and leaders who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students.


Peggy Daugherty and Melanie Reese recently shared information about the LEAP classrooms during the Marketplace at the DEC conference in Portland, Oregon. 

Grant Wood AEA PRIDE



A generous donation from an owner of Iowa’s only nuclear power plant will help deliver updated science learning into local middle school classrooms.


On Wednesday, Grant Wood Area Education Agency received a $25,000 donation from NextEra Energy Duane Arnold. This donation will be used to help offset the costs for the AEA’s update of its science curriculum materials to align with Iowa’s new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These materials are distributed through Grant Wood AEA’s Van Allen Science Teaching Center (VAST).


Pictured in the check presentation are NextEra Energy Duane Arnold Site Director Dean Curtland, Science Consultant Kathy Schultz, and NextEra Energy Site Business Manager Jana Kelly.



Mary Zobeck, GWAEA science center assistant, was nominated and presented with the Iowa Children Museum's Robert E. Yager Active Learning Award during a surprise presentation at the VAST Center on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 19. The award is presented annually through a nomination process to a local educator who has made a significant contribution to student-centered active learning. Aimee Mussman (left), director of education with The Iowa Children's Museum, presented the award to Mary and is joined by Jeanne Bancroft (right), who nominated Mary for the award.



Surprising Mary for the presentation were current and former staff members of the VAST Center.
Front row: Dawnelle Wyman, Sara Cosgrove, Mary Zobeck, Kathy Schultz, Deb Johnson. Back row: Jeanne Bancroft, Aimee Mussman - The Iowa Children's Museum, Steve Bartlett, Kathy Fielder, Patrick Mahoney, Phyllis Anderson, Rebecca Newton, Donna Alger, Michelle Wyman, Carol Mann, Bart Mason.

Network Outage Planned on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 4:30 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA logo

There will be network maintenance work occurring on Tuesday, Nov. 7, beginning at 4:30 p.m. that will affect ALL personnel working at Sixth St. facility. This work will take several hours. Network, phone, and internet access will be affected during this outage time. 


Wireless access at both 33rd Ave. and the Southern Facility will also be affected during this time.


For questions, contact Brandon Watson, GWAEA network administrator.

GWAEA Staff Invited to Participate in United Way Campaign Oct. 6-27


Our staff work closely with individuals in our community, and our staff know first hand the need to support their fellow neighbors. 


Last year our GWAEA United Way campaign raised nearly $18,000 for the United Way of East Central Iowa and the United Way of Washington and Johnson Counties. For those who are less familiar with this organization, the United Way focuses on education, financial stability, and health issues in our community. They help raise awareness surrounding key issues, provide services to those most in need, and promote social change that helps strengthen people and our communities. 


We again will offer payroll deduction and one-time giving opportunities for our staff to lend their support to the United Way, and tomorrow all staff will receive an email with an e-Pledge login to access a secure portal to make a donation.


Additionally this year, payroll deductions also are available for staff interested in supporting 
Iowa Shares, a statewide coalition of social change, environmental and cultural nonprofit organizations. Iowa Shares members give direct services and create progressive, long-lasting resources for children and communities. Online giving is not available for Iowa Shares, but campaign literature is available for staff and can be requested through Renee Nelson in Communications.


This month you'll see "Why I Give" pictures of Grant Wood AEA staff that highlight the reason they have personally decided to support our agency-wide United Way campaign. Last year our staff contributions totalled $17,630 for the United Way of East Central Iowa and the United Way of Johnson and Washington counties.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Seeks Volunteers

Training begins in December


The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is hosted by United Way of East Central Iowa and is seeking additional volunteers to assist low to middle income families with the free preparation of their state and federal income tax returns. Grant Wood AEA employees have volunteered in prior years and the VITA program is grateful for the continued support.


Last year the VITA program assisted over 1,900 families with their tax returns and saved these individuals hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees they would have incurred if they had paid a tax preparation company to complete their returns.  The VITA team volunteers are rewarded by kind words and acknowledgement from the clients. Since the team wants to assist more families, there is a need for a greater number of volunteers. Training for VITA volunteers begins in December. Volunteer tax preparers, intake specialists and greeters are all needed during the tax season.  If you would like to know more about the opportunity to volunteer for the VITA program, go to or email

Our Condolences

  • to Sandra Busta and family on the passing of her mother, Mary Lou Meyer, on Oct. 12.  Sandra is a CART service provider. 

Student Loan Relief!

Innovative Student Loan Solutions

Grant Wood AEA 10, in partnership with ISLoan Solutions, will educate you and provide options for forgiveness* and refinancing, that may help lower, or even eliminate, your student loan payment.


Join your colleagues who are saving an average of 79% on their monthly payments and are projected to receive an average of $66,271 in tax-free loan forgiveness.



Enter code: AEA10 to learn more


If loan forgiveness 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

Peace of Mind & Savings
“When I decided to change careers at the age of 32 to become a teacher, I was really nervous about the amount debt I was going to incur. I knew I would qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, but had no knowledge of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Because of ISLoan Solutions, I will save over $40,000 in student loan payments once I complete my 120 payments. This has allowed me to save more money now and for my future, as I am able to contribute more to my retirement accounts. Best of all, they take care of everything for me.  For a fair price, I never had to worry about my paperwork being submitted on time or being sent to the correct place. The peace of mind and savings have lifted a very heavy burden off my shoulders.” Matt O. - Science Teacher

*In 2007, Congress established Public Service Loan Forgiveness to help full-time employees reduce their student loan burden and incentivize them to stay in public service. PSLF is available to all full-time employees regardless of position. PSLF is not Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
Questions, or trouble logging in? Call 1.513.645.5400email or visit their website at for more information and success stories.

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

GWAEA Sixth Street Location Blood Drive, Oct. 24, 2017

1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Grant Wood AEA – Scale-Up Classroom 


All bood drive participants will be entered into a drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card.


For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Cathy Nelson or call ext. 6544.


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.

Weight Watchers At Work

Next Session Begins Nov. 21

Weight Watchers @ Work Program logo

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


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 Gants ( with questions or to sign up.

Chair Massage Schedule

Cedar Rapids: Nov. 30. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

Coralville: Contact Sue Heath for the registration link.

October Membership Special

Join in October: 25% OFF with $0 Join Fee for Adult, Couple, & Family Membership

YMCA logo

Now’s the best time to get fit at the YMCA – and to bring the entire family on board - because we have a fantastic new-member discount during the month of October. People who join this month will receive a 25% discount off their membership rates for an entire year. This is a greater discount than the corporate partner discount (GWAEA corporate discount is 15%). Plus, there’s no join fee in October.


Come into any branch location in the Cedar Rapids Metro Area to receive a Welcome Gift with your new membership. Your membership dues will be prorated for October.

If you’re currently a member of the YMCA of the Cedar Rapids Metro Area and you refer a friend to join this association in October, we’ll give you a $25 gift card to Scheels as a thank you for your referral. However, be sure your friend tells us your name at the time of registration.

YMCA New Employee flyer


Contact Deanna Haddy for more information: or

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2017-2018

GWAEA Seminar Series

Creating a Culture of YES

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo will identify 10 problems with school leadership, provide dynamic, right-now solutions, and demonstrate how to increase learning by leaving the office and engaging directly with all teachers and learners. Selected as 1 of 117 Future Ready Superintendents in 2014 and 1 of 50 Superintendents as a Personalized Learning Leader in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Education, Sanfelippo co-wrote the book “Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love.”


Nov. 1, 2017, 1:00-3:30 p.m.


Location: Benton CSD Middle/High
600 First St., Van Horne, Iowa


Number: 19503-17-01


Target Audience: K-12 Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Coaches, Consultants


Grant Wod AEA Seminar Series. Dr. Joe Sanfelippo, Creating a Culture of YES

See flyer for details.


Dr. Joe Sanfelippo is the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in
Fall Creek, WI. The Fall Creek School District was named an Innovative District in 2016 and 2017 by the International Center for Leadership in Education.

Registration deadline: 6:00 a.m. on Oct. 18, 2017



• Participants within the GWAEA area, $40
• Participants from outside the GWAEA area, $65
• Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full

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























October 2017

GWAEA Behavior Professional Development

GWAEA Behavior PD Courses


Leadership for Continuous Improvement

2017-2018 Leadership for Continuous Improvement: Building Collective Efficacy

GWAEA Assistive Technology

GWAEA Assistive Tech


GWAEA Child Find Courses

2017-2018 Grant Wood AEA Child Find Courses

2017-18 AEA Teacher Leader Support System (TLSS) in Partnership with the New Teacher Center

2017-18 AEA Teacher Leader Support System (TLSS) in Partnership with the New Teacher Center

Instructional Coaching:
Intersections Between Collaboration, Content and Coaching

Instructional Coaching:
Intersections Between Collaboration, Content and Coaching

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops


GWAEA Mathematics Professional Learning Courses 2017-2018

GWAEA Mathematics Professional Learning Courses 2017-2018

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops

The Write Stuff Workshop

Oct. 27, 2017


January 2018

Teaching Transparently

Teaching Transparently

Jan. 17 & 24, March 6,
April 5, 2018



April 2018

Teaching Transparently Support Workshops

A Developmental Framework for Evidence-Based Practices for Autism Spectrum
April 25, 2018



2017-2018 TQ Dates

Sept. 13, 2017
Dec. 7, 2017
Feb. 9, 2018
May 8, 2018

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, Arlene Brant, Lisa Haverkamp, 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. Visit 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:

See Cathy Nelson at the Switchboard to claim.

lost and found water bottles

silver earring

Found in the Sixth St. parking lot.


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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