Burlington Autism Classroom Receives Support from GPAEA

Jennifer Woodley, Public Relations Coordinator

Inside Sarah Maher’s 3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade Autism classroom at Corse Elementary in Burlington, students experience a colorful rich environment where they have the freedom to learn and experience success daily.

Great Prairie Area Education Agency’s Challenging Behavior & Autism Team have supported Ms. Maher and her students the past year in a variety of capacities. From professional development and training to observations and consultation on a case-by-case basis. “I guess the most important thing to me is that it’s a group effort,” Maher said. “It’s good staff, good leadership and a lot of other support staff outside of this room that has helped a lot.”

Learn more about supports and services from GPAEA at http://www.gpaea.org/en/services/autism/.

 

Yelick Selected as the Next Chief Administrator for Great Prairie AEA

Dr. Cindy Yelick

The Great Prairie AEA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of a new chief administrator for the Agency. Dr. Cindy Yelick, who is currently the deputy chief administrator at Heartland AEA, will succeed Dr. Jon Sheldahl.

“Dr. Cindy Yelick will be a great addition to Great Prairie AEA team,” said Vicki Stephenson, president of the Great Prairie AEA board of directors. “She brings a wide range of experiences and leadership in her work with Iowa’s AEAs and the State of Iowa.”

As the chief administrator of Great Prairie AEA, Dr. Yelick will oversee over 270 full and part-time staff members who provide special education services, instructional services, professional learning, library and digital resources, technology support and more to over 36,000 students and 2,700 educators throughout the 14 southeast Iowa counties the Agency serves.

Dr. Yelick has previously held positions as executive director of instructional services, administrator for Iowa Core Curriculum, executive director of teaching and learning, and a regional coordinator at Heartland AEA; director of early childhood, assessment, and special education and elementary principal at Ames Community Schools; elementary principal at Des Moines Public Schools; director of McPrep Middle School Academy at Drake University; and assistant administrator at Spring Branch ISD in Houston, Texas. She received a doctorate in educational leadership from Drake University, master’s in curriculum and instruction, second language education from the University of Houston and bachelor’s in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa.

“My career has centered around ensuring that all students have the opportunity to thrive,” Yelick said. “I am excited to work with the quality staff and leadership at Great Prairie AEA who continue the course for improvement and enhanced learning outcomes for all children throughout southeast Iowa.”

Yelick was selected for the position after the search firm G. Tryon & Associates conducted a nationwide search. She will assume the responsibilities of chief administrator contingent upon release from her current contract in July 2017.

GPAEA Schools Recognized for PBIS Efforts

Congratulations to the schools who attended the state Learning Supports Conference on May 8 & 9 and were recognized in person by the DE for their implementation efforts in PBIS. 17 schools from Great Prairie AEA were recognized, although not all were able to attend to receive their award.

 

Three Finalists Announced for Great Prairie AEA Chief Administrator

The Great Prairie Area Education Agency Board of Directors has announced three finalists for the position of the chief administrator. Tim Kuehl, Nathan Wood, and Cindy Yelick were chosen from a field of 17 applicants to be interviewed on Thursday, June 8. Finalists will be interviewed by three groups: GPAEA Administrators, local Superintendents, and the Board of Directors.

Tim Kuehl is currently superintendent at Clear Creek Amana Community School District in Oxford. He has previously held positions as superintendent and elementary principal at Gladbrook-Reinbeck; middle school principal at Forest City; high school principal and curriculum director at Allamakee; and elementary principal and curriculum director at Manson-NW Webster.

Nathan Wood is currently a regional director at Great Prairie AEA. He has previously held positions as middle school/high school principal and PK-12 special education director at Pekin Community Schools and PK-6 assistant principal/school administration manager at Sigourney.

Cindy Yelick is currently deputy chief administrator at Heartland AEA. She has previously held positions as executive director of instructional services, administrator for Iowa Core Curriculum, executive director of teaching & learning and regional coordinator at Heartland AEA; director of early childhood, assessment, and special education and elementary principal at Ames Community Schools; elementary principal at Des Moines Public Schools; director of McPrep Middle School Academy at Drake University; coordinator of Moulton Professional Development School at Des Moines Public Schools; and assistant administrator at Spring Branch ISD in Houston, Texas.

Following interviews, the Board will make a final selection. The name of the successful candidate will be announced via the Great Prairie AEA website, social media and Staff Update, as well as area news media.