Congratulations 2018 Retirees!

Congratulations and best wishes to Great Prairie AEA’s 2018 Retirees: Anne Aney, Catherine Benson, Jan Bergman, Tom Buhrow, Jill Fugate, Linda Gittins, Connie Hammond, Lynn Hodgeman, Joe Hudson, Deb Mueller, Mary O’Brien, Vickie Parker, Gina Rappenecker, Kathy Schneider, Larry Thompson, and John Vanderzwan.

Looking for a class? Need credit? Check out courses offered in June

Looking for a class? Need credit? Check out courses offered in June
Check out some of our upcoming June courses in the new registration system! For easy access use the Course Numbers to search and get more details. To browse all of the courses in the catalog, click Show All and narrow the search to Great Prairie AEA. Please contact if you need assistance logging in.
june 18 courses
Courses Offered Beginning June 2018
  • Teacher in the Workplace Course Number-155867
  • Nine Essential Skills for Love and Logic- 160563
  • Behavior Toolbox: Course Number-160500
  • Desmos: Course Number -160410
  • Fierce Conversations: Course Number-160434, 160468
  • Fierce Conversations 2: Course Number- 160470
  • Project Based Learning for Social Studies: Course Number-160439
  • Iowa LETRS (Modules 4-6): Course Number- 160437
  • Substitute Authorization: Course Number- 160422
  • Yoga for Teachers: Course Number- 160526
  • Foundations of EL: Course Number- 160426
  • Iowa Science Standards: Course Number- 160399
  • Structured Teaching for Autism: Course Number- 160541
  • Pastels with Gin Lammert – 160543
  • Rug Weaving – 160630
  • Plein Air: Outdoor Landscapes – 160627


2018 Battle of the Books Winning Teams

Jane Frizzell, Media Integration Specialist

Great Prairie AEA’s Battle of the Books competition was held April 26th at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. Eleven elementary and sixteen middle school teams participated. Teams first took a written test. The five top scoring teams in each division then advanced to an oral question round to determine the final winners.

Congratulations to all teams!


Elementary Winning Teams

  • 1st Place Team: Mediapolis Super Readers (Danielle Peterson & Jenny McGhee, coaches) — Adrian Matteson, Shelby Schulz, Makenna Hein, Noah Schmidgall, Alton Wonderlich, Maxx Ortiz
  • 2nd Place Team:  WACO Untitled (Amy Langr, coach) — Wyatt Dennis, Alessandra Vargas, Elyssa Graber, Naomi Egli, Andrea Stafford, Emma Szewcyk
  • 3rd Place Team: Holy Trinity Crusaders (Allison Arevalo, coach) — Addie Link, Juniper Strickland, Sheldon Kruse, Lucy Arevalo, Isabella Wheatley-Behne, Reagan Holvoet
  • 4th & 5th Place Teams (Tie): Fort Madison Book Reapers (Michelle Bentler, coach) — Collin Campbell, Naudia Ruston, Kelltyn Weaver, Oliver Santiago, Liela Roberts, Isaac Thacher
  • Wapello Reading Wonders (Laura Daisy, coach) — Kiara Hirst, Emily Hemphill, Keelyn Griffin, Megan Reid, Emily Wolff

 Middle School Winning Teams

  • 1st Place Team: Mediapolis Page Turners (Danielle Peterson & Jenny McGhee, coaches) — Allison Nalley, Ella Russell, Drew Miller, Larae Steiner, Jaydon Wirt
  • 2nd Place Team:  Prairie Creek (Tricia Tendick, coach) — Cole Helle, Aiden Jensen, Lilian Jones, Rith Sivaprakash, Kelsey Taylor, Catherine Yang
  • 3rd Place Team:  Fort Madison Book Hounds (Michelle Bentler & Angie Sodey, coaches) — Tyler Horn, Kerridwen Robert, Colton McDonald, Kaylie McFadden, Macaden Rhoer, Cale McKnight
  • 4th Place Team: Indianola Book Thugs (Cindy Bauer, coach) — Isabel Christensen, Kael Christensen, Avery Grover, Soren Christensen, Lydia Grimsbo, Clair Lewis
  • 5th Place Team: Newton N-TAGonists (Mindi Bartell, coach) — Benjamin Breuer, Leo Friedman, Taylor Maki, Owen Muhs, Isabelle Wilson

 Team Spirit Awards

  • Elementary: Morning Sun Battle Tigers (Nancy Martin, coach) — Isaac Hewitt, Delaney Griffith, Tucker Richardson, August Gieselman, Sandra Palma, Tayson Samuels
  • Middle School: North Mahaska We Be Bookin’ (Kate Hite, coach) — Kei Arthur, Makayla Darland, Aiden Eischen, Cole Garman, Lane Harmon, Essica Whitehead

The Cornerstone – May 2018


Click on a post above or scroll down to view.

Introducing a New Professional Learning Registration System from Iowa’s AEAs

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Iowa’s AEAs and AEA Learning Online have collaborated to move our individual professional learning and licensure registration systems to one statewide professional learning registration system. It creates greater equity and consistency in programming and resources to help support quality professional learning. Thank you for your patience as we transition to the new system!


(Course Search, Register, Print Transcripts, Etc.)

***Courses may be temporarily limited until instructors have had a chance to enter them into the new system***



  • Login and click on ‘Courses’ in the top bar
  • You will have the option to Search, Show All, or Advanced Search
  • To view courses offered by Great Prairie AEA, click on Advanced Search – AEA – Great Prairie AEA (All GPAEA Courses will have the letters ‘GP’ following the course number




Congratulations to the 2018 Sixth Grade Math Bee Winners!

The annual Sixth Grade Math Bee sponsored by Great Prairie AEA was held May 1 at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. Participating were 20 school districts, including 47 teams and 218 students.

The Top Ten Individual Winners:

  • 1st Place Winner: Alyssa Haynie of Mediapolis
  • 2nd Place Winners (tie): Nevaya Vandello (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont) and Morgan Drost (Oskaloosa Middle School)
  • 3rd Place Winner: Quinton Schulz (Mediapolis)
  • Russell McCrea (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont)
  • Nathan Calhoun (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont)
  • Easton Korell (North Mahaska), Blake Kline (Mediapolis)
  • Juniper Boehler (Ottumwa)
  • Paige Grothe (Ottumwa)
  • Andy Knockel (North Mahaska)

Congratulations to these individual winners!

Top Team Winners


Oskaloosa Team

  • 1st Place Team: Mediapolis – Larae Steiner, Alyssa Haynie, Jaydon Wirt, and Ella Russell
  • 2nd Place Team: Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont – Johnny Burger, Russell McCrea, Lillian Fairchild, and Jackson Tuller
  • 3rd Place Team: Aldo Leopold Middle School in Burlington – Victoria Almack, Lauren Briggs, Jenna Hentzel and Carson Ziegler
  • 4th Place Team: North Mahaska Elementary – Andy Knockel, Easton Korrell, Lucy Gipple, and Colby Sampson
  • 5th Place Team: Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont – Nevaya Vandello, Nathan Calhoun, Jack Bunnell, and Miranda Hotchkiss.
  • 6th place Teams (tie): Mediapolis and Oskaloosa Middle School. From Mediapolis: Joe Sharp, Jesse Massner, Quinton Schulz, and Russell Frank. From Oskaloosa Middle School: Isabella Carman, Morgan Drost, Trevor Willett, and Gus Bunnell.

Congratulations to these teams! We are all very proud of you.

A special thank you goes out to Donna Bohlmann from Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont for once again being our MC for the event. Many, many thanks go to the teachers that work behind the scene to prepare the students for this day, spending the entire behind closed doors checking tests during the competition. We would also like to thank the parents that volunteered to be proctors during the testing. It takes many people to run this event and we appreciate everyone.

The Math Team at Great Prairie AEA

Congratulations to Burlington State Future Problem Solving Teams!

by Katie Salisbury, BCSD Secondary Extended Learning Services, Aldo Leopold Middle School

Mr. Fleece and I are very proud of our students who represented our Burlington Community School District at State Future Problem Solving this past month in Ames! We had one junior team receive 4th place overall in their division and our middle team received a 5th place for their action plan skit. This was the second state appearance for our two 6th grade teams and high school team. The students were focused and worked hard on this year’s topic of cloud storage. We are excited to see these teams continue to grow! Please congratulate these students when you see them.

Transition Resource Event at Fort Madison High School

Kate Cole, School Psychologist

What a successful event at Ft. Madison High School!

On April 25, FMHS hosted a Transition Resource Event for students and families. Transition services are provided to assist students in smooth transitions to postsecondary living, learning, and working based on students’ individualized interests and needs. This event included a panel presentation by local educators and service providers, with plenty of questions asked by audience members. Parents, students, and teachers engaged in conversations intended to build the success of their students, and connections were made between students and support opportunities to help them reach their goals.

FMHS students were involved in baking cookies for the event and creating the flier to invite families. A BIG “thank you!” to Abby (FMHS student) for emceeing the event!

Panel participants included: Aleena Garr (Vocational Rehabilitation), Lenae Greene (Iowa Works), Ryanne Wood (SEIL), Kelly Wallace (GPAEA Parent Educator Partnership Coordinator), Kate Cole (GPAEA Transition Coordinator), Angie Mickelson (SCC Disability Coordinator), Jillian Flanders (Job Corps), Mary Hofmann (Intermediary).

Way to go, Ft Madison High School Special Education teachers in supporting students and families!!
Don’t hesitate to contact the GPAEA Transition Coordinator and/or the Family & Educator Coordinator about how you can plan an event like this in your district!

May is School Board Recognition Month

Our Agency Board of Directors and the Board members of the local school districts in our Area volunteer countless hours of their time each year to serve their communities and schools. Please consider thanking the school and AEA Board members that you know throughout our Area. Click here to learn more about the Great Prairie AEA Board.

A special THANK YOU to our Great Prairie AEA Board of Directors:

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

May is “Better Hearing and Speech Month” and we invite you to learn more about services and supports available from Great Prairie AEA.

Hearing services at Great Prairie AEA include screenings for young children and direct services for students who have been identified as deaf or hard of hearing. Learn more at

Shoutout to GPAEA’s Hearing/Audiology Team! Thank you for all that you do for the children and families of southeast Iowa.

GPAEA Audiologists

GPAEA Audiometrists

GPAEA Teachers of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Great Prairie AEA Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) work with children, birth to 21, who have a variety of communication needs. Most of these needs fall into the areas of articulation, language, voice, fluency, and early literacy. Learn more at

Shoutout to GPAEA’s Speech-Language Team! Thank you for all that you do for the children and families of southeast Iowa.

GPAEA Speech-Language Pathologists

GPAEA Speech-Language Assistants

Making a Difference in Education: Iowa’s AEAs Award Recipients

On April 5, 2018, Iowa’s AEAs presented their 2nd annual AEA Awards to five deserving recipients. This is the second year for the awards, which are an opportunity to recognize and celebrate outstanding candidates for their contributions to education and the AEA system.


Evan Abbey, Janet Stutz, Cindy Cavanagh, Teresa Wyant and Miller Roskamp

E. Robert Stephens Award

Evan Abbey, Project Director of AEA Learning Online, was awarded the Dr. E. Robert Stephens Award. The Dr. E. Robert Stephens award acknowledges contributions in the areas of innovation and support to local districts, AEAs, the Department of Education and other partners/organizations.

Over 50 years ago, Stephens was a graduate student at The University of Iowa. He was asked by the Iowa Department of Public Instruction and rural superintendents in the state to direct a study to find a prototype to distribute instructional services equitably and efficiently across Iowa. His vision eventually found its way to the Iowa Legislature in 1974, when Iowa’s AEAs were passed into law. This award is named after “Dr. Bob” to honor exemplary work by those associated with educational service agencies and AEAs.

Evan has been the driving force behind instruction in the areas of online and personalized learning in Iowa. His vision for AEA Learning Online has transformed how schools in Iowa use blended and online learning opportunities. With Evan’s support and expertise, AEA Learning Online has developed multiple systems with learning opportunities for adults and students.

“We are honored to present this award to Evan Abbey,” said Tom Lane, Executive Director of Iowa’s AEAs. “Evan provides strong leadership for this work and his vision benefits Iowa’s educational system.”

Friend of the AEAs

Miller Roskamp was named a Friend of the AEA. The Friend of the AEA acknowledges contributions by policymakers, citizens, board members, school district partners, businesses and organizations who have been great partners and demonstrate strong support for furthering the mission of Iowa’s AEAs.

Roskamp was nominated for his support of the River Hills School, a public sponsored special school for students with moderate, severe and profound developmental disabilities. The school serves students from age 3 through age 21. Approximately 120 students from local school districts within Central Rivers AEA attend River Hills School. The parent of a Rivers Hills graduate and respected community philanthropist, Roskamp took on a leadership role in renovating the infrastructure and spirit of River Hills. His motivation and leadership with a variety of initiatives and campaigns has resulted in significant building and grounds improvements. Students now enjoy safe and modern outdoor adapted playgrounds, and the learning environments in all 24 of the building classrooms have been enhanced.

“Miller is not only a friend of the AEA but also a friend to all children with special needs,” said Sam Miller, Central Rivers AEA Chief Administrator. “His support for the integrity-filled work of River Hills School and the larger community it represents has literally changed lives.”

Friend of the AEAs

Dr. Janet Stutz, superintendent of Grinnell-Newburg Community Schools, was also named a Friend of the AEA.

“Each day finds Janet focused on doing the best for the students of Grinnell-Newburg,” said Sam Miller, Central Rivers AEA Chief Administrator. “She openly admits the district can’t do the work that needs to be done without the support and cooperation of the AEA. Her administrative team meets regularly with the AEA regional administrator, who is always viewed as a partner at the table. Janet supports the AEA staff assigned to her district and believes they play an important part in the achievement of students.”

Innovative Creator Award

Cindy Cavanagh and Teresa Wyant, staff at Mississippi Bend AEA were selected for the Innovative Creator Award by Iowa’s AEAs. The Innovative Creator award celebrates innovative and creative thinking and actions to enrich student learning. Cavanagh and Wyant  were instrumental in creating the Assistive Technology Team at Mississippi Bend AEA. For over 25 years, they have worked with teachers, students and families to ensure each child has voice and an environment in which to thrive.

“It is with great appreciation that we present Cindy and Teresa with this award,”  said Tom Lane, Executive Director of Iowa’s AEAs. “We also thank you for the creative ways you offered students to stretch their minds in school and engage them in thoughtful, meaning activities.”

The Cornerstone – April 2018