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Articles in District News

Dr. Tim Taylor: Superintendent Retires after 46 Years in Education

Dr. Tim Taylor

This story was originally published in Volume 3 of Amazing Magazine that you can download here.

Superintendent Dr. Tim Taylor announced his retirement at the November 20, 2017 school board meeting. After 46 years in education, 26 of those years in the Ames CSD, and the last 8 as Superintendent, his last day within the Ames CSD will be June 30, 2018. The next day, he will take a much needed and well deserved golf vacation to Scotland to kick start the next chapter of his life.

The IPERs Rule of 88 says that an individual has qualified to retire when their age plus years of service has reached “88.” Dr. Taylor has reached 115. Taylor grew up in Iowa Falls and is proud to be an Iowa kid. His first teaching job was in Janesville, Iowa, near Waterloo, and later he taught and coached boys basketball in Winterset.

After he finished his Ph.D. at Iowa State University in the early 1990s, Taylor began working with the Department of Education in Human Resources. “I had been involved in graduate school and been a graduate assistant for years at Iowa State University. So I lived in town and commuted to the Department of Education. As a graduate student, I fell in love with the community and wanted to be a part of it,” he said, reflecting on his collegiate days.

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Anthology: A Students’ Voice 2018

Anthology Project

On the morning of May 9, middle school editors got to see for the first time their self-published anthology after months of work putting it together. The book is a collection of stories and poems all written and edited by middle school students.

The project started in November when 8th graders Preksha Sarda and Claudia Murphy began recruiting writers and editors for the project. This is the second year that Steph Schares, who is an Extended Learning Program teacher at Ames Middle School and staff liaison to the anthology project, has helped students produce the anthology. Sarda and Murphy took applications from fellow students for positions of editors, marketers, and also managed the communications with students. They also paired each writer with an editor early in the process to provide a collaborative and authentic approach to the writing process.

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Brian Carico named new Associate Principal at Ames High

Brian Carico Associate Princial AHS

The Ames Community School District is excited to announce Brian Carico as the new Associate Principal at Ames High School. Mr. Carico is replacing long time Associate Principal, Dr. Mike Avise, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

Mr. Carico most recently served as the Field Experience Coordinator at Grand View University where he secured placements for practicum and student teachers. Prior to that, he served as the associate principal at Waukee Middle School, and before that building principal at Johnston Middle School. He received his Specialist in Educational Administration from Drake University, which is where he also received his Master of Science Educational Administration. He has 26 years of experience in education and has held a number of leadership positions in building level administration.

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Sawyer News Network

Sawyer News Network

In a few years, you may see Quin and Elijah, currently 4th graders at Sawyer Elementary School, behind the anchor desk reading the news. Until that time, they are comfortable as the content creators of Sawyer News Network, a weekly news segment created by the duo and shared across the building.  

New episodes arrived each Friday for the past two months of school. Their teacher, Nicole Coronado, has allowed the students creative freedom on the weekly segment and the pair have made it their own. “Quin and Elijah are in charge of picking who they interview, what questions they ask, and when they video tape. They also write their own script and research the weather and events for the following week, so they can report those out to the school,” said Coronado.

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Memory Project

Memory Project

This semester, art students at Ames High School joined the Memory Project, a charitable nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world. These portraits are given to those who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, violence, and extreme poverty. The purpose of the portraits is to provide youth a meaningful mementos and a personal keepsakes. The project also allows art students to practice kindness and global awareness while enhancing their portraiture skills.

I always want to emphasize to students that they should make meaningful art – I want them to make art projects they want to keep or give away as a gift. I also love the idea of incorporating service learning into the classroom.” said art teacher Lindsay Wede.

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Collin Reichert named Outstanding Earth Science Teacher

Collin Reichert picture

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) has named Ames High Earth and Space Science teacher Collin Reichert the Central Section Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) for 2018! The award is for “exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the pre-college level.” The Central Section includes eight states (IN, IL, IA, WI, MN, OH, KY, MI), and the committee received many strong nominations for candidates throughout the region.

Reichert was nominated for the award by a mentor of his, Cinzia Cervato, an Iowa State University professor of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. Their relationship began when Cervato wanted to learn more Reichert’s lesson plans and approach to teaching and nominated Reichert for the award as a result.

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The Future of Ames High: Programming Phase

Future of Ames High Programming Phase

Since the April bond referendum vote, OPN Architects has been busy in the “programming phase” of the high school project. They have been meeting with various stakeholders that include the school board, administrators, teachers, and students to provide input on common design features, and to offer a platform where these groups can weigh in on their wants and needs.   

In May, a small group of administrators and board members who are a part of the steering committee traveled with OPN to visit seven high schools in Minnesota that were identified as having some unique features that would be incorporated in Ames. Director of Facilities and Maintenance Gerry Peters said, “We learned about how other schools and districts approached teaching and learning, as well as some of their experiences, during construction. In addition to experiencing the building layouts, spaces and features, the tour guides shared their challenges, likes, and dislikes about the construction result.” OPN received reactions from our group to the buildings size and layout, as well as feedback and observations.

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Meeker Little Cyclone Captains

Meeker Captains

Students at Meeker Elementary are using some of their free time to make an impact on the culture of their school through the building’s new Little Cyclone Captains initiative. The student leadership program provides students with opportunities throughout the day to have a positive platform to lead and be a captain for kindness.

Each day, captains serve as greeters (who are called “morning sprinkles”) at the front door to provide a welcoming smile as students enter. Captains also take time during their day to write kind notes to other students. They often come in during their recess time, pick from a pile of student names from across all grade levels, and write notes of encouragement or inspiration. These notes are then placed in the student’s cubbies by School and Family Counselor Kari Deal to serve as a pleasant surprise. She has noticed that many notes remain in their cubbies for weeks at a time.

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School Board is Accepting Applications for Vacant Seat

School Board Search

School Board Applicants:

  • Allen Beirbaum
  • Joan Bolin Bettis
  • Amy Edwards
  • Latifah Faisal
  • Randal Fitzgerald
  • John Hascall
  • Frederick Lloyd
  • Jeanne Paskach
  • Aaron Rodriquez
  • Jintao Wang
         

The Ames Community School Board is now accepting applications to fill the vacant board seat left by Director Rodney Briggs after he stepped down, effective May 2. The appointed candidate will serve until November 5, 2019 or until the next school election if one occurs earlier.

To apply, candidates must fill out the Statement of Candidacy for Appointment to Board of Directors form, and answer the following two questions:

  1. Why are you seeking appointment to the Ames Board of Education?
  2. How do  you believe you embody the traits of an effective board member?

Forms can be picked up at the Business Office in the District administrative building located at 2005 24th Street, or downloaded in PDF form below. Applications for the position will be taken until 4:30 p.m., May 17, 2018, and all materials must be submitted to the Business Office.  A press release listing the applicants for the vacancy will posted on Friday, May 18, 2018.

The Board has scheduled a candidate forum as part of its regularly scheduled meeting on May 21, 2017, which will begin at 6:00 p.m. The Board plans to appoint the selected individual during the action portion of the meeting at which time, the appointee will be sworn in.

Statement of Candidacy for Appointment to Board of Directors

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National Honor Society 2018

National Honor Society

The Ames Community School District would like to congratulate the 128 Ames High students who earned membership into the AHS chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). This year, 61 seniors and 67 new members were recognized and celebrated at an April 22 event at Ames High.

Each chapter of the National Honor Society can have slightly different criteria for admission, but all assess academics, service, leadership, and character. New members were chosen by a selection committee based on how each student upholds the purpose of the Ames High School Chapter. Over 100 applications were considered this year for new membership, increasing the competitive nature of the process.

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