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Articles in District News

Summer School 2021

Summer School 2021

At the Ames Community School District, June 10 was officially the last day of the 2020-2021 school year. For some students, teachers, and staff, they headed back to classrooms on June 14 to engage in summer learning. However, this learning is not like what you might envision as summer school. It’s an environment rich with fun, hands-on, and engaging curriculum unlike any other. 

“It is important that summer school doesn’t feel like school,” said Anthony Jones, Director of Equity. “Yes, students will be learning and instruction should be targeted based on students’ academic goals in reading and math, however, the learning must be fun and engaging.” 

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Ames Community School District Receives STEM BEST Program Award

STEM Advisory Council

Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council announced Ames Community School District’s Science in the City as one of the 22 STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program models for 2021. The STEM Best Program supports school-business partnerships that allow teachers and industry professionals to work side-by-side on curriculum and projects that give students actual workplace experience. In the projects, students also gain an understanding of the opportunities and required skills for careers in STEM fields. 

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Dr. Paula Vincent named Interim Superintendent of Ames Community School District

Dr. Paula Vincent

On Monday, June 21, the Ames Board of Directors approved Dr. Paula Vincent as the Interim Superintendent of Ames Community School District. Dr. Vincent will be the 27th superintendent of Ames Public Schools in its 151-year history. 

Dr. Vincent was the Chief Administrator of Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) from 2010 to 2017. As the chief executive officer, she provided leadership for 650 staff serving in 53 public school districts and 30 accredited non-public schools across 11 counties in central Iowa. AEA services are designed to accelerate children’s learning and development with an emphasis on providing educational equity for all Iowa children, especially those with diverse learning needs. Additional professional learning services and resources are intended to inspire educators and to provide efficiencies for Iowa school districts.

From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Vincent served as superintendent of Clear Creek Amana CSD. As superintendent, she implemented rigorous professional development processes and facilitated a community vision of education to guide the development and implementation of a comprehensive school improvement plan. 

Currently, Dr. Vincent is an educational leadership consultant with an emphasis in strategic planning. She is also the current editor of the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) Perspectives Magazine and has served as a member of the AESA Federal Legislative Platform Development Team. 

Dr. Vincent earned her doctorate degree in Planning, Policy and Leadership Studies from the University of Iowa. 

Professional Experience History:

  • Educational Leadership Consultant (2017 – Present)
  • Chief Administrator, Heartland AEA (July 2010 – June 2017)
  • Superintendent, Clear Creek Amana CSD (July 2004 – June 2010)
  • Associate Superintendent, Cedar Rapids CSD (October 1998 – June 2004)
  • Executive Director, Special Education Director, Grant Wood AEA (August 1993 – September 1998)

Ames School Board President Sabrina Shields-Cook said, “Dr. Vincent stood out from the pool of applicants based on her outstanding resume and leadership experience. We are incredibly excited to begin working with Dr. Vincent this upcoming school year and are confident that she will lead our district toward advancing our purpose of equity and access.” 

A few of Dr. Vincent’s past honors include School Administrators of Iowa Central Office Administrator of the Year, AESA Order of Women Leaders inductee, and recipient of the Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the National University Council of Educational Administration. Dr. Vincent was also invited to provide testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and Labor on the topic of modern public school facilities. 

As a District, we are excited for Dr. Vincent to begin her tenure within the Ames Community School District. Her new position will begin on July 1, 2021. 

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Ames High Construction Update – May 2021

Ames High School construction site

At the end of April 2021, 63% of the construction period had elapsed on the new Ames High School. Notable progress has been made on the north portion of the project that includes the auditorium, academic, fine arts, and CTE wings. On April 30, the large crane that was a staple in the skyline of the project was demobilized and removed from the site. Although exterior work continues on portions of the project, such as brickwork on the west side of the building, much of the work has moved indoors, focusing on mechanical and electrical installation. In the auditorium, concrete slabs are continuing to be installed in the balcony areas. With the pool basin already excavated, a myrtha panel system is being installed in the deep end while below deck ductwork and piping continues. Substantial completion date for the new Ames High School is April 30, 2022, and is scheduled to open in August 2022.

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Ames CSD Honored with Two Iowa Character Awards

Iowa Character Awards

The Ray Center at Drake University annually recognizes Iowans who show the Six Pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS!: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. The Ames Community School District is proud to be the recipient this year of two honors: the School of Character Award and the Educator of Character Award. 

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Free Little Libraries

Free Little Libraries

The Ames High School Key Club Little Free Libraries Project started uniquely. In 2019, Key Club officers applied for and received a Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) grant for $500. The YOF grant is an endowed fund for Key Club International held within the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. YOF grants spur action to identify services that need to be done in the community. Key Club identified an opportunity to create a reading corner with their funds. 

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Mental Health Club at Ames High

Mental Health Club

For students across the country, this pandemic school year reinforced the importance of focusing on mental health. At Ames High, seniors Tatum Lillibridge and Jamey McCalley serve as student leaders of the Ames High Mental Health Club after first joining the group a year ago. 

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