The Board is responsible for the high-level planning, policy-making and systemic evaluation of the Ames Community School District. The Board approves and acts upon matters required by law, and hires, supervises and evaluates the Superintendent.
The Ames Community School Board puts students first by making decisions, adopting policies and allocating resources that support student learning, by setting high standards for instruction that prepares students for the future and by fostering a culture that is conducive to innovative approaches to teaching and learning and supportive of continuous renewal of the education strategic plan.
Purpose and Priorities
Ames Community School District Commits to Equity and Access that Empowers Every Individual to Reach Their Full Personal and Educational Potential.
1. Educational Equity and Improvement
2. Transparent Financial Planning and Processes
3. Recruitment, Retention, and Development of a High-Quality Staff
4. Clear and Consistent Communication to Support Positive and Proactive Community Relationships
5. A Safe and Responsive System that Promotes the Mental Health and Well-Being of Every Individual
Meet The Board
Sabrina Shields-Cook, President
Elected to the Board in 2019, Sabrina Shields-Cook has lived in Ames since 1989 and is a 1996 graduate of Ames High School. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Iowa and M.A. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from Iowa State University. Sabrina is currently an Academic Adviser at Iowa State and previously worked in communications for a research institute on campus. She and her husband Nathan have four children in the Ames Community School District.
Committees: Equity and Policy.
Michelle Lenkaitis, Vice President
Elected to the board in 2019, Michelle Lenkaitis has lived in Ames since 2008. She has a BS in Economics from Northern Illinois University and an MS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois. She has worked for Iowa State University since 2012 and is currently the Manager of Custodial Services for Facilities Planning and Management. Lenkaitis also worked with the US Department of Labor for over 20 years in Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin. She and her husband, Vic, have four children: Charlotte, Oscar, Sadie and Zach.
Committees: Teaching and Learning, Policy, School Improvement Advisory, and Facilities.
Alisa Frandsen, Director
Elected to Board 2015, Alisa Frandsen is an Ames resident since 1999. Currently a stay-at-home mother, Frandsen is the former Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Greek Affairs at Iowa State University. Frandsen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Secondary Education Certificate (1997) and a Master of Higher Education degree (2001) from Iowa State University. She and her husband Matt have four children: Ali, Meredith, Joey, and Grant.
Dr. Allen Bierbaum, Director
Bierbaum has lived in Ames since 1994, and is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Priority 5. He received his Masters and PhD in Computer Engineering from Iowa State University and has remained engaged in the community through a variety of groups. He currently serves as the vice-chair of the Ames Parks and Recreation Commission, and has been a member of Iowa Innovation Council, and Leadership Ames Class 29. Allen and his wife Lora have three children in the Ames school system.
Committees: Audit and Budget Oversight, Insurance, Policy, and Technology.
Dr. Monic Behnken, Director
Elected to the Board in 2017, Monic Behnken has been an Ames resident since 2009. Dr. Behnken completed a joint J.D./Ph.D. program in Psychology and the Law in 2008. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the director of the Leadership Studies Program at Iowa State University. Dr. Behnken teaches upper division courses in the Criminal Justice Studies Program. Her area of research focuses on mentally disordered offenders, alternative adjudication programs, and designing interventions that address various disproportionalities within complex systems. Monic happily lives in west Ames with her husband, Brian, and their two children.
Committees: Equity and Policy.
Jamet Colton, Director
Elected to Board 2017, Jamet Colton is an Ames resident since 2000. Jamet has served as an Educational Assistant for the Ames Community School District since 2012 and a Spanish-English language interpreter since 2014. Prior to this she spent 10 years as a licensed insurance office manager. She was honored in 2017 to receive the Ames Humanitarian Award. Volunteer work includes Chair of the Outreach Committee for the Ames Progressive Alliance. Born in Santiago, Chile, Jamet became a U.S. Citizen in 2014. She has attended Kirkwood and Des Moines Community College. She and her husband, Chase, have one son, Tiago, and a dog named Shanti .
Committees: Equity, Teaching and Learning, and Ames Education Foundation.
Gina Perez, Director
Elected to the Board 2017, Gina Perez has been a resident of Ames for 16 years. Perez graduated Summa Cum Laude from William Penn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management in 2015. She is currently the Director of I.T. at Atlantic Coca Cola Bottling Company and was previously an I.T. Specialist with the Iowa D.O.T. She and her husband, Jose, have two children: Sebastian and Gabriel.
Committees: County Conference Board, Teaching and Learning, and Technology.