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Ames Middle School Associate Principals for 2019-2020 Announced

AMS Associate Principals

Ames Middle School associate principals for the 2019-2020 school year were approved by the Ames school board on Monday, April 8. The Ames Community School District is pleased to announce the following associate principals for Ames Middle School:

  • Jeremie Knutson, Associate Principal for Operations and Student Services
  • Erin Miller, Associate Principal for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Nicole Coronado, Associate Principal for School Improvement, Culture and Equity

Principal Yonas Michael opened all the positions this spring and added another associate principal for next school year. Each principal will be a point person for a specific grade, but will also use their expertise in their particular area to better serve Ames Middle School.

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Executive Directors of Curriculum Announced

Executive Directors

The Ames Community School District is excited to announce Dr. Jeff Hawkins as the new Executive Director of Secondary Education, and Dr. Chad Dumas as Executive Director of Elementary Education. Both are new positions as part of a district office reorganization that will provide a more focused approach to aligning curriculum efforts across the District.

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AMS 2019 Scholastic Writing Award Winners

AMS Scholastic Writing

Two Ames Middle School students earned 2019 Scholastic Awards for their outstanding written pieces. Leslie Kim’s sci-fi short story Fallen by One, and Jennifer Newman’s short story The Pianist were selected by some of the foremost leaders in the visual and literary arts for excellence in originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

Nearly 340,000 works of art and writing were submitted to the 2019 Scholastic Awards. Since 1923, the Awards have celebrated teen artists and writers from across the country. Notable winners have included artists Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, and Kay WalkingStick; writers Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, and Joyce Carol Oates; and filmmakers Lena Dunham and Ken Burns.

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Ames High Student Judges Wearable Art Show at ISU

Wearable Art Judge

Sarah Oyervides, an Ames High Art student, was selected as 1 of 6 judges for the First Annual Wearable Design Show at Iowa State University. The inaugural Wearables Design Show featured 50 “Modular Mobile” designs by 200 students in the College of Design’s first-year Core Design Program. The designs were presented as a fashion show on a runway with lights, a DJ, and a live audience.

Patience Lueth, a Co-Director of the event, selected Sarah for this amazing honor because of her creative ideas and beautiful artwork. Sarah judged the work on the April 9th with alongside 5 other professional designers. The showcase took place last night, April 10th.

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2019 State Science & Engineering Fair of Iowa (SSTFI)

State Science and Technology Fair

On March 28, students from Ames High School and Ames Middle School participated in the 2019 State Science + Technology Fair of Iowa (SSTFI), held at Hilton Coliseum. Open to students across the state, the SSTFI is a way to showcase youth across Iowa and their science research skills.

Student groups worked diligently all year on their research, posing an interesting, testable scientific question, design an experiment, analyze results, and creating a poster to present at the SSTFI. At the event, students set up their presentations and have an opportunity to tell their story and defend their research to professionals in the field.

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Speak Back: A Photography Collection from T’Ana Selah Smith

Speak Back Photography T'Ana Smith

For senior T’Ana Selah Smith, photography is more than just a hobby, it is an avenue to take her art and produce a socially conscious commentary on what students experience. As an Advanced Photography student, Smith wanted to create a “message to the world” and produce something that could make an impact. “I wanted this project to be something that starts conversations with people. I particularly wanted to look at issues that are close to the heart, especially for minority students.”

The result of her work is a photography collection that she has titled Speak Back. The collection represents painted messages on students that “speaks back to society about a generalization.” Messages in this collection include those on mental health, body shaming, how gender is assigned to eating disorders, and racial stereotypes, among many others.

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Northwood: The Preschool Center where Amazing Begins!

Northwood Preschool Center

At Northwood Preschool Center, student inquiry drives instruction, creating an environment where learning possibilities never cease. Principal Kristin Barber, now in her second year at Northwood, said, “Students are in charge of their own learning. We have projects that are 6-8 weeks, but it’s not always about the content. It’s about allowing students to explore their own understanding and learn how to ask great questions.”

Northwood Preschool is a part of the free statewide voluntary preschool program that serves 4-year-olds and a separate grant that serves 3-year-olds. They also provide a half day early kindergarten program that meets kindergarten expectations. All teachers are dual certified, meaning that they can teach in both special and general education settings, making Northwood a full inclusion school. Barber says, “All students are immersed in the classroom experience, and this is incredibly valuable for their learning.”

Within any classroom at Northwood, you will see students interacting with each other in what looks like “play time” for the students. But what is happening, in reality, is project-based learning that incorporates play for students, hands-on learning, and reinforces peer to peer interactions in the process. This approach lays the groundwork for learning that has no bounds.

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Industrial Technology Projects

Industrial Technology Projects

The Ames High industrial technology department offers a variety of classes that consistently produce outstanding projects. The department as a whole provides courses in Woodworking, Metals, Robotics, and CAD. Under the guidance of teachers Michael Scaramellino and Kent Jahn, students have access to a range of materials and equipment, with tool safety being a primary focus for both teachers. Many of the classes are guided through projects, but as students progress in proficiency, they have the ability to self-guide on projects they pick. With CAD software, a laser engraver, plasma cutter, and an arsenal of woodworking equipment, students are consistently churning out amazing projects from wood boxes, cutting boards, coasters, and a variety of amazing scrap metal projects.

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Rebrand and Online Apparel Store

Rebrand Graphic

In April 2018, the Ames community overwhelming approved a bond referendum for a new high school. With the design of the new Ames High School underway, we felt that now was a prime opportunity to assess the “Ames High” brand.

Brand Standards:

Through our evaluation of the brand, we quickly realized that Ames High brand has no brand standards or proper file formats associated with it. Brand standards are a set of guidelines for the colors, graphic elements, logo specifications, and fonts that comprise a brand. In essence, they are the glue that holds a brand together. Without those, it is difficult to regulate how our brand is used and we often see inconsistent application and an overall diminished brand. For example, a walk-through of Ames High showed three different secondary mascot logos being used in a variety of ways. Through our evaluation, we also quickly realized that our elementary schools, as well as Ames Middle School, would benefit from a solid identity.

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Academic Calendar Updates 2019-2020

Calendar Updates 2019-2020 school year

Updates to the 2019-2020 school year calendar were approved by the Ames school board on Monday, February 25, 2019. A couple of the key updates include the start date and how professional development is organized at Ames Middle School and Ames High School.

Start date – School will officially begin on Friday, August 23, 2019 for most grades across the District. This includes 1st – 5th grade, as well as 6th and 9th graders, and all other students at the middle and high school who are new to the District. This start date aligns with other Districts across the state and is the first day that school can officially start according to state law. This is a change from the originally scheduled Monday, August 26 start date.

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