August 11, 2012

Meet the 2012-2013 IAAE Board

Rachelle Brown, Treasurer
Rachelle Brown
Expo High School
1410 Independence Ave
Waterloo, IA 50701 
Fax 319-433-1933

Ken Burrington, Northeast
Ken Burrington
109 Plaza Lane, Suite 111
Osage, IA 50461


Tammy Chelf, Southeast
Tammy Chelf
Thomas Edison Education Center
438 16th St.
Bettendorf, IA 52722

Josh Dean, Northeast
Josh Dean
Carrie Lane High School
1717 Clark Street
Charles City, IA 50616-3846 

Lisa Demuth, President
Lisa Demuth
Walnut Creek Campus
815 South Eighth Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265

Brett Eubank, Past President
Brett Eubank
Red Oak Alternative School
904 Broad Street
Red Oak, IA 5156 
Fax 712-623-6603

Amber Evans, Northwest
Amber Evans
Estherville Lincoln Central (ELC) Alternative High School
1814 7th Avenue South
Estherville, IA 51334 
Fax: 712-362-2406

Brian Friesner,  Northwest
Brian Friesner
Flexible Learning Center
903 Topaz Drive
Sergeant Bluff, IA 51054 
Fax: 712-943-2567

Lisa Hackman, Southwest
Lisa Hackman
Missouri Valley ACE
109 E. Michigan Street
Missouri Valley, IA 51555 
Fax: 712-642-2456

Bob Howlett, Residential Educators
Bob Howlett

Theresa Keeley, At-Large
Theresa Keeley
Metro High School
1212 7th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 
Fax: 319-398-2117

Pam Kirsch, President-Elect
Pam Kirsch
1606 Brady Street
Davenport, IA 52803

Ray Morley, Ex-Officio
Ray Morley
3706 Southwest Court Avenue
Ankeny, IA 50023

Stephen Peters, Central
Steve Peters
Scavo High School
3725 52nd St Des Moines, IA 50310
515- 242-7589, x 4706
Fax 515-242-7591

Shannon Reisinger, At-Large
Shannon Reisinger
Mt. Vernon Alternative High School Program
731 Palisades Road SW
Mount Vernon, IA 52314 
Fax: 319-895-6185

Sue Schirmer, AEA Representative
Sue Schirmer
Heartland AEA
6500 Corporate Drive
Johnston, IA 50131
515-270-9030 ext. 14379

Marlana Schnell, Community Colleges
Marlana Schnell
DMACC-Gateway to College
1100 7th Street, Urban Campus
Des Moines, IA 50314

Joel Schutte, Central
Joel Schutte
Harbor Alternative
1301 1st Ave. N
Altoona, IA 50009
515- 957-8811
Fax 515-957-8823

Kelsey Steffener, Southeast
Kelsey Steffener
Mediapolis High School
725 North Northfield St.
Mediapolis, IA 52637
319-394-3101 Ext. 2

Susan Walkup, Department of Education
Susan Walkup
Department of Education
400 East Fourteenth Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146
Fax 515-242-6019

Dawn Young, Secretary
Dawn Young
COMPASS Alternative Center
2999 North 10th Street
Marion, IA 52302 
Fax: 319-730-3622

July 31, 2012

New Page: How to Nominate Someone for a 2013 IAAE Award

A new page has been added to this IAAE News Blog! Click the tab above to learn how to nominate a colleague for recognition at the 2013 IAAE State Conference.

Board Meeting Minutes 5/14/12

IAAE Board Meeting Minutes
May 14, 2012
DMACC FFA Bldg Room 208

I.  Call to Order
    a.  In attendance: Rachelle Brown, Tammy Chelf, Josh Dean, Lisa Demuth, Brett Eubank, Amber Evans, Lisa Hackman, Steve Peters, Shannon Reisinger, Gina Scheffler, Marlana Schnell, Kelsey Steffener, Dawn Young
    b. Regrets: Ken Burrington, Jen Duncan, Brian Friesner, Bob Howlett - Residential educators disbanded, Theresa Keeley, Pam Kirsch, Joel Schutte, Susan Walkup

II. Approval of April 11 and 13, 2012 Board meeting minutes
    a. Minutes approved as presented

III. Treasurer's Report
    a. Money and bills are coming in from the IAAE state conference.  Current balance: $15,778.70
    b. Rachelle may be contacting Risky Business representatives to talk about a loan for IAAE.  IAAE does not run with excessive cash on hand, usually runs just in time.
    c. Scavo Grants: The grant to Expo is going to written to Rachelle Brown, who will keep accounting of the money.
    d. Verbal Treasurer's report approved.

IV.   Meeting dates for next year:
    September 21, 2012
    October 14, 2012  7:30pm - this is a change from what was discussed at the meeting
    December 7, 2012
    February 1, 2013
    February 8, 2013 (snow day)
    March 4, 2013
    April 3, 2013 (conference night)
    April 5, 2013 (following conference)
V.  Risky Business Update
    a. No report
    b. A brief history of the Risky Business conference was given

VI.  2012 Spring Conference review
    a. Overall, evaluations have been positive.  
    b. Thank you notes
         i. The list of remaining thank yous were divided up among Board members to be completed.

VII.  2013 Spring Conference
    a. Theme "Elevating the Essentials Improving Student Outcomes"
    b. Friday speaker:
         i. ideas: Trauma Informed Care
    c. Conference duties and responsibilities
         i. Conference chair for 2013: Brett Eubank
         ii.  Awards and grants: Pam Kirsch
         iii. Vendors: Lisa D
         iv. Introduce keynotes: Lisa D.
         v. Presenters: Lisa H
         vi. Program: Lisa H, Theresa, Rachelle, Lisa D (folders, etc.)
         vii. Registration: Rachelle, Theresa
         viii.  Food: Steve
         ix. Conference evaluation forms: Brett
         x. Entertainment: Rachelle has been working on this with Prairie Meadows
         xi. Door prizes: Kelsey
         xii Hospitality room: TBA
         xiii. College credit: Ray and Greg - Tammy will contact
         ivx. Presenters needs: Marlana (contracted speakers)
         xv. Elections: Josh Dean

VIII.  Future Conferences
     a. Waterloo 2014
     b. Next site 2015:  Ideas - Quad Cities
     c. Cedar Rapids 2016?
     d. Sioux City?

IX.  Bylaws
    a. Proposed changes (see handout)

X. Board membership

XI.  Communication about 2013 IAAE State Conference
    a. Lisa Demuth is trying to get some information out though SAI about the State Conference and Mike Schmocher.

XII.  Communication
    a. We need to get mailing lists collected and composed

XIII.  Adjournment

July 02, 2012

Risky Business XXV: Call for Presenters

During the past 24 years, the Iowa Association of Alternative Education, Scavo Campus (DMPS), the Harbor Alternative Program (SEP), Walnut Creek Campus (West DSM) and the Des Moines Area Community College Youth Consortium have all collaborated at one time or another to sponsor the annual Risky Business Conference held during the fall of each year. Risky Business has grown to become one of Iowa’s largest one day at risk conferences. It attracts approximately 300 educators, counselors, administrators and other professionals who work with at-risk youth. The conference affords those in attendance the opportunity to hear a nationally recognized keynoter and to select from over 30 presentations on current issues involving at-risk youth from elementary through secondary levels. 

Risky Business XXV has been scheduled for Monday, October 15, 2012 at The Meadows Events & Conference Center at Prairie Meadows, One Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona, IA 50009 (click for map and directions.)

If you would like to present, please click here for a downloadable form that can be filled out and electronically returned to the Risky Business committee. Click here for a letter of introduction and details about meals/and fees for presenters.

The Risky Business 2012 keynote speaker will be Christian Moore from Why Try.


Christian Moore is an internationally renowned author, speaker, and advocate for at-risk youth. The WhyTry Program he authored has proven to be one of the most effective ways to teach critical social and emotional skills affecting the success and happiness of individuals facing life’s challenges.

Christian grew up in the Washington, D.C. area in a family of twelve children. By the second grade, Christian had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, conduct disorder, and severe learning disabilities.   Despite overwhelming obstacles, Christian rose from special education to earn a master’s degree in social work.

As a social worker, Christian's work with youth led him to the realization that they usually lacked only one thing to experience the same success he had--hope. The WhyTry Program teaches key social and emotional skills that open the door to hope. WhyTry is now used in thousands of  schools, correctional facilities, and mental health agencies in the United States, Canada, and Australia and continues to be one of the fastest growing intervention programs for at-risk youth.

For a preview of his presentation, check out this YouTube video:

We look forward to seeing you October 15, 2012 at Risky Business XXV!

April 21, 2012

Okiishi Keynote: Mental Illness in the Classroom

Dr. Ray Morley and Dr. Christopher Okiishi

The 2012 IAAE Spring Conference's Friday keynoter, Dr. Chris Okiishi, led an interactive discussion about how to recognize and deal with mental illnesses in the classroom. His presentation gave alternative and residential educators specific indicators and warning signs of mental illness in school-aged children. Okiishi shared information about how to tell when a student is "feeling low" vs. when they are experiencing major depressive disorder. He explained symptoms of anxiety, ADHD, and other diagnoses that affect student behavior. A variety of treatment options and suggestions for working with parents and families were shared.

One valuable resource shared by Dr. Okiishi is the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, which includes a free section called "Facts for Families" offering downloadable handouts on mental illnesses. 

Conference attendees enjoyed Okiishi's conversational style and appreciated learning more about issues that affect our students and classrooms on a daily basis. 

What did you learn from Dr. Okiishi? What questions do you have for him? Would you be interested in having him speak again at a future IAAE conference? Leave your comments below.

Zollo and Cooper Get the IAAE Dancing

Brian Cooper and David Zollo play at All in the Family
For the second year in a row, Brian Cooper and David Zollo moved IAAE members--both physically and spiritually. Their bluesy, rocking and soulful tunes helped rejuvenate alternative educators from across the state at the annual IAAE State Conference Dance. This year's dance was held again at All in the Family, where IAAE members let loose, danced, and enjoyed spending time with other alternative educators.

Check out David's upcoming show dates on his website or watch him perform a song from his upcoming album, "For Hire."

Thanks to David and Brian for sharing their music with us!

Larry Bell Teaches IAAE Members the Power of an Alternative Educator

Larry Bell, 2012 IAAE State Conference Opening Keynoter

Larry Bell opened the IAAE 2012 State Conference with an energetic, interactive message reminding alternative educators of the power we hold to help students transcend barriers. Larry's message to us:  if we have high expectations for our students, they can transcend ALL barriers--including racism, socioeconomic status, and ability level. We have to power to transform the Impossible to I'm Possible!

During his keynote presentation, Larry reminded IAAE members of their ability to persevere, "That's why I'm enamored with you all--you DO NOT give up on a child!" He also outlined a clear procedure to help students be successful: first, get the classroom culture right; next, lay the foundation for success by making sure students know and understand the vocabulary used; then teach simple, systematic strategies for learning. 

Larry shows Red Oak Alternative Teacher Brett Eubank how to "Break it Down"

Larry's presentation got teachers moving and showed them how to get kids moving. Brain-based research shows that kids learn better if they move around, and if their learning is tied to music. Check out Larry's music videos on his website or purchase his DVD/CD from his online store if you want to get your students moving and learning his 12 Powerful Words. Larry's message: we have the power to empower our students by teaching them these words and strategies! 

Conference attendees enjoyed Larry's specific strategies, his vibrant personality, and his positive messages to alternative educators and students. 
"Instead of calling these kids 'at-risk' let's call them 'at promise,' because these kids have a lot of promise!"       --Larry Bell
What did you learn from Larry Bell's keynote? Did you enjoy his presentation? Are you trying out any of Larry's strategies in your own classroom? Tell other IAAE members about it in the comments below!