Education & Schools
Absentee Ballots Now Available; Vote By Mail or In-Person at Auditor’s Office. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Roxanna Moritz   
Friday, 24 August 2012 11:51

DAVENPORT – Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz announced today that absentee ballots are now available for the September 11, 2012 North Scott Community School District Revenue Purpose Statement Special Election.

Absentee ballots can be voted in the Auditor’s Office, or voters may request ballots be mailed to them. A fill-able Official Absentee Ballot Request form is available at the Auditor’s webpage Voters can also call the Auditor’s Office at 326-8631 and request that a form be mailed to them. Once the form is completely filled out voters need to sign the form and return it to the Auditor’s Office, 600 West 4th Street, Davenport, Iowa 52801. Ballots are mailed within 24 hours of receipt of the request.

For more information contact the Scott County Auditor’s Office at 563-326-8631.

Stefanie Meersman Earns M.P.H. Degree from DMU at Summer Commencement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Jordan Bahnsen   
Friday, 24 August 2012 11:09

DES MOINES, IA (08/20/2012)(readMedia)-- Des Moines University awarded 16 degrees at a summer commencement ceremony held on August 17 at 3 p.m. in the Medical Education Center, 3200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines. The dean from each of the three DMU colleges presented their classes and DMU President Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D., conferred degrees.

Stefanie Meersman from Moline, IL earned a M.P.H. degree. She is the daughter of Steve and Melanie Meersman of Moline, IL.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine awarded the doctor of osteopathic medicine degree to one graduate. The college also conferred the master of science in anatomy to four graduates and the master of science in biomedical sciences degrees to two. The College of Health Sciences recognized nine degrees to graduates from the master of health care administration and master of public health programs.

Des Moines University has three colleges (listed below). An explanation of degrees awarded follows:

College of Osteopathic Medicine:

Osteopathic Medicine Program – Graduates of this program earn a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degree. They complete a comprehensive four-year medical education program, including 18 months of clinical training.

Anatomy Program – Graduates of this program earn a master of science (M.S.) degree in anatomy. This is a 40.5 credit hour program. Graduates will be listed as having earned a M.S. (A), but this is just to differentiate the program completed. The actual degree earned is a M.S.

Biomedical Sciences Program – Graduates of this program earn a master of science (M.S.) degree in biomedical sciences. This is a 40 credit hour program. Graduates will be listed as having earned a M.S. (BS), but this is just to differentiate the program completed. The actual degree earned is a M.S.

College of Health Sciences:

Health Care Administration Program – Graduates of this program complete at least two years of education, attending full- or part-time, and earn a master of health care administration (M.H.A.) degree. The degree provides an educational foundation for careers and leadership in management, planning policy analysis and similar roles in long-term care or other health care settings.

Public Health Program – Graduates of this program complete at least two years of education, attending full- or part-time, and earn a master of public health (M.P.H.) degree. The program provides students with the skills to lead community efforts in improving health.

Des Moines University is the only private medical school in Iowa, offering graduate-level, professional degree programs in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, health care administration, anatomy, biomedical sciences and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students' pass rate on national examinations and board certifications is consistently higher than the national average and the rates at similar institutions.

International Competition Should Drive School Reform PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Shawn Hamerlinck   
Monday, 20 August 2012 15:36

With two high-profile Olympic competitors — Lolo Jones and Gabby Douglas — plus a host of other athletes with Iowa ties to cheer on, Iowans were into the patriotic spirit of the Olympic Games.

As a teacher and elected official, I wish our nation showed more of this drive and ambition when it came to our academic standing in the world. We have much to be proud of when it comes to our athletic accomplishments, but our students are significantly missing the mark on key international benchmarks.

One of the most disconcerting statistics highlights our poor performance in science and reading. U.S. students rank 17th and 24th, respectively, out of 34 developed nations in those subjects. Likewise, our teens didn’t do particularly well in math on the international assessment, which had us at 25th.

Iowa’s schools can become among the best in the nation. But we must remember that our children, while attending some of America’s top schools, are competing with students around the world. That’s why we have to ensure our schools are globally competitive and that our students are prepared for the “innovation economy.” A strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics must be a priority of our school leaders.

International performance rankings aren’t alone in showing our education system is in need of continued reform. The Council on Foreign Relations recently issued a report warning that the state of U.S. education has put America’s national security at risk. It cited high dropout rates, low test scores and large disparities in achievement levels between poor and minority kids and their wealthier, white peers.

What do we do to regain our footing as an academic leader in the world? We should start by tapping into the competitive spirit that was on display at the Olympics. Let’s set high expectations for every single student in our most critical academic subjects and push our children to reach farther and dig deeper.

We also need to look at the policies that are holding kids back. There’s little doubt that the work our teachers do in the classroom is the most critical factor impacting how well students learn. State law should mandate that staffing decisions be based on teacher effectiveness, not seniority, and reward the teachers who perform the best. By evaluating our teachers we’ll ensure that the needs of our students remain a top priority.

We need to look at these policies now and make changes quickly. We simply can’t wait any longer. While our international rankings are troubling, what’s worse is the direction in which we appear to be headed: We’re falling farther behind each day.

Let’s work together to reverse that trend. I can’t think of anything more patriotic or a bigger rallying point for Iowa’s children.

Thank you for letting me serve you in Des Moines.  Feel free to contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .gov or visit my website at

hamerlinck signaturesmall.jpg
Shawn Hamerlinck
State Senator
District 42

Iowa State University awards 831 graduates PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Jackie King   
Monday, 20 August 2012 14:39

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State University awarded 831 students degrees at the end of the summer term. The university awarded 519 undergraduate degrees, 195 master's degrees, and 117 doctor of philosophy degrees.

Of the students receiving bachelor's degrees, 50 graduated "With Distinction" (cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude) and 5 students graduated "With Distinction" and as members of the Honors Program.

Those graduates from our area include:

from Bettendorf:

Emily Kristine Bisbee, BS, Kinesiology and Health
Brett Thomas Bueker, BS, Kinesiology and Health;
Drew Allen Iannone, BS, Biology
Abigail Marie Kline, BS, Child, Adult, and Family Services
Andrew Kyle Marsh, BS, Management
Justin William Rice, PHD, Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology (LAS)
Carleigh Ann Rose, BS, Apparel Merchandising, Design, and Production
Joseph Anthony Tisinger, BS, Accounting
Joseph Anthony Tisinger, BS, Finance
Sarah Brianne Tisinger, BS, Journalism and Mass Communication

from Davenport, IA:

Jennifer R. Curta Leptien, PHD, Human Development and Family Studies
Matthew Jeffrey Schlue, BS, Management Information Systems
Aaron James Sedam, BS, Finance

and from Moline, IL:

Courtney Elizabeth Carson, BS, Apparel Merchandising, Design, and Production
Mark Andrew Krismanits, Finance
Mark Andrew Krismanits, BS, Management;

STEM Scale-Up Programs Ready for Statewide Distribution PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Tim Albrecht   
Friday, 17 August 2012 14:47

Are you a public or private school K through 12 teacher, youth organization leader, informal education professional or other organization delivering STEM education programming? Bring one or more of 12 specially selected STEM Scale-Up Programs to your local school, club, informal learning center and/or other educational entity to make a direct impact on children by allowing hands-on experiences with math, science, technology and engineering right in their community.

* * *

Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Gov.  Kim Reynolds and UNI President Ben Allen today announced the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Scale-Up applications of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council are ready and available for educators, both formal and informal, to apply to bring one or more of these programs operating into a club or classroom this fall.

“This is a great opportunity to bring STEM to areas of the state that may not have had the ability to participate in STEM programming before due to lack of money or lack of staff,” said Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. “All Iowa youth should have access to programs like these - FIRST LEGO League, KidWind and others on this list - to spark passion for math and science as well as open their eyes to jobs and career choices in STEM they might not have thought of otherwise.”

The 12 selected STEM Scale-Up Programs will be distributed through Iowa’s STEM Regional Hubs. Scale-Ups were selected based on their demonstrated evidence of improving achievement and inspiring interest among pre-K through 12 learners as well as ease to replicate programming anywhere in the state. Educators will work with STEM regional managers to take these programs to their communities. [The programs are listed at the end of this release]

The application deadline is September 14, 2012. Those educators selected to receive programming will be notified by October 1, 2012 and can implement the programming immediately this fall.

“A top priority of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is to help improve learner interest and achievement in STEM areas, “said Jeff Weld, executive director. “To help meet this goal, these twelve STEM programs were selected through a competitive process to be “scaled-up,” getting great programs into the hands of educators and learners across Iowa.”

The Iowa STEM Network is centered on six STEM regional network hubs, lead by a regional manager. The regional managers are charged with disseminating STEM programming, increasing STEM awareness and building education, business and community partnerships. The creation of the STEM Network and the ability to offer a menu of STEM programs to educators that would immediately impact children across the state are the first major actions of the one-year-old Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, a public-private partnership whose overarching goal is to create greater student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and a stronger STEM workforce.

“A STEM-ready workforce and STEM-savvy citizenry has been and can, again, be Iowa’s brand on the competitive national and international economic landscape,” said Jeff Weld, executive director of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “We are fortunate to have six unrivaled partners in our STEM Hubs, each ready to roll out the best our state has to offer for the benefit of learners across their region. Iowa is in a very strong place regarding STEM education.”

The Scale Up Programs application, a map of Iowa’s six STEM Regions, contact information for the STEM Regional Managers and a list of the 12 Scale Ups can be found at

For more information about the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council go to

* * * *

ABOUT IMSEP: The Iowa Mathematics and Science Education Partnership (IMSEP) is the operations arm of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, dedicated to building a strong STEM education foundation for all Iowans. For more information about IMSEP or the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, go to

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List of 12 STEM Scale Up Programs

1.      A World in Motion (AWIM) - AWIM provides mathematics, science and technology curriculum and professional development to increase student performance, engagement and interest K-12 school students.  Website:

2.      Fabulous Resources in Energy Education (FREE) - FREE allows anyone willing to educate about energy to borrow materials to teach about energy efficiency, energy basics, solar and wind energy, and hydrogen fuel cells.  Website:

3.      FIRST LEGO League -  LEGO robotics competition for children creates an environment where young people discover the fun in STEM while building self-confidence, know-how and valuable employment and life skills.  Website:

4.      FIRST Tech Challenge - FTC is a challenging exploration of real‐world problems using robotics and STEM concepts (i.e. computer programming, center of gravity, trigonometry, algorithms, calculus).  Website:

5.      HyperStream - Technology Hub for Iowa's Students - HyperStream is a program that partners education and business, combines acareer awareness initiative with hands-on, real-world tech projects that students choose and develop. HyperStream is very focused on the project-based learning approach that education is prominently promoting moving forward.  Website:

6.      iExploreSTEM - iExploreSTEM is a series of coordinated free, hands-on, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) festivals that have the look and feel of a street fair or county fair planned to be held annually throughout the State. With the assistance of the iExploreSTEM team, communities will build local partnerships representing a diversity of stakeholders to produce a local STEM festival scaled to the resources of the community.  Website:

7.      KidWind - The KidWind Challenge program in Iowa works with educators using WindWise Education curriculum in PD workshops, engages students in design and creates STEM interest and understanding at challenges or events, and connects teachers and students to careers related to wind power at the events.  Website:

8.      Project HOPE (Healthcare, Occupations, Preparation and Exploration) - Project HOPE (Healthcare, Occupations, Preparation, and Exploration) is a STEM-based curricular intervention that integrates academic and vocational opportunities designed to connect minority and low socioeconomic middle school students to the health science professionals early in their education including a curriculum designed for 8th grade science, career or social studies classes, teacher/counselor training, and parent workshops.  Website: No website

9.      The CASE for Agriculture Education in Iowa - CASE (Curriculum for Agriscience Education) hopes to increase STEM awareness and rigor and relevance of agriculture, food and natural resource subject matter through teacher professional development, student exposure to technology and a curriculum padded with 21st century skills, critical thinking and practice opportunities.

10.    State Science + Technology Fair of Iowa - The SSTFI serves as a place where student researchers meet with professional researchers and communicate their findings from their own research or engineering projects and communicate their understanding of the research process.  Website:

11.    Partnership for Engineering and Educational Resources for Schools (PEERS) - PEERS, a business-guided program divided into four implementation levels for students (exposure, experience, mentoring, and potential employment), is geared to increase awareness of STEM careers and to increase the number of engineering and technology majors and professionals in the state.

12.    Corridor STEM Initiative (CSI) - CSI intends to increase the number of Iowa students that enter and succeed in the Iowa workforce by engaging students in exciting, inquiry-based, hands-on STEM programs that extend the classroom learning experiences.

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